Benefit concert held for Abilene musician battling cancer


ABILENE, Texas - Hours after sundown at the Firehouse Bar and Grill in Abilene, close to a hundred people snagged their spots and ordered a few drinks.

That's normal for a Friday night, but the patrons--mostly dressed in black, denim, and jackets with various patches--weren't there just to imbibe, they were there to support well-known local DJ and rock 'n roll drummer Ben Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, who you may know as Candyman on Star 106.3 FM or the drummer for Abilene band 360, was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent surgery Thursday to remove a mass from his body.

Friday, a benefit was held in his honor and to help raise money for his medical expenses. It was organized in part by Adam Munoz and KEYJ 107.9 FM.

(PHOTOS -} Friends, supporters attend benefit concert for Abilene musician diagnosed with cancer )

"One life, I'm gonna live it up!"

Gonzalez's band took the stage at Firehouse to play rock 'n roll favorites to the audience and started with Judas Priest's driving anthem, "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" after thanking the crowd for showing Ben support.

One person missing from the crowd was Gonzalez, who's still recovering after his nearly eight-hour surgery. Without Gonzalez on the throne, two other local drummers, Chris Sanchez and Baylon Dean, picked up the sticks to fill in for the night.

Not to be left out, the band's performance and the crowd's reactions were live-streamed so Gonzalez could tune in at any time and watch on his phone.

Several of his family members said they were overwhelmed by the support shown at the benefit concert by friends and fellow musicians. They said Gonzalez was in good spirits after his surgery, but understandably tired. Family members visited him in the hospital throughout the day, and Gonzalez didn't refuse a single visit even as his energy level waned.

The jams kept going through the night as supporters continued to pile in to the bar.

Gonzalez will know the next step of his medical journey when he receives the pathology results from the mass that was removed.