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Original Left Banke bassist Tom Finn has died

The Left Banke circa 1967, Tom Finn on right; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Tom Finn, founding bassist and backing singer of the 1960s baroque-pop act The Left Banke, died Saturday, June 27, after suffering from poor health for several years.

Finn’s passing was announced in a message on the band’s official Facebook fan page.

The Left Banke is best known for the 1967 hits “Walk Away Renée” and “Pretty Ballerina,” which reached #5 and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. Finn played bass and sang backing vocals on those songs and throughout the group’s debut album, titled Walk Away Renée/Pretty Ballerina.

Finn took on a larger role in the band on its second album, 1968’s The Left Banke Too, writing or co-writing several tunes and singing lead on two songs. He also played some guitar on the album.

Tom also was a significant contributor to The Left Banke’s final studio album, the reunion project Strangers on a Train, which was recorded in 1978 but wasn’t released until 1986. Finn wrote or co-wrote nine of the album’s 10 songs and played bass and guitar, and sang on the record.

After The Left Banke broke up, Tom became a successful club and party DJ.

Finn and Left Banke drummer/singer George Cameron re-formed the group with a new lineup of musicians and played a series of reunion shows in 2011 and 2012.

Finn was the last surviving member of The Left Banke’s “Walk Away Renée” lineup. Keyboardist Michael Brown died in March 2015, Cameron passed away in June 2018, and lead singer Steve Martin Caro died this past January.

By Matt Friedlander
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