Tom Brown

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Tom Brown (born: Harrell Thomas Brown, May 10, 1946 - April 15, 2020) was an American musician, music producer and writer. He was the compiler and producer of the Beat The Boots project at Rhino Records. Brown worked for this company from 1980 until 2001.[1]

Musical career

Brown was born in Los Angeles and played drums in the band The Illusions in 1962. During the 1970s he played with the Johnny Baltimore Band and the punk band Readymades. During the 1980s Brown was a member of the surf rock revival band The Wedge. In 1982 he drummed on the album Panic Station by the Acid Casualties, a band which consisted of Robby Krieger (The Doors) and Arthur Barrow. Brown also drummed on the album Goin' to Idaho (1982), a record by Jim Sherwood. From 1988 on he also drummed in Zoogz Rift's band for 13 years. [2]


In 1966 he listened to Freak Out! and became an instant Zappa fan: "I became curious and put the album on and sat down to listen. The impact was immediate, and I listened to the entire record while reading the liner notes. Then I played it again, being totally convinced after hearing it once that Frank [Zappa] was a fucking genius, both lyrically and musically. There was nothing that could possibly rival this album in the world of rock ’n’ roll and pop music… It was truly one of those ‘it changed my life’ kind of episodes." [3] Since 1971 he became an avid collector of Zappa bootleg albums.

In 1991 Brown compiled and produced the Beat The Boots series for Rhino Records. [4]

Together with Slev Uunofski he conducted the All Bass Players Are Failed Ukulele Players interview with Arthur Barrow for T'Mershi Duween, #27-28, October-November 1992. This interview is also known as Tink Walks Amok, because Barrow explains the origin story behinds the title of the song Tink Walks Amok. [5]

Brown wrote two memoirs: Summer Of Love, My Ass (2011) and Confessions of a Zappa fanatic (2013). [6]

Tom Brown passed away in 2020.