How are you doing?

First of all, a big HI to Martine, Erik, Anneke and Henk Kramer from Groningen. Martine - the best au pair we ever had!
    I'm doing great, thank Goodness. The kids are growing up, my ex-wife is slowly disappearing, except for once-in-a-while occasions, my girlfriend is great, I like some modern music, George Bush is going away soon (but not soon enough!@) and me and my piano are still best friends.

I saw on MySpace that you still make music. What other musical things did you do after you left Bryan Adams?
Well, even when I was with Bryan and before, I wrote a lot of songs, and composed instrumental music, first for piano, then later with synthesizers too - some ambient, some rhythmic, some both. Plus I play piano every Friday night at The Empire Diner in NYC, teach 2 days a week at Sarah Lawrence College, and do other sessions and stuff.

I read you composed a couple of operas. Can you tell us something about that?
Yes, thanks for asking. In the early 70's after I finished university (just barely - I was so aching to get back to my band!) I started working part time at a College for a very creative Director. I had just finished a 1 year contract with Epic Records, the division of CBS that had Sly and the  Family Stone, and many other current hit-makers. They decided not to release my record, so I got all my songs back, and knitted them, with this Director's help, into a loose plot - about a boy named Joe, and this ghost like musician named Lurk who takes him under his 'wing'....for better or worse. It was called Joe's Opera (I'm thinking of changing the name now...) and we did it as a play Off-Off-Broadway at Cafe LaMama in the East Village, and then the following year at another Off-Off Broadway house, and then it was optioned for Broadway Production, I had William Morris Agency representing me, and things looked rosey. Only the Producers never raised the money to put it on (that happens a lot in the biz). . . After a while it was 'rewrite this, the backers have a problem with it - it's too gay' and 'rewrite that, no one will like it, it's not gay enough' - it was about coming of age, which always involves those issues to some degree, eh? and good vs. evil or passion versus mind - I was a Philosopy major.) So again, I got my Music back, and by then I had written a 2nd one, The Sea of Simile, having learned some things from the first one. We did that one at the college where I worked for that same 'creative' Director (named John Braswell, btw, RIP), and it was da bomb. But it never went on to a 2nd production; Eventually I started recording the songs, and now after many years, I have a complete soundtrack of it on CD, with great singers (Dee Carstensen (Mrs. Mike Mainieri), Jimi Tunnell (from the R&B group Shannon, and also Steps, he plays awesome jazz guitar too.) Anyway, someone I was 'pitching' it to, asked me 'what do these underwater characters look like?', and I realized I had to draw them a picture. Well the pictures turned into a big book I carried around with me, and the book and the music turned into a little animated movie, more like a moving painting actually; Eventually I did the entire 100 minutes - you probably saw me on the road in the 90's, with my computer, working on the drawings, or maybe the First Act's animation!!!! remember?!? Finally, I did Act III with Apple's newer software (iMovie and iDVD) and it's now a DVD! Wow. You can buy the CD at and the Apple iTunes Store.

What is the last musical thing you did (and what was your last album?)?
Today, I did a 6 hour session, playing keyboards on a new CD by Brady Rymer. He does really funky, rockin fun records for kids. We must have done around 10 or 12 songs, and it was fun. For the first time in the 3 CD's I've done with him, there wasn't a Hammond Organ where we recorded. They had a (Swedish made) Nord Stage keyboard which worked well, (but not as well as a real Hammond B-3 of course!) You can check out some of Brady's music on
He's a great guy.
                            My latest album is called:  Curio City (How I Got Myself Killed)
and it has a lot of political songs, some cool background vocals by Kirsten Thien and Elaine Caswell, lots of Hammond, drum programming, even some guitars. One rap song to my daughter, called NFD. Everything on it is me, mostly recorded in Digital Performer on my Macs. You can hear it and or buy it at   or the iTunes Store. The one before that is called The Enlightenment of Age, and it has lots of songs. . . including the soon to be famous Aliens On The Beach, and Baby Please Come Back, a techno song featuring Lydia Burns (and me) on vocals. She's hot.

What kind of music styles do you like? And what artists have been musical inspirations to you?
It's funny - I'm not into styles...I hate when style is more important than the music itself.  I'd call that posing. Me, I actually like certain combinations of notes and chords. The same notes in ANY style  will make me feel good, make my soul sizzle, give me the chills, or feel safe or whatever. . . Yet something in that same style, that lacks my 'favorite notes' or chord sequences, just won't do it for me!
    5 random songs/recordings that I love are Sweetness by Jimmy Eats World, Tomorrow Never Knows by The Beatles, No Expectations by The Rolling Stones, Hands Clean by Alannis Morrisette, and Good Enough by Sarah McLachlan. My biggest keyboard influences have been Steve Winwood (whom I drank with in Amsterdam in '83!) Garth Hudson of The Band, Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum, Nicky Hopkins of the Rolling Stones, John Lord of Deep Purple, and though I'm not nearly as good, Michael Ratledge of Soft Machine. Also Ray Charles, of course, Alan Toussaint, Dr. John, Herbie Hancock (I wish!), Stevie Wonder, and Laura Nyro (a big influence for a lot of us from that time. Check her out, especially Eli and the Thirteenth Confession).

What other hobbies do you have, besides music?
I like having my mind read. And Mac graphics programs like Photoshop and Painter. Also playing basketball and tennis, and being a good dad. And my big new hobby- following the news & being horrified, watching America fall apart because of its insane leaders and its broken voting apparatus. stuff like that.

How did it feel to be on stage with Bryan again? (in NYC, in the Beacon Theatre, 11th January 2007)
It was like a strange dream. Because I've HAD that dream: that I was back in the band, so many times - sometimes it's a good dream, and other times it's  just bizarre. And most of the dreams feel so real, that IN THE DREAM, I actually 'pinch myself' to see if I am dreaming, and I am almost always convinced that I'm not dreaming. . . So when I was REALLY playing with the boys, I was saying to myself, "You know, Tom, this could be just another one of those dreams, and you wouldn't even know it!" (especially since the light show was so different (more reds) and everything else was so familiar, but ten years after the reality.) Lots of fun though. Wonderful.

How do you look back on your time together with Bryan Adams?
Saw some great things, made a lot of people happy, made really good friends, played well.

What were your favourite songs to play with Bryan?
Somebody, Thought I'd Died And Gone to Heaven, Lonely Nights, Don't Drop That Bomb on Me, Last Chance, Night to Remember, In The Heat of the Night, Take Me Back, and especially Tonight. Some others too. Only the Strong Survive. Anything except Touch the

What are your plans for the future?
Get the Operas finally produced on stage; Protect my kids; make my girlfriend happy tonight.

Tommy's Recent Ventures
Dutch Bryan Adams Fan Club Site