I hate that I have to write this.
Tom Medvick, the drummer for The Swivels and The Feast of Stephen, and also known as “Tommy Spear,” passed away Wednesday. Tom was one of my best friends back in the days of the original Radio Free Charleston broadcasts. He and the band for which he then played drums, The Swivel Rockers, had an open invite to pop into the studio live and unannounced any time they wanted (which was after 2 AM, when we broadcast the show live). One of those nights Tommy launched into a spirited defense of radio, which you can hear a bit of right here…
The band did barge onto several episodes of the show and take over and we had a blast. It made for great radio and Tommy was always hilarious. I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent with Tommy and even though we didn’t stay in close contact in recent years, not a week has gone by when I haven’t thought of something he said or did and smiled or laughed about it. Tommy was one of those friends that you don’t need to see every day to keep them in your heart.
During the ten years that I was taking care of my ailing parents, I did manage to stay in contact with Tommy because his wife, Wendy, was the nurse in charge of my mother’s care plan. My heart goes out to Wendy. I can’t imagine what she’s going through now. This has been a major punch in the gut to me, and it has to be an incomprehensible loss for his family. Words are seriously failing me and feel like I’m not doing Tommy justice.
From what I’ve heard, Tommy slumped in his chair at work, unresponsive, and was dead on arrival at the hospital. It was sudden, unexpected and tragic. We will feel this loss for a long time.
The last time I saw Tommy was in 2007 when he reunited with his band, Feast of Stephen, to perform for Radio Free Charleston at LiveMix Studio. You can see the episode of the show that came out of that night at the end of this post. In addition to be a wonderful and funny human being, Tommy was also one of the most powerful drummers I’ve ever seen perform.
Tom Medvick was one of the best people I’ve known. He was always upbeat, positive and funny as hell. The world sucks more now that he’s gone.