OBITUARY: Bob ‘Norton’ Thompson


The music industry has lost another friend and entrepreneur. Bob Thompson, or “Norton” as he was known to many, passed away this morning after a brief illness. He had also suffered from dementia for the last several years of his life. He was 80 years old.

Thompson was an iconic figure in Nashville having owned, alongside his wife Toni, the renowned rehearsal studio Soundcheck. The space was often utilized by such superstars as Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, the Eagles, 38 Special, Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Peter Frampton, Marty Stuart, and many more, to work out their stage shows before touring.

He was beloved by the many performers and crew members who walked through the doors. Quick with a joke and a warm welcome, he was very likely to be the first one to greet them and offer to lend a hand carrying equipment.

Thompson’s career is vast having worked on tours as roadie, stage manager and personal assistant alongside some of music’s greatest bands and artists including the Eagles, Ozzy Osbourne, Glenn Frey, Dan Fogelberg, Chicago, Jimmy Buffet, Fool’s Gold, and The Bellamy Brothers. His life and times on the road are most notably described in his recent book Last Encore: My Time with Glenn Frey, the Eagles and other Hit Artists.

After spending much of his career on the road, in 1989 Thompson and his wife opened Third Encore rehearsal studios in the San Fernando Valley in California and later moved to Nashville opening Soundcheck in 1993.

Thompson was a devoted father, grandfather, husband, protector, dog lover and a friend to all who knew him. He is survived by his wife, daughter Summer Naylor, and grandson Carter Naylor.

A private service will be scheduled. A Go Fund Me account has been arranged to help the family with medical bills.


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