In 1998 I was 18 and lived in a northern Ontario city that had the odd punk show, but seeing No Use in Timmins wasn’t something I thought would happen. I had flown to Montreal for the Warped Tour and saw No Use for the first time. It was a great show, but I wanted to see them in a smaller, more intimate setting. Fast forward two weeks and I get news that No Use is coming through Timmins for a show on their way to Thunder Bay. Needless to say I was pretty pumped.
The day comes and I’m driving to the store or something and I see this dude walking down the street carrying a huge stack of papers. It was Tony. I had watched the Soulmate video on the Cinema Beer Goggles VHS enough to know what he looked like. That made me really excited for the show that night. The show was at a super small venue but there were a decent amount of people there. Towards the end of their set Tony asked if anybody knew the song, “I’ve Heard” by Dag Nasty. I knew the No Use version from “The Show” soundtrack so I put up my hand, I was the only one. He pulled me onstage and I sang the song with him. It was a cool moment for me, I had been listening to No Use since ’95 and Leche Con Carne was the first punk album I obsessed over. After the show my buddy and I hung out with the band for an hour or two, talking about their long drive to Thunder Bay and how excited Tony and Rory were to meet up with Propagandhi in Winnipeg.
My second Tony encounter was even better. In 2001 I drove to London to see No Use, Pulley and Bigwig at the Embassy. My buddy, his wife and I got there early to get tickets in the afternoon and we ended up helping the Bigwig guys load in their gear. We started drinking beers with all the bands and when I told Tony I saw them in Timmins in ’98, he said he remembered me because on that whole tour only two people sang “I’ve Heard” on stage. I always heard stories about bands remembering certain things and people from shows even though they play hundreds of them and I was shocked that I was one of them. The rest of the day before the show my friends and I got to hear some great stories about the old Fat Wreck van that everyone had toured in, Jim from Pulley putting in Fat Mike’s carpet, Tony talking to Scott Radinsky about pitching in MLB and other touring stories. Tony, along with everyone else made us feel like we were pals of theirs, not outsiders. When the show started, Tony noticed that we were watching from a bit off to the side, so he waved us over and brought us backstage for the rest of the show.
I never met Tony again after that night, but I saw No Use live about 5 other times after that and always felt a little special that I was lucky enough to spend the better part of a day with him, hear those stories, and share the stage with him for a brief minute . Thanks Tony.
I remember when I was 15 years old listening to "Leche con Carne" on my way to school every day in my hometown of Granollers, Barcelona, Spain. That year I started a punk rock band in English ( horrible english by the way ) making covers of NUFAN, among other bands. After some years I could finally see them live at Razmatzz 2 in Barcelona and I got to meet Tony after the amazing show they put on. He hung with a bunch of fans asking him for countless autographs, photos and stuff...he was so patient! Some many years later I was lucky enough to move to San Jose, California and I decided to contact Tony via MySpace. I told him I was new in town and I didn't know anybody and that if he could tell me about cool venues to go to see concerts and stuff... and he replied! I was so stocked! he told me about the Caravan and another venue or bar I can't remember, but I remember this text very clear: "I hope you enjoy San Jose as much as I do." I was so happy he took the time to write a fan I coudn't believe it. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that what I saw is a very kind person that had the time to be there for his fans on a human and not rock star level and that's something I really appreciated.
I miss you man. Thanks for the awesome music and inspiration.
First off Teenage Bottlerocket would like to say that it is an absolute honor to be a part of the Tony Sly Tribute. I heard the CD for the first time yesterday and it blew my mind. Teenage Bottlerocket toured with Tony Sly and NOFX in the spring of 2010. Tony rode along with us in our van. He was an absolute pleasure to be around, such a great dude. He was on tour supporting his solo record “12 Song Program”. We would find ourselves humming Via Munich after every show. Something about that tune in particular stuck with us. When Fat Mike began working on this tribute and asked us what song we were interested in recording, it was a no brainer. So we went to the Blasting Room in Ft. Collins Colorado and tracked out the tune. Kody and I both wanted to sing on the song so we split up the job. We couldn’t be happier with the way the song turned out and we hope Tony would like it too. Tony Sly will always hold a special place in our hearts.
When I was younger my cousin felt that I had a horrible taste in music so he took me under his wing and gave me a couple CD's to listen to. Hard Rock Bottom was one of them and I listened to International You Day for about a month straight. That CD was like a gateway album. I started listening to a lot of good bands just trying to get more of that sound. I can't remember how old I was or what grade I was in but I was young enough that the notes for the line "but I gave up" were just barely out of my range, but I sung along anyways. This interest in music eventually led up to me becoming the drummer for a band in middle school. In this band I learned what it was like to create music, and from them on it has become an enormous part of my life. The guys in that band are still my absolute best friends today. So who knows maybe if I never got that NUFAN album some other band would've been the one to rescue me from the music I listened to way back when. I truly think my life would be completely different if I never got a hold of that record. I wouldn't have the same passion for music.