Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tom "T-Bone" Wolk 1951-2010

The Music's Over blog is reporting that bass player and music producer Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who played in the Saturday Night Live Band in the 1980's and 1990's, has died at the age of 58. Tom was also a member of Hall and Oates' backup band, along with guitarist G.E. Smith, who was musical director for SNL as well as Hall and Oates. Wolk was born in Yonkers, New York on December 24, 1951.

It's Wolk's insistent bass line introducing the Hall and Oates hit "Maneater" that draws comparisons to the bass player for the Motown house band, James Jamerson. Besides bass, he was also skilled on guitar, accordion, and organ. He played with and produced many other famous artists in a career that spanned almost 35 years.

Wolk and Smith joined the reconstituted Saturday Night Live Band in 1985 and brought a certain rock and roll style swagger to commercial breaks and other band appearances, so much so that after a year playing above the stage, producer Lorne Michaels brought the band center stage for the first time since the show's premiere in 1975 to give Smith and Wolk's performances more exposure. For his first several years on the show, Wolk shared the bass chair with Tony Garnier. Wolk left SNL after the 1991-1992 season and was replaced by a succession of talents: Paul Ossola, Tom Barney, and currently James Genus.

Tom "T-Bone" Wolk died Saturday night of a heart attack. Due to Wolk's passing, Hall and Oates have cancelled their expected appearance on tonight's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" anniversary show.


Callie said...

Hall and Oates were scheduled to perform on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' tonight, but because of T-Bone's death, they've cancelled.

After 24 hours, I still can't believe that T-Bone's gone. I haven't felt this sad and gone through denial since G.E. Smith got fired 15 years ago this coming August.

Callie said...

It was from 1985 to 1991 is what how long T-Bone's tenure with the SNL Band, which includes times when Tony Garnier filled in for Wolk such as the first few episodes of SNL's 14th season.