Tom Ardolino

Tom Ardolino: 1955-2012

Tom Ardolino

Image courtesy of NRBQ.com

NRBQ drummer Terry Ardolino, who joined the band in 1974 and remained behind the kit until their 2004 hiatus, has passed away at the age of 56.

Initially a fan of the band and friend of co-founder Terry Adams, Ardolino was called into duty after original drummer Tom Staley left the lineup. He ended up lending his distinctive style to 15 of the Q’s studio albums, not to mention thousands of live dates.

Earlier this year, Adams decided to start a new band and call it NRBQ, much to the horror of some fans, but Ardolino continued to lend his support, even making stage appearances when his health permitted.

“He was a great drummer and a great guy,” said ex-NRBQ member Al Anderson, who left the band in 1993 to pursue a career as a songwriter and solo artist. “He had a totally unique style of drumming that nobody can ever duplicate. That was one of the baddest rhythm sections in the world.”

You can never have too much Q. Enjoy this Spotify playlist of selections from the band’s catalog.




  • Nanbohlin

    I am crying now. I can’t count the number of times I watched him banging on the kit around D.C.

  • Russ

    The end of the best live band ever.  No group could ever take a mediocre song and make it sound great live like NRBQ. (And they sure had plenty of mediocre songs on their albums, especially after Al left.)  There is no way to describe just how great they were live, and a live DVD wouldn’t even come close, you had to be there and feel it in person. 

  • NYCCHIPL

    No one brought a crowd together or produced more joy than NRBQ , very sad about Tom.