X Guitarist Billy Zoom Diagnosed with Cancer; Band Launches Benefit Website for Medical Costs

Guitarist Billy Zoom, a founding member of seminal L.A. punk band X, has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and will bow out of the group’s tour to undergo treatment after several shows this weekend in Orange County, California.

The 67-year-old musician/producer/electronics wiz will begin chemo next week.

“In the music community, we all take turns helping each other,” X said in a statement. “Punk rock and benefits: you name the cause, and the bands and fans will be there.

"Now it's our turn to help Billy Zoom, the wittiest, smartest, nicest, best guitar player & friend we know. We would do anything to help him get better, help take care of his family, and lessen his woes.”

A Support Billy Zoom’s Kick Cancer Fight at GoFundMe has already raised more than $45,000 toward a goal of $50,000 as of Friday morning (July 10).

In early 2010, Zoom revealed that he had been successfully treated for prostate cancer. After undergoing a prostatectomy, the cancer was caught in its early stages and Zoom was given the "all clear."

X and Zoom are committed to this weekend’s shows at Orange County’s The Observatory, where Billy will join X to play songs from the band's first four albums. The Blasters and Mike Watt will be joining X for these shows.

X will continue with their previously announced July and August Midwest and East Coast tour dates in support of Zoom and his family. A replacement for Zoom will be announced soon.

“Please keep Billy in your prayers and send some positive energy his way!” X’s statement continued. “Donating a few bucks will take away some of his financial stress and worry. And it's the punk rock thing to do.”

You can donate to Support Billy Zoom’s Kick Cancer Fightright here.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.