The late Thomas Louis Taylor Jr., better known in the Michigan music scene as simply Tom Taylor, was a pivotal figure in Lansing’s thriving ’90s rock scene thanks to his majestic power-pop band, The dt’s.
Taylor passed away April 17 at age 52, and since then an outpouring of tributes from former bandmates and fans have popped up across social media, remembering the composer for his well-crafted rock ’n’ roll records, including 1992’s “Cinch” LP and 1996’s “Widow of an All American.”
Thomas was born Aug. 17, 1968, at Mt. Carmel Hospital in Detroit, the son of Thomas Louis Taylor Sr. and Rosemary Jean Isabell. In his elementary years, he and his sister, Jennifer, put on musical shows at home — but his love for music didn’t stop there.
Taylor, a Hartland native, attended Michigan State University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications. It was during those pivotal college years he taught himself how to play guitar and write songs. From there, he formed his first East Lansing-based band, The Front — a precursor to The dt’s. Over the years, he continued to perform music with other local bands like Tiny Murders and The Fang. He also issued amazing solo recordings, including his most recent album, 2021’s “Love is in the Smog,” which is available to stream at tomtaylor2.bandcamp.com.
A memorial visitation for Taylor is set for Tuesday (July 20) from 4-8 p.m. at Sharp Funeral Home, Fenton Chapel at 1000 Silver Lake Road, Fenton. A funeral mass follows July 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 2201 S. Old 23 Highway, Brighton. Memorial visitation before the mass begins at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, those desiring to make contributions, please make them to the Thomas L. Taylor, Jr. Memorial Music Fund. Tributes may be shared at sharpfuneralhomes.com.