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Tom Hamilton (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tom Hamilton
Hamilton with Aerosmith 2010
Hamilton with Aerosmith 2010
Background information
Birth nameThomas William Hamilton
Born (1951-12-31) December 31, 1951 (age 68)
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
  • Musician
  • songwriter
InstrumentsBass guitar
Years active1970–present
Associated acts

Thomas William Hamilton (born December 31, 1951) is an American musician, best known as the bassist for the hard rock band Aerosmith. He has regularly co-written songs for Aerosmith, including two of the band's biggest hits: "Sweet Emotion" (1975) and "Janie's Got a Gun" (1989). Hamilton occasionally plays guitar (e.g. "Uncle Salty”, “Sick as a Dog"),[1] sings backing vocals (e.g. "Love in an Elevator") and on rare occasions, lead vocals ("Up On The Mountain").[2]

Early years

Thomas William Hamilton was born to George and Betty Hamilton in Colorado Springs, Colorado. George and Betty now live in Vero Beach, Florida. He has an older brother named Scott, an older sister named Perry, and a younger sister named Cecily. His father was in the Air Force and his mother was a housewife.

He first learned to play guitar from his brother, who got his first guitar when Tom was four years old. Hamilton first started playing guitar when his older brother Scott taught him his first chords at age 12. Tom switched to bass when he was 14 to join a local band because they had an open space at that position. Hamilton was in a few bands with soon-to-be Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and David "Pudge" Scott. One of the bands was simply called "The Jam Band". It was at a Jam Band gig in summer 1970 at a place called "The Barn" in Sunapee, New Hampshire, that the Jam Band met Steven Tyler, and the four of them agreed to move to Boston to start a band (not yet named Aerosmith). Scott left the group shortly thereafter, being replaced by Tyler on drums. The three became a power trio with Hamilton on bass, Perry on guitar, and Tyler on drums and vocals. Then Ray Tabano joined and eventually Joey Kramer joined (who coined the name "Aerosmith") in replacing Tyler on drums so he could focus on vocals. Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford and Aerosmith was born.

Personal life

Hamilton performing with Aerosmith on the Blue Army Tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 4, 2015
Hamilton performing with Aerosmith on the Blue Army Tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan on August 4, 2015

According to the band's official website, Hamilton's favorite song by the band is "The Farm" (from the 1997 album Nine Lives). He married Terry Cohen in 1975 and they have two children, Julian and Sage.[3][4]

In August 2006, he announced that he was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer and completed a seven-week course of radiation and chemotherapy. As a result, he missed Aerosmith's Route of All Evil Tour. David Hull (who played in the Joe Perry Project) filled in. Prior to this, Hamilton had never missed an Aerosmith show. He sat in with the band on "Sweet Emotion" at their September 2006 Boston show and played an entire performance at a private show at the Beacon Theatre in New York, on December 3, 2006. On December 20, 2006, Hamilton reported on Aero Force One that he is cancer-free after a recent PET scan. He underwent further surgery, causing him to sit out some of the Aerosmith/ZZ Top Tour. David Hull covered for him again during his absence.[5] His cancer returned in 2011, but he is now cancer-free.[6]

Hamilton left the band's April 2013 Australian tour after two shows due to a chest infection. David Hull was flown in from the US to fill in.[7]

In April 2016, Thin Lizzy announced that Hamilton was joining them for their 2016 and 2017 reunion shows.[8]

Hamilton's favorite bassists are John Paul Jones, John Entwistle and Paul McCartney.[9]

Aerosmith songs written

The following Aerosmith songs have a writing credit given to Tom Hamilton

  1. "Sweet Emotion" from Toys in the Attic
  2. "Uncle Salty" from Toys in the Attic
  3. "Sick as a Dog" from Rocks
  4. "Critical Mass" from Draw the Line
  5. "Kings and Queens" from Draw the Line
  6. "The Hand That Feeds" from Draw the Line
  7. "The Reason a Dog" from Done with Mirrors
  8. "The Hop" from Done with Mirrors
  9. "Janie's Got a Gun" from Pump
  10. "The Movie" from Permanent Vacation
  11. "Krawhitham" from Pandora's Box
  12. "Beautiful" from Music From Another Dimension!
  13. "Tell Me" from Music From Another Dimension!
  14. "Lover Alot" from Music From Another Dimension!
  15. "Can't Stop Lovin' You" from Music From Another Dimension!
  16. "Up on the Mountain" from Music From Another Dimension! (Deluxe Version) [Also provides lead vocals]


  • 2007 – Boston Music Award – Personal Achievement[10]


Hamilton has used a wide variety of basses over Aerosmith's career. He has stated in several interviews that his first bass was a Fender Precision that he borrowed and later bought from a friend. During the early years of Aerosmith he used a 1960 Fender Jazz Bass on the albums Toys in the Attic and Rocks. On the albums Draw The Line and Night in the Ruts he can be seen sporting a Music Man StingRay or Music Man Sabre bass. During this period, while performing in live shows Tom can be seen also using a Gibson Thunderbird. During the period after their reformation from 1985 on, he went back to using a Music Man StingRay, especially on the “Pump” album.

During the "Dude Looks Like A Lady" sequence of Wayne's World 2, he is seen playing a Gibson Les Paul bass.

During the making of Just Push Play he used a Höfner Violin Bass or a double bass during many of the recording sessions.

For the recording of the album Honkin' On Bobo and the following tours, he has used a Sadowsky'51 Fender Precision Bass replica modified with a second pickup.

It is known that he also uses Parker basses, since he appeared playing one in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, and at the 2004 concert in Japan.

As of June 2009 he was touring with five Sadowsky basses.[11] Hamilton has been playing G&L ASAT Basses since he bought his first one at 48th Street Custom Guitars in New York City about twenty years ago. Since then, G&L has built several more ASAT Basses for him, and issued a Tom Hamilton signature model.[12] He discusses his signature basses in rig rundowns most notably in 2012 on the Global Warming tour.[13]


  1. ^ Toys in the Attic 1993 Remastered Liner Notes
  2. ^ Big Ones Liner Notes
  3. ^ "Tom Hamilton Biography Aerosmith". Aerosmith Fans. December 3, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  4. ^ Newman, Melinda (August 12, 2009). "Ten Minutes With... Aerosmiths Tom Hamilton". Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Aerosmith Health Report – Bassist Tom Hamilton Sitting Out Shows | Pollstar – The Concert Hotwire". Pollstar. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 29, 2011. Retrieved August 9, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Tom Hamilton Ill, Departs Aerosmith Australian Tour |". The Noise Network. April 29, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "Tom Hamilton Joins Thin Lizzy | No Treble". No Treble. April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  9. ^ Aerosmith (June 2, 2011). "Tom Hamilton: Favorite Bass Players". Retrieved April 23, 2018 – via YouTube.
  10. ^ "Tom Wins Personal Achievement Award at BMA's | Aerosmith News". AeroForceOne. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "Sadowsky Guitars | Artist News". Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  12. ^ "G&L USA ASAT® Bass Tom Hamilton Signature Model". G&L Guitars. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  13. ^ TC Electronic (November 23, 2012), Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) Gear run, retrieved December 8, 2016

External links

This page was last edited on 29 November 2020, at 14:47
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