Tom Priddy

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Tom Priddy is a long-time journalist who currently works for the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. He began his journalism career as a staffer, music reporter, photographer, and co-editor of The Tiger in the early 1970s. He also played bass drum in Tiger Band.

Background

Priddy arrived at Clemson as an architecture student, but soon changed his major to English. He worked for The Tiger in several capacities, culminating in a co-editor-in-chief position with Bob Thompson in 1972-1973.

He has worked for several media outlets, beginning with the Easley Progress, the Anderson Independent-Mail, the Greenville News, The State and eventually took Knight-Ridder corporate positions. After a stint in Washington, he returned home to South Carolina and is now multimedia editor of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. He has covered national events including the 2008 Republican Convention, inaugurations, Super Bowls, NBA playoff games and myriad sports events. He was a pioneer in digital photography, supervising groundbreaking digital photography projects with Kodak and Nikon, including coordinating the very first worldwide online distribution of digital news images (from the 1991 Super Bowl). He trained NBA and NFL photographers in digital photography and brought the first news service photos (from Knight Ridder/Tribune and Reuters) online for sale worldwide. Today he also is a freelance Minor League Baseball photographer and his photos appear on dozens of baseball cards every year, including sets from Topps, Donrus, Tri-Star and others.

Tiger copy

When guitarist Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, Georgia on October 29, 1971, Tom Priddy wrote the following commemoration:

From The Tiger, Friday 5 November 1971, Volume LXV, Number 13, page 7, by Associate Editor Tom Priddy:
Deep inside Littlejohn Coliseum, in a place called the Tiger Den, is a room being used now for a baseball locker room. Shirts and gloves hang on pegs in the cubbyholes and bats lean up against the walls. Right in between locker "42 Hughes" and "43 Ledford" sits Duane Allman, tired and slightly damp from a just-completed concert.
Allman takes a sip of his coke, leans forward, curls a broken guitar string around his finger, unwraps it, and wraps it back around. Allman talks a little about the show. "Yeah, that new one we did tonight...it was called 'Blue Sky' or something. It was almost right tonight. It'll be right tomorrow. It takes us years to get these things right, you know."
"Blue Sky" is one of the tracks to be included in the Allman Brothers Band's next album. "We've got three cuts recorded from our new album," Allman says. "But that's all he says. Mostly he talks about motorcycles.
"You go to foolin' with motorcycles," he tells Dicky Betts, "and you know you're gonna take a screw." Duane is complaining about a malfunctioning throttle on one of his new bikes, one of nine the Allmans own all together. "Get a manual," Betts tells him. "It'll break it down for you part by part."
"Naw," Allman says. "As far as stripping it down and getting all greasy goes, I'm not gonna do it."
There's more of course; more talk, more complaints, more problems. Then the realization that they depart the next morning at 7:30 for Harrisburg. They leave.
It's been nearly two months since Duane Allman left the locker room to get into the station wagon that took them off. The Allmans made it to Harrisburg and to lots of concerts after that. They were to close out their tour at Carnegie Hall in New York. Their biggest tour yet. Last week they were back at their home in Macon, Georgia for a little rest before New York. Duane Allman was riding his motorcycle behind a truck, smashed into the back of it as it was making a right turn, and died in the hospital. It could have been the throttle. It could have been anything, but Duane Allman is gone. So quickly.
Damn the throttle.

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