Tommy comes from a musical family. His father, brother and grandfather played guitar, piano, mandolin. Though he initially wanted to play the piano, after several attempts with teachers who either moved, retired, or just quit teaching, his pre-teen mind simply lost interest. Then, one day in the summer of 1976 a neighborhood friend played a newly released KISS Destroyer album. Tommy said: “Hearing Gene’s bass riff at the end of each vocal line of the verse on Detroit Rock City… I was hooked! Not only on the band but the sound of a thundering bass guitar!”. It wasn't long after that when he came home from school to find a black Fender Musicmaster bass and a Peavey TNT 100 amp that his dad had purchased for him!
Many mid-70’s Rock groups such as Kiss, Rush, Kansas, Aerosmith, Queen, Ted Nugent, Zeppelin, UFO, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Boston influential and inspirational! This lit the fire for his musical path and put him firmly on a trajectory to pursue his dreams and the promised land of Rock Stardom!
Tommy's early, formative years were typical garage bands like Realm and Legend which he formed with brother Randy and friends from the neighborhood. Over the next few years, he branched out in California’s San Joaquin Valley with the bands Half Breed, Solitude and Silver Hammer. Some of these groups were writing original music but still played mostly cover songs.
During the summer in 1985 he met a singer who invited him to audition for the band Villain. Tommy aced the audition was now Villain's new bassist! As it turns out the singer would soon be replaced by vocalist extraordinaire, Carl Albert. Reigned in by some of the band members, this would turn out to be the moment that changed the path of Tommy’s musical life. With a rock solid line-up in place, the first year would prove to be explosive! After raising the funds, they soon recorded their debut album 'Only Time Will Tell'. Though it didn't carry the band to the stardom they hoped for, the album went on to become one of the most sought-after U.S. Power Metal EP’s on the international market.
In 1988, Tommy's desire to raise the bar both professionally and artistically, led him to time well spent with the music group 'Attica'. After a chance encounter with “west coast” rep and one time Toto vocalist 'Dennis 'Fergie' Fredricksen', the bands future seemed promising and were soon represented by Michigan based company 'Madhouse Management' who's roster had artists such as ' Ted Nugent '.
In 1990 Tommy re-located to the San Francisco Bay Area to team up with Souldog. In need of a guitarist, Tommy invited ex-UFO's 'Atomic Tommy McClendon' to join the band. While Souldog was short lived but did record songs with Producer and T-Ride drummer, 'Eric Valentine'. Souldog's highlights would be touring throughout California with 'Blue Oyster Cult'.
As destiny would have it, Souldog rehearsed next door to a studio that Carl Albert was working in. This would reignite Tommy and Carl’s friendship and in December of 1993, Carl invited him to audition for up and coming Bay Area metal legends 'Vicious Rumors'. Mere weeks after the audition, Tommy found himself in the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley CA cutting bass tracks for his first (and the 6th) VR album “Word of Mouth”. Soon after that he was off to Europe for the first of many tours with the band. He ultimately performed on 4 albums with VR: Word of Mouth, Live: A Tribute To Carl Albert, Something Burning and Cyberchrist.
After deciding to leave Vicious Rumors in late 1999, Tommy wasn’t very active musically for the next few years. That all changed when he received a message from Mark McGee in 2003, asking if he was interested in auditioning for a new band called Luvplanet. Without hesitation, he jumped at the chance. According to Tommy: “Being a part of a band with this level of talent is truly a dream come true. I consider Mark McGee and Nicole Sutton to be the absolute best songwriters, musicians, and vocalists I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with”. And the story continues ....