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TOM KELLY

Crossover Prog • United States


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Tom Kelly biography
Thomas Hamer Kelly V - April 18, 1952 - 2017

Thomas Hamer KELLY V was born on April 18, 1952 and grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. His mother took him to a concert by Andres SEGOVIA when Tom was 5 and thus began his great love affair with the guitar. His mother procured one for him and found a student of Andres' to give him lessons. He eventually learned other instruments, especially keyboards of all kinds, but the guitar was his first and deepest commitment.

Inspired by classical composers like Claude Debussy and Gustav Holst and the burgeoning music of the 60's, especially psychedelic and classical rock, he began composing his own songs and formed several bands. STILL, YELLOW AUTUMN, and MUSEUM were the three that were precursors to his longest-lived collaboration, MISTRESS QUICKLY (named for the Shakespearean character).

Portrait by David Harrer

By the time MUSEUM was formed in 1971 he was writing all of his original music in notation, which he would hand out for the band members to learn and perform. He wrote primarily symphonic rock that carried his own particular stamp, certainly in what now would be called the Progressive vein, yet firmly in his distinctive style, classically inspired, with multiple time signature changes and often quixotic lyrics with a penchant for quick, dark humour. It was described by a music producer of the time as "chamber music for electric instruments".

MISTRESS QUICKLY was selected to record some demos, but by the time they were done and delivered to the recording company, the Progressive wave was over and Disco was lapping on the shores of the music industry. The record company lost interest, the band parted ways and Tom began to work solo, at which point he dispensed with lyrics, yet often continued the tradition of his lyrical style with the titling and subtitling of the material.

Three recordings, "Burnt Peas", "A Quail's House", and "Spinning Through Eternity", are being offered after his untimely death in 2017. They were composed and performed entirely by Tom alone in the years after MISTRESS QUICKLY's demise.

: : : Nickie Harte Kelly, OR : : :

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TOM KELLY discography


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TOM KELLY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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Burnt Peas / The Tolling Of St John's Bells
2018
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A Quail's House
2018
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Spinning Through Eternity
2018

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