In November of 1963 Tom’s family moved from his hometown of Allen Park Michigan to a town called Rochester, 25 miles north of Detroit. The day they moved was a double shocker because it was the day President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.
The Beatles were just coming into their own as the next hit record group in America. Tom and everybody else became fans right out of the box.
On February 9, 1964 Tom spent the day fixing his camera to be able to sit on a tripod. That endeavor worked out well and he got plenty of shots of the first live performance of The Beatles in America right off of his TV. This put Tom in a new place, one with a camera and a desire to photograph all things musical. After high school he got a job in a music equipment store where he set up band gear for the various acts that came through Detroit in the mid sixties.
Back then most national acts didn’t have semis loaded with gear, the promoters had to acquire the gear for their shows from local music stores. Tom would take his camera with him on these band equipment excursions and get photographs of groups like: The Who, Pink Floyd, The Byrds, Fleetwood Mac and The Jeff Beck Group all who played at Detroit’s premier venue The Grande Ballroom. He shot The Doors and The Jimi Hendrix Experience at Detroit’s Cobo Arena. Later on in 1968 he began working for Bob Seger as his road manager for five years. When he left the Bob Seger office, Tom got involved with record company promotion men and women and photographed artists for Capitol, Atlantic, Mercury, EMI, Columbia, Arista, and many other labels. This kind of photography was mostly about traveling around the Midwest with Rock, R&B and Jazz artists while they were promoting their latest releases. At radio stations, music stores and the live shows these artists performed and Tom was there with his Nikon putting it all on film.
He had a gig at the infamous CREEM Magazine for a time then went on to co-author a successful book called ‘Travelin’ Man on the Road and behind the Scenes with Bob Seger. Tom had an early revelation with photography then he put the blinders on and never looked back.