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RIP Stompin' Tom

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A sad loss for Canadians.

Stompin' Tom was the first concert I ever attended. It was at the Pembroke Memorial Center. I was 10 years old.

I remember Tom saying "does anyone here work at Beaver Lumber? - you sure make lousy wood" as he held up his stompin' board. He had worn a hole through it!

I also my remember my dad insisting on leaving early to "beat the traffic". In Pembroke.

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I grew up listening to Stompin' Tom - I first knew the songs through my parents singing them.

In fact, my parents met on a blind date in Sudbury at a Stomin' Tom show, while my Dad was working there at INCO. Not sure if the show was on a Saturday, but it was love at first sight and that song has always held a special meaning to me and my family. I also share the same birthday as Tom - Feb 9th.

The connection goes a little deeper as I was playing in a band several years ago and we did Stompin' Tom covers as the opening act for Donnie Dumphy, 3-4 years back. The lead singer of that band, from Saint John, NB, was fighting city council to get to designate an official Stompin' Tom day, and in his crusade at a concert in that city, Stompin had my friend Jason stand-up and Tom acknowledged him as his biggest New Brunswick Fan. That gave special credibility to the band even though the band was punking up the songs with power chords and even reggae versions of Tom's classics.

I never did see him play, My parents tried to get Tom to come play their wedding anniversary, but it was really out of their price range.

I was always fascinated with Stompin' stories. A friend of mine Dave Gunning got a chance to play with him and he told me it was a part of his contract to drink with Tom after the show. He told me that Tom smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, I think he's lucky to have made it to 77 years old.

Sad for Canada to lose Tom, but i think his eulogy was so sweet and special, I know he will be remembered well.

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