White Center sound studio owner Tommy Martin has died
Tommy Martin, owner of TommySound studios, and Speed of Sound in White Center and community activist has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 61 years old.
Martin, who ran his studio and audio consulting company out of his location at 9409 Delridge Way Southwest Delridge Way SW, was also a former touring guitarist, audio engineer, and DJ. Martin was a working guitarist for BamBam during the grunge explosion, worked with Kirsten Berry with Susan Silver, and Called in Sic.
His company did audio recording and sound system and PA installations around the northwest.
He studied audio engineering and recording at Gateway Advanced Multitracking London, U.K. and London Institute of Music
Westside Seattle profiled Martin and TommySound in 2016.
He served at Vice President of the White Center Chamber of Commerce.
His son T. J. Martin won an Academy Award for his documentary Undefeated in 2012.
His close friend and business associate Anthony Lilly shared his thoughts about Martin, "Few people in my life, less than a handful perhaps, have affected me so deeply as my friend Tommy Martin. It was an instant connection. We immediately loved each other. He was selfless and had a wildly addictive laugh.
His pool of talent and extensive resources made him an invaluable colleague. But all that said, when I discovered Tommy yesterday my heart exploded. My life had instantly changed. To quote President Ronald Reagan, after the Challenger explosion 'His soul slipped the surly bonds of Earth'
And now Tommy is slipping those surly bonds and gliding off quantum fields of light."
I am so sad. Tommy was a true humanitarian.
He was a great friend and a great person and a kind man and give a lot back to this community may he rest in peace
What a shame! I was out there five/six years ago: I beautiful, well-equipped studio. I just wish I'd had a chance to work with Tommy. Rest in peace!
I am sorry for the loss, and I would like to spread words of condolence to the family. I meet Martin in an Eritrean wedding long time ago. He asked me to write a logo in our Geez alphabet and I did. We only meet once after that in another wedding, but I use to follow and read his posts in FB. I wish all his family to overcome their loss and sorrow, and keep his on doing his good work and legacy. R.I.P.
One of the sweetest amazing person I’ve ever known. This is such sad news
RIP Tommy. Sorry to hear of your passing, you will be missed.
Oh Tommy no, so sorry for you and TJ. We had us some fun in Bam Bam. Really sorry to let you go brother. All the best man ❤️
He was such a joyful human. I will miss him. May his family find peace.
Tommy was my best friend. He was an iconoclast, a genius altruistic to a fault and loyal friend. I spent all day with my brother and watched him leave for the last time Speed Of Sound Studios. I loved him and am so sad.
Tommy was a business partner of mine. He was a great friend and was there as a friend when I needed help. He was a generous man and helped the community and also helped others when they needed a place to stay. My eyes have filled with tears this morning. He and I were Oyster shooting buddies. He said I was the only one that shared his love for Oysters. I will need a contact number and name from someone as he has my monitor system at speed of sound studios. Somebody close, please contact me with his Funeral arrangements and a person that can help me retrieve my property. Rest In Peace Tommy. Everybody loves you and his best friend Caesar the Pitbull will be sad and need a good home.
I am so very sad to hear of the death of Tommy Martin. He really was one of my best friends and we had a lot of fun together. He was so talented and so funny too. I will miss him very much!
I am devastated. I never met a kinder soul than Tommy. Love and light to TJ and the rest of his family.
Goodbye Tommy! You had so much left to do! We never know when we are called to do even bigger things besides this life. RIP
Tommy was a beautiful soul he will be truly missed.
I was going to remain silent, as I am still in shock. I met Tommy through my son. Who at the time was going to be Tommy's first intern at his studio. Sadly, my son took his own life before he started the internship. I continued the friendship and Tommy was always kindly, smiling, and generous with his wisdom, his stories, his hope, and warm spirit. He met my best friend and they formed a friendship, playing music together at his studio, and briefly at Mac's Triangle. My heart is heavy knowing such a sweet guy has left us all. I feel for his son, and family. I take comfort knowing he is playing high in the sky, and I trust he is reunited with my son. You will be missed Tommy. You ARE love. You are LOVED!
Wow! This hit me like a bolt out of the blue. The first time we met Tommy he was one of those people you knew right away was unique in a good way. He helped the White Center/North Highline community in many ways particularly anytime a community event needed someone with a sound system. He and his "buddy" walked all over WC often into Bartells where I worked. We made sure to say "hi" to each other at the very least with a hug if time permitted. With tears in my eyes Tommy will be sorely missed.
Sad thoughts from France were Tom had many friends and a second family. Tom was loved as a son, brother and big brother on this side of the Atlantic. HIs communicative laughter is in our hearts forever. Courage and condolence to his family and to all those who supported him and accompanied him in his projects. We love you, Tom. Family Vasseur from France
Tommy was a great neighbor and ambassador for White Center. I’ll miss seeing' him patrolling the neighborhood with his sweet dog; always smiling and happy to chat! RIP
My thoughts and prayers are with Tommy's family, especially J.T. I met Tommy back in the 90's when my hubby at the time Mike Peterson was the drummer. Alot of great music and good times we all had. Tommy was a great, funny man. His music, love, friendship, and talent will be greatly missed. R.I.P. Tommy
Our band rehearsed and recorded there for the last 3 years. Personally him and I had A little falling out it was soon to be fixed just not soon enough. Now whatever reason it was that we had that falling out Seems pretty petty and meaningless.
RIP rock in paradise Tommy
He was the first person visited my business in White center North Mart when I started 4 years ago, then we became friends, I was honored from him to visit me every time he waked in front my my store, he respected & kindness to all people with different ideologies & back grounds, tried to bring business together, even with his struggles & busy schedule he had time to help others , he had hope In White Center, never gave up, I wish his family to overcome their loss & he rest in peace
Goodbye Tommy Martin. I will miss our night walks with Caesar to the "no dogs allowed" church playground - throwing the ball till Caesar was spent. I will miss your frenetic energy and deep heart. We never did business or took selfies - we just played together. You got me - and thought I was funny. You were my Brother when I needed one. And I was your Mom these last months when you needed homemade soup - or a crown of eyeballs that lit up for Caesar's head - or a new handmade vest with a pocket for your phone to camouflage your bloated belly from all the terrible nausea and distress you were suffering constantly and bravely and silently and still working - or needed someone in the middle of the night to text your son's phone number too because you did not think you would see daylight. You had so much on your shoulders that you never got a chance to rest and recover. You had just decided to take time off till spring and do that - play some guitar - remember that you were an artist - and I was so happy that you were going to finally put your self first. You texted me Wednesday at 10am that the fire marshalls were there - and you had time at 1pm for a Caesar walk. You were so happy that the plans for the recording studio were getting set and that the building would cost around 70 thousand instead of a million - and that you living quarters were sooo cool - and sent me a photo of the plans. I knocked on the compound fence at 1pm - for 20 minutes - yelling for you - even throwing rocks at the trailer - Caesar did not come to greet me as usual or even bark - I went home and texted you and you did not answer - I phoned and when "phone boy" did not answer I freaked - hoping that you just suddenly hated me and decided to ghost me - I did not know what to do with my alarm and called Christine at Lee's saying I am worried and to keep an eye out and call me if she saw you. Friday I called Anthony and he found you. If I could I would finish your dream Tommy - of a place that welcomed all kinds of artists to a state of the art studio that was also a center for community. I am grateful to all who have posted their feelings and photos - it makes me not feel so terribly alone with my broken heart. Goodbye Tommy Martin - I will love you forever.
So sad to hear that he's not longer with us, I had the opportunity to meet him he was a such a great guy his possitive addetud was what I like the most about him, he will be miss, my condolence to his family and friends
I was introduced to Tommy through my older brother Marvin Huelett Jr. It is sad to hear of this too early passing if a good musician and a good man. Rest in peace TM. 🎶🎸
Anthony, I'm so sorry to hear this about Tommy. He was such a vibrant person and I know he was very dear to you.
Such a kind person he was! RIP Tommy
So sad, I remember him from the Squid Row days and doing sound for Bam Bam , he was a great musician and always a sweet guy.
Sorry to read about Tommy's passing. I really enjoyed our brief chats. I had a lot of admiration for him even though I hardly knew him. A good mentor My best to his family and business partner and Cam
Sorry to read about Tommy's passing. I really enjoyed our brief chats. I had a lot of admiration for him even though I hardly knew him. I believe he said it how it was. My best to his business partner his family and Cam
you came in to invite Center with quite a presence of fkindness and love and a ROCK STAR you made sure all your neighbors and Friends knew you were there for them 24/7. For anything at all and if you couldn't help you would find someone that could. Ill miss seeing you everyday walking into the store with Caesar in hand saying hello to my mom (Miss Lee) and Linda and her daughter Olivia. Not needing a thing but to check on us. Thanks for taking care of us Tommy you will always be missed from all of us
I met Tommy thru my son whom was doing an internship with him , the first thing he said to me was, let me explain why I'm not paying your son and he explained to me what my son was learning from him for FREE , we were friends instantly ,he was a GREAT mentor to my son, a GREAT guy in general with a GREAT spirit , we need more Tommy's in the world he will TRULY be missed . RIH - UR Playing with the Pioneers now, tell Prince I said Hi
Tommy was the sweetest most generous amazing people I can say that I have the privilege of knowing in my lifetime. Amazing guitarist, very knowledgeable, and just the nicest person I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He will be sadly missed for many years to come fly through light my friend Tommy Martin
Tommy was such a wonderful human being, always happy, Never complain.
Tommy is circling me from the ethereal side of the universe. His beautiful best friend Ceasar is with me and his brother Apollo full time. We go to the studio every day. God I miss you brother.
You'll be always in my heart . R.I.P !!!
I landed in Seattle in 1989 and very soon after found myself in the eye of the grunge era with BAM BAM as my soundtrack. Dear Tommy was such a good friend, kind, loving, caring, brutally honest. I reference him every time I advocate for single parents-Dads, big props! I always knew that TJ would grow up to be another unique human who positively shapes the world. There are a lot of us who fit only in the "other" box. I cherish that I still look up at Broadway and Like and remember their apt. Family. Lucky me, we share our birth date. We are both so Cancer. He will never be forgotten. I'm feeling a lack of closure, the inability to celebrate and reflect back on his life with others. Please keep us posted for any permanent memorials. All Love to his family.