IT HAS been reported the founder member and bassist with seminal American baroque pop outfit The Left Banke, Tom Finn, has died at the age of 71.
The Left Banke, perhaps unfairly known on British shores for authoring, but not their performance of, “Walk Away Renee” – as taken to the upper reaches of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic by The Four Tops – formed in New York City in 1965, and recorded just two LPs in their initial four-year existence: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina and The Left Banke Too. Both albums reaching amazing heights of creativity that went unrewarded by chart success. This blog commends these two albums unto you: seek them out. You won’t be disappointed.
Tom was one of three original members to take part in the recording of a comeback album, Strangers on a Train, which was recorded in 1978 but which remained unreleased until 1986.
After the Left Banke fell apart for the first time at the end of the Sixties, Tom moved into sound engineering and subsequently worked with jazz legend Buddy Rich at the drummer’s nightclub, Buddy’s Place.
In the early 1980s, Tom was persuaded by Steve Rubell, owner of disco-era mecca Studio 54, to begin DJing; a career shift that led to him playing out on the decks at Bill and Hilary Clinton’s White House Millennium Gala.
Tom is the second member of this underrated group to die this year, lead singer Steve Martin Caro having died on January 14th.
Tom was the last surviving member of The Left Banke’s founding line-up. We shall not see their like again.