It’s unlikely much of our readership knows the name Tom Mallon, but he was a fixture on the SF scene back in the ‘80s and ‘90s. “In the early 80s in SF, he was THE guy,” says Dale Duncan, formerly of San Francisco band Flying Color. “(Everybody would say) ‘‘we gotta go record with Tom. He’s the best little studio in town.’”
In the late ‘70s through the ‘90s, Tom Mallon was one of the most respected indie producers in the Bay Area. Out of a small studio in SOMA, he recorded some of the most popular indie bands of the day, including Toiling Midgets, American Music Club, Flying Color and Chuck Prophet. “The local studio was so important (back then) – now people can do it on ProTools, but back then Tom was a lifeline. Tom bridged that gap.” He continued to record until 1998, when the dot-com boom raised rent in business-driven SOMA and forced him out of his studio.
On Sunday, March 3rd, a host of friends will gather at Great American Music Hall to celebrate Mallon, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, and his many years of service to the San Francisco music community.Though many of the bands he worked with over the years went their separate ways a long time ago, some are re-forming just to play — Flying Color included, who haven’t graced a stage together since 1989. The event will help raise money to cover Mallon’s treatment costs and benefit the SF Brain Tumor Support Group. “It’s a lot of people that he touched that want to do this for him,” says Duncan. “Everybody who’s ever had an experience with him just really appreciated what he meant for their musical life.”
TomFest: A Tribute to Tom Mallon featuring Flying Color, Toiling Midgets, and members of American Music Club, The Muskrats, Frightwig, Blue Movie, Ugly Stick, Penelope Houston and the Honey Badgers, Peter Case, Chuck Prophet and more
Great American Music Hall
March 3rd, 2013