Hello everybody. This Tuesday Tunes-day is on Tony Sly. He was a very talented musician, songwriter and performer. He recently passed away on July 31, 2012, breaking so many hearts that he had touched. I had the chance to meet him a few days before his passing for which I am so grateful.
Tony Sly was the singer and guitarist for a punk rock band called No Use for a Name. He joined the band in 1989 when he was 18 years old. He toured and made albums and in 2004 he teamed up with Lagwagon’s frontman, Joey Cape and made a split acoustic album. This album featured 12 tracks, which were acoustic renditions of No Use for a Name and Lagwagon songs along with two exclusive songs, one from each artist. No Use continued performing and writing albums, and in 2008 Tony announced that he was recording music for his solo acoustic work. He went on his first acoustic solo tour in 2009 and followed that up with the recording of his first solo album. He went on to record two solo albums and toured a bunch in between. His last show was in Gainesville, Fl on July 29, 2012 and his last show with No Use for a Name was at the D-Tox Rockfest in Montebello, Quebec on June 15, 2012.
I was never a huge punk head, but my brother was and so I was familiar with his band. However, when the acoustic album came out in 2004, I was on it. I listened to that album A LOT and it navigated me through happy times and plenty of tough ones too.
Then a couple weeks ago, on July 26, 2012 to be exact, my friend Steve posted a tweet on his Facebook from Joey Cape about playing a last minute show in town with Tony Sly. It was late afternoon and I really wanted to go but had to hussle to find a sitter. We happen to have the best sitter ever and she came through even though she had worked all day and it would be a late night for her. (Thank you Jadie!!) Another plus was that Lance and I are always tag teaming each other and don’t ever get to go out at the same time. So, to be able to go out to the show together had me really excited, and it was like old times all over again.
So, I put the twinnies to bed, and got ready real quick. Out the door we went!! On the way Steve texted me to hurry up and that he was drinking with Tony and Joey. I said yea right, and assumed he was joking. We showed up to the Gallery bar next door to the venue and I see Joey Cape chatting it up with everybody and there is Steve at the table talking to Tony Sly. He introduced us. It was crazy! We took some pictures and then headed next door to Charm City Art Space. It was a bunch of us, and we had front row to what was an amazing show. There were probably under 50 people there and we were able to get lots of pics and video. We obviously don’t know these guys very well, (because they’re freakin famous!), but for that night it felt like we did. They were so friendly, down to earth, talking to everybody and anybody. It was amaze balls.
During the show, I caught Tony’s eye and did a little head nod, hat switch-a-rooski move and he told me to put the hat on 4. (The back part where it clips). I was stoked and even though I was wearing my very favorite hat, I knew it was worth the swap. I told him it was my fav hat and Joey kept saying that it was a pretty even trade then. After the show I went to talk to him about the hat, I told him that he now had my most favorite Get Gnarly hat and that I wanted to know about his hat. He said that he got it from a friend, and that he had worn it to a ton of shows and that I should probably wash it. We then started talking about the tour, and about his family. I told him that Lance used to play a lot of shows and do mini tours with his band and that I didn’t know what it was like for him and his fam but I know that it can be hard. I had a very small taste of it compared to his seasoned touring life. So, we talked kids for a minute and then he finished packing up and I headed back over to the Gallery to join everybody else. Tony didn’t come over to the Gallery afterwards but Joey did, and he hung out a little longer with us. What a nice guy. They both are so awesome.
I told Lance the next day that it was definitely one of the best nights of my life. I will never forget it and I still think about it almost everyday. Getting backstage isn’t always that hard, but to actually hang out with the artist, and enjoy their company and have conversations in a chill atmosphere with them is really cool. No crowds, no hectic schedule to follow, not a ton of band members there to distract you from us common folk=a night to remember.
One fun fact is that I was looking on Youtube and there is video of Tony and Joey’s shows after the one in Baltimore. It made me smile big to see that he was wearing my hat still. How lucky am I? How cool?!! I will treasure this new hat of mine always.
My heart goes out to Tony’s wife and two daughters, his whole family and slew of friends, especially his bestie Joey, who I know is missing him terribly. There is a memorial fund to help the two little girls and wife he leaves behind. Here is the info if you would like to contribute:
2. Wells Fargo Bank
Account Name: Tony Sly Memorial Fund
Account # 7197059004
AND:3. Those of you unable to contribute financially, but still wanting to show support, can send letters and share memories of Tony with his family by writing to: Tony Sly Memorial, PO Box 54405, San Jose, CA 95154.
(Info taken from Joey Cape’s FB page).
What a great legacy of music he left behind…listen, share, remember the old memories and make new ones. And never take for granted the time you have with the people you care about. Time is too short.
“So everybody sing along
This could be tonight’s one more song
This shot we take before the bell
We raise our glass to songs
That we know so well”
Tony Sly-Liver Let Die
No Use For A Name-Dumb Reminders
July 27, 2012 Jacksonville, Fl show w/Joey Cape (where Tony is wearing my hat!)