A great entertainer loses his fight for life
PUBLISHED: 14:27 07 August 2012
Tributes are paid to Trefor "Tommy" Thomas - Eyes of Blond, twice As Nice and Tommy Thomas. A Norwich man who devoted his life to making others happy.
From Eyes of Blond to Twice As Nice and Tommy Thomas – he was a Norfolk man who devoted his life to making others happy.
And he did just that. He gave so much pleasure to people of all ages and from all walks of life. They loved him.
Talented musician and entertainer, Trefor “Tommy Thomas” has died after a two-year fight with prostate cancer. He was 64.
The man he worked with for many years, John Marshall, said: “It was like a marriage. He was my best friend – and to work together professionally in this business for more than 36 years, is an achievement indeed.”
Trefor leaves a wife, Dianne, a daughter Tira and a brother Anthony – and a large bunch of fans and followers.
He spent his early years living in Thunder Lane in Thorpe and went to Thorpe Grammar School, where he got interested music – it was an interest which would shape the rest of his life.
At the time the beat scene was beginning to boom, and Trefor joined up with some friends to form one of the best bands in the city.
He was on electric piano and vocals, along with Phil Wade on guitar, sax and vocals, Ronnie Dearing, guitar, John E Averill bass, and John Marshall on drums and vocals. They were joined by singer Colin Clegg .
They were Eyes of Blond.
With the odd member change, Colin and Ronnie leaving and legendary guitarist Phil Dimitri joining, they played the city scene, such as the Bedford, as well as working with many of the top stars of the day – from the Moody Blues to The Hollies.
At the end of the 60s John and Trefor left the band and went on to form local duo Twice As Nice, who played at the Samson & Hercules and other venues before heading off to the holiday camps.
By now Trefor was playing Hammond organ, electric piano, bass pedals and flute – sometimes all at the same time!
With their ability to read music and put on a great show, they were snapped up by promoters across this country and abroad, spending a good deal of time in Germany and Spain where they were very popular.
It was doing this time that Trefor became Tommy Thomas and developed as a children’s entertainer and DJ of some note while John went on to open Action Entertainments Agency.
As the entertainment scene changed, they turned their hand to becoming solo entertainers, but kept Twice As Nice going with the occasional gig.
Trefor, who lived for most of his married life at Hockering, spent the last 12 years working Sunday lunchtimes at The Brickmakers on Sprowston Road, with the much-loved Lee Vasey Band.
Thanks for the memories Trefor.
Watch this space for a tribute to another great star from the Norwich entertainment scene we have lost recently. The little girl with the big voice – Bernice Bell (Breslin).