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The Subliminal Kid - Tom Silvia 

February 7, 1950 - August 3, 2007

Click to Download Tom's Music

Click for a wonderful website created by Tom's daughter Grace

Click For messages from Brita - Latest Post 8/6/07

Click for messages from Friends & Family

Click for Obituary from Ann Arbor News


The Subliminal Kid ended his time with us yesterday morning Friday August 3rd.  For those of us at A3Radio including Tom's many fans this is the loss of a very dear friend.  We will use this page to pass on infromation as we receive it and when our radio streaming servers are back on-line (we're back up now - next show Thurs 8/23), we will resume replaying Tom's weekly shows from our archives. In the meantime use the links on this page to download his first two shows and watch for video clips in the future.

Keep Tom's music in your life.

You can send your thoughts, links and similar information for posting on this page to

Nearly Normal Warren

Click on the dates below to listen to previous shows or to download a show to your hard drive - right click on the date and choose 'Save target as'. 
For Mac users the right click is ctrl/click (Safari) or click & hold (Firefox).

Show 01 Part 1 Nov 02, 2006

Show 01 Part 2 Nov 02, 2006

Show 02 Part 1 Nov 09, 2006

Show 02 Part 2 Nov 09, 2006

Show 03 Part 1 Nov 16, 2006

Show 03 Part 2 Nov 16. 2006

Show 04 Part 1 Nov 30. 2006

Show 04 Part 2 Nov 30. 2006

Show 05 Part 1 Dec 07. 2006

Show 05 Part 2 Dec 07. 2006

Show 06 Part 1 Dec 14, 2006

Show 06 Part 2 Dec 14, 2006

Show 07 Part 1 Dec 21, 2006

Show 07 Part 2 Dec 21, 2006

Show 08 Part 1 Dec 21, 2006

Show 08 Part 2 Dec 21, 2006

Show 09 Part 1 Jan 04, 2007

Show 09 Part 2 Jan 04, 2007

Show 10 Part 1 Jan 11, 2007

Show 10 Part 2 Jan 11, 2007

Show 11 Part 1 Jan 18, 2007

Show 11 Part 2 Jan 18, 2007

Show 12 Part 1 Jan 25, 2007

Show 12 Part 2 Jan 25, 2007

Show 13 Part 1 Feb 01, 2007

Show 13 Part 2 Feb 01, 2007
    Show 14 Part 1 Feb 08, 2007 

    Show 14 Part 2 Feb 08, 2007 

    Show 15 Part 1 Feb 15, 2007 

    Show 15 Part 2 Feb 15, 2007

    Show 16 Part 1 Feb 22, 2007 

    Show 16 Part 2 Feb 22, 2007

    Show 19 Part 1 Mar 15, 2007 

    Show 19 Part 2 Mar 15, 2007

    Show 20 Part 1 Mar 22, 2007 

    Show 20 Part 2 Mar 22, 2007 

    Show 25 Part 1 Mar 26, 2007 

    Show 25 Part 2 Mar 26, 2007  

    Show 27 Part 1 May 10, 2007 

    Show 27 Part 2 May 10, 2007

    Show 28 Part 1 May 17, 2007 

    Show 28 Part 2 May 17, 2007 

    Show 29 Part 1 May 24, 2007 

    Show 29 Part 2 May 24, 2007

    Show 31 Part 1 June 7, 2007 

    Show 31 Part 2 June 7, 2007 

    Show 32 Part 1 June 14, 2007 

    Show 32 Part 2 June 14, 2007

    Show 33 Part 1 & 2 June 21, 2007

    Show 34 Part 1 July 7, 2007

    Show 34 Part 2 July 7, 2007

Click HERE to go to A3Radio's PodCast  page and subscribe to the Subliminal Kid  PodCasts!
A new Subliminal Kid show is streamed
every Thursday from 8pm to 11pm
on the 'Local Music' & 'Best of' channels

Messages from Brita

Posted 8/6/07
I am going to be spending my own dollars and starting a small anti war venture- Truth for Peace. (copyright 2007)

The concept is simple:
I am going to be creating thousands of leaflets like bookmarks, stickers and t shirts that are well designed and will incorporate a quote, or statistic in regards to the false war we started in Iraq and other issues.

Please email me any statistics, or quotes you think would have an impact.

All of the items I make will be free and will be distributed randomly on sidewalks, poles, stores, newspapers, and any media I can think of.

Its my personal propganda war and Toms death has been the CATALYST

First ideas:

Largest Crop of Heroin Ever = Afghanistan, the war on Drugs?

Before Iraq (put number of Al Quaiad) / After Iraq (put new number)

Dubai Ports World - selling out our security

Got FISA? (If you do- they already know about it and have it in your file)

Blackwater- they make $950 and hour to kill

Lets microchip everybody!

Please send me ideas-

Posted 8/3/07

My beau and best friend and perhaps a friend of yours, Tom Silvia passed away this morning on his own accord and God's, in his sleep at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore at 8:25AM, Friday, August 03,2007.  Tom passed away after a 3 week long battle with heart failure in the intensive care unit. He was with family and was very aware of all the love that was sent his way. He could see, hear and understand all the way to the end.

We were blessed to have the opportunity to all sit with him during those weeks and let him know how much we love him and care for him. In a way, it was beautiful because his entire family, friends and even aquaintances all circled so much energy around him the last weeks up to today. It was a very special time and I'm honored I was able to say goodbye to my best friend with no regrets- I'm so glad he was in my life. Cherish those moments...

At 7:11 AM Tom's cousin had a baby boy named Christian in Massachusetts.

I will be letting you know memorial and church information as soon as I can.
The memorial is planned to be at St. Thomas in Ann Arbor sometime very soon.

Thank you for showing him so much love these past few weeks- he knew of the outpouring and
I know it gave him great relief and peace.
You all have been incredible warriors of love!

Gods peace, Brita Brookes

I have a correction and new information to add to the last email- they are from Tom's daughter Grace who has been at her Dad's side throughout this entire time. She is an incredible woman!
Love to you Grace!- Brita :-)

>From Grace Silvia:
A couple corrections and additions from the horses mouth;
Kristen (my father's cousin) had a baby boy at 7:11pm yesterday,
August 2. His name is Daniel Robert.

There will be a service Tuesday, August 7 at St. Mark's Catholic
Church in Catonsville, Maryland at 10 am.

A memorial service at St. Thomas Catholic Church and also as he many
years ago requested to me at my great-grandmother's funeral, 'a joyous
rock and roll party in celebration of his life and love of music' will
be organized for a time TBD within the next couple of weeks. Please
stay tuned for more information. Stories, performaces and musical
rememberances will be welcome, and in the meantime any suggestions or
assistance (especially from those well versed in festival or concert
planning around Ann Arbor) are greatly appreciated.

My father was well aware of and very grateful for all of your
friendship, love and well wishes over the past several weeks. We feel
very fortunate to have been given so much extra time to spend with
him, and the care he received can only be described as extraordinary
and heroic. Thank you for all of your support.

Posted 7/31/07
RE: Tom Silvia July 30 - Diary by Brita

Dear Friends -

Thank you so much for all the gathering of prayers and positive energy.
I just got back from Baltimore -here's my Brita Diary for you, its all I have time for.

July 09,2007 Monday:
I went to Baltimore and stayed with the Silvias in Maryland to provide support for Toms surgery.
Tom had surgery to put in a heart pump. They closed up his chest and installed a pump. He makes it thru 6 hour surgery. Thanks to God.

July 10,2007 Tuesday:
Tom comes out of surgery with bad jaundice (yellow skin) but the color regulates to normal within
48 hours. Better yet -he comes to from anesthetia  (cant spell!) and is coherent.

July 11, 2007 Wednesday:
Myself, Gracie, Vincent visit Tom and start to give him water popsicles- he is grumpy and fiesty- talking and looking good!

July 12,2007 Thursday-
Same- getting better- good color. Drinking sipsof water and ice cubes- gets pissy with us in a good way....

July 12,2007 Friday-
I fly back home, but Grace reports that he is sitting in a chair and sucking on some oatmeal! He is getting set in approval process for heart transplant- all looking up...

July 13-15 All Good!!

July 16-17 All OK

July 20- 24 -Out of nowhereTom gets complete renal failure- his kidneys are put in dialysis and we are told his liver is in complete failure. Devastating to Grace and I who are both back home. We  told  make instant flight reservations.

July 26- I fly back out to Baltimore-
Tom is green and yellow and gray with red and yellow marks all over his body. He is on continual dialysis.
The Drs say that this must be caused by a massive infection. They do a catscan and Nothing comes up- they were expecting a giant infection.... He has massive fever, his body is tremoring and this weird rash is everywhere. Its awful but I stay strong. I would not wish this on my  worst enemies.
I ask God why? What is this about? Its like he is being punished or crucified.

July 27, 28-
I wake up in the middle of the night covered in sweat from a dream - the dream was very vivid- It was from some other persons eyes- they were holding a white bottle of some kind of household cleaner- I think floor cleaner and they were reading the ingrediants of the bottle. Then I woke up barely able to breath covered in sweat. I sit in bed thinking what the f**k was that all about?

Then it hits me, perhaps Tom was inadvertantly or advertantly poisoned? (The only reason is that this happened to my cat- he drank anti freeze, and had complete renal kidney and liver failure- he died a few days later) The doctors could not understand why he did not have an infection...
anyways- I have mentioned this to Doctor.

July 29- 30 -
DrsTreatment strategy  has changed. I stayed an extra day and night to be with him- played him Coltrane, Hank, Johnny Cash, held his hand at night next to his bed for hours. He is coherent- exchanged many I love yous, youre gonna be OKs, and keep on keepin ons, and Keep runnings, tried to look at him peaceful and calm him- he looks like a Spanish Inquisition Victim...still yellow gray and green with marks...
Please keep praying- I think he needs some protection....any kind you can think of. as a matter of fact.

July 30- back home and praying for Gods guidance and strength for Tom and all of us-
May Gods Truth Set us all free....
Love and Peace

Addendum to Diary-
The week I left Tom was getting interviewed to be on top of the list for a transplant- but now with complete renal failure of kidneys and liver- you cannot get one.

All other organs must be operational and you must be free of infection.

If his renal issues do not clear he will not be capable of a transplant. Its too high risk to use the donor organ.

Posted 7/23/07 RE: Tom Silvia Update from Brita Brookes

Tom is doing "so-so" - he is still in Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. He is having issues with his liver and jaundice. The Doctors and nurses are doing as much as possible- trying to hone in on cause of an infection. Once they clear that up he will be better. Please keep prayers coming- I know they help.
Once his infection is cleared he can be on list for heart transplant. I will be flying out to see him this Friday- if you would like me to communicate any messages for him I would be happy to. Just email them and I will print them out and read them to him. Thank-you again for all the love and prayers. Keep the faith!

I know Tom would be happy to know about the history of the incredible hospital he is in. Johns Hopkins is like the Harvard/Yale (sorry I put Yale second Grace! But you know Im a Harvard grad!) of hospitals. The founders history is below and smalll story on 4 founding physicians at Johns Hopkins - what a bunch of characters! Thank God we live in a free country and can all be the 'eccentric nuts' we want to be in our own special way! -Tom is eccentric and I know he would like this - (Tom has always reminded me of Ben Franklin- by the way, did you know Tom is a descendent of Nathan Hale?)- on their web site there is also a great story on being the first medical school to admit women.

Posted 7/19/07 RE: Update- The Long Haul

Thanks so much for all the support expressed these past few days.
Today Tom was awake and slowly talking a little bit.
He is coherent and aware of where he is and whats going on.
Tom is going to be put on a list to receive a organ donor transplant.
Please continue praying that a match is found soon and that he at this time
remains free of infection. He is going to be in Maryland for a long time- but
I told him all his friends are with him right now mentally and spiritually.

He will not be coming back to Ann Arbor any time soon.
Right now visitors are limited to direct family only. (thats one HUGE direct family by the way-
he is being super duper loved and watched over every minute of the day right now- he is definately not alone)

But I do have some "homework" for all of you-
The next months for him will be very limited and we will need to keep his chin-up so here's some ideas
you can do that won't take up too much time or money but will have big payback on his morale...

- make a dvd or you all saying hello some way...
- send a funny photo saying hello and you miss him or his music
- send a trinket or postcard saying your rooting for him to run "that marathon"
- send a poem or game to do in bed
- greeting cards with inspiring words or humor of course
- humor is healthy!!! He is big on HUMOR!! His family is too- Laughter is medicine!!!
- a drawing or sketch for his private room that is inspiring or soothing-
- Artwork
- a nice letter of course!
- he likes news articles, having his mind
engaged, world issues etc...
- he likes to help other people and know that he helped them
- he likes music, native american things, coltrane, hank williams, bass fishing, vernors, tea with honey, ...
- I will probably start a Myspace page for him to look at and call it "Heart Warrior" or as his brother and daughter suggested "Tom Silvia the Bionic Subliminal Kid- Hospital World Tour 2007" web site! - it can be used to
send inspiring thoughts, humor, Toms songs and photos and stuff...Hopefully we can hook him up with a laptop
in his room for this kinda stuff to keep him engaged. Dont know for sure though- may not be good with all the equipment
he is plugged into- I will keep you posted.
Let me know if you want to bounce an idea off me- I can try to help...or collaborate.

We have been using the analogies of him having to run a marathon to do this
and also of him being a "warrior" in the native american sense- today he mentioned his
ordeal and said the one thing that got him thru this was him dreaming he was doing a
Sundance ceremony in Lakota nation. His daughter made him a dreamcatcher for his
bed. He really responds to that.

He will be moving into private room- I dont know what they will allow in the room per
infection control reasons. But once I have the new room  info or mailing info I will
send it to you all. Don't send food.

For now you can mail to his sister Annes house in Maryland- which is now
"Command Central" or World HQ's for the Tom Silvia recovery team - his family!


Tom Silvia
C/O Anne Fuller
2107 Oak Lodge Rd
Catonsville, MD

A Million Thank Yous for all the love and support.
Keep praying and playing! Positive energy need only apply!

Love to all-
Brita Brookes



Messages from Friends and Family

The first time I saw Tom perform it was at the 300 anniversary of the T.V. show at OZs’ on Tuesday night.

Tom got up and sang with Alan Ball and they just blew me away.   I told a couple of musician friends that I wanted to be their drummer.  

A couple of years later I had just worked my last day at Borders and stopped in the Enzo blues jam and there was Tom writing a song and having dinner.

I re-introduced myself and kiddingly asked if he needed any musicians as I was officially out of work. Tom said he needed a utility person that could play bass, drums and guitar and I said “Im your man”

I got to play with Tom many times over the next year or so and I will cherish it forever.   Tom would call and tell me to get ready to play bass or drums and send me Cowcatcher CDs so I could practice.

The last time we talked he asked me to play drums in August at Hillsdale. He said “you can be Levon Helm”.

Tom was like a real mentor to me.  Anyone who played with Tom will tell you that he was a teacher. From him I learned not only music but performance and mostly respect for the craft and the audience.  Once Tom and I were playing at Bombadil’s in Ypsi and only one person really paid attention with eye contact and foot stomping etc.  Tom said we were  building  our audience one member at a time. 

Tom loved his daughter and his family and his friends.  He also loved music and re-awoke my own love of music and songwrting.  When Tom turned and shook my hand after a particularly well played song he would have the greatest look on his face like we just did the best thing in the world and I think we did.

Whenever I write a song or perform I will have Tom on my shoulder telling me to keep better time or sing with emotion.  Once a cowcatcher, always a cowcatcher.  Tom’s wonderful songs will always be in my set.

I hope we plan a tribute to Tom either out at Hillsdale or here in A2.    I will help any way I can.

God  bless Tom’s family and friends. 

With the utmost respect and love,

Martin T. Roberts


Dear Brita,

Tom was and is dearly loved. You Brita, are the
warrior of love, peace and grace for us; and Tom was
blessed to have you as companion and love in this

Gods blessings on you and Tom; and for Tom's daughter,
sister and his and your whole family.

Laura and Gary Grimshaw


Hello Brita, Grace and everyone else,

Tom became my first "townie" friend when Kim and I
moved into our Ann Arbor house two doors down from his
old place on Davis.....that was fifteen years ago. He
was truly one of a kind, unique and special,
insightful and witty. He will be sorely missed.

Love, George and Kim


I have nothing to say
Only this tear on my face can say it

Who could understand the Heartbreak Hill
we ran through in the Boston Marathon?

I have nothing to say to you
You were not there to help me run
not only 26 miles
but to meet life face to face

I still carry that confidence he gave me 31 years ago
but I have this to say
to those who think he is gone away:

Tom has not gone away
To me he has moved in closer and deeper in my heart
and I shall keep running
through all the Heartbreak Hills
to higher ground
for all of us

He is here with us
you hear him singing his favorite song
He is here


Here is a story:

After we ran the marathon, Tom took me to see Cape Cod at night. We
went to a coffee shop. At the door they asked us if we were going to
read. Tom said, ‘Yes.’ I had no idea. They sat us next to the
stage and when it came to his turn, Tom took the mike and spoke
beautiful and meaningful poems. I was in awe, for he was showing his
heart so openly. Ever since that night, I wanted to do the same. I
have written thousands of poems and read them to people I love. Just
like he did. He is very real to me in every poem I write.

Gracefully remembering him.



We will offer a special memorial at the both the Hillsdale Annex, and
at our upcoming Peace Festival in Jonesville, Michigan of which Tom and
his band were great supporters of our community peace organizing and
other efforts here in Hillsdale. His loss leaves a big hole in the heart
of our small peace community here in Hillsdale. We certainly that many
of Tom's friends will come and help share special day of memories and
celebrating peace and justice with music in honor of Tom. Below the
photo is the invitation and info for the peace for those of you who
don't know about the event.
-Aimee England/ Richard Wunsch
Volume I Books/The Hillsdale Annex
and Hillsdale Coalition for Peace and Justice


Friends, this press release is going to all my lists so please excuse duplications.  Also, we still have some room for setups.  Any political trend is welcome as long as it is not based on hatred or one of its cousins.  The music runs from blues to folk

This will be our best festival yet.  The school will be open for restrooms, movies, our afterglo, and for retreat in event of rain.

Richard Wunsch

The Hillsdale County Coalition for Peace and Justice is hosting its
Seventh Annual Peace and Music Festival starting at Noon on Saturday,
August 11 in Carl Fast Park on US-12 in downtown Jonesville.  There will
be musical entertainment throughout the day, most of it in various folk
genres, along with tables staffed by members of many socially active
organizations, clowns, balloon sculptures, face painting and other fun
activities.  Saucy Dog's BBQ will be on hand with their delicious fare,
and the Coalition will be selling beverages.

This year's featured display will be "A Walk in Their Shoes"
commemorating and symbolizing the civilian casualties in Iraq.  We will
have supporting documentation available, as well as our Peace Chain
with links for every American military death and other materials.
A new event for this year's Festival will be the showing of a wide variety
of politically-oriented  films throughout the afternoon in the Wright Street
Gymnasium, directly across the street from the Park.  This year's Afterglow
will also be held in the Gym following the Festival.

For driving directions you can visit (follow instructions to US 12)  or if you would like to have a table contact any of the following folks for any additional information.   Please forward amongst any friends of Tom and others who may be interested.

Aimee England at  517-437-2228 or  517-398-6030
Richard Wunsch at,  or 517-740-9927
or Peter Cromwell at or 517-398-4498


When Tom's dad died a few years ago, I gave Tom an excerpt Ben Franklin's letter to his niece. He told me how much he and his family appreciated it. I offer it again:
"I condole with you. We have lost a most dear and valuable relation. But it is the will of God and nature that these mortal bodies be laid aside when the soul is to enter into real life. This is rather an embryo state, a preparation for living. A man is not completely born until he is dead. Why then should we grieve that a new child is born among the immortals, a new member added to their happy society?

We are Spirits. That bodies should be lent us, while they can afford us pleasure, assist us in acquiring knowledge, or in doing good to our fellow creatures, is a kind and benevolent act of God. When they become unfit for these purposes, and afford us pain instead of pleasure, instead of aid become an encumbrance, and answer none of the intentions for which they were given, it is equally kind and benevolent that a way is provided by which we may rid of them. Death is that way.  We ourselves, in some cases, prudently choose a partial death. A mangled painful limb which cannot be restored, we willingly cut off. He who plucks out a tooth parts with it freely, since the pain goes with it; and he who quits the whole body, parts at once with all pains and possibilities of pain and diseases which it was liable to, or capable of making him suffer.

friend and we are invited abroad on a party of pleasure which is to last forever. His chair was ready first, and he is gone before us. We could not all conveniently start together; and why should you and I be grieved at this, since we are soon to follow, and know where to find him?"

(From a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to his niece on the death of his brother February 23, 1756.)

Tom often rode with me on Monday evenings to our AA meeting in Detroit. When I dropped him off at his home upon our return, he would invariably say, "Thanks for being my friend."
Tom, thank you for being my friend.
Pete Schaberg


I haven't contributed to the memorial site yet;  too soon, and new laptop, dial-up internet...

But here's another piece of the story of that beautiful song Tom sings on the site.
Tom ended his last set in Hillsdale in May with that song. I knew he would be going to Judith's memorial, and it seemed like the perfect song for a memorial service.  He always taped his shows, and this was no exception -- but the tape'd run out before that song.

Some Wednesday after the memorial, I'd met him for a quick dinner while he took a break from taping his A3 radio show.  We went back up to the studio, (the same one that Ted Heusel broadcast his show from for years, which Tom loved), and he was all set to record.  "Hmm, where'd that paper go?"  If you ever watched Tom do his music, you remember all those papers, bags full of beautiful songs.  "Must've left it at home."  He paused, then just ad libbed the whole beautiful tribute, then sang the song into the mike, all in one take.  Neither of us spoke for minutes afterwards.

He was an amazing person. I cherish his memory.  Ruth 


Thomas Vincent Silvia


Silvia, Thomas Vincent Ann Arbor, MI

Thomas Vincent Silvia, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, eldest son of Vinnie and Mary Silvia, formerly of Newport, Rhode Island died on Friday August 3, 2007 at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD following a massive heart attack that occurred on July 5. He is survived by his beloved daughter, Grace, his mother, Mary and his seven siblings. A graduate of Michigan State University and Detroit College of Law, Tom was an accomplished attorney specializing in family law and international legal matters; arguing twice before the United States Supreme Court, he was also Treasurer of the Arts, Communication and Entertainment and Sports Section of the State Bar of Michigan, and Chairman of the American Indian Law Section. An active parishioner of St. Thomas Catholic Church, he served as a lector, a musician and also as chair of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. divorce-support group. Tom was a dedicated musician and writer, an avid performer across southeast Michigan. As weekly host of the radio show, he was known as "The Subliminal Kid," a carryover from the 1970s. He was an exceptional friend to countless people. A memorial service will be held 10 a.m., Tuesday, August 14 at St. Thomas Catholic Church, 530 Elizabeth St, Ann Arbor. Following a short reception at the church, there will be a 12 p.m. gathering of celebration and remembrance at Leopold Brothers, 529 S. Main Street, Ann Arbor. To share your memories please visit:
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