ommy Richardson

Tommy Richardson was a unique and lovable individual, a true Irish larrikin.

Born of a well to do Dublin family, Tommy enthusiastically pursued a life of jazz and dissolution.

He made his mark in the UK as a drummer of some repute, with the leading big bands of the day.

In the early 1970's, dangerously close to success, he decided to migrate to Australia, and made Adelaide his home. His hilarious antics and outrageous language made him the talk of the town.

Tommy and the Stompers did the rounds of most of Adelaide's famed watering holes, before coming to rest as resident band at the Union Hotel. Propped up at the Union bar, Tommy befriended judges and journalists, lawyers and labourers alike.

Always a soft touch with money, Tommy's affable exterior belied a meticulous mind and sensitive spirit. Numerous walls in Adelaide are adorned with Tommy's artworks; delicate minatures made up of old watch parts. We had a lengthy, if somewhat inebriated conversation once, about Tommy's idea to make paper butterflies, like little kites, to sell at the Royal Adelaide Show. His face lit up with pleasure at the thought of kids wandering the Show Grounds with bunches of his little butterflies fluttering above them.

As a drummer Tommy' style was enigmatic to say the least. Quite a bit of it was done one handed, as he reached behind for the glass, like a jockey going for the whip. But when he swung he really swung. And of course, the highlight of any evening, was Tommy's farewell. With anyone else it would have been obscene, but with Tommy it was hilarious. Oh, to have an Irish accent!

We were lucky indeed to capture one of Tommy's last gigs on tape, a great night with Tommy and his mates. We hope you enjoy it.

We miss you Tom.