John Doherty of Terminally Ill
John Doherty of Terminally Ill

Terminally Ill Guitarist John Doherty Recovers After Onstage Seizure

Last week, we introduced you to the semi-psychotic, wholeheartedly hilarious sounds of OC punk rap band Terminally Ill. Chances are, if you've been to their shows or seen any of their videos, you know the group would just about knock themselves out in order to entertain you. Unfortunately, guitarist John Doherty put that notion to the test, albeit unintentionally, when he suffered a seizure while performing last Friday night at Comic Book Hideout, a comic book store in downtown Fullerton.

The incident occurred in the middle of the band's set during their thrashing punk anthem "Box of Wine," while Doherty had taken off the guitar to sing back up vocals. The band was forced to move the show from it's original location at Malone's in Santa Ana after a power outage created a blackout that blanketed all the businesses and homes in the immediate area. Vocalist Glynnes Pruett of Cheetararah, one of the other bands on the bill, offered up her newly-opened comic book shop as a back up location. What started as a party, quickly turned to panic after Terminally Ill started playing.

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"The moshing and all the people at the show were pushed up right in front of us, and usually I have a guitar where I can kind of fend people off but this time I was just singing." Doherty says at one point he fell and tripped over one of the amps and fell back to the ground. A friend picked him up a little too quickly and he fell forward, hitting his head on a couch. "I immediately lost all function of anything on my body, he said. For a couple minutes, Doherty had a violent seizure and at one point began foaming at the mouth as fans and friends rushed to call 9-1-1. "Everything went white and all I could think was "turn the music down, I'm dying," he says. "And the next thing I know I woke up and I was on the floor and there was a fire truck and an ambulance outside."

Though he didn't go straight to the hospital when firefighters and paramedics arrived, he did end up admitting himself early the next morning around 2 a.m. and was released shortly after 9:30 p.m. after being cleared by a doctor (though he says his license was temporarily taken away). Though he'd experienced a seizure once before, the guitarist says he'd never had one that severe. However, both he and the band say they aren't planning on slowing down as long as health professionals say he's okay to play. The band has another show planned for next week and is also working on recording a new song. Several days after the incident, Doherty is still adamant about getting back on stage.

"It sucks that we only got to play three songs that night because we were on fire. We're all just looking forward to the next show. I'll bring a helmet next time."

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