Stories

I would have been about 10 years old when I first heard NUFAN. I used to go to a music store (that has since gone out of business) at least once a month to buy new music.  On one of my trips, I found a copy of 'More Betterness', and decided to pick it up. The song that first grabbed my attention was 'Why Doesn't Anybody Like Me?' and completely wore out the disc from over-listening to it.  

Fast forward nearly a decade. While at college, there was a vendor in the foyer that was selling used cd's. After about 25 minutes, I came across an old copy of 'More Betterness' in one of the bins. It was the best $5 I ever spent. From then on, I slowly but surely re-acquainted myself with NUFAN's music and couldn't stop kicking myself for going as long as I had without listening to it. 

In the summer of 2012, I heard that NUFAN were playing a series of shows around where I live. One of them, a free show in downtown Toronto supporting Bad Religion, was impossible for me to attend because I had to work (I'm a guitar teacher, and finding a substitute isn't always a simple task). The other, a headline show at some club in London I decided to skip in favour of showing a visiting friend in Niagara Falls. I figured that, since there were rumours of a new album, they would be around again in no time. I'd get to see them then.  

 

2 months later, I learned what a costly mistake that turned out to be. About 30 different people told me throughout the day that Tony Sly was gone forever, and I remember feeling absolutely horrible. My entire day was ruined. I just felt numb.

I decided the only way I could properly honour Tony's memory was to learn 5 of my favourite NUFAN songs and teach them to my students. Thanks to those songs, a slough of kids are now familiar with No Use For A Name, and many of them have become fans. It wasn't much, but it was the only thing I could think of to help give back to one of my most loved bands.

Here's to you, Tony. Thank you for providing me and countless other people with some of the best songs ever. You will be missed every minute of every day.

I first came to know NUFAN in the summer of 2006. A boy I knew lent me 5 CDs and I soon got devoted into the music just like he did a few years before. He then asked if I'd like to come to 'Live in Japan 06'. I still remember that night at Yokohama Bay Hall, how everything shone before my eyes and the music was running through me. On the way home, we realized how much we'd grown inside each other. We became a couple. However, 3 years later we split apart.

 It was 2009, NUFAN was in Tokyo again, and I went to the Acoustic live held in Tower Records alone. At that time, 'Pacific Standard Time'  had made me cry everytime. At the end of the show, I was able to tell him Tony how heartbroken I was. He smiled and said, 'I'll play that next time. So maybe, come with him. 'That 'next time' never happened. But in the end, 'he' and I got back together.

 Tony, we are getting married next year. Our wedding will be full of your songs, starting with 'International You Day'. Without NUFAN, my life was definitely something different. 

My interaction with Tony started when I bought The Daily Grind on that early white Fat Wreck cassette tape. I think I must have almost every release they ever put out. I met Tony and his family one day when he walked in to the Starbucks I worked at and I instantly recognized him. I tried to stay as respectful as I could, feeling as though I didn't want to blow up the spot for his family at coffee time. I kept my cool and he introduced me to his wife and I looked down at the stroller and said, "And this must be Fiona" and indeed it was. A beautiful family. I drew a small anarchy symbol on his cup along with the name Tony. A short time later Tony played an impromptu show at Blank Club in San Jose, his first San Jose show in almost 5 years. I took the light rail in my white long-sleeved shirt and khakis, ready to mosh it up like always. The show was not packed, but the energy was there as though it were. They opened with "Not Your Savior" (what else?) and I was in heaven. Every song made we want to hear more and more. I took the last train home to Foxworthy a sweaty mess, soaked to the skin but beaming with stoke and testosterone from showing the yougbloods what punk looks like. To have been lucky enough to see him on stage and with his family and the elegant contrast, how he pulled them both of so well, is what I will remember him most for. Thank you brother.

 

 

Devonshire and Crown

We've done a few tours with NUFAN over the years and always had a great time playing shows with them. I definitely empathized with Tony in that we both had young daughters at home and being gone from them was rough.  When he passed, like everyone else, we were heartbroken.  So when they approached us about being on the album, we of course wanted to do whatever we could to help Tony's family.  "Devonshire & Crown" is an especially poignant song because the lyrics seem to be about being on the road and missing home and family, and it just proves what a great songwriter and lyricist Tony was.  His songs are always at the same time heartfelt, brutally honest, funny and engaging.  We basically just took his original acoustic version and added electric guitars and amped it up a little.  It's a fun take on the song, but it was meant to be played the way Tony recorded it, with just him and his acoustic guitar and honest, real emotion.  He will definitely be missed.

All I know about Tony Sly is that he was a vital part of my love for punk rock and helped shape my music taste throughout my teenage years. I remember heading to band practice at my buddy's house and listening to Hard Rock Bottom all night instead.  It was like a gateway drug to other NUFAN albums and Fat Wreck bands.  I was lucky enough to see Tony Sly play an intimate acoustic show with Joey Cape in a tiny bar in Ottawa. To this day, it remains one of my favourite shows I've had the privilege to attend with both guys playing versions of NUFAN and Lagwagon songs as well as their own material. Bar sing-a-longs with the small crowd and the feeling that he was appreciative of everyone who took the time to listen. No bravado bullshit or stage persona. I used to think that it would have been better if NUFAN had appeared and played as a full band but I realize that I may have witnessed something even better.


 

Obviously I didn't know Tony Sly on any level but I sure would have liked to have even a 5 minute conversation with him.



 

The tribute album is great despite its somber reason.

Page 8 of 34