ROCK RADIO SCRAPBOOK

TOM RIVERS ... REMEMBERED

Tom Rivers, who died November 20, 2004 of cancer, was a true Top 40 icon. He spent four decades in Top 40 radio, with stops at KFRC San Francisco, WIBG Philadelphia, CKLW Windsor, CFTR Toronto and several other top stations. But he is perhaps best remembered for his many years at CHUM Toronto, where he came and went several times between 1970 and 2004.

Here are some airchecks of Tom Rivers (these same airchecks, with descriptions, can be found elsewhere on Rock Radio Scrapbook):

Tom Rivers, CHUM, April 29, 1970

Tom Rivers, CHUM, July 29, 1970

Tom Rivers, CHUM, December 5, 1970

Tom Rivers, CHUM, January 1, 1971

Tom Rivers, CHUM, May 15, 1971

Tom Rivers, CHUM, July, 1971

Tom Rivers, CKLW, September, 1971

Tom Rivers, KYA, January 22, 1979

Tom Rivers as Rocketman, X-100, 1970s

Read the story behind X-100 here

Tom Rivers, CFTR, June, 1984

Tom Rivers, Talk 640, April 3, 1998


Many people have provided their special recollections of Tom Rivers:

(Note: Many of these were written shortly after Rivers death.)

WARREN COSFORD

When I first heard Tom Rivers, I thought I was going to be disappointed. Disc jockeys never look as you picture them.

Tom, though, was just right. He was the average looking kid with the unruly hair at the back of the class with his arm around The Girl, six-pack at his feet, smirk on his lips and a twinkle in his eye. But it was the microphone on his belt that made him dangerous.

In the 60ís, Iíd grown up in Winnipeg listening to some great DJs. The wide expanse of the prairies brought me the warmth of Peter Jackson and the content of Chuck Dann at CKY. Darryl Burlingham had style at CKRC; Johnny Walker motormouthed at CKCK; Gary Gears had Godís balls at WCFL and Dick Biondi pushed the creativity envelope at WLS.

Tom Rivers at CHUM, in the Ď70s and Ď80s, was the only DJ I would ever work with that had a little of all of themÖ.yet a personal something else that was indefinable. But as I came to work with Tom, it was his "little boy charm" that I found his most appealing trait. Radio was his act.

Like most DJs, he couldnít read commercials worth shit. It was a challenge to cast him in things that allowed him to be who he was on the air. The key was to make the commercial for "Tom". Personality Commercials. If Tom ever finds an agent who understands that, theyíll both make a lot of money.

As radio tightened up and FM was coming on, I could tell that Tom was getting bored. So I put the most creative board operators in with him to see what would happen. Bob Huminick and Tom Rivers were dynamite dripping. Their "Junko Awards" skit, alone, probably set CHUM back ten years politically. But not only that. Tom was held in such high regard by baby DJs such as Mike Cooper, that his influence would often get us all in trouble. He was every motherís worst nightmare.

Whenever he left CHUM, for whatever reasons he left, Tom always kept in touch. One time a tape arrived from Philadelphia. It contained episode after episode of a 2 minute radio series chronicling the adventures of The Stoned Ranger and his Indian companion Toronto that Tom and come cohorts had written and produced for WIBG. It was brilliant. Rock and Roll Theatre of The Mind Radio. Iím sure "The Kids" had never heard anything like it.

The Stoned Ranger was as harmless as Bob and Ray and probably less provocative than Amos and Andy, however The Lone Rangerís lawyers and The Indian Nationsí Chiefs were not amused. Lesson learned. In the future, Tomís Characters would be Caucasians who didnít hold copyrights.

It seemed like Tom was always running into people who couldnít take a joke.

In his personal life, Tom Rivers was his own worst enemy. His women knew theyíd always find him somewhere near a radio station. I know it drove J. Robert Wood crazy. But the little boy charm and all that talent usually saved him. "Only Tom" would stage a playful vendetta against a CHUM VP of Sales. Poor Wes Armstrong. He probably still locks up his car and hides the tires when he hears Tomís in town.

Maybe the best DJs are always one step away from jail.

How many times did Tom work at CHUM? Three? Four? But each time we got into talent trouble Bob would ask meÖ."should we bring back Tom?" We always did. The last time from Alaska! Rivers was running out of room.

Thereís a certain irony that Tom finally got it all together at CFTR, CHUMís long time rival. Although it would be Wood who took the heat for Tomís final firing at CHUM, it was also Wood who had earlier put his reputation on the line to help Tom find jobs in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

For a while in the 80ís Tom propped up AM rock radio in Toronto, but of course it couldnít last.

Over the past few years Iíve watched him drift through some smaller markets and hoped he would stick. Itís fitting that heís back in Toronto where it really all began for him. Tom doesnít need music to make Radio.

Wherever he is, Tom Rivers will always make the radio station better. Although itíll take some pretty bright people in management to support him and to get it.

I hope heís found them.

Rock On Mothah!


DICK SMYTHE

I worked with Tom at both CHUM and CFTR. I always regret not shooting some video of Rivers and Erik Tomas doing "The Unfriendly Giant" routine because it was even funnier to see it. We all had a lot of fun working with Rivers.

But Tom always needed a challenge. At one point CHUM cut back his bits. I knew there would be trouble when I saw Tom in the studio one morning with his feet up on the desk reading the paper while he was on the air. He was bored. And when someone is bored in radio... Well... Toronto we have a problem...

The most awkward moment in my relationship with Tom was when I was told about 8:45am one Friday morning  that Tom would be fired (second, third time???) at 9. It put me in an impossible position. Tom never really forgave me for not telling him. I was damned either way.

Incidentally, CHUM unwittingly made the mistake of firing him on his birthday, a fact that Tom managed to exploit rather handily in the subsequent press coverage.

Tom sued. That triggered a problem for me about a year later. I always had disagreed with CHUM management on the airing of company dirty laundry. I made a point of objectively reporting stories which might have put CHUM in an unfavourable light, arguing that it was important for credibility. After all CBS covered strikes and lawsuits against it. I always got proper shit. However when the ruling on Rivers' case came down, I was expressly forbidden in advance from reporting it. (Prior restraint?) CHUM did not come off too well in the ruling which sided with Rivers. Naturally it was all over the papers, television and other radio stations while CHUM didn't say a word. I raised hell in seventeen directions. Eventually I  got a grudging admission that perhaps I had been right.

Unfortunately Tom's brand of  creative radio is out of fashion. Yet when we worked on the CHUM retrospective this year and we played some fifteen year old airchecks of his bits, they were still timelessly hilarious. I just hope for the sake of both Tom and the industry that somebody realizes that a special resource is being wasted.


STEVE BOLTON

When Tom started doing mornings at CHUM, I was the overnight jock.  We used to tape this bit called "THE SUNSHINE SHEEP."  Tom has this wool fetish.  He'd roll the "Miss America" theme, and sing "There she is, she's the sunshine sheep."   Complete with bleating, whip cracks etc.

It was inspired by the newspaper Sunshine Girl from the Toronto Sun.

The premise is that we would just do something topical for the day. He'd interview me, and I would reply using my normal voice, not with a female affectation, or falsetto or anything. Just do it straight.

At the time, Toronto ran this week long multi-cultural festival called "Caravan." Every so-called ethnic community would put together a pavilion somewhere in town, where people could visit and taste that particular culture.  My fave went something like this...

Tom  "There she is she's the sunshine sheep... good morning?  What's your name?"
Steve "Day, Vicky."
Tom  "Ahh... Victoria Day."
Steve "Yes, I'm here for your Canadian Holiday."
Tom " Where you from?"
Steve "Alaska."
Tom "Alaska!  Been there.  I see you've brought some samples... I know what that is.  (Chomp, Chomp...) Yum.  That's really nice battered shrimp."
Steve "Uh, no Mr. Rivers, it is a state dish.  Batter fried Black Fly..."
Tom " Oh, well I'll just put that aside.  Hey I know what that is... it's Honey and Garlic Ribs.  (Chomp Chomp)  Yum.  Delicious!"
Steve "Yes, Mr. Rivers.  Honey and Garlic were the names of my two sled dogs.  They died on the trek down here to Toronto."
Tom "Well!  I'll put that one aside too!  Tell me, every state has a state emblem, like a flower or something.  What is the Alaskan State Flower?"
Steve "A rock."  (Whip crack)
Tom "Take that.  That's disgusting!  Every state has a slogan, you know like New Hampshire, Live free or Die.  What's Alaska's?"
Steve "Well, Mr. Rivers, we are a little more positive than that."
Tom "In what way?"
Steve "Our state slogan?  If you aren't a part of the problem, you're a part of the Aleutians!"
"There she goes... she's the sunshine sheep!"  (Whip Crack, whip crack, sheep bleating), "Ladies!  Ladies!  Single file as you leave.  Please!"


ADRIAN BELL

I think you'll remember, from one of my earlier emails, that Tom Rivers was very generous to me when I was starting out.

Flash to Kapuskasing, Ontario..years ago for me... where the air smells like sulphur and the town water supply has a foul after taste we all thought would make us sterile (but I'm glad to report it
didn't, 2 kids  Ha!).  Kap...My first official on air gig in the boonies after graduation from Humber College.  See the map?  See North Bay?  Okay, now look even more North! We used to listen to CFTR every minute of the day when we weren't on air doing our own airshifts at CKAP. Usually the nightskip was great, along with WLS and Boston.  Just by listening to their wonderful delivery, we'd improve!

After 8 months or so, bored, restless and full of piss and vinegar (usually the most endearing quality in any decent broadcaster) I decided I needed some professional guidance.  I realized 'there's a strange thing about this station...there's no one above me to help me along in my development.' So I pick up the phone and call Tom Rivers at the big whoppin' CFTR.  He called me back....
"Hi it's Tom Rivers...whats up?"
"uh...yeah...(voice an octave too high from nerves) um...Mr. Rivers...gee...I ahh...could I...would it be okay if I..." Eventually I asked if I could send him an aircheck to give me some pointers.  "Sure, no problem..pop it in the mail to me..."  By the by I mentioned I was going to be in Toronto next week.
"Well, why don't you just bring it down to the station...and sit in on the show." "yeah come in around 7, and watch what goes on".  Coool.

Once I got there, I was struck by Tom's skills multi-tasking. Answering phones, chat with Smyth, intro record to the precise second, record bit off air for upcoming play, ask Op for  "Champ time", liner card, tag lines (all read LIVE by the way), throw to news, scan paper, answer phones, chat with Traffic etc etc.

Imagine the feeling, being invited to drop in on his show? (At the time, Tom and the crew were doing very decent numbers). Thanks a bunch Tom.

A cherished broadcast memory.

MORE FROM ADRIAN BELL

This is a huge loss, and I'd like to offer my sincere condolences to his wife Nanci and his family.

Tom had a huge heart and a devilish smile. His work in the Toronto radio market and others speaks for itself. He was a giant of morning radio in Toronto - at 680 CFTR- where he entertained a million people on the radio at the height of 'TR's ratings. Of course his career also included successful stints at CKLW, CHUM etc.

I've been aware since the 11th of November that Tom had cancer. Out of respect for Tom and Nanci I didn't offer the news up for public consumption here...but I felt one Rivers Airforcer should know - Larry Fedoruk. We exchanged an email about it...but obviously Tom's condition worsened while the news of his illness was only just starting to sink in.

I worked with Tom for a very brief time at CJEZ Toronto. But Tom was an old friend who helped me out when I was in the boonies. Down from Kapuskasing one weekend all those years ago, Tom invited me in to the show. I've never forgotten that generosity.

Earlier this month I sent an email to Tom just to say 'hey whats up?" A random email.  Then came the sad news from his wife that Tom had been diagnosed with cancer this past summer. She described his condition as "cancer of the right lung, in part of his liver, his back and a rib. "

She mentioned that she and Tom had planned to move east of the city, and once Tom was better, run his own fishing charter company. Sadly, Tom wasn't able to do that.

Young talent on this board, who haven't heard Tom's work, owe it to themselves to listen and learn from it.

Tom you are sadly missed. Condolences to The River's Family and Rivers Airforce.


DAN WILLIAMSON

Yo Rivers,

In my life, and in many others that visit here, you were a close comrade, an unfailing friend and an inspirational ally.

But when our corporate allegiance had to change you became an unflinching competitor and a fearsome foe.

You taught us all at least this one thing, that we had to 'Lead, follow or get out of the way.'

I read a quote yesterday that I hope applies here.

"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight- it's the size of the fight in the dog." (Dwight Eisenhower)

Tom, you were not only the biggest dog in the fight, but had more fight in you than most we'll ever know.

If it's true the fight is over, then rest, with honest thanks for your courage and caring from those who were privileged to know you.


BOB McMILLAN

Tom was probably one of the finest "jocks" to ever walk through the control room door at CHUM. I had the honour of working with him in Production (he couldn't read a spot) and also got hauled in as a couple of his Morning Show "voices"...The alien from the lunch room and Khareem of Khareem's Super Serve during the gas crisis in the 70's. Tom's show was at it's best when he was teamed with Bob Humenick as his Op/On Air Producer/Writer...those 2 made it work! When you talk with him please ask him if he remembers his parody spot (he made this one work) The O'Jays at The O'Keefe.It was amazing radio as he pushed the envelope every morning and it was a ton of fun!


"TARZAN" DAN FREEMAN

To hear the news about Tom's passing is something that makes me feel completely devastated. This was not only a media ICON and one of my heroes, but someone with a genuine heart down deep inside. From the time, as a kid growing up in Toronto, when he invited me to sit in on his show, to years later working together everyday, (he was doing aft drive and I was doing evenings at CFTR) following the man who always had a good fish story, and a word of advice. Eventually when he left CFTR I thought OMG I have HUGE shoes to fill in aft drive...well...cuz...his feet were BIG and his talent ENORMOUS! Tom kept in contact over the years, and then running into him in the halls @ CHUM the day I started, and feeling like WOW...that's TOM RIVERS!!!! I never lost that boyish feeling when I would be around Tom. That feeling never left me...from the day he told me as a young dj...to take a job in Calgary...cuz if ya don't jump you can't FLY! To most recently when I took his parking space @ CHUM while filling in mornings,and he threatened to flatten me and my Jeep in the parking lot with his big bad ass truck. Yet you always knew it was in fun.
Tom will be sorrily missed by MANY of us in radio.

SHOTGUN TOM RIVERS...you inspired what so many of us have become today. My Prayers are with your family.


DAVE MARSDEN

I prefer to keep most of my thoughts and memories of those I have known private. Tom Rivers is one of those memories.

As others have noted - Rivers and I never hung out together. I believe strong friendship for him was something that was very deeply rooted and only the best got in.

Recently we chatted by e-mail about finally getting together for 'that coffee' but we kept putting it off. We humans error in that, we always figure there will be another day.

Tom and I were at CHUM together. He shaking up AM and while I was in FM. I will always remember seeing him walking about in those flourescent lit cement hallways - painted lime green or some other shade of equally unfortunate.

We would pass and do the greeting thing. He towered like a giant Sasquatch - wearing a huge brown leather cowboy hat. Always a smile. Never a negative word, just a huge friendly bear who was an amazing radio guy because he loved the damn business.

The private words will always remain private.

The recognition of a broadcaster who really knew how to communicate and at the same time shake-up the suits and - yes - the listeners, will always be public.

Tom Rivers to the public YOU I knew - you have put on your glowing white wings and then you flew away.

But Tom - for those of us left back here...you did it too early!


SHANE HANIFF

I'm still in shock.

Ever since reading about the news, I've been going through the motions. I had to go the bar and drink my thoughts into a stopper trying to fathom the loss of a friend of 15 years.

My friendship with Rivers started back in 1989 when he and CFTR were the top thing on Toronto radio..but I don't need to get into that...

I just need to talk about what he did for me.

When I was doing my co-op at CJEZ - which Tom hooked me up with - I was able to get to know him as a friend. A True Friend. Someone who I can give a call to and have him feel my pain and sympathize with me but also being able to put me in my place.

I remember one day I was at the local donut shop and got in fight with my mother. He asked me if I had a place to stay. I said "I'm going to stay at my girls house..." he replied, "Shaner, you sound like a pimp!"

He always knew how to make a problem better.

Always with a laugh. A true good guy with the one liners.

One of them I do recollect is when I was sitting in on his show at TALK640 when he and Silver (or, as Riv called him..Slut) were talking about birthdays. It was Ellen's. He said that it was Ellen D's birthday. Silver said "Oh yeah?". Tom noted that "she was on Oprah the other day" *short pause* "She was also on her show, too".

In pure Tom PERFECTION.

I was thinking about who I needed to call all these radio sorts I haven't talked to in years..Silver, Killer B, Cooper, Little A, Shelley Wright.....I know they'll be dealing with it like how I am.

I haven't cried yet.

It hasn't hit me yet.

But when a superhero dies, it never really does.

I won't say Goodbye, buddy. All I'm going to say is I'll see ya on the water.

Rest peacefully, my friend.


JOHNNY B.

When I was gutting it out on the overnights doing news updates and oping the board on TALK640 I had the pleasure of seeing Tom come in every morning. We'd share a smoke and I'd watch him prep his show. On the occasions that my buddy Perry McIntosh (Sound) was tardy I opt the first portion of his show and had the chance to banter with this broadcasting behemoth. He was always cordial and along with Larry Silver and Evelyn Macko I was surrounded by absolute professionals. I wasn't a young punk at the time either (28) but I felt like a minion amongst giants. Learning their broadcasting methods and actions helped develop mine, both in news and talk formats. Tom showed me a lot about having fun, appreciating how fleeting a medium I'd chosen and bending the rules for the sake of entertainment. It was a lesson not lost on me. I'm thankful our paths crossed.


MIKE ANDERSON

My first exposure to Tom Rivers was running his "The Unfriendly Giant" show as a wet behind the ears rookie kid working at 620 CKCK in Regina. Little did I know that years later I would be working with "Unfriendly."

I didn't know Tom for as long as many others did, but in that time Tom became like an uncle or perhaps a big brother to me. We starting working together when he came to Edmonton in January of '95 to do mornings at what was then Mix 96. Tom and I hit it off right from the start, despite the fact I was almost young enough to be his son. He treated me with respect and treated me as an equal right from the start, even though I wasn't close to being on his talent level. He took a young guy under his wing and helped him look forward and think big. He believed in what I could achieve. He was a cheerleader, he created inspiration and he always offered up more generosity then was ever required. He always had
a story to share and he loved to hear new ideas. I believe he enjoyed hearing my ideas as much as I loved hearing the stories of "the glory days." There was one night night that will always make me chuckle. It
was the night Tom and I played Trivial Pursuit on NTN trivia in a pub not far from the station. I made the mistake of trying to stick with Tom, pint for pint, and well, I'll just leave it right there.

One of the last times Tom came out west, was to MC my wedding in 1998. Of course, Tom's humour in front of a crowd lived up to and exceeded expectations. Afterwards, Tom proceeded to open up his home and then his cottage to my wife and I when we came out to Toronto during our honeymoon. I think to this day, he will be the only person that my wife will let get away with giving her the nick name "Daisey-June."

Tom made a big impact on my life and I will remember him until the end of my days.

Nanci, you are in mine and Iralea's thoughts and prayers.

Tom, I will miss you. One day, you and I will finally get to go on that fishing trip. Someone has got to teach me about bass fishing.


MARK DAILEY

I'm numb with the passing of yet another friend. Tom and I shared some rockin' good years at CHUM. We were room mates for a while in fact. We also shared a passion for flying and he got his licence and went for it a few years ago. He was truly one of the most creative radio talents I've ever worked with and his satirical creations like Rocketman, Cousin Raoul and X-100 are legendary. I'm digging in the basement for those tapes right now. I was privileged to share that CHUM Memories forum with Tom a few years ago. Tom was also a great friend, a good Dad and the love of Nanci's life. I'm grieving but smiling too at some of those poignant pieces of masterful radio I witnessed across the glass.


JAMES ROGERS

To me Rivers was 'The Shotgun on CHUM.' Now he joins 'Jungle Jay', Boliska, Wolfman, The Bear...and so many other favs of mine from my childhood. They say that if there is a Rock 'n' Roll Heaven, they must have a hell of a band...well if there is radio in heaven...it has to have one HELL of a morning show!


JOHN MAJHOR

Lead, follow, or get out of the way".

When I arrived in Toronto, wet behind the ears in the fall of '75, Rivers was already a legend.
I was regaled with unbelievable Rivers stories by Terry Steele (my first guide to Toronto) and then with even more of his ballsy exploits from those who would soon become my contemporaries.
We were never friends, as such. We never hung out... but knew and respected each other. From my view, I always treasured his talent and marveled at his ability and style and was, frankly, constantly amazed and more than a little envious of how he could turn a phrase, brilliantly write, voice and produce a bit, draw people to him like a rock star, knock out ratings like a true showman...all with a "f*** you" attitude and a big-ass grin on his face.

Happy Trails, Brother. There was never anyone like you and will never be, again.


CRAIG M. SMITH

I first heard Tom like many of us on CHUM around 1970. During the first couple of years in the 70's it was Rivers and McCoy between 6-midnight.

I strayed from my favorite Toronto stations for a while as I listened to Jackson Armstrong and Don Berns on WKBW, but I always knew that Rivers, like CHUM would be around.

Tom moved on, and among his many stops was in Alaska! I can't find the E-mail right now, but he wrote to me about how John Rode and he arrived there.

It was in Billboard!!!

It is true, he has the record for being fired by CHUM the most times???

I finally met Tom at the CNE in 2003 when he was doing remotes. I had a CHUM chart for him to sign, and he mentioned on the air that somebody had given him a couple of charts to sign.

When I told him I was the guy behind SOWNY (Southern Ontario/Western New York Radio Message Board), he told me "You probably don't realize who reads it". He was a great supporter of this Board
Do you remember when the last time he was on CHUM when he VT'ed his show and allowed Amber to ad lib??? People here couldn't give him slack and wouldn't believe his posts that he wanted to have a bit of fun on the air.

When I visited Lisa and Nelson at the Rogers compound back in July, Tom was the fill in Morning host. I now wished that I said a "hello" to him, if I had the chance.

The "Rivers Air Force" has lost their leader.

All my deepest sympathy to Nanci, and Tom's family.


DOUG KIRKWOOD

Even though I only met Tom a few times, I was still a little star struck everytime I saw him. A bigger than life personality with the name recognition anyone in the biz would give their right arm for. The best part was, radio was always second in the conversation...Fishing was first. Nanci would tell fish stories about her and Tom landing that lunker bucketmouth on their private lake. I wish I had the chance to wet a line with him.
I was humbled to be on the same mic as Tom and other GIANTS at 1331...he went too soon.
Tightlines Tom !


DAMIAN BASSETT

While I can't say I 'grew up' to Tom Rivers (as I'm only one year younger!, I do feel that I 'stayed young' with Tom Rivers. As Tom kept returning 'to the scene of the crime' with his many stints on CHUM plus AM 740 and most recently JACK-FM, he reminded us of our youth. The music, the jingles but most of all the 'voice' putting it all together. Without the 'voice', it is just a jukebox with your favorite compilations. I must have almost every meaningful song from '55 to '66, but I keep listening to CHUM, 1150 &' KB because the music without the 'voice' is the soundtrack without the movie. We miss Jay, Terry, Darryl B, Rick Honey, Norman B, Fulton, Big G Walters, Special 'K' Kenny Wells and now Shotgun Tom. It's been a tough couple a years. Too many, too soon.
Condolences to the Rivers family and a 'thanks for the memories' to the 'Gun'.


DOUG AVERY

Just wanted to say publicly that I was lucky enough to have had the joy of working with Tom for almost ten years during his time at CFTR in the 80s . In any job that I have ever had in any occupation I have never met a more giving person. Tom was by far one of the most talented and creative people in the industry, he was also the first to get the people around him involved in his fun! He taught me about character work, how to use sound effects effectively and so much more I could go on and on. Tom was also one of my dearest and closest friends away from work, no matter whether we were moving giant rocks around his back yard doing landscaping or lugging an aluminum boat down a cliff so we could go fishing we always had a good time. Tom was a friend who no matter what always had time for you and always knew how to help you back to the brighter side of life. Hey ď Riv Kid !Ē you were one of my best friends you gave me more than you will ever know and I miss you huge already. As I sit here writing this with a tear in my eye I guess I will quote the Swami ... ďThe answer is gone but NEVER forgotten ..... and the question .... describe my friend Tom Rivers.Ē


ROB DANIELS

Tom Rivers, a true inspiration. A man who loved his job and took risks in the business. I didn't have the chance to listen to Tom back in the hay days, but I do know that he had an incredible past. His journey through such diverse radio markets brought him some top notch media knowledge. I had Tom as a teacher at Seneca College in Toronto. It was a privilege to be in his class and to listen to what he had to say. If it wasn't for him I don't think I'd be where I am today. I still remember him telling me what happened at CHUM-FM just before I ended up turning on that microphone as the youngest DJ to step foot into 1331 Yonge. "Rob, I stopped by Mr. Farina's office, showed him your tape, he was looking for young talent, I told him you were ready for the big time." Tom took a chance with me. He was a guy that gave great direction, but always kept things fun and creative. One thing I will always remember is that great big grin and his amazing sense of humour.

Tom wasn't just a radio legend, but a wonderful human being.

He will always be remembered.


ROCKIN' RAY MICHAELS

I like so many other's hearing of Tom's passing I am shocked ... and saddened by this news, I had the TRUE pleasure of working with Tom at EZ Rock and we had a ton of laughs ... Tom will be dearly missed by many, and I must say he was quite the character ON & OFF AIR ... A HUGE loss to the Radio Industry ... Our condolences to Tom's Family, our prayers are with you ... Rest in Peace Tom.


GORD ROBSON

I worked with Tom in Edmonton at Mix 96 when he came to do mornings I came to do afternoon drive. He was a joy to work with on and off the job. We used to go into the local "establishments" and play the 'name that tune' and 'trivia' games ... until we were banned! I loved the way he stood up to management, and for his rebel ways. One night in a club as the music was playing he said this song says it all for me ... it was "Desperado" by the Eagles ... so when you hear that song...think of 'old Tom.


STEVE GREGORY

Like all I was shocked to hear of the passing of an old friend. Riv was one of those gentle giants that will always have a warm place in my heart. From the pre ratings parties, to the fishing, to radio you always
gave it your all. I'll miss you buddy. Rock on Mother!!


JOHN SCHOLES

Was lucky enough to meet/know Tom when I began as an overnight op at Talk 640...he'd come in to do the morning show and we'd chat about radio stuff. Was always supportive and encouraging to a newbie like myself. Very sad day...huge talent.


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