Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Throttle Body influences - Thom Brisendine

Go ahead and Google the name, Thom Brisendine. You wont find much. At least regarding a Thom Brisendine that grew up in Federal Way, Washington in the 1970's. Thom isn't really part of this online world. But he's a big part of mine.

Growing up, Thom was simply the most gifted musician I ever met. He was one of those guys who could play anything on anything. He was gifted on piano and trumpet and drums and percussion. He was exceptional as a mallet percussionist. His dedication to music, and his lack of intimidation when approaching any instrument was an inspiration to me. His work ethic as a teenager was legendary. You know the whole 10,000 hours mantra of mastery? Thom was onto that long before it was fashionable.

I have such fond memories of making my earliest recordings with Thom, as well as some of my best. Before there was Throttle Body, there was Top Cat, and Thom was a fixture. He played or programmed drums for the tracks we recorded. He also contributed vibraphone, xylophone, drums, percussion, bass, harmonica, and vocals to many tracks. As he had purchased a Fostex 80-8 (1/4" 8-track recorder), and made me welcome in his Bremerton home at the time, I actually wouldn't have been able to record without his generosity. I'll get around to posting some tracks with his performances so you can understand what a gift he shared with me.

Thom and I continued making music together into the late 1980's, but then we had a falling out, which turned out to be more or less permanent. I regret it to this day.

I wish I could point you to a lot of his work, but Thom's gifts these days are seldom shared.

As an influence, Thom is quite simply one of the people who encouraged me to make music, to create and to grow as a musician. I wouldn't be the musician I am, had Thom not been a part of my life. There remains a part of me, that whenever I make new music, is hoping that if he ever hears it, he will approve.

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