Tommy Gunn was born Thomas John Keating in the twin cities of Kitchener Waterloo sixty miles west of Toronto. In a dark dingy basement bar underneath The Schnitzel House Restaurant called the Backdoor. Axel and Tommy met here for the first time when Axel’s band “The Sickies “ played .
“ The Sickies were the first punk band I saw live ! Axel as lead singer was just amazing ! “ Tommy recalls.
“ PUNK was big news on T.V. and in the newspapers , but Roger Sick and the Sickies were the first punk band I saw live !” Little did either man know at this time, that this chance meeting would turn into a lifelong friendship.
Relocating to Toronto in 1980 , Tommy joined his first professional band “ The Blitz “. There were a number of other bands around town at that time , but as Tommy adds “ we were the first PUNK band in town to have proper management , agents , accountants , lawyers and even a limo that the singer had bought from a funeral home ! “
The next two years with The Blitz were spent touring almost non-stop from coast to coast and up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States. Around 1982 , Tommy started playing bass in the Viletones with Steven Leckie, first as a temporary fill in , and then full time when the other members of the Blitz branched out to do other projects .
In 1982 , after the implosion of New York punk legends “ The Dead Boys” , drummer Johnny Blitz moved to Toronto and joined Steve and Tommy in the Viletones on drums .
After spending the next couple of years playing with Steve and Johnny and bouncing around playing in a number of different bands Tommy and Axel teamed up and formed “ Shock Army “ . From 1986 until 1990 Shock Army enjoyed playing to a strong and loyal following and released a self-titled independently produced album in 1989. During this time Tommy was also involved in a number of side projects such as ,” The Voodoo Dollies “ with Tim Shantz of Direct Action fame and a cover band with James Labrie in his pre DREAM THEATER days.
In 1996 , Axel and Tommy teamed up once again and formed ATOMIC TOMB with a young and very talented Ron Bechard on lead guitar. Atomic Tomb recorded and released their debut CD “ Easy Life In A Super Trench “.Recorded at Signal To Noise Studios with Rob Sanzo of Treble Charger fame producing. The boys enjoyed a number of years playing to packed houses and an enthusiastic and loyal following.
In the early 2000’s , the guys were being pulled in a number of different directions by other projects. Around this time Tommy and Axel started “ Raw Dog “ with Johnny Blitz of the Dead Boys , Currado Bartolo on bass and Sandy Graham of One Free Fall and Rusty fame on guitar.
Raw Dog entered the studio and recorded “ Bite Me “ their debut effort with Peter Hudson producing. Raw Dog quickly attracted a big following and were ready to embark on a U.S. tour when the hand of God reached down and nearly sent Tommy for a long dirt nap. In early 2006 Tommy suffered a near fatal heart attack and was hospitalized for six weeks while he underwent emergency open heart surgery to repair three blocked arteries in his heart. “ There is a long history of heart disease on both sides of my family and I always thought that I would retire at 60 or 65 and promptly have a heart attack a month later. I didn’t expect that I would have a heart attack in my early forties ! “ Tommy recalls with a smile !” It was some scary shit !” he adds.
Sidelined for nearly two years re-cooperating from heart surgery , it was Currado who got on my case to start jamming again “ He told me you can’t sit around your pad feeling sorry for yourself. You gotta get out there and make some noise. There’s a lot of good songs still inside you bro !” It was with that encouragement that finally led Tommy ,Axel, Currado and Ronnie to put ATOMIC TOMB back on the launch pad !
In 2016 the boys found the final piece to the puzzle when they hooked up with Gary Glynn on drums. The puzzle was complete. Gary had been playing drums in the rock clubs of Toronto for quite a number of years and was the original drummer of Toronto PUNK ROCK pioneers Arson. He came into our studio and hammered those drums harder than anyone I ever played with ! There was wood flying all over the place ! “ Tommy recalls.
ATOMIC TOMB entered the studio with heavy metal guru producer Ian Blurton in early 2017 and recorded Atomic Tomb’s official second CD entitled “ Sons Of The Empire “ which they released in the summer of 2017. The leadoff single “ Great Satan America “ has certainly garnered the boys a lot of attention and they have been playing their asses off all around T.O. , Southern Ontario and Quebec. We have a loyal fan base that is growing every day. With a big shit eating grin on his face , Tommy says ,” I’m a lucky guy! I’m lucky that I was two blocks away from St. Mikes Hospital when I had a heart attack. I’m lucky to be surrounded by family and good friends in my life and I’m lucky to play in one of the best rock bands around , with guys who are more than just bandmates….they are my best friends !!!