Music News

R.I.P. Tony Richey and Paul Thomas; Valley Loses Two Musicians

It's a sad day when we have to comment on the passing of two Valley musicians, but over the weekend Phoenix lost two members of its music community.

Tony Richey, who played in heavy bands like Nihil, Grum, and most recently sludge-rock favorites ZiRoh, was killed on Saturday, November 19. An AZ Central article was posted on Richey's Facebook detailing a fatal motorcycle-semi accident. According to the ZiRoh Facebook page, Richey's family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, fans and friends should make donations to the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

Services for Richey will be held at A.L. Moore-Grimshaw Mortuaries Bethany Chapel, 710 West Bethany Home Road, Phoenix, AZ 85013, at 11:00 am Saturday, November 26.

Paul Thomas, an inductee of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame, passed away the morning of Sunday, November 20, at the age of 56.

Thomas played locally with Pat Roberts and The Heymakers, has performed in numerous local blues acts, and performed and recorded with the likes of Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, Pinetop Perkins, and many more.

A musical tribute to Paul Thomas is scheduled to take place at The Rhythm Room on Saturday, December 3, featuring The Rocket 88's.

Valley bluesman Bob Corritore states on his Facebook, "We are all stunned by [Thomas'] untimely passing...We had many great times and made many wonderful recordings together. He will be greatly missed."

Sympathy and best wishes to all music fans, family members, and friends impacted by these losses.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.