An Abbreviated Biography
Tom Thumb & the Hitchikers was originally formed in June 1984 by
three musician friends who shared a love and knowledge of rock
and soul music. The trio, along with a female vocalist, launched
the Hitchikers’ debut performance at the Acapulco Restaurant in
Playa del Rey, for which the band earned free beer and tacos.
From that inauspicious start, Tom Thumb & the
Hitchikers has grown monumentally, not only in size, but in
talent and popularity. The group’s initial play list was
originally more folk rock than dance music: Donovan, Simon &
Garfunkle, Lovin’ Spoonful, Mama’s & Papa’s and Linda Ronstadt -
anything with great harmonies. Indeed, the band’s best feature
was its extremely tight three and four part vocal harmonies.
Because the quartet wanted to become a dance band, it added a
drummer, lead guitarist and later, a three piece horn section.
By 1987, the now nine piece band had replaced its entire song
list with classic rock & soul dance hits, while retaining the
strong vocal harmonies that set the early Hitchikers apart from
Tom Thumb & the Hitchikers regularly performs at
wedding receptions, corporate parties, private school and
charitable fund raisers, yacht clubs, country clubs and private
clubs, including the Jonathon Club, Los Angeles Country Club,
Bel Air Bay Club, Balboa Bay Club and the Beach Club. The
Hitchikers are unquestionably one of the best and most requested
dance bands in Southern California.
After more than twenty seven years, Tom Thumb & the
Hitchikers still strives to create the best dance music possible
for your event. We perform only the best and most danceable
music from the 1950's through the 1980's, with an emphasis on
60's rock & soul. No other eleven piece band has the versatility
to perform a set of swing tunes, a samba and bossa nova set, two
sets of 50's music, a set of British invasion rock, a set of
American rock n’ roll, a set of surf music, three sets of soul
music, a blues set and a few country rock numbers.
Today, as always, Tom Thumb & the Hitchikers boasts a
set line up of top musicians and singers, with credits too
numerous to list in this biography.
Please accept our promise that you won’t be disappointed with
Tom Thumb & the Hitchikers, the best dance band in Southern
Dennis plays bass and keyboards in Sgt. Pepper and sings
lead and background vocals. Dennis began his musical
training with piano lessons at the age of five. At twelve,
he took up the guitar. As a teen growing up in Dublin,
California, he played rhythm and bass guitar in Bay Area
bands throughout high school, often competing for gigs with
Tom Kolb’s bands. (See Kolb bio)
After enrolling at the University of Southern
California, he studied piano and gave his first performance
on that instrument during USC’s Songfest at the Greek
Theater. At the end of his senior year, he formed the rock
band “Home Cooking” which enjoyed modest popularity at
several southland Universities.
After graduating from law school and passing the
California and Nevada bar exams, Dennis formed Tom Thumb &
the Hitchikers in 1984. That eleven-piece band is still
going strong and is a SoCal favorite of many corporations,
charities, private social clubs, country clubs, private
schools and wedding planners.
Dennis lives on a small ranch in upper Ojai, California.