Stories

I have been listening to NUFAN since I was 14 years old. Today I am 36. Tony's songs, especially the ones on the Tribute album have become more important to me since my sister passed away last week. It was totally out of the blue, and nearly the same age as Tony as she was born in 1969. So, Mr. Sly, can you please keep an eye on her? Hopefully you are able to introduce her to punk rock. P.S. today is her birthday!

As a musician, once in a while you see a band and think, "Wow, I wish I was in this band." No Use was one of those bands for me. It was always obvious to me that their songs and talent was beyond the level of an average punk band. But it was their personalities and overall dynamic that really made them so cool. Tony is one of the funniest and smartest people I've ever known. His talent was always obvious. One day, out of the blue, I received a call from Tony asking if I wanted to audition for No Use. Lagwagon was not doing much of anything at the time and I was working as a care giver for an elderly woman. I was initially surprised but flattered and I accepted. Our first tour was to Indonesia, Malaysia, China and Japan. I quickly realized even more than before, the extent of Tony's talent and the band's potential. None of us had ever been to Indonesia, Malaysia or China and we played many smaller cities in Japan that bands don't normally go to, which made it a new experience for all of us. I can't really recall many tours that I had a better time on. I quickly became very close friends with Tony, Matt and Rory. When Rory left the band I recommended my good friend, Boz Rivera to take his place. Matt and Boz playing together was an awesome thing to behold. They fed off of each other's musical abilities. With that, combined with Tony's songwriting, I was quite sure that the the next album to come out of this band was going to be something very special. To be a part of it, I'm sure, was going to be something I would have really been proud of. I am proud and grateful to have been lucky enough to have experienced the times that I did, playing, touring and just hanging out with Tony and to have had his friendship. I will Never Forget Tony Sly.

"Hey, what does that writing on your arm say?" Thats generally what people ask when they see my tattoos. amongst all the skulls, birds, stars roses and flames, one small script stands out amongst the rest. I first heard No Use For A Name on an inline skate video around 1996 with the song 'Fatal Flu' on one of the opening sections. the song had me hooked, but before the days of online shopping and with the lack of non chart-related cds in my local record store, i'd have to wait till around 1999 before my local HMV would stock Leche Con Carne so that I could feed my No Use For A Name fix. Fast forward to 2005 and I was about to see No Use for the first time. I remember queuing for the venue and seeing Dave Nassie casually walk across the street with some take-out coffees, I was star struck. I remember being in the venue and seeing Rory and Matt wandering around with a beer as though they were also fans waiting to see the band play... a very surreal experience. The gig was everything i expected and more, the guys were great and they sounded awesome - but you already knew that. When the gig came to a close, i was lucky enough to meet most of the guys and pose for the ultimate fan-photo and got to chat to them about missed gigs in the past, and our 400 mile round trip to come see them. But it was when I asked Tony to sign the entry ticket that I was presented with an oppurtuity too good to pass up. When he was done doing the obligitory signings, i asked him if he would be so kind as to write the lyrics, "victim of societys incurable disease, the fatal flu" on my arm... he duly obliged and we shared the history of the song and how I came to know the band. I Immediately covered my arm in kitchen roll and made my way home. The very next morning I awoke hoping that the ink had not faded or smudged, but I was in luck. I headed to the nearest tattoo parlour i could find and had Tony's handwritten lyrics tattood on my arm. So when people ask, "what does that writing say?" I fondly recall the time I met the lead singer of my favourite band, and how he wrote the lyrics to my favourite song on my arm and how I have a piece of Tony on me forever. As a side story, I emailed Rory a few weeks later as he was in charge of the photos section on their site. I told him the story and sent him the pictures and he insited we (myself and my arm!) head on down to their next UK gig where he would put us on the VIP guest list for the gig. I saw the band twice more after that, and as always they nailed it.
I was fortunate to have seen No Use For A Name several times, but I actually got to see Tony Sly in person at one of his solo gigs opening for Heartsounds in San Diego around March of 2012. His entire set for that particular show is on Youtube by the way. His solo acoustic performance unleashes a more catatonic and heartwrenching take on those moshable No Use For A Name punk standards. After the set, I met up with him at his merchandise area. He was truly one of the most down to earth guys you'd ever meet, which was a pleasant surprise coming from a frontman for such an established punk rock act. I immediately picked up all his solo albums and some T-shirts. It still feels surreal that an icon and staple of my punk rock youth passed inexplicably so soon; he was only 9 years older than me.

I just got back inside from smoking a cigarette on my deck in the backyard. While smoking the song "Invincible" played in my head. I started thinking about Tony Sly and how surprised and shocked I was, pretty much exactly 1 year ago, when I wanted to look up if NUFAN would tour around the south sometime in the near future and instead had to read that he's no longer with us. Ever since a girl back in high school introduced me to NUFAN Tony was a huge inspiration in my life and was present through his music wherever in this world I would go. I play a few instruments myself and would've had the chance at one point to pursue a professional career as musician but instead chose to follow my other dream and join the Army. There were numerous occations when Tony performed somewhere near me but I would always put it off, thinking there was going to be a better time later on. I now really regret that I never went to see him. I never knew him personally nor am I a die hard fan who knows all his favorite meals. Yet I still feel I'm able to catch some of his emotions and phases of his life through his music. In order not to rant on and on I would like to finish this short message by saying that he was a fantastic man who is missed more than most and that he'll live on through his music in all of us. And even though it's too late for him to get the message: Thank you Tony, you made life, at least for myself, better.

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