×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tommy Keene, Power-Pop Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 59

Tommy Keene, a veteran singer-songwriter of the new wave and power-pop eras best known for his 1984 alternative-radio hit “Places That Are Gone,” died Wednesday, according to a post on his website.

The post gives no cause of death and simply states: “Tommy Keene 6/30/58 – 11/22/17. Tommy passed unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep.  Thank you to all his friends and family who he loved very much.”

Over the years he collaborated with a number of stylistically similar artists ranging from Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard — with whom he released an EP as the Keene Brothers, a joke that would be lost on all but certain people of a certain age — and T Bone Burnett (who produced one of his early albums) to the Goo Goo Dolls and Matthew Sweet, with whom he toured just a few weeks ago. He generally remained true to the melodic, chiming, harmony-filled, Byrds-influenced rock that launched his career.

A native of Maryland, Keene released a dozen albums over the course of a career that stretched back to the late 1970s, yet his biggest hit came from the title track of a 1984 EP on the indie Dolphin Records, “Places That Are Gone.” A deal with the major label Geffen Records ensued and he released two albums on the label, “Songs From the Film” in 1986 and “Based on Happy Times” three years later. He signed with indie powerhouse Matador in the mid-1990s and released two albums there as well; the remainder of his catalog was released on smaller indie labels.

Below is the official video for “Places That Are Gone,” and a clip of him performing Matthew Sweet’s 1991 hit “I’ve Been Waiting” with Sweet and the Bangles’ Susanna Hoffs in Los Angeles in August.

 

 

 

 

 

More Music

  • Spotify Says It Was Unaware of

    Spotify Says It Was Unaware of Personal User Data Shared by Facebook

    Spotify was one of many technology companies to which Facebook granted vast access to users’ personal data — far more than it had previously disclosed, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday night. Facebook “effectively exempted those business partners from its usual privacy rules,” the report says, citing internal records and interviews. According [...]

  • Todd Rundgren

    Couldn't He Just Tell-All? Todd Rundgren Reveals Enough in Candid, Funny New Memoir

    Todd Rundgren has spoken up about his feelings on not having made the transition this year from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee to actual inductee. “I’m heartbroken,” he says. “For LL Cool J. Five times a bridesmaid…” That’s an indication of how seriously he took the Hall of Fame’s much-belated flirtation with inducting [...]

  • As Wilco's 'Mermaid' Turns 20, An

    As Wilco's 'Mermaid' Turns 20, an Original Woody Guthrie Tape Is Found (EXCLUSIVE)

      Among the many reasons to celebrate Jeff Tweedy right now — including his first real solo album, “Warm,” and a new memoir, “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back)” — it’s worth throwing a 20th anniversary party for “Mermaid Avenue,” the landmark album he and his band Wilco recorded with Billy Bragg in 1998. There [...]

  • Katy Perry

    Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, Miley Cyrus Join MusiCares' Dolly Parton Grammy Tribute

    Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood have been added as performers at the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute concert honoring Dolly Parton. Previously announced performers include Leon Bridges, Lauren Daigle, Vince Gill, Don Henley, Norah Jones, Shawn Mendes, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Linda Perry, P!nk, Mark Ronson, Mavis Staples, and Chris [...]

  • VICE

    Adam McKay Explains the 'Vice' Musical Number He Left on the Cutting Room Floor

    Adam McKay’s “Vice” has clearly divided critics, with some calling it a bold and daring analysis of one of the most pivotal figures in American politics, and others mincing no words in labeling it, full stop, the worst film of the year. (Truly, in the year of a Dinesh D’Souza movie, people are grandstanding with [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content