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Arts & Entertainment

Best Drummer 

Billy Brimblecom

Drummers are usually the hardest-living, roughest-tumbling instrumentalists in rock and roll, rarely heralded as champions of longevity and strength of spirit. Laying that notion to waste is Blackpool Lights drummer and scene veteran Billy Brimblecom, who stands out as a human being, never mind all the tom fills and cymbal crashes he makes for a living. Earlier this year, Brimblecom learned that he had Ewing's sarcoma in his left leg, a malignant cancer that demands full-body treatment. Two weeks after his first chemo session, however, Brimblecom was in the studio with his band, rushing to record 14 tracks in two days (just as his hair was beginning to fall out). The chemotherapy continued, and Brimblecom kept drumming right through it. "My life is changing every day for the better," Brimblecom told the Pitch in June, by which time all his hair was gone. In August, however, the cancer claimed Billy's left leg -- his high-hat leg -- from the knee down. Despite that hardship, Brimblecom has soldiered on, focusing on the future and inspiring every musician who knows him.

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