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Oct. 2022: Tom Dyer & The True Olympians – Olympia: A True Story


Greetings countrymen and world citizens!!

The Traditional Holy month of Rocktober has arrived at GMR. For me, and perhaps you, this is a month like no other. A project started exactly 4 years ago with the tender longing of “Olympia My Home” has arrived in my hand. It is tangible. Real. Glorious.

Olympia: A True Story 3 CD set

The day it arrived was rather stunning to me. A ridiculously large project, a ridiculous amount of work and effort, not just by me, but over 100 Olympia musicians, several photographers, proofreaders, my designer Rosie and of course the dedicated and beloved True Olympians, Gene, Joe, Lisa, Michael, Jason and Jeff.

The scoop (in case you didn’t know already):

Joe CasonOlympia: A True Story, a 40-song, 47 track, 3-CD box set with 80-page book, is a loving ode to Olympia, Washington. It tells the story of the greater Olympia area going back 2 million years. Recorded over four years thru the pandemic, it is a heady brew of eclecticism writ large. It is monumental.

The True Olympians in the woodsWhen I moved back to Olympia in 2016, I was most impressed by the Sylvester’s Window collection at the downtown Olympia Library, a series of eight Olympia cityscapes ranging from 1841 to 2001. These drawings really got me thinking about Olympia on some sort of time continuum in a way I probably hadn’t before.

I was at least partially inspired by David Scherer Water’s entertaining little Olympia book, first encountered in the spring of 2017, where I first learned about things like Bordeaux and the 1959 downtown train station crash. I grew up here and had never heard of either. 

Tom Dyer recording OlympiaBy 2019, the yet unnamed Olympia album was a thing, a concept in my head – a work in progress. The other book that really kicked this off for me was Olympia: A Peoples’ Almanac. Out of print, I got it from the library early on and it inspired further digging. It was the first place I had read much of anything about Little Hollywood, Olympia’s shantytown in the 20’s and 30’s and where I saw the picture that directly inspired the lyric.

We tracked our first five songs for the album in August, 2019. We did not suspect a pandemic was around the corner and how difficult that would make everything. Three years, three drummers, three Tom Dyer solo albums, and one True Olympians Holiday album later, it is done. Hallelujah!

This is not any sort of complete history; it is a collection of sonic sketches reflecting my particular take on the many-headed beast that is Olympia. We hope our little entertainment will inspire people to dig deeper into the story of our hometown and have provided many references you can pursue for more information.

I’d like to give a giant thank you to all the Olympia musicians who donated their time and skills to this undertaking – on their behalf, we will be donating a portion of our proceeds to the not-for-profit Olympia Arts + Heritage Alliance.

I hope you will listen and I hope you enjoy it!

Part 2.

Olympia: A True Story counter displayThe album is available at many stores in Olympia: Archibald Sisters, Browsers Books, Cascadia Grill, Childhood’s End Gallary, K-Records, Lantern Records, Music 6000, New Traditions Fair Trade, Orca Books Cooperative, Rainy Day Records, Rhythms Coffee, The Evergreen State College Bookstore, and The Legislative Gift Center in the Capitol Building. By the time you read this, it should be available at stores all over the dang world. If your local record store doesn’t have it, ask them to get it or let us know and we’ll ask them to stock it. Or of course you can just get it directly from us.    (Did I mention that at $25 bucks it is the perfect stocking stuffer for that hard-to-buy-for person – or persons – on your holiday list?)

The album also got a nice write up from Calvin Johnson at K Records, who appears on the album and is also selling the album for us.

Olympia, a True Story (Green Monkey Records) 3 CD set – The K Mail Order Department (

Part 3.

Olympia, WashingtonMy old pal Bill Lucas (who was relieved of his duties as a member of the 1970 OHS football team at the same time as I)  has been enthusiastically instrumental in helping me get the album all around Olytown, to records stores, book stores, gift stores and more. I have asked Bill to give you his 100% unbiased opinion regarding why you might want to check this out.


Full disclosure, Tom and I have been friends for over 50 years, 1968, and I value that friendship greatly. That said, I admit that I would lie if the collection was crap so as to not hurt Tom’s feelings. Fortunately for me, it is really good – even great!  I would describe the collection as lighthearted and whimsical in parts and yet powerfully emotional in others, It made me laugh, cry, shout and stomp my feet. Thoroughly enjoyable, and gets better the more I listen.  The other thing I would like to mention is the tremendous amount of work and dedication Tom showed towards this project. Congratulations on a job well done. Outstanding!!   So…… there it is, my opinion. Buy the set. AND MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR  DEC. 9th. See you at the Ballroom!

Part 4.

Yes, Virginia (and Nick), there will be a record release show Friday, December 9 at the historic Olympia Ballroom on Legion Way here in Oly. It is a benefit for the Olympia Arts + Heritage Alliance, which is pretty groovy. You are all invited and I sincerely you will show up as I believes we shall have some big fun. (Ms. Dyer sez to tell you there will be grown-up beverages availble) We are the only band playing and will have you home at a reasonable hour (we’ll play a lot of songs but not all of them). Advance tix can be had at [] for 5 bucks less than day of show, you can also get the album for 5 bucks off if you buy them as a package. We are working on a Seattle and a Portland show but the future remains unwritten there.

Part 5.

Tom Dyer Olympia Library showSome amount of True Olympians and I will be doing a library presentation Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 pm. You know one of those talk some, sing a song things like VH1 Story Tellers with David Bowie. Plus, it’s Free!






Part 6.

Tom DyerWe got a nice write up in Thurston Talks a couple weeks ago which you can read right here:



I have decided not to do a Christmas album this year. Simply too many eggs on my plate as I try to get this album to its proper station in the universe. I never like it when the eggs slide off onto the floor and the yolks break and make a sticky, unsanitary mess. Who would? (Okay, my old dog HamptonHampton would have quite liked it).

That’s all folks! See you November 4!

td Oct 2022

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