Musicians Remember Chadd Thomas As Funny, Dedicated Musician And Father

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"Celebrating Chadd Thomas" on Facebook
Crazy Kings Dylan Cavaliere and Chadd Thomas
After learning of the death of Austin rockabilly frontman and bandleader Chadd Thomas of the Crazy Kings earlier this week, Rocks Off decided to reach out to a few of his friends and former bandmates to get a better idea of who, exactly, Thomas was.

"I know it sounds kind of trite, but he really did liven up the room," says Shawn Supra, a former bandmate of Thomas' who now lives in Nashville. "He was funny, and he had a lust for life, I guess you could say. He loved his band, and that was his life until his daughter came along."

Above all else, Supra remembers and admires Thomas' dedication to his music, specifically the Crazy Kings. When Supra left the Crazy Kings, he recalls Thomas being disappointed.

"I remember when I had to leave the band to go play with another band," Supra says. "I said, 'Chad, if someone asked you to front a bigger band, would you do it?' And he said, 'No.'

"And I totally believed him."

Since moving to Nashville three years ago, Supra has played with Wanda Jackson, Rosie Flores, the Tennessee Three, and is now playing and touring with Travis Mann. He continued making frequent trips to Texas, where he would see Thomas.

"The Crazy Kings were his life," Supra says, adding with a laugh, "He was a crazy king." he added with a laugh.

Like many, Supra is at a loss for words and shocked by the possibility of Thomas' death most likely came from one or more of the three violent altercations Austin homicide detectives say the singer was involved in from approximately 5 p.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday. However, Supra adds that Thomas was not the type to back down "from anything."

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Michael Hacala
"For better or for worse, that was him," he says. "And I guess that's really admirable, you know? He was very tenacious."

Thomas is survived by his daughter, who will be eight years old this month.

"He loved her," Supra says. "I remember when he told me that he was going to have a kid, and he was so happy and proud."

Like many musicians, Supra fondly remembers Houston's heyday nearly two decades ago.

"The mid-'90s in Houston were so much fun... and Chadd was at the center of it all," Supra says. "The Crazy Kings, Los Skarnales, the Flaming Hellcats... it was just a lot of fun."

The most vivid recent memory Supra has of Thomas was when, about five years ago, the two of them met up in Austin and took a trip down memory lane. While the two talked on the phone periodically since Supra moved, his most vivid recent memory of Thomas is when, about five years ago, they met up after a show and had a few drinks while reminiscing.

"We stayed up in Austin at his apartment, drinking and looking at old pictures, laughing," Supra says. "That was the thing, man. When you were around Chadd, you were always laughing. Everybody was busting each other's balls and just having fun.

"He was a really good guy, and this is really a shame," he adds. "I learned a lot [from him] that I'm carrying on today."

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Amanda Chase Burns
Amanda Chase Burns

I met Chadd when my then boyfriend was asked to play guitar for him while he lived in Corpus Christi.  He was such a goofball, every thing was so light hearted and fun. He always made you feel like the most important person in the room.  Chadd is the one who gave my husband his stage name - a name we put on the groom's cake at our wedding.  We experienced so many good times together at gigs, on road trips, or just hanging out.  He was a charmer, and even though most of his jokes were cheesy I'd give anything to hear him tell me just one more cornball joke.  I can't believe he's gone, and it's even harder to imagine that his death was by unnatural causes.  I always pictured him wheeling around the stage on a scooter when he was too old to shake and jive those hips.  Much love to ya, Zipper, we'll never forget you. <3


I, like many people, remember Chadd from the Blue Iguana days. I first saw him dj at Catbirds. Tuesdays at Catbirds; Sundays at Blue Iguana. He was the life of the party. I am heart-broken.

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