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Originally from Reno, NV, Tom has made the best of being a “big fish in a small pond.”
Tom was knee deep in a surprisingly creative environment growing up in Reno playing in several local bands in High School and recording them in his parents’ garage. His father was a light man for forty one years at a local casino show room so Tom grew up in show business with artists like Sammy Davis, Jr. and Bill Cosby. This proved to be a very nurturing environment to develop his talents for playing drums and recording, regardless of how crude the equipment was.
A percussion scholarship got Tom into USC and the Trojan Marching Band. With them, he traveled the world and performed in The Naked Gun, L.A. Law, The Late Show, three Rose Bowls, two Super Bowls and one World Series. First year there, Tom befriended a talented young filmmaker named Bryan Singer. Bryan went on to direct Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil, X-men, X2 and Superman Returns. Second year, Tom switched majors from Percussion to Recording and helped form the USC chapter of the Audio Engineering Society. On a student tour of A&M studios, engineer Shelly Yakis advised them about not staying in LA after school but rather, going to smaller markets and becoming “big fish in a small pond.”
In 1991, Tom got his BS in Recording and headed back home to Reno. Within months, he landed a gig at Granny’s House Recording Studio as a staff engineer for four and a half years and head engineer two years. This is where Tom really started to develop his skills working with local artists as well as national artists when they came through town. While at Granny’s, he worked with Ozzy Osbourne, Collective Soul, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Whitesnake and The Urge. The first gig at Granny’s was recording Millie Vanilli’s comeback album where they actually sang! That continued for ten months, ending in a lawsuit, IRS takeover of the studio, selling only two thousand copies worldwide and Tom’s appearances on VH-1 Behind the Music and Inside Edition. There’s a fine hello!!
In 1998, Tom decided to strike out on his own and start Inspired Amateur Productions. Fortunately, another area studio was looking for a face lift and new house engineer so a deal was struck and a one-year remodel ensued. January 2000, Imirage Sound Lab opened. Since then, just over sixty releases have come out of there. Being a smaller room, it was tailored mostly for local artists, but some national acts like Creedence Clearwater Revisited, G Love and Special Sauce, E40, B-Legit and Mike Love have done work there.
Since 1998, Tom’s freelance work as an engineer and drummer have taken him to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Sun Valley, Dallas, New York, New Jersey, London, and Sydney. One three-year project was for Mike Love of the Beach Boys called Mike Love Not War which involved designing his Tahoe studio, recording and mixing the record.
A college friend of Tom’s, Matt Angus, has a roots label, Black Potatoe Records, and an annual music festival in central New Jersey. He has flown Tom out to work with the likes of Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls), Andy Summers (Police), Bernie Worell (P-funk, Talking Heads), Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Carolyn Wonderland, Sim Cain (Henry Rollins), Tony Garnier (Bob Dylan), Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan) and members of the Harlem Gospel Choir.
Tom also has been doing some classical and film score recordings with the likes of The Russian National Orchestra, Leonard Nimoy and The Reno Chamber Orchestra, Laurie Anderson, The Sierra Master Chorale and various University ensembles.
Tom is also an audio consultant and educator. In 2004, he began the Imirage Sound Lab Recording Arts Workshop. He had produced over two hundred demos and discs for local artists to date.
Tom Gordon's Recordings
This album is a fabulous collection of Holiday songs performed in ways you've never heard them before. Many of your favorite artists including Mike Love of The Beach Boys, Weezer, Collective Soul, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Jon Anderson of Yes, David Coverdale and over 140 other artists from around the world collaborated on this project to help spread awareness and support for Type 1 Diabetes.
Music Performances at UNR
Faculty and student ensemble performances occur frequently througout each semester. Check the Department of Music Events Calendar for upcoming recitals and concerts.