Jim’s dad first taught him a few things on guitar. At around 16, he noticed that a lot of Jim’s friends played guitar too, yet nobody played bass. That Christmas Jim became a bass player, and fell in love with it. Several months later he was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. A drummer friend who he had just met would come over several times a week and they’d just jam; playing music was such a great escape from dealing with cancer.
Jim would have surgeries and radiation that year. The following year he had a recurrence – stage 4. More surgery, and chemo this time. His hands became too weak to play the bass, but he was able to play a nylon string guitar a little. About 2 years later, feeling better, he was back to playing both bass and acoustic guitar, playing in acoustic/folk groups, rock/funk/blues bands, and even the occasional musical.
In Jim’s early 20s, he had also gotten into video production and was faced with the decision of whether to pursue a full time career as a musician or a career in production. He ultimately chose production and has had an amazing career while doing his best to make time to play music.
There’s been a long list of bands: Wild Rice, Cherryjump, GirlFriday, HotMess, Soul Temple, and tons of supporting slots on bass and rhythm guitar. He’s also been lucky to record an album with cherryjump (bass), an album with GirlFriday (guitar, bass), and a 6 song EP with Soul Temple. Music has made a big difference in his life, and he has tried to give back in any way possible, including volunteering in the BoStrong music room at Ulman House, and for a few years, being on the Board of Directors at BoStrong Foundation. He became involved in the cancer support community in 2014 performing with his bands at fundraisers, and organizing music events.
A few additional comments from Jim:
“I’ve been able to get around without a walker for almost a month now. I lost nearly 25 pounds in October when the colon cancer was found and it’s taken a while to start regaining strength. My oncologists decided I was in no condition to take on chemo and go with strict surveillance and testing.
I initially became interested in Cancer Can Rock hoping to maybe combine efforts with another cancer support group I volunteer for. I’ve been so impressed with your mission that I feel it would be an honor to be an artist/survivor.
When I was 16, my Mom somehow arranged for me to meet the Doobie Brothers. I was a big fan, and was having a rough time during radiation, and unable to go to their concert at Merriweather the night before. We met in a conference room at their hotel. Here I was in the same room as my musical heroes! They gave me a full access pass and said to come to any show I wanted to. It raised my spirits enough to get me through the last few weeks of radiation. The following year I was in a wheelchair for 6 months or so while going through chemo. They had an escort take us to our seats and then backstage after the show. They treated me like family for years.
I’ve been able to arrange a couple meet and greets with other survivors and their music idols … it’s one of the greatest feelings in the world to witness that … especially knowing first hand what it feels like. I’m proud of the music I’ve been involved with playing and writing, but still feel the best is yet to come.”
Jim Buckley's interview video
Jim Buckley's music video
Buckley Creative Works
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