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Thomas A. Moore

August 2, 1961 ~ December 5, 2018 (age 57)
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Thomas A. Moore, 57, passed away peacefully from an illness at his residence on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Tom was born August 2, 1961, in Abilene, Texas. He and his parents, the late Charlene Gray Moore and the late L. Ted Moore, moved to Morgantown in 1976 when his father was hired as a faculty member in the Department of Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University. Even though Tom was the last surviving member of his immediate family, he was a musician, foremost, whose beloved bandmates became his adopted family. He is survived by many friends, Chico's Bail Bonds softball players, and musicians who admired his talent, humor and quick wit.

When Tom was a student at Morgantown High School, and, following high school, he played in bands including Eddie Haskell, The Excuses, Human Remains and Organic Panic. After graduating from MHS, Tom attended WVU, where he studied engineering, and worked at Maxwell's restaurant in downtown Morgantown.  

Many who knew of Tom in the 1980s would credit him as being a pioneer of the local underground music scene in Morgantown. In 1983, Tom and his friend Sei Petersen formed alternative rock band Velez Manifesto, and soon added James Matterer (Jimmy X), and Scott Fetty. Velez Manifesto attracted a large following in Morgantown, playing to packed crowds at The Underground Railroad at 123 Pleasant Street and generating airtime of its music on local college radio station U92. The band and its followers had high hopes for the possibility of Velez Manifesto becoming signed to a major recording label when one of its songs, "Dark Clouds," was included on a compilation album of alternative rock by Epic Records (now Sony) called Epic Presents the Unsigned -- Vol. II in 1987. Despite the local Morgantown music community holding its collective breath for Velez Manifesto to amass widespread recognition, Velez Manifesto remained unsigned.

Tom spent the next 20 years in Baltimore, working as a computer coder at a book bindery and playing in and creating music in Vivid Low Sky, Plow, and Headless with Baltimore and Morgantown musicians Shirle Hale Koslowski, David Koslowski, Sei Petersen, Miyuki Furtado, Laura Trussell, Mark Bell and Chris Ciattei, among others. Vivid Low Sky produced two albums, Music for Movies Unmade in 2000, and its second album called simply II in 2018, while Plow released albums entitled Plow in 1993, Ice Cream Flares and Rocket Sounds in 1996 and Ocean Days in 2018.

In December 2018, Tom was finalizing his third album with his Morgantown band Jet Set Vapour Trails, including Jeffrey Goodwin on drums and Jarrod Ott on bass guitar. The album will be finished and released in Tom's honor.  

Tom was a gifted artist, guitarist and singer-songwriter and cherished friend. As a painter, sketch artist and songwriter, he designed many of his bands' album cover artwork. His overall work always seemed to arrive at the seemingly unattainable, delicate intersection of enigma and poignancy.

Tom's grandfather, Winston "Slim Willet" Moore, was also an accomplished songwriter and disc jockey. Slim Willet wrote and published a country western song in 1952 called, "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," which was covered by many artists, including K.D. Lang, Boxcar Willie, Perry Como and Skeets McDonald.

A celebration of Tom's life will be held at Ottobar in Baltimore on Thursday, December 27. A memorial concert will be held at 123 Pleasant Street in Morgantown on Friday, January 18. Please honor the life of Tom Moore by listening to his music and sharing it with others. See https://plow2.bandcamp.com , http://vividlowsky.bandcamp.com , https://jetsetvapourtrails.bandcamp.com , and https://m.soundcloud.com/velezmanifesto .

Smith Funeral & Cremation Care of Morgantown has provided guidance with cremation services.

Condolences may be offered at www.smithfcc.com.
 

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