Do you have people you just love and admire so much, (I mean so much…) that you wish you could share them with everyone you care about?
I used to publish a newsprint fanzine about performing Singer/Songwriters (Zassafras Music News). ZMN came to a natural end as the Internet spread its enormous wings. Shazham! Any information we desired, seemed instantly just a click away.
Neither blogging nor podcasting has tapped me on the shoulder, until now. My creative life spent songwriting, performing, teaching, learning watercolors, writing books, spinning wool, weaving, travelling, and reading– has enlarged my ability to marvel at the lives and talents of the others who’ve graced my life.
Tom Prasada-Rao (TPR) is the first of many features I plan to do on topics from art to music to cooking to hiking.,. to lily growing.. to who knows what?.`
When I researched “how to do a good interview” I learned that I should ask Tom about his favorite color and who was his celebrity crush! Aggggg. No. Someone else can ask those questions.
Tom has been a good friend for over 20 years conspiring to making entertaining and meaningful music. There will be no softball questions from me—‘cause I love this man. He played and sang on “One Wave” on my Hearsay Album. [https://open.spotify.com/search/Crow%20Johnson%20One%20Wave%20in%20the%20ocean] He is an astounding songwriter, singer, musician, and funny soulful human.
There is always more to a person’s story than we can get at first glance. Born in Ethiopia to parents from India, he was raised in the good ole USA. Do you think you have a feel for who he might be?
Okay, now hold that image and add to it–a compassionate human being, amazing cook, dedicated stepfather, monster guitarist, cool friend, and—–(wait for it) a warrior battling cancer.
In 1990s when I had breast cancer, chemo, and surgery, it screwed up my world. My song “Holdin’ Down the Couch” [https://open.spotify.com/album/35GtjoPQfFa1TnQIJ8JWgY?highlight=spotify:track:2J0OCzCLiq4y69Hwyfmh7a]
was the most I could create positive out of the year and a half. Thirty years ago I was told I’d be lucky to live five more years.
In between his chemo and surgery weeks, Tom wrote “Twenty Dollar Bill” (for George Floyd). [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEXwcz9dm2k] The song is now a classic recorded by over 100 people and featured on NPR.
Most of us carefully decide what we will share with the world ‘out there’. Tom’s responds to my questions as few could– with wisdom, humility, and honesty. (Tell him you appreciate) at www.tomprasadarao.com or https://www.facebook.com/iamTPR