Tom Leipzig, musician

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Tom Leipzig

Tom LeipzigNice memory walk Mark… It was a great time for me and being associated with some very talented people (as many of the same kept up thier music interests and still “have it” to enjoy)!

Tom LeipzigI was a drummer and back up singer in my day… Not as good as the rest of the players by far!!! May 5, 2015 via FB

May 16, 2015 – Tom:  Mike Reilly… I’ll tell you something that only a had fully of people know… My music career started in 1962 playing violin (2nd) string orchestra at St. Mary’s in Menomonee Falls… Wasn’t my notch as I started drum lessons 2 years later. Lol

ike: ike! So your family must have moved that you went to St. James then Hamilton?

Tom: Nope.. Moved from Mike to Sussex in 1953, and went to St. James.. Mom drove me from Sussex to St Mary’s to take lessons and play in the orchestra.

Mike: Ok, but why violin? Something parents wanted, or you did initially?

Tom: Had my grandfathers in the attic… And it just so happened that St. Mary’s had a teacher and an orchestra… Lucky me! Lol

Mike: There’s also the younger generations who established themselves, and bands in the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s, whom I haven’t heard much from yet.

I hate to say, your era, but this was the time much of the early work in garage band music was going on. Milwaukee may have started in the 50s, but you guys and gals were right in there during the early 60s and 70s.

Tom: Yes we were… I like I said before, lots of talent and great personable guys to boot!

Mike Reilly I still find it hard to believe that there were no girl guitar, drums, sax, trumpet, etc., players back in the 60s and 70s when you guys started playing!!! There must have been girls in the school orchestras and bands? What did they do, play in the closet?

Mike Reilly Were Suzy Hart and the Heartbeats a local area fluke?

Tom Leipzig HHS band… There were but when we (We Return) tried to recruit some people but..??.. In a band with all guys? Travel? Etc… Parents stepped in for the most part and put a kibosh on that! Lol

Mike Reilly Even if the girls couldn’t go on road trips, didn’t they participate locally? You guys that bad an influence?

Mark Kenney We tried out a female trombone player, and some other female singers, but being teenaged boys, practice would invariably devolve into us boys trying to impress the girl, rather than the other way around. Females could add so much, unfortunately we were too immature to get past that back then. We were mature enough to recognize our immaturity and not go there.

Mike Reilly None of the girls ever performed locally by themselves or with other girls?

Mark KenneySadly, outside of church, weddings and funerals, they were not inclined to do much with their music. One very talented HHS alum, whom I dated was Margo Thorpe. She was a marvelous singer, but when our band played, she never even brought up the idea of singing with us, and I never brought it up either. It is a shame. Like so many things, if I only knew then what I know now…

Tom Leipzig It all came down in my era as culture and what was proper for a girl to get involved in.. Good old Sussex and surrounding areas… Anyone disagree..??..

Mark Kenney Remember too, that back then there was no karaoke or even open jams/mics. Today it is very easy to find an undiscovered singer or musician. Back then it was much harder to get a chance show your talents in public.

Mike Reilly Right…but there were professional female singers that played guitar back then!

Mark Kenney Yes there were. Many great ones indeed! I will say that it was hard for guys in the Midwest to make it in music back then. Women had it much harder! Unless their talent was too great to be ignored, they were relegated to singing in choirs, churches ect. A few would emerge, and they were brilliant. Some prejudices sadly found their way into my own household. I spent more time encouraging my son to play guitar, than my daughter. Thankfully, Amy Sue’s talent is bursting through that. My son Neil Kenney, is a wonderful guitar player and if he put his mind to it, he could play with anyone. Amy, has been absorbing everything on her own for the last two years and she lights up every stage she appears on. I believe if I would have encouraged her more in her childhood, she could be a household name. Music is just flowing from her and she deserves all of the credit!