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Remembering Tom Himself: 1981 - 2013

I've been a writer for Metalunderground.com for almost six years, (I joined on June 25th 2007, for those who care to know,) and in that time I’ve written over eight thousand articles, including memorials and tributes to Ronnie James Dio, Phil Lynott, Gary Moore, Jeff Hanneman and Chuck Schuldiner, but this piece is unquestionably the hardest I’ve ever had to write, as I, and a number of others, will be paying tribute to not only a lover of metal music and a MetalUnderground.com reader, member and devotee, but also a friend named, Tom Humber, who posted on MetalUnderground.com under the moniker, "TomHimself," a handle he regularly used. It might have seemed like an arrogant name to use, but there really was nobody else like Tom.

Despite the fact that we live in the same town, I was introduced to Tom through this website. He hosted a rock and metal show on Swindon105.5, during which he would bring his listeners the latest news in metal. It turned out he’d been getting his news from MetalUnderground.com and as soon as he found out that the only English writer for the website lived in the same town as him, he excitedly invited me on the show. As soon as I met him, I liked him. He was a big man with a bigger smile and was so welcoming and eager to talk about metal, what had been going on in metal recently and what metal CDs I’d brought with me (Motorhead’s, "Inferno," Celtic Frost's, "Monotheist" and a third, which I can’t remember right now.) He opened the show with “Deliverance” by the British goth rock band, The Mission U.K. and I instantly loved the song. After I asked him what it was called, he coolly but happily informed me before telling me to stick around after the hour was up. As soon as he wrapped up the first hour, he burned the entire show we’d done on to a CD for me, just so I could have a copy of "Deliverance." Name me one other DJ that would do that!

We had a great time together on the show, playing all kinds of rock music and discussing the week’s events, along with the forthcoming FIFA World Cup, whereby he informed me that he didn’t like the same football as me, he liked American football. Correction: He LOVED American football! While it’s a sport I’ve never had much interest in, every time I mentioned it he’d be there to talk about it, encourage me to watch more and cheer on his beloved Vikings. Tweeting each other during this year’s Super Bowl half time show was particularly fun. In November 2011 he parted ways with Swindon105.5 though his radio career continued through his contributions to Dark Asylum Radio. It was a job that he and his frankly awesome voice were simply made for. The man was like Tommy Vance, he just sounded so cool. When he spoke, people listened and usually, they’d laugh when he finished. I could go on about Tom but ultimately the things I’ll remember most about him was that he was one of the most genuine people you could meet. He didn’t accept charity, he had an infectious enthusiasm, a passion for music rarely seen and was honestly one of the nicest men around. The Metalunderground.com community, my town and indeed, the world, has lost a true gentleman. Tom Himself is simply too big of a personality to forget.

"Tom was a big guy with an even bigger heart. He loved music and loved doing his radio show. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and always managed to find the good in people. He was the best of us and I'll never forget the support he showed my band and I wont ever forget how much of a good friend he was. He'll be missed everyday" - Tom Norris, Eye For An Eye frontman

"I've known Tom for a few years and I don't think there is a single person who can say they disliked the guy - he had respect from everyone in the music scene in Swindon. Although he had little to work with, his concentrated passion for music always shone through and won him a loyal following. Every band that has had the absolutely pleasure of working with Tom will always sing his praise. For a man with this much passion for his craft, he should've achieved so much more and sadly, he never really received the recognition and acclaim that he deserved. We will be giving him the send off that he deserves. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him." - Dan Carter, Burials guitarist

"It was very tragic news, Tom was one of the truely nicest people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. He was always so passionate about music, and most of all the support he gave to the band's around him, without prejudice or politics. For him it was all about the music. He gave ITAOL huge support, always made us feel bigger than we thought we were! A true gentleman, he will be missed, but remembered well by all that knew him." - Matt Chambers, In the Absence of Light guitarist

"Tom Humber was one of the most eclectic guys I've ever met, with a true passion for giving local musicians their chance to shine and spreading the word of things that really needed attention. He may not have had much money, and limited transport, but if he knew a way to help you then he would do it without hesitation. If ever there was information regarding a similar interest between him and you, he would be sure to bring it to your attention with the upmost excitement. He was a very cultured man, having read many books and done plenty of research into things he found entertaining and knowledgable. He always was, and always will be in everybody's eyes a true gentleman. It was an honour to have him in my life. Rest In Peace, brother." - Josh Crowe, friend

"Tom had a great passion for music, anyone who knew him knew about the work he did to promote the local and new music scene. Many bands owe Humber thanks for the shout outs or live performances on his radio shows. He was one of the friendliest and thoughtful person I've had the pleasure of meeting and without a doubt the nicest but modest at the same time. He always had time for those feeling down and was always happy to provide a 'Humber hug' for special circumstances, especially with the ladies.

"I don't think Humber knew just how loved he was at the end, he didn't spend much time out, but always made the effort to touch base when ever possible. This legacy is evidence from those who have contacted me since his passing, with people as far afield as France and the States where he volunteered on the dark asylum radio show. With every person who gets in contact, one thing becomes apparent time and time again; Tom was passionate, friendly and loved. The public outpouring of comments on his wall are a testament to how much time he had for everyone. Whilst Tom probably didn't acknowledge it, he was the heart of the group and will forever be remembered as such. He'd have been abashed but touched by the praise and regret displayed at his passing, but would have been warmed none the less. His coined phrase was "Show me the Humber" and it's felt now more than ever." - Luke Musto, friend.

Tom "Burgundy" Humber/Tom Himself
1981 - 2013

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Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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34 Comments on "Remembering Tom Himself: 1981 - 2013"

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1. Big Dave writes:

I listened to some of his shows, and I can only add to the glowing tributes by Diamond Oz and others by saying that without knowing him personally, just by a few shared on-line conversations, he came across as a knowledgable and respectful man. It's maybe too late for him to receive the recognition he deserved, but the family of music should mark his passing.

# Jun 21, 2013 @ 7:52 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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2. R10 writes:

Good tribute. Sounds like a hell of a guy, one i wouldn't have minded talking metal with.

# Jun 21, 2013 @ 11:31 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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3. WOLF7 writes:

Very nice tribute, Oz.

I never had the chance to meet Tom personally - I wish I had - but from our communication via FB I can tell that he was genuinely a truly nice bloke with a great musical taste.

Gone way to soon.

# Jun 22, 2013 @ 4:02 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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4. Cynic writes:

RIP Tom - it's people like this who make the metal world turn, people who take the time to put in energy and work into the scene.

# Jun 22, 2013 @ 5:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Luke writes:

Having personally known Tom may I add you are all correct. He was a lovely intelligent guy. Thanks for all the love guys :)

# Jun 22, 2013 @ 3:08 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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6. Blindgreed1 writes:

Beautiful words for a most deserving man Oz. RIP Tom. \m/\m/ You will be sorely missed.

# Jun 25, 2013 @ 12:55 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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7. spiral_architect writes:

WOW! WHAT A GREAT TRIBUTE! IT'S ALWAYS SAD TO LOSE A METAL BROTHER. KNOW THAT TOM IS ROCKING THE HEAVENS IN VALHALLA NOW. HORNS UP!

# Jun 25, 2013 @ 2:30 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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8. Blindgreed1 writes:

Back to pay my respects to my bruthah from anothah mothah. \m/\m/

# Jun 26, 2013 @ 11:55 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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9. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for my bruthah. \m/\m/

# Jun 27, 2013 @ 10:56 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

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10. Diamond Oz writes:

Max respect, BG.

# Jun 27, 2013 @ 4:58 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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11. godlike writes:

What a great tribute OZ... the man certainly deserved it.!!

Ive gotten to know a whole sh** load of metal heads around the net... and ol Tom Himself definitely made the short list of dudes that I would want or would've wanted to meet in person.!!
The guy was never afraid to hit that "like" button on my Fbook postings... Ive found myself going back over my own timeline just to remind myself of how great his sense of humor was.!!

RIP \m/ Tom Himself \m/

# Jun 27, 2013 @ 8:06 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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12. Blindgreed1 writes:

WORD godlike. Oz: NP buddy. He was one hell of a dude. We had many FB convo's about American football and over the last few years I felt like I'd known him all my life. Much respect for Mr. Burgandy Humber. \m/\m/

# Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:33 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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13. EsotericSurgery writes:

Didn't know Tom but if all my MU bro's are showing so much love I can't help but know we lost another great one. RIP Tom \m/

# Jun 29, 2013 @ 1:20 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
ZMA's avatar

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14. ZMA writes:

Almost makes me feel like the a$$hole for not knowing him lol. But seriously, this is awesome. Wish I had known him.

# Jun 29, 2013 @ 4:32 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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15. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for my fallen bruthah \m/\m/

# Jul 1, 2013 @ 10:59 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

16. Diamond Oz writes:

It's the big man's funeral on friday. One of his sisters has said that it might not be possible to fit everyone inside the church. If I buy some flowers I'll mark the card from me, you (BG), Godlike, Wolf and Hammerheart.

# Jul 1, 2013 @ 12:37 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

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17. godlike writes:

Wow.. Oz- that would be greatly appreciated and an extremely cool thing for you to do.! \m/\m/
I can't even imagine the crowd that will gather for that event... It's abundantly clear the man had A LOT of friends.!!

# Jul 1, 2013 @ 5:28 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
WOLF7's avatar

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18. WOLF7 writes:

Oz, it'd be really great if you could do that. Very much appreciated.

# Jul 2, 2013 @ 4:07 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

19. Diamond Oz writes:

Then that's what I'll do. I'll your real names on the card if you don't mind?

# Jul 2, 2013 @ 7:12 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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20. Blindgreed1 writes:

I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks Oz. \m/\m/

# Jul 2, 2013 @ 10:44 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

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21. godlike writes:

Seriously Oz, This is WAY cool.!! Something like this gives you an unlimited amount of coolness points in my book.!! I would greatly appreciate my actual name being used. \m/\m/

# Jul 2, 2013 @ 3:35 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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22. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for the big man!

# Jul 3, 2013 @ 12:00 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
WOLF7's avatar

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23. WOLF7 writes:

Definitely real name, Oz. Truly appreciated, thanks mate!

# Jul 3, 2013 @ 12:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

24. Diamond Oz writes:

No worries guys.

# Jul 4, 2013 @ 11:45 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
wilco's avatar

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25. wilco writes:

oz nice words well done rip tom may the meatal gods be on your side

# Jul 6, 2013 @ 2:36 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

26. Diamond Oz writes:

Thanks Wilco. For those who don't know, his funeral was yesterday. It was a very touching scene with people stood outside the chapel because so many of his friends turned up. The vicar also kindly referenced this article and website in her speech. I still miss the big man very much.

# Jul 6, 2013 @ 6:25 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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27. Blindgreed1 writes:

That's great news Oz. Tom deserved that outpouring of respect. I'd like to think he's chillin with Randy Rhodes and Dime right now. \m/\m/

# Jul 8, 2013 @ 11:23 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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28. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for my bruthah.

# Jul 9, 2013 @ 11:50 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
godlike's avatar

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29. godlike writes:

\m/ \m/

# Jul 9, 2013 @ 7:21 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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30. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for the big guy.

# Jul 10, 2013 @ 10:31 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Blindgreed1's avatar

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31. Blindgreed1 writes:

Bump for my buddy.

# Jul 11, 2013 @ 2:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

32. Diamond Oz writes:

Respect. Can I just say how thankful I am to everyone who read this? I never expected it to get so many views and the love and kindness shown towards Tom has been wonderful to see. Drove past the chapel where his funeral was held today. This town really does feel emptier without him.

# Jul 11, 2013 @ 4:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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33. Blindgreed1 writes:

You did a great job on it too Oz and as you stated, probably the hardest piece you've ever written. I'ma share it right now too, even though I don't spend any time on FB at all.

# Jul 12, 2013 @ 6:41 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Diamond Oz's avatar

Senior News Correspondent

34. Diamond Oz writes:

Thanks alot, bro. I really really wish he was still around.

# Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:26 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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