The local music scene received a hard blow over the holidays with the passing of sound engineer Tom Cesario, who worked on and off at First Avenue before touring with bands like Yo La Tengo and, most recently, Dosh.
Cesario died unexpectedly; his longtime friend and colleague Martin Dosh says that "He essentially fell from his bed while sleeping, and got his body in a position where he could not breathe. He asphyxiated before he was able to wake up."
Martin was kind enough to share his personal history with Cesario, which has been reprinted in full below. A memorial service will be held for Tom tonight at the Cedar Cultural Center from 5:30 to 9 p.m. See the Facebook event page for more info. The Star Tribune also recently published his obituary here.
From Martin Dosh:
It's really hard to sum up a life's relationship like this...Tom was one of my oldest friends that I was still in touch with. We went to High School together for one year (he was a freshman during my sophmore year at Benilde St. Margaret's).He had a radio show on KFAI when he was still in high school, his baritone voice was perfect for radio. He was also a DJ, and would play in clubs around the Twin Cities, starting in the late '80s. He worked on and off at First Ave for a long time, too.After three years of high school, I moved east to attend college... After college, I stayed out in New York for a few years, and Tom moved out there, because the band he played in, the Crown Victorias, was doing well, and the future seemed brighter for them in New York.When I moved back to the Twin Cities in late '97, Tom returned shortly thereafter, our rock and roll dreams unfulfilled. He was a great friend to me at this time, and essentially the only person I knew that knew anybody on the music scene.It was his encouragement that really helped me to get things going. He was the person that I would play my earliest recordings to get his opinions. He engineered my very first session at Third Ear in 1998 (Tom Herbers' old studio).He was doing sound all over the Twin Cities at this time, and as I got to know more and more people, and found a bit of success, he was very happy for me. We went out for dinner and drinks with great regularity.His dad died of cancer, after a year long struggle, about five or six years ago, and then less than a year later, his mother died suddenly. These losses, especially of his mom, who I knew, and was a wonderful caring lady, were utterly devastating to him.He continued to find freelance work, for Yo La Tengo, ABC and eventually, went on the first ever Dosh headlining tour in the fall of 2006. I was delighted to be able to finally hire my friend, and he was invaluable on the road. We toured in the spring of 2007, did various shows around town, and toured again in 2008.Tom loved being on the road, fixing things. He loved to tell stories. He loved food, and knew the coolest restaurants in every city.He died too soon.