Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My Ego Knows No Bounds

Looking at myself through the mirror of cyberspace

My past is history, my future a mystery...OK, so here's some history, as I continue to delve through the detritus of my post-Spring Cleaning gleanings to live in hindsight's golden vision...

Old "Found Fotos" of Tommy Gunn


Katatonix drummer "Tommy Gunn"

Geezus, lookit that hair! That's me as Thee Katatonix drummer "Tommy Gunn" (yes, I took my nom de stage from the Clash song - not the poet Thom Gunn) playing at some God-awful shithole in the God-awful Shithole Days. What a scrappy looking kit, too; I think my floor tom is literally sitting on the floor! I bought that kit for a song from a law student who needed to buy new textbooks.


A more respectable, cleaned-up Tommy Gunn

Well, at least the hair's shorter. Must be from our April 1979 debut at Towson's Oddfellow's Hall. I was still wearing my college uniform of button-down blue shirt and cordoroy pants. For some strange reason, I never wore jeans during my college career; either I was subconsciously rebelling against Hippie fashion or my years in a preppy high school ingrained in me the vanilla-blandness of the WASP Dress Code. Full disclosure: I even wore a Kelly green cable-knit sweater to band practice!


Longshot of Tommy manning his Gunns

Above is my fave pic from this era as, from a distance I kinda resemble Paul Weller playing drums. (Though a co-worker thought I looked more like a blonde Beatle - would that make me "Blingo Starr"?) Note the cinder block in front of the open face bass drum. My kit used to move around stage. Sometimes I had bassist Katie Katatonic stand in front of it, but she was a lightweight and her lithe frame was easily tossed aside like a leaf-blowin'-in-the-wind by the savage force of my off-beat pounding.

Speaking of savage poundings, my Big Beat became so legendary that cartoonist (and punk rock enthusiast) Ned Riddle asked me to pose for one of his "Mr. Tweedy" strips, as shown below:



Ha! Tweedy, pure hi-larity!

And speaking of 'toons, no one made the Kats look better than George Wilcox (or was it Dave?) in his "The Band That Adds Assault To Insult" flyer:



Being a Towson State University guy, I used to hang out a lot at Oddfellows Hall, which was just up the street from the university (or "Towson You-Adversity" as we called it affectionately) across from what is now the Recher Theatre (then the Towson Theatre), where there was also head shop, a Little Tavern and an Old Man's Bar called The Kent Lounge (a personal fave dive, as Sourcis attracted high school kids with fake IDs and The Crease was a lacrosse/preppy hangout). As the name implies, it attracted a "Beautiful Weirdo" demographic of punks, hippies, druggies, rock musicians, and other social misfits. Below I can be seen cavorting with TSU Class Clown Marty Benson (aka Dimi Petrol and Dr. Bongo) in my Clockwork Orange Droogie ensemble. I remember Marty always called me "Von Tom." Oh, this was Halloween, hence the festive garb.


Clowning around at Oddfellows Hall, Halloween 1979

Funny thing is, I did used to wear that getup - the bowler derby hat, long black overcoat (I called it my "deathcoat" - this was years before the dour, dark "Columbine Look"), dark sunglasses and cords - around campus on occasion.

Though sometimes I let my guard - and pants - down. (I was single, after all!)

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