Tom Ardolino

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Tom Ardolino
Birth nameThomas Robert Ardolino
Born(1955-01-12)January 12, 1955
Springfield, Massachusetts
DiedJanuary 6, 2012(2012-01-06) (aged 56)
Springfield, Massachusetts
Associated actsNew Rhythm and Blues Quartet

Thomas Robert Ardolino (January 12, 1955 – January 6, 2012) was an American rock drummer best known as a member of NRBQ (New Rhythm and Blues Quartet).


Ardolino was a fan of the band, and began corresponding and trading tapes with keyboardist and co-founder Terry Adams. On one occasion, original NRBQ drummer Tom Staley did not return for an encore, and Adams invited Ardolino to fill in. Ardolino performed well enough that when Staley left the band in 1974, his bandmates agreed that Ardolino was the natural choice as successor.[1] Ardolino remained in the lineup until the band went on hiatus in 2004, returning for occasional reunion performances, and lending his support when Adams decided to reclaim the NRBQ name for a new band in 2011. While lead vocals were generally performed by other members of NRBQ, live shows often included a moment where Ardolino would take the spotlight and sing, either with a karaoke backing track or with one of the other band members drumming.

Ardolino was a resident of Springfield, Massachusetts, and he appeared in a promotional video to campaign for the world premiere of The Simpsons Movie in Springfield.

Ardolino's solo album Unknown Brain was released in 2004 on CD by Bumble Bee Records, Japan and on vinyl LP in the USA on Mystra Records. The album consists mostly of basement recordings made in 1971-72. The cover states "WARNING: If out-of-tuneness bothers you, do not listen."[2]

Ardolino was also an avid collector of song poems, having contributed to the "MSR Madness" series of compilations.

In December 2011 reported that Ardolino was expected to be in hospital for some time. He died on January 6, 2012 at a Springfield, Massachusetts hospital; this was reported on the NRBQ Headquarters page on Facebook.[3][4] A later article from the Washington Post specified the cause as diabetes.[5]


  1. ^ Simons, Julian "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-08. Retrieved 2010-12-05., "Modern Drummer", July, 2005, accessed December 5, 2010.
  2. ^ "Unknown Brain by Tom Ardolino". Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  3. ^ "NRBQ – News". Archived from the original on 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  4. ^!/pages/NRBQ-Headquarters/221489064545160
  5. ^ McArdle, Terence (January 20, 2012). "Tom Ardolino, ebullient drummer of NRBQ, dies at 56". The Washington Post.