Tony played with Stealers Wheel, known for their huge hit "Stuck in the
Middle with You" which is now a rock classic.
Tony operates his own PR firm and works with elephant conservation organizations.
was a boyhood friend of previous Tull members and actually auditioned
in 1968 when Martin Barre was hired. In 1978, he joined Tull for
the Bursting Out tour due to Glascock's heart
He currently operates his own public relations consulting agency and devotes
much time to elephant conservation causes. Tony can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A FEW WORDS FROM TONY
Getting the Tull gig was a big move up for me and one of the most testing musical
things I ever had to do. I'd had very little experience of large live gigs the
biggest up to then being Loughborough University on one of the rare Stealers
Wheel gigs where everyone in the band actually turned up.
I had enjoyed some chart success and exposure both with my own single 'Lazy River'
and with the Stealers album but touring was new to me. It was also a little strange
as I knew that it was John Glascock's gig and his misfortune had provided an
opportunity for me. Ian was extremely helpful explaining different bass riffs
and changes and by the time we started the North American tour I was about 70%
okay with the songs.
I had sat up until the small hours listening to a mix of the songs that Martin
had put together, however he had literally cranked the bass part up so loud that
I couldn't hear the other instruments or Ian's vocals and as I didn't know a
single Tull composition, I had to learn the lot 'Parrot' fashion. When we got
to rehearsals Ian would shout out a song title and I would ask which one is that,
is it dum-de-dum de - dum-dum or dum-dum-dum-de-de-dum?
After a couple of duff warm up gigs at the start of the tour I managed to get
through the Madison Square TV show intact. After that it was plain sailing.
It was the longest I had been away from home and to say I got distracted and
reckless a few times would be a fair observation and criticism, but I was on
the best vacation of my life playing with one of the world's top bands and getting
paid to do it. I was loving it. Ian and I are almost exactly the same age and
birth sign and our sense of humour was very similar, sometimes also very cutting
to others and each other.
We had some great laughs with tomato ketchup, polystyrene cups and plastic forks
and caused some near panic situations with tour managers. Most nights Ian, Clive,
and I played cards before each show. Tull was not the drug fuelled wild band
that most American's thought. The only addiction that was rife in the band was
tea. At the end of the tour I was drained and elated to be going home.
I think I seriously wished that I could have continued in the band but I knew
it was John's job and that he would be aching to get back playing. However I
had also seen the 'rot' starting and the underlying trouble in the ranks and
figured things wouldn't last and they didn't. Perhaps if John had lived things
may have been different but I felt that the 'spirit' of the band was slipping
away when I went to see them a few months later.
I haven't seen the band play for almost ten years. I must make the effort and
get to a gig.
I was in New York before Christmas and was pleasantly surprised to hear "Solstice
Bells" all over the place. It's very popular in Macy's..
These days I spend most of my time working in elephant conservation. I have an
office at Blackpool Zoo and I am the elephant core group PR representative for
the Federation Of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain an Ireland.
I also do work in Guwahati in India where we recently introduced a micro chipping
project to prevent the illegal trade of captive elephants and we I am working
with the Sri Lanken Government and The Indian Elephant foundation in Delhi to
introduce a Satellite Positioning programme for wild male elephants.
I still play with my own band when I have time, mostly local clubs and bars around