Tom Finn (singer)

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Tom Finn
Tom Finn July 2012.jpg
Finn taking the stage with the Left Banke's reunion tour on July 6, 2012.
Background information
Birth nameThomas Joseph Finn
Born(1948-11-21)November 21, 1948
New York City, U.S.
DiedJune 27, 2020(2020-06-27) (aged 71)
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, musician, DJ
Years active1965–2020

Thomas Joseph Finn (November 21, 1948 June 27, 2020) was an American musician and DJ. He was a founding member of the 1960s baroque pop group The Left Banke, on bass and vocals. [1]


Musical career

At age sixteen, Finn was a founder member of The Left Banke in Manhattan, New York City in 1965, alongside Michael Brown, Steve Martin, George Cameron and Warren David-Schierhorst. The members of the group were all members of other groups, but were put together by Harry Lookofsky, a jazz violinst who was the father to Michael Lookfosky, known as Michael Brown, who was the bands keyboardist. [2]

After initial success with the songs "Walk Away Renée" and "Pretty Ballerina", the group split up, though Finn was involved in later reformations of the band. "Walk Away Renée", along with many other songs released by the Left Banke, were inspired by Renée Fladen-Kamm, who at the time was Finn's girlfriend. [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

After the Left Banke disbanded, Finn went on to become an engineer at Bell Sound Studios, as well as working with jazz drummer Buddy Rich at Rich's night club Buddy's Place as stage manager and MC.[ citation needed ] Finn returned to the Left Banke for reunions in 1971, 1978, and 2011.

Disc jockey career

In 1982, Studio 54 owner Steve Rubell convinced Finn to try his hand as a DJ. [8] This led to Finn working at NY clubs such as The Palladium, The Red Zone, and Au Bar.[ citation needed ] In the 1990s Finn began working as a DJ for private events, resulting in his own company, Topspin Entertainment.[ citation needed ]

He played at the 1995 wedding of Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece and Marie-Chantal, Crown Princess of Greece. [8]

Finn was the DJ for the White House Millennium Gala, hosted by President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.[ citation needed ]

In 2006, he appeared in the November issue of Town & Country magazine in a five-page spread called "The Party Masters". Finn was featured in a New York Times (December 16, 2006) article "The D.J. Who Moves the Movers and Shakers". [8] It was said that Finn played on average 70 nights a year, and charged $5,000–12,000 a gig. [8]


Finn died on June 27, 2020, after a period of ill health. [9] He was the last surviving member of the original members of The Left Banke, as Michael Brown died in 2015, George Cameron died in 2018, and Steve Martin Caro had died five months before Finn, in January of 2020.

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  1. Ward, Ed (December 19, 2011). "The Left Banke: Teenage Pioneers Of Jangle-Pop". NPR . Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  2. "The Left Banke -". 2008-02-14. Retrieved 2024-03-12.
  3. Hill, Randal C. "It Was 50 Years Ago Today: 'Walk Away Renée'". 50plus LIFE. Retrieved 2024-03-12.
  4. Jim Irvin, Phil Alexander - Mojo collection: the ultimate music companion 2007 Page 78 "Inspired by his unrequited adoration of Renee Fladen, Tom Finn's girlfriend, the lyrical mixture of heartfelt yearning and salvaged pride displayed an astonishing maturity."
  5. Jeff Rovin The Unbelievable Truth 1994 Page 123 "When dancer Renee Fladen decided she didn't want to date keyboardist Michael Brown any longer, he wrote a song, recorded it, and had a top-five smash in 1966, "Walk Away Renee," with his band the Left Banke. Still heartbroken, Brown ..."
  6. Cesare Rizzi Enciclopedia della musica rock: 1954-1969 Page 330 1996 "1966 Finn presenta agli amici la fidanzata Renée Fladen, Michael se ne innamora e nel giro di un pomeriggio scrive per lei due canzoni sui classici temi della disperazione adolescenziale a ritmo di beat: Walk Away Renée e Pretty Ballerina."
  7. Rhonda Markowitz The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Rock History Page 203 - 2006 "One fateful day, so the story goes, Finn brought his blonde girlfriend, an aspiring ballerina named Renee Fladen, to band practice. Brown fell instantly in love and incorporated his fantasy crush into the song "Walk Away Renee".
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 Konigsberg, Eric (2006-12-16). "The D.J. Who Moves the Movers and Shakers". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2024-03-12.
  9. "The Left Banke’s Tom Finn is 2nd Member to Die in 2020", Best Classic Bands. Retrieved 29 June 2020