Tom Hauck, A76

“Upon graduation in 1976 with a degree in Art History, I embarked on a 15-year career as a guitar player and songwriter in Boston-area punk-pop bands including The Atlantics and Ball and Pivot,” writes Tom Hauck, A76. Hauck got his musical start in an Ex-College class on rock ‘n roll taught by Erik Lindgren, A76.

The Atlantics, June 1978; Tom Hauck, A76, is second from left. Photo: Robert Post; Color: Hauck.

As a class requirement Hauck and bass player Bruce Wilkinson, A76, were each required to write and record a song. Two songs became three, then four; more band members were brought into the group; and The Atlantics were born. Tufts’ own radio station, WMFO, was the very first to play a song by the band. Success came quickly; during commencement weekend in May 1976, the group got their first break, opening for The Ramones in Cambridge.

“My parents came to see the band play on Saturday night,” writes Hauck, “and then I managed to wake up on Sunday morning just in time to don my cap and gown and join my class at commencement.”


Tom Hauck, A76, holding the same 1976 Fender Telecaster
guitar that he played with the Atlantics.
"I still have it and still play it."

Two years later their major label LP “Big City Rock” was released and the band toured nationally. Said an ABC Records press release from 1979, “The Atlantics play rock ‘n roll for a reason. It’s fun having fun. The boyish camaraderie, curious suits, and rakish interplay onstage are one side of what makes the band so exhilarating. Then there’s the music… Their clever, romantic blend of menace and wit has left audiences at the Paradise and the Rat in Boston…reeling in the wake of big city rock ‘n roll.” The band’s 1980 single “Lonelyhearts,” penned by Hauck, was one of the biggest regional rock hits of the year.

In 1983 Hauck and Wilkinson formed Ball and Pivot, a dance-pop band that filmed a video in Aruba for their racy regional hit single “Down.” In 1988 the members moved on to other music projects.

Wilkinson sadly passed away in 2000, but Hauck still writes and records new music with the help of musician and producer Tony Goddess, A95. A professional writer and editor, Hauck lives in Gloucester, Mass., with his wife and two children. His many literary works include Pistonhead, a novel about an aspiring rock musician whose life takes a turn when tragedy strikes.

Check out more of the Atlantics' music and history.

Want to share your story? Submit a class note and you may be featured on and in Tufts Magazine!

Return to list of alumni profiles