Between treatments, X guitarist Billy Zoom will join the cow-punk quartet at their annual holiday gigs at Casbah Friday and Saturday.
X guitarist Billy Zoom was diagnosed with bladder cancer this past July. The band performed summer shows with Texan Jesse Dayton (who’s played guitar for Willie Nelson, among others) sitting in while Zoom commenced treatment for the cancer. In what feels like a Christmas miracle for the annual “X-Mas” shows at the Casbah (Friday and Saturday nights), Zoom is back in the fold.
“It’s all through the magic of medical advancements,” X bassist John Doe explained to the Reader. “It seems like we were just there. July was a few months ago, and it’s great to have Billy back. It just seems like we did these other shows without him, and that was good. But now he’s back and it’s kind of surreal.”
Zoom is not out of the woods yet, but the shows fall in a gap between his chemo treatments. Contacted via email, Zoom writes, “I’m a little tired, but okay. Things have gone as well as can be expected considering it’s cancer.” He also added that his best advice for dealing with chemo treatments is, “One day at a time. It’s not fun, but it beats the alternatives.”
After word broke that Zoom had cancer, a Go Fund Me site (gofundme.com/yx66a4) was set up to help the guitarist.
“The campaign did so well that they’ve actually taken half of that money to start a foundation to support other people that don’t have as high a profile as Billy,” Doe said. “The original goal was 50 grand, which was to help Billy with living expenses and stuff like that while he was getting treatment. The last I checked they had raised over $97,000. It’s humbling to see people give 20 bucks or 1000 bucks or whatever to say, ‘You guys affected my life and this is what I can give.’ It’s pretty great.”
- Saturday, November 28, 2015, 8 p.m.
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Zoom left a note on the band’s website: “If I can make it through the next 18 months without it coming back, things will be looking pretty good.” And, “I almost forgot to mention that chemo is very slimming. I look good.”
According to Doe, his friendship with Zoom will turn 40 at the end of 2016. They met after they each posted a classified ad seeking like-minded musicians.
“My first impression was that Billy is a very tall and strange man, and he still is in some ways. I think it was fate that we all ended up in L.A. at the time. Punk rock was in the air,” Doe said.