Tom was born into a musical family and studied piano, guitar, and flute before settling on the drums at the age of 13. Tom's musical
background is in classical music and he was also influenced at an early age by what is now called "world music." When Tom was
a teenager those disparate styles became integrated with rock music and formed the basis of his musical core.
Tom played drums in a succession of bands and was also a member of the UCSD Percussion Ensemble and La Jolla Civic Orchestra. Some of the more notable bands in which he has been involved include King Biscuit, Harlequin, Mutt, Catch-22, Pressure, Powerhouse, the History of Rock 'n' Roll Review, Sneetches (later Hera's Olive), Just Reward, Patrick Trampus, Touch of Country, Hill Country, Roundabout, and Laguna. Harlequin was named Best Local Band by The Reader, which wrote that Tom's drumming "followed the involved matrices with a sixth sense" and that Tom possessed a "powerful, yet delicate, touch that avoided heavy-handedness." BAM magazine, in a review of Catch-22, called Tom a "punchy, marvelous drummer." Catch-22 released a critically acclaimed EP, and the Pressure band had a songwriting and publishing deal with MCA Music and development deals with Geffen, Polygram, and Arista. Roundabout was named "Best Retro/Retread Band" by The Reader in the 2002 year-in-review issue.
Tom has played in bands that have opened concerts for Dave Mason, The Band, Eric Burdon, Bruce Hornsby, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker, Wade Hayes, Mark Chesnut, Mel McDaniel, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
Tom is a graduate of the Percussion Program at the Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, which offered a comprehensive program of diverse drum styles combined with world and orchestral percussion. He is an accomplished percussionist and drummer whose experience includes arena concerts, recording studios, pit bands, clubs, casuals, and teaching.