by Dave Dictor

Tom Robert's R.I.P. One great soul has just passed. And it's a fucking shitty-ass sad time. It feels like someone socked me in the stomach. Here's something I wrote that I'd like to share.

I once lived with Tom in 1996 and part of 1997 on the second floor of Suburbia which at the time was a brand new punk venue and a rehearsal spot in SE Portland. My girlfriend at the time had just completed airline stewardess academy and moved on to Reno leaving me living alone and Tom invited me to move in with him.

Soon, we started talking up the concept of the Submissives album. (the one that is out on Honest Don's Records that hardly anybody knows about) We started pitching song concepts and soon we were on our way to building something. We were going fast, I was taking notes, working thoughts into lyrics as Tom sat with his guitar trying various chord progressions. One day that week, Tom got a $500 royalty check. Without a blink Tom cruised to the record store and spent it all on Cds. Tom took about three hours combing the whole store and mumbling about Stiff Little MC5 Big Bill Motor somethings song parts that he'd being thinking about lately. With those new cd's we spent the next 100 hours listening to various songs, Tom would say "catch this part" and show me the part of the song he thought was cool. He'd then spend some time first copying the riff, Then slowly bastardizing it, playing it inside, out and upside down then all over again and then move on. We did this for days, mostly I watched.

For the next 6 weeks we worked together like it was the only thing that counted. When I still had my own place, Id try to sneak off and go home at say 4 in the morning. Tom would look at me with a puzzled face and say, "your what"? And then I'd end up staying and staying and finally end up sleeping on some pillows, in his eight by ten, one room kitchen-less studio. Sometimes Id wake up and hed be playing away at 7:30 in the morning and it fucking inspired me. And it kicked my ass and I'd get up with him and just keep going.

Soon it didnt matter if it was day or night. If you got the energy to work, Just work. Poison Idea ripped for no small reason. They, for a large period of time, had a band of overachieving musicians. They love their instruments and worked hard on their craft and it shows. Tom considered any piece of music he leaves behind the only thing anyone will ever give a shit about in the long run and hes right. You artists, musicians, and writers take it dead serious. What else are you fucking doing with your life?

Well Tom is gone and it certainly does seem to be the end of an era. No more Tom Pig Champion in the world. it's a fucking shitty-ass sad time.
Good fucking luck out there.


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