Folk-rock legend Bob Dylan has been hospitalized with a
life-threatening illness after suffering severe chest pains last weekend,
Columbia Records said Wednesday.
Dylan, 56, who composed such classics as
"Like A Rolling Stone" "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'
" and is widely regarded as one of the most influential voices in rock history,
was diagnosed with histoplasmosis, a potentially fatal infection that results
in a swelling of the sac surrounding the heart. He is undergoing treatment and
will remain in the hospital indefinitely, according to a statement issued by
Larry Jenkins, a Columbia Records representative in New York.
Pegues, an infectious disease expert at UCLA Medical Center, told
Reuters that the fungus that causes histoplasmosis is quite common in
some regions of the U. S. "If untreated, sure it could kill him," said Pegues,
"but it's an eminently treatable and curable illness, and I'm sure Mr. Dylan
has the best medial supervision."
A statement from publicists in Britain,
where Dylan was scheduled to tour this summer, said that the '60s icon, whose
son Jakob leads the currently hot band, the Wallflowers, whose second album,
Bring Down the Horse,, has sold over two million copies, "is undergoing
treatment and will remain hospitalized in the care of his physicians until such
time as they feel confident that his condition has improved, after which time
there will need to be a period of recuperation."
Another spokesperson for
Columbia who preferred anonymity told ATN that the label did not know where
Dylan is hospitalized or for how long he will remain under a doctor's watch.
In the wake of his illness, Dylan's upcoming tour of Ireland, the U.K.,
and Switzerland has been canceled. It is uncertain whether the shows will be
rescheduled, according to the statement. Ticket holders are asked to check with
their local ticket distributor for refund policies.
"We are hopeful that we
will be able to replay these shows at some later date,'' added the
Columbia is keeping an August tour of the U.S. on the calendar,
saying "we are optimistic we will be able to fulfill those touring