Does Tony have a wife/family?
Yes. Tony is marrired to Shirley and they have a son, Clayton. His beloved 'Shirl' passed away in 2013.
Where is Tony now?
Tony is currently living in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire [UK] and is enjoying his retirement. He still plays his guitars everyday and occasionally performs in and around the local area.
What is Tony's favourite song he played on?
Tony is most pleased with the Firm's 'Arthur Daley 'e's Alright' because he sang it in his own accent!
His favourite (Thorpe) Rubettes record?
'You're the Reason Why', 'Family Affair' but also loves 'Baby I Know' (Richardson) and 'Under One Roof' (Richardson) too.
Did Tony only play guitar and sing with the Rubettes?
No! Tony played piano, bass and drums on an assortment of Rubettes records. Most of the band were multi-instrumentalists and played parts specific to their songs if they wanted to. You can hear Tony on piano on 'Ladies of Laredo' and the piano solo on 'Foe Dee Oh Dee'.
What guitars/equipment did Tony use to record and perform with the Rubettes?
This list is ENDLESS but the most frequently used were: Burns Nu-Sonic, '64 Fender Stratocaster, '68 Fender Telecaster, Coral Sitar, Epiphone acoustics, Ovation acoustics and Mick Clarke's £30 Yamaha acoustic because "it recorded better than the others". Hayman guitars were occasionally used in the studio but were dropped from live use due to them not standing up to the rigours of touring. Tony's classical guitar made by Alhambra bought for him by his wife was his favourite. You can hear it on 'Sign of the Times'. Tony almost always recorded through live amplification favouring Fender Twin Reverbs, Fender Vibrolux & Vox AC30s.
Will Tony ever re-unite with the Rubettes?
Is there any LIVE Rubettes footage from the 70s knocking around?
Yes - but it is not available to see. The BBC have the footage in their records but will not give it to anyone. Also in the archives is footage from Tony's BBC2 show 'Sings Country'.
How many songs did Tony write for the Rubettes?
Even Tony himself is unsure of this. The general rule is that whoever sang it, wrote it. The only exception that Tony can remember being 'Baby I Know' that was written by John Richardson. Tony sang it because all members had tried and were unhappy with the results. Tony tried again emulating the voice of Dolly Parton and the rest is history!
But it doesn't say that on the writing credit!!!
True, but the royalties were shared equally in the band regardless of how many songs from one individual were chosen for release. This meant that the credits meant next to nothing and so the record company would not care too much about their accuracy.
Why did Tony leave the Rubettes?
Tony was asked to leave the band after an argument over a setlist for an upcoming tour. It was decided that the country rock direction that Tony wanted to take the band in was not the favoured idea with Alan who fronted the band. Tony did NOT leave due to ill-health.
Why are some of Tony's songs on 'Still Unwinding' sung by other members of the band?
When Tony was asked to leave the group, Alan decided to remove Tony's vocals and replace them. Only 'Does It Gotta Be Rock 'n' Roll' remain with Tone's vocal take.
Is Tony still writing songs?
Yes although he mostly composes instrumental music at the moment. He also writes poetry. He occasionally writes songs but these tend to be of jazz/blues styles. Tony still loves the music of the Eagles and Beatles and on even fewer occasions writes in these styles (like late Rubettes records).
Who maintains this website/YouTube/Facebook?
A very close friend runs all of Tony's online presence but be assured that Tony sees all personal, private messages. He cannot respond to each one but is grateful and takes the time to read them all. Keep them coming!