Uncle Tom

Hey, Tom Robinson is celebrating his 60th birthday in style. You can buy tickets for his Glad To Be Grey gig here. I must say, of all the good folk I have met through my years at 6 Music, Tom is one I feel especially proud to have crossed paths with. I’d never met him until we both found ourselves trying out for shows on what was then Network Y in 2001. We travelled back on the Tube together after we’d had our photographs taken and I couldn’t help but think, hey, I’m on the train next to TOM ROBINSON! So let’s support his gig. He’s not just there for the over-60s! (Indeed, he is often pre-recording in the studio next to the live one at 6 Music, and he plays host to a seemingly endless succession of tiny young bands, about whom he is unerringly enthusiastic and supportive. I like to think of him as a benevolent Fagin with a whole army of little indie urchins that he’s taken under his experienced wing. I’m not saying they pick pockets or anything.) I can also boast that I have played drums with Tom, when the 6 Music band got him up to play 2468 Motorway. That was not something I ever foresaw happening in my life! He really is one of the good guys, and long may 6 Music give him – and all those unsigned bands – a platform. That’s all we ask, you know. For a platform.

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2 thoughts on “Uncle Tom

  1. Tom Robinson’s always fascinating, at times desperate, at times euphoric journey through life is an almost unbelievably apposite metaphor for British society’s (and indeed the BBC’s) own journey through a tangled web of sexual social politics, accompanied by a TR soundtrack, whether as performer or DJ/ host. It might be said to be his greatest achievement that most folk no longer care (or even know) about Tom’s sexuality, or know that this stalwart of BBC’s musical output once had his music banned from the airwaves.
    As someone who has faced his own demons in the depths of depression and was lucky enough to survive them, I’d also pay tribute to Tom’s openness about his own struggles. Oddly, depression is now far more stigmatised than is non-heterosexuality, so there are still battles to be fought, and still songs to be written and played to help tolerance and social warmth prevail. We are lucky to have Tom around to remind us why such battles are worth fighting. Happy Birthday Tom x

  2. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend in the company of Tom, Sue and others at a performance & songwriting workshop/masterclass in 2007.

    It may well have saved my life. I was wandering aimlessly getting more fed up and negative as the months crawled in.

    He gave me encouragement to get out there and play my own music.

    I shall never forget his kindness and encouraging words. Ever.

    A real good guy.

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