Tribute to Tom Linthicum “Tommy”

From Boden Sandstrom


This morning is the memorial service for Tom. It is a time to celebrate the

life of a warm, generous guy who had a giant brain but a bigger heart. I do

not plan on speaking this morning being a shy sound engineer who prefers to

behind the mix board rather than in front of a mike, but I do want to

remember Tom who I knew mostly as Tommy. I came to Washington, DC in 1972. I

was a librarian who missed music (ex French horn player). I went to my first

Women’s Music concert and saw a woman mixing – I instantly knew that I

wanted to learn how to do that. I was directed to Casse Culver, a singer

with a small PA who wanted to train some one to do her sound and who is now

my partner. Right away people wanted to hire me to do their sound too but I

needed more gear and more knowledge. I called every sound company in town

and asked for help but the only guys who were willing to share their

knowledge with a female were Tommy and Greg of National Sound.


My first “sound” experience with Tommy was when they invited me down to the

warehouse on Edsall Rd. to learn a thing or two. I spent hours in the early

morning unloading with Tommy and the guys, what seemed to me then,

impossibly big and heavy speakers from a giant truck into the warehouse. Of

course, I had to keep up and some how managed not to embarrass or injure

myself. It was the start of a great friendship. Tommy and Greg mentored me

and Casse with incredible love and generosity. I learned just about

everything I know in sound from those two. We had so much fun at jobs, in

the warehouse, and after gig hours. Because of their help Casse and I were

able to start the first woman sound company (Womand Sound) which became

quite successful. When we started to get hired for big jobs we reciprocated

by always hiring National, not just to pay them back, but because they were,

and still are, the best in town. We did countless huge rallies on the Mall.

I would always be tearing my hair out waiting for Tommy to finish his

incredibly meticulous wiring job, but then when we fired up the system and

heard that impeccable sound in every corner of the Mall and surrounding

streets, the thrill was always as if it were the first time. 


There are many more stories I could tell but suffice it to say, Tommy; you

won my heart as you shared yours. Thank you for everything.



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