'Anthony John Thorpe' was born on the 20th July in St Bartholomew's Hospital, London in the year of 1945. He attended St Mary's Priory School and later St Ignatius College (notable ex-pupils include Sir Alfred Hitchcock KBE and Sir George Martin CBE).
Tony's earliest influences include Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Lonnie Donegan (and Donegan's guitarists Denny Wright, Jimmy Currie, and Les Bennetts), Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins, Hank Marvin, Buddy Holly and every piece of music on records and radio at the time.
Tony began playing the guitar and drums aged just eleven and turned pro at 16 after getting the gig with Wee Willie Harris. Previously, Tony had played with semi-pro bands such as the 'Royal Blue Dance Band' and the 'Carefrees' with whom three original songs were published and recorded including B-side 'We Love You Beatles'. More recently, Tony has played with the Vibratones, a small, three piece, semi pro group featuring guitarist Jordan Westwell and bassist Gregory Harper that was originally one of Tony's first musical ventures over 40 years ago.
Tony is free for session work in and around the North West of England. He is one of the most experienced and versatile players in the area. Whatever it needs, Tone's got it whether it's jazz, blues, funk, rock, swing, skiffle or complex harmony vocals, Tony is the right man for the job. If you would like to contact Tony, you can e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides being the guitarist and bandleader with Wee Willie Harris (other members of the group included Tony Crombie, Brian Gregg, Jeff Lawrence, Roger Sutton and Tony Bell), Tony also worked with the Coventry Theatre Orchestra accompanying the likes of Cilla Black OBE, Jimmy Tarbuck OBE, Harry Seacome CBE, Roy Castle OBE and many, many more. Tony then went on to arrange and play for teen idol Tommy Steele OBE, and later became guitarist, singer and writer with pop group The Rubettes.
Soon afterward, Tony released two solo singles and performed his own country set on BBC2. His country album 'TONE CONTROL' was recorded not long after and was produced by 'Tremeloe' Alan Blakley. Tony then found more success with The Firm after singing on their top 20 Hit "Arthur Daley 'E's Alright".
Little do people know that Tony was also a founder member of comedy double act 'Cooger and Dark'. As well as writing the script, Tony performed and played to hundreds of people with this witty, sharp and hilarious show.
Later, Tony formed and fronted band 'Gas Co', a blues band that consisted of Tony, Mike Walker, Liam Barber and Dennis Wane. Harold Salisbury's band 'Free Parking' also saw 'Tone' on stage with them occasionally.
In the late nineties, Tony recorded his blues album 'ILLUSIONS AND DANGEROUS PRAYER' in Denny Laine's studio. Tony has also played with Denny Laine, Jimmy Smith and jazz great Tal Farlow. On top of all of this, Tony wrote music reviews for the 'Guardian' newspaper. Until Janruary 2012, Tony lectured at Blackburn College for Access to Music.
In 2012, Tony recorded his memoirs in an autobiography that will be digitally released in 2013 along with a new song entitled 'A Bride's Nightie'.
Tony specializes in Jazz and Blues as these are the styles that lay closest to his heart but he can play (and has played) any style when called upon. Often, these requests come from his guitar students!
Tony's favourite records (AKA "The Magic Ones") include 'Sleepwalk' by Santo and Johnny, 'Jailhouse Rock' by Elvis Presley, 'Stay' by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs and of course 'Kind of Blue'! His favourite classical composers include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Dmitri Shostakovich and Edgard Varèse. Tony's favourite "recent" band is 'Green on Red' and his favourite record producers are Sir George Martin CBE and Graham Lister.
His favourite thing ever (besides his family and guitar of course) is his copy of 'Hamlet'.
Tony is "Christian; non-denominational, and not the sort who thinks that everybody else is 'wrong'!" Tony is fascinated by winter bathing or 'Ice Swimming'. He says - "Never done it, never seen it done in situ, but captivated by every aspect of it. Wow!"
Tony has lived in two seriously haunted houses, both completely different. He now lives in Burnley, Lancashire with his wife Shirley.