Joe Thomas

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Producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Joe Thomas is a former wrestler who wound up grappling, so to speak, with Beach Boys maestro Brian Wilson. The live DVD productions that were eventually…
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Producer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Joe Thomas is a former wrestler who wound up grappling, so to speak, with Beach Boys maestro Brian Wilson. The live DVD productions that were eventually released after the partnership of Wilson and Thomas went south are apparently studied in some recording classes as examples of how performers can be edited out of a production, specifically Thomas and his frequent collaborator Steve Dahl. Some of these exclusionary tactics did not take all that much work, particulary when Dahl is only pretending to play the theremin, for example.

The entire subject of these Wilson tours is indeed controversial, even among Wilson's hardiest fans. The experience may have provided high visibility for Thomas' instrumental, production and co-writing skills, yet having the participants wind up in court most likely overshadows the more positive aspects of Thomas' career. In the '90s, Thomas was the head of the River North label and produced a series of solo artists under the firm's auspices. He is a producer and director on Chicago's Soundstage program and oversees a stack of live performances that have been released from this series. He should not be confused with the prolific gospel producer of the same name.