Thomas Michael HamrickBorn August 7th, 1958 (Year of the Dog) to Jack and Alice Hamrick in Morgantown, West Virginia and was nicknamed "Dusty" later in life in the military (United States Army Bomb Squad)(Explosive Ordnance Disposal).. Tommys father was the band director for the University High School Band in Morgantown, WV and his mother was a secretary for the WVU School of Law. Music was a constant part of Tommys life. "My Dad has been a band director throughout his entire career. So.... you know, is it any wonder that my 1st toy, in the crib, was a trombone mouthpiece? Dad loves to tell that story." Starting out as a drummer in Junior High, he played his 1st gig at 15 years old and gave the $50 to his father. That was just the beginning though as more bands followed. Tommy took up the guitar as a main instrument just before entering the Army at 18 years old ("tattoos from everywhere"). "The 1st guitar I ever broke on purpose was in Korea, a 12 string acoustic, that I was playing when they gave me orders for 2nd Infantry Division on the DMZ. Hate it when that happens...." Tommy is a proud 100% Disabled American Veteran. "Believe it or not, I bought one of the first strat copies to come into Kuwait City after the 1st Gulf War. It was a black one. It amazed me how quickly a crowd would gather when I would plug into an amp downtown. I don't think they get too many blues players in Kuwait..." "The first records that I can remember were my Dads and they were by Maynard Ferguson, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Dave Clark Five, and Meet The Beatles."
Tommys main instruments are a butterscotch/woodgrained Fender Custom Shop Stratocaster, a daphne blue Fender Strat with a lefty neck, a Tokai V headstock Explorer with a TP-6 tailpiece, and a Gibson TV yellow DC with Seymore Duncan Antiquity P-90's and a Les Trem. The Custom Shop stratocaster was Rick Derringers #1 road axe for over 10 years and was used on stage, in sessions, and recording by Rick. It is featured on the cover of Ricks "Jackhammer Blues" CD (and pictured on the CD itself) and is quite probably Ricks most extensively used, and recorded guitar.. Though asked many times how he got it, Tommy will only say "Well, Mr. Derringer, gave me that one.. though he did wind up with a beautiful '56 Les Paul Jr. that I gave him for his birthday.. He likes P90's and I believe that his uncle used to teach him on a Les Paul Junior back in the '50's. I think he was kinda surprised and a little moved by the gesture". Tommy has two other strats that were owned by Rick. A black one (named Ying) and a white one (named Yang) that were backup guitars of Rick's and one of his old Peavey Classic 50 watt tweed amps (with the DERRINGER road cases!!!!). Tommy lists his influences as Rick Derringer (of course), Zakk Wylde, Tommy Bolin, Jimmy Hendrix, Steve Marriott, Rory Gallagher, The Beatles, BB and Albert King, the unmistakable Reverend Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Sonny Landreth, Bo Diddley, and Roy Clark....
Left....Tommy and Damnit, his new rottweiler puppy. August 2004
Tommy was born and raised in the State of West Virginia and since returning has been seriously bothered by things reported in the States newspapers. So, he started Tommys WV Blog Page to give a running, semi-daily commentary on these things. Check in sometime and see if you agree on these observations.