James Lilja

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James Lilja
Birth name James Frederick Lilja[1]
Born 1966
Origin United States
Genres Punk rock, hardcore punk
Occupation(s) Musician
Gynecologic oncologist
Instruments Drums
Years active 1984–present
Labels Black Label Records
Associated acts The Offspring

James Frederick Lilja[1] (born May 1966), is an American gynecologic oncologist[2] and a musician from the Los Angeles area, perhaps best known as the first drummer of the punk rock band The Offspring, and performing with the band between 1984 and 1987.[3]

Collegiate education and The Offspring

Lilja attended the University of California, Los Angeles between 1984 and 1988, and from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology.[4]

In 1984, Lilja had joined the group Manic Subsidal, which eventually changed its name to The Offspring in 1986. Lilja played on the group's first demo tape in 1986,[5] which earned them early exposure through a positive review in Maximumrocknroll magazine.[6] Later that year, Lilja performed on the band's debut single, "I'll Be Waiting" released through Black Label Records.[7] Lilja also helped write the song "Beheaded,"[8] later featured on the group's debut album, The Offspring (1989).[9][10]

Medical career

Lilja amicably departed from The Offspring; The Offspring frontman Dexter Holland has said that Lilja was so focused on getting into medical school that the band let him go on friendly terms.[8] Lilja gained admission to University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he graduated with an M.D. in 1993.[11] During medical school, Lilja formed a band with other medical students called the Oral Groove. Meanwhile, Lilja’s position in the Offspring was filled by Ron Welty in 1987,[3] who was only 16 years old at the time.[12]

After completing medical school, Lilja undertook an internship and residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (1994–1997) and a fellowship at the University of Michigan Medical School (1998–2000).[11] In 2001, he was board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology as an obstetrician and gynecologist. He finished fellowship at the University of Michigan in gynecologic oncology. In 2003, he was double board-certified as an obstetrician gynecologist and gynecologic oncologist.[2][11]

In 2018, while on trial for medical malpractice Lilja saved the life of a potential juror who went into cardiac arrest during the jury selection. Afterwards the judge ruled a mistrial to avoid biases from any of the potential jurors who saw him save a life, and rescheduled his trial for a later date.[13][14]


With Manic Subsidal
  • We Got Power Part II – Party Animal (1985)
With The Offspring


  1. ^ a b "James Lilja". Theoffspringsite.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Deemeetree (September 15, 2008). "The Offspring (Band)". ThisIsLike.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  3. ^ a b "The Offspring". NIPP. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "LinkedIn".
  5. ^ Tijs (November 10, 2011). "1986 demo tape surfaced!". Theoffspringsite.com. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Blackball demo tape". Kill From The Heart. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "Offspring, The – I'll Be Waiting / Blackball". Discogs. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  8. ^ a b "Dexter on song". Offspring.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  9. ^ "Offspring, The – The Offspring". Discogs. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "The Offspring – The Offspring". Allmusic. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  11. ^ a b c "James Lilja, MD". Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Archived from the original on 2013-12-15.
  12. ^ "Interview with Ron Welty". Tama Drums. Archived from the original on February 14, 2005. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Estrella, Cicero (March 28, 2018). "Former Offspring drummer, now a doctor, plays hero in Oakland courtroom". San Jose Mercury News.
  14. ^ http://people.com/music/offspring-drummer-saved-juror-malpractice-trial/

External links

  • James Lilja discography at Discogs
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