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Tom Corey, 1957–2001 

Wednesday, Oct 3 2001
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“Where the hell is Corey?” Then, four minutes before showtime, he would reappear — chipper, unfazed, holding a just-found first edition of Martin Amis’ The Rachel Papers — and announce, “One buck, at the Goodwill down the street!” Followed by yet another subversive set of rai-, progrock-, spiritual-, Laibach-influenced — in a word, Coreyesque — bass guitar.

In the early ‘80s, Tom joined L.A.’s beloved, arcane art rockers the Fibonaccis, tripling on bass, guitar and a mean mandolin, performing up and down the coast, and on the LPs Civilization and Its Discotheques and Repressed. Tom also played kiddie pop in the Devo offshoot Visiting Kids, a funkier kind of rock in the Lawns, and odd-meter stomps in the Bob 1 Band. His own Electric Sheep was a stew of ethnic styles veering from near-metal and punk-funk to a dose of his own Lebanese musical roots. Just weeks ago, Tom, Steve Summers and I finished recording a three-CD epic Primarily, The Empire of Fun, scheduled for release early next year.

Tom was a truly optimistic, thoroughly uncynical person, a joy to make music with. And then, last week, sometime after midnight on September 23, Tom Corey, 44, suffered a brain aneurysm at home. Woke up with a headache, and, moments later, he was gone.

Tom is survived by his wife, Donna, and two daughters, Rene and Amina. He was a rare musician, and a rare friend: selfless, literate, happy, grounded, versatile. He will be sorely missed.

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