Tommy in 1981 (courtesy of George Kaufman Archives)

According to Tommy's friend's email:

"I was a friend of Tommy Cotogna when he played with you in the early 80's. Tommy died in the middle 90's but I wanted you to know that before he died, he was totally clean and sober for three years, was married, held down a job where he was liked and admired and became a power of example for a lot of people. I know he liked playing with the Nails and I'm sure he came to understand why it didn't work out for him."

I inquired for more info and the friend replied, "Tommy's wife became the centerpiece of his life. They were very much in love and inseparable. By all outward appearances, she was a healthy young woman but in fact she was HIV positive. Tommy knew that when he married her but thought they would have 10 or more years. A few months after the wedding, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She died within the year and he was devastated. A week later, his mother found him in his apartment dead of an overdose." 

Very sad ... RIP Tommy.