290 – Billy Brimblecom: Losing a Leg to Cancer, Moving from KC to Nashville and Back, Heading Up the Steps of Faith Foundation
Billy Brimblecom’s career has taken him from drumming to philanthropy, and from his hometown of Kansas City to Nashville, and back to Kansas City. Over his 25 year career, Billy has manned the drum chair for Blackpool Lights, The Start, The Creature Comforts, and Summer Breeze.
In early 2005 Brimblecom learned he a form of cancer in his leg called Ewing’s sarcoma. This resulted in his left leg being amputated above the knee. After 13 rounds of chemotherapy and a few months of rehab, Brimblecom re-joined Blackpool Lights and returned to touring ( with a prosthetic leg) in March 2006. Brimblecom and the band did extensive tours of the U.S., Canada and Japan as well as support slots for Social Distortion, Anberlin, Angels and Airwaves.
Brimblecom relocated to Nashville in 2009 where he did session work with producer/songwriter Don Chaffer (of Waterdeep) and Greg LaFollette. During this time, he also founded the Steps of Faith Foundation, which helps amputees get the prosthetics they need.
Billy and his family returned to Kansas City in 2017, where he has continued both his philanthropic and musical endeavors. Since 2017, he has partnered with his fellow Kansas Citian and high school friend Jason Sudeikis to produce Thundergong, a live benefit for Steps of Faith which featured performances by a host of big names including Ben Harper, Fred Armisen, Wynona Judd, and The Get Up Kids.
In this episode, Billy talks about:
- The challenges of playing Yacht Rock
- Merging his old life in full time music with his new life in philanthropy
- How he moved forward physically, emotionally, and practically after losing his left leg
- What attracted him to Nashville, and why he ultimately returned home to Kansas City
- Becoming the Executive Director of the Steps of Faith Foundation, and how he has fused that role with his identity as a drummer and his expertise in the music business
- Thundergong – a yearly fundraiser event he coproduces with Jason Sudeikis