Tommy Keene 6/30/58 – 11/22/17

Tommy passed unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep.  Thank you to all his fans, friends and family who he loved very much.  xo Matty

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34 thoughts on “Tommy Keene 6/30/58 – 11/22/17

  1. A god of melodic power. One of the best ever in my humble opinion. His genius way with deceptively deep rich and unforgettable songs made me so happy to be alive. I will miss him dearly. RIP.

  2. Tommy was one of my very favorite artists and incredibly talented, but more importantly he was a kind man – looking at the tributes on twitter they all echo what came across for the short time I got to talk with him after shows. So so sorry for his family and friends.

  3. Tremendous sadness. I’d been meaning to write to Tommy after seeing him on the Matthew Sweet tour to get one of his lovely Tommy Keene Group t-shirts with the shield design. He was out of them at the merch table but said he had some at home and to just get in touch. I kept reminding myself to send a message, but never did. Would wear one proudly if I could. RIP Tommy.

  4. Wow, I’m so bummed. I grew up watching Tommy and the boys rock out the 9:30 club, Roxy and other DC joints. One of my favorite all time music experiences was when I had the pleasure of seeing Tommy join Westerberg (another one of my idols) on the Eventually tour. It was a hair raising moment when they walked on the stage and Tommy tore it up. RIP Tommy

  5. I am very saddened by the tragic news of Tommy’s sudden passing. He was a beautiful person and an extraordinarily gifted musical artist. And he was a great friend and an inspiration to us all. I’ll miss him dearly.
    Darryl Mather

  6. Sad news. Tommy was a local hero to many of us who searched out cool music. I saw him live twice and he was fantastic. A great artist, a cool guy, and an essential player in the DC music scene.

    RIP Tommy. You did us proud.

  7. Thanks T,
    Some of the happiest moments of my life were with you in the studio or on the road.
    Condolences to all family and friends at this incredibly sad time.
    Jim Crenca

  8. My heart is broken. Tommy was my musical hero since I was 16 – Having a hard time with this.

    RIP – Brother. You will be missed. Going to cry now.

  9. One of the nicest, most underrated performers in rocknroll. His last album was one of his best. A pillar in Power Pop. Way too soon but happy Tommy died peacefully in sleep. RIP

  10. I am so saddened to hear of Tommy’s death! My 6th grade sweetheart and first kiss. His father coached our brothers in baseball too.
    Memories and love for a great musical talent taken way too soon from us!

  11. I just found out that my friend Tommy Keene died on Wednesday. This is really horrible news.

    Tommy was what was cool in DC in the early 80s. Melodic guitar-based rock flowed from him as if from an oasis. You could always slake your thirst for perfect pop music by listening to Tommy. He never let you down.

    In a world where talent mattered, Tommy would have been one of the biggest stars on the planet. If you saw Tommy on stage you knew that you had witnessed greatness.

    I last saw Tommy in September of 2015. I caught shows in NYC and in Falls Church, Va. After all these years Tommy still soared.

    Tommy loved Lou Reed, The Rolling Stones & Mr. Ed.
    Tommy loved his dog.
    Tommy despised Trump.

    A nicer guy could not be found.
    Tommy, I’ll be listening.

  12. Always a rousing show, enjoyed watching Tommy perform over the past 30+ years. Still remember the first time at a small Baltimore club named Girard’s, on the bill with Don Dixon and Let’s Active. Most recently it was Tommy’s tour with Matthew Sweet this past summer. I’m in shock.

  13. I was honored and privileged to work with Tommy on the design of his cd’s since 2006, and it was one of the high points of my design career to be involved with Tommy-a wonderful, funny and insightful man indeed……his passing has really shook me…..RIP Tommy.

  14. Completely dismayed to learn of Tommy’s passing. I only started listening to him about five years ago, but I fell hard for him, and his music has meant so, so much to me. I finally saw him perform in 2016 in Portland, and he was outstanding. RIP, Tommy; you’ll be missed everyday.

  15. My deepest condolences to Tommy’s family, friends and loved ones. I saw him perform just two months ago. I’m shocked and saddened. Rest in peace! xo

  16. It’s been almost 24 hours and I still can’t get over the news. Tommy’s songs meant so much to me over the years and on the couple of times I met him at shows he was incredibly nice and gracious. He was a huge influence on the music I loved, the music I made. Thanks so much for everything, Tommy.

  17. I was lucky enough to see Tommy in The Razz, with Westerberg, with Pollard, and with his band over the years. He played Madison a bunch recently because of the Midwest connections with his drummer and guitar player. The Madison shows were in a small basement that maybe held 30 people or so. Would hang with Tommy pre-show in the backyard. He always had an industry story to tell. We both shared a hate of Tom Morello which forced Tommy to abandon Springsteen for a bit (I think Tommy has seen Bruce 100 times). He talent was endless. His heart and smile were even bigger. At least he doesn’t have to live through any more of the Trump administration.

  18. The stage lights have now gone permanently dark on the talented career of a musician who has brought me great joy over the years. His recorded music, which would just show up in my mailbox, never fails to transport me back to places that are gone every time I play it. His many live performances—including the ones I had the opportunity to document—are etched as significant memories in my mind of a man who loved rock n’ roll. He loved performing it. He loved listening to it. And in the final years of his career, he loved exploring it collaboratively with similar artists like Robert Pollard, Paul Westerberg and Matthew Sweet. I know in the “grand scheme of things” rock n’ roll will shrug this off and carry on, but I am grateful, like many, many others, for Tommy Keene’s lifelong dedication to crafting perfect power pop songs, and all the pleasure his efforts at doing so have given me.

  19. I was 16 years old when my brother made me a tape of Songs from the Film. I was hooked. It would be 20 years before I got to see him live. Unbelievably good. I was fortunate to see him a number of times since then. I am glad I got to tell him how much his music meant to me.

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