When I met Tim Maloney, he told me he really wanted to help this town with its music scene. At the time, it was doing ok, but had no real focus or direction. I noticed he put together open jams at bars, which brought musicians and songwriters together to meet and collaborate. He helped with band line-ups for charity events, networked with local musicians, and then he wrote about the bands that he was interacting with for The Hub. In October, he hosted Larson-fest, the huge three-day event that brought bands of all genres together for one weekend to honor our good friend, Donald Larson. 41 bands, with multiple members in each, and he knew almost all of them. I can’t think of anyone else in this town more fitting than Tim to host an event with that many acts. Nice work, Mr. Maloney.
His story began like many other stories of a touring bassist… no one else wanted to play the thing. He found out that it’s just like playing a guitar but you only use the top four strings. Since he was broke and was accustomed to playing with only three strings on his guitar, it wasn’t much of a stretch. Now, I’d love to tell you all the bands he’s ever played in, but I honestly believe HE doesn’t even remember them all because there are so many. We circled back to that question a few times and I could never get a straight answer.
At shows, you can always catch him with a Rickenbacker bass. His online presence even comes complete with #Ricinthepic. Maloney bought it from Eric Harley, a radio DJ from Wichita Falls, and never used it until he wore out his Kramer. He now has a ’78 blonde and an ’81 brunette.
Maloney served for the Wichita Falls Fire Dept from ‘81-’87, then ventured out with a friend to play music on the East Coast. “We quit our jobs, went to New England to seek our fortune,” Maloney jested. That’s where Tim literally lived in a barn and recorded an album. Yes… in the barn.
After his east coast stay, he moved back and delivered furniture in Wichita Falls until he met up with a country band. He then joined a Las Vegas band and played with them for 6 months with good pay. After his time there, he joined the Fort Worth Fire Dept in 1998, where he served for eight years. When he came back to do another round in Wichita Falls, he began to tour with Elaina Kay. That band allowed him to meet new people and develop friendships with lots of musicians from the Texas Music Scene. I know this first hand because it seems that in every town we play and every band we meet, he knows someone within the group. It may have something to do with it being impossible for anyone to forget a man with a red handlebar mustache jamming a Ric.
Along the way, he managed to play for bands with wacky names like The Wet Spots, Turtle Mountain Mud Opera, and Free Beer. His theatrics on stage led me to ask the obvious question… Have you done any acting? “The year I was in New England, I played in stage plays.” He performed in Carousel and Chicago. “Always the comic relief abusive dude,” Tim joked. “I think I was type cast.” If you get a chance… ask Tim to show you the commercial he was in. Hilarity at its finest. He also played bass for the theater and ran lights. One of his goals is to do the weather one day….hint hint, John Cameron.
Tim puts his hands into everything, trying to make a positive impact any way he can. At the moment, he finds himself at the busiest point of his life. He’s happy though, which has been his goal since the day we met and I’m proud of his accomplishments. When you get a chance, go watch Armadillo Flats, RIP, or my band, to check him out. He’ll be the one with the Rickenbacker, putting on the show. You can’t miss him and you will be entertained.
photography by: William Schultz and Steven Alex Garcia