July 8th, 2006 | by MARK BAUMGARTEN Music | Posted In: Columns, News

Tom Miller, 1951-2006

     
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Tom MillerOn June 16, 10 days short of his 55th birthday, Portland musician Tom Miller passed away. The Portland native had been battling cancer for 4 years. I didn't know him, but after reading the bio on the memorial site, Remembering Tom Miller, I wish I had. Many might remember Miller playing standup bass in the Portland institution, the Swingline Cubs. Fewer would remember this, but Miller also once opened for the Doors at the Masonic Temple with his first band, the Echoes. He also played with the Sleazy Pieces, Dan Hicks and, on the mandolin, with the Portland Symphony. Here's a bit more about the man from the memorial web site:

There are no ugly stories about Tom Miller; there are only happy ones, filled with laughter and heart. Dubbed “Lawn Boy” for his early adventures in landscaping at his NE Portland “Bulgarian Embassy”, he was the person you'd want with you if you ran out of gas in the rain. No matter how broke the band was or how horrible the gig, Tom was the guy who made it better. Aside from music (he was also a monster mandolin player) his greatest talent was compassion. He worked for years at Providence Hospital and, when a young girl he delivered medicines to passed away, Tom wasn't the same for weeks. Whoever you were, Tom was there for you and you knew it.


Sounds like a good guy.

A memorial celebration will take place Sunday, July 23 at the Lake House at Blue Lake Park, 21160 NE Blue Lake Park Rd., Fairview. 2 pm.

Remembering Tom Miller: tommillerpdx.com

Photo by Rob Finch
 
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