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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cafe C'est What Closed Down Today

To all you fellow music lovers, we lost one of our own today-Tom Terrell- who finally had to move on after struggling with cancer. It's kind of funny that just the thought of Tom, which has always made me smile, is making me cry today. Long ago, driving home from the old 9:30, I'd turn on the radio, and if he was on, I'd just laugh. Sometimes I'd call him up when I got home, and he always sounded so happy to hear from me- never bothered by the interruption. When he was spinning tunes on WHFS, he was "Tom Tee", and his show was called "Cafe C'est What" which is just so Tom. I know that was a million years ago, but I still remember how fun it was- he just loved to share his love of music with everybody.

I went to Tom's site today. He writes about that love so well, I'm letting him take over. Here's an excerpt from a memoir he'd been working on:

I remember how music somehow always made things better. When I was lost in the music, I found hope, freedom, joy, magic; I found me. WNJR, WABC, WWRL were my flashlights that chased away the darkness, Sonny Taylor, Dan Ingram, Frankie Crocker, Murray The K were my Obi Wan Kanobies. James Brown, the Temptations, the Miracles, t
he Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Joe Bataan were my Guardian Angels.

And this after attending his Aunt Shirley Horn's funeral:

See, all my life, vocalists have given me faith, hope, and charity, caressed
me, comforted me, taught me, guided me, carried me, nurtured me, encouraged me, loved me, forgave me, sheltered me, touched me, influenced me, and reached me in the darkest hours far heavily than family, friends, and lovers ever have or could. When I was a baby, my Moms told me the only thing that would stop me bawling was Johnny Ace's "The Clock" and "Pledging My Love". David Ruffin proved to me that wearing thick black eyeglass frames was cool, not corny. Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and the Staple Singers taught me smart was the real hip, black was always beautiful, funk is spiritual, and to always love myself for myself.

Most importantly of all, Marvin Gaye showed me that a real man is not ashamed to cry, beg, repent, atone, and apologize. After he died, I was in so much pain that I couldn'
t listen to his music for months: if a song of his came on the radio, I turned it off; if they played him at a party, I ran outside. I grieved profoundly until I heard Paul Young sing "Wherever I Lay My Hat Is My Home" a year later at the Bayou. I cried and wailed my soul out of mourning that night. To Sir With Love: From then until right here right now, not a day's gone by that I don't play at least one of your records.

And finally from a posting last spring:
Anyways, today was my last radiation session. The numbness is mostly gone and I have to do some physical therapy 'cause my right leg muscles are a tad weak. I resume chemo at the end of the month. Good news: my PSA last week dropped to 42,
my hormone-pumped weight of 183 is now down to a svelte 168 and I STILL have a helluva appetite, no nausea, no pain, no lethargy. Oh yeah, my lust for life and laughter remains unstoppable.

Peace and Love Every Time,

lil tommy tee

(photo by Jeff The Purple)

He always signed his pieces that way- peace and love every time. I love that.
Thank you, Tom for all that love, and right back at you wherever you are.
Man, we'll miss you.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    I wasn't aware Tom T had passed away. My condolenses. Nice write up, thanks.
    I have a blog with hours and hours of old WHFS tapes posted for sharing if your interested.