Anna Chen's Gallery - Tony Tyler Tribute Page

 

Tony Tyler

James Edward Anthony Tyler 1943-2006

 

Tony Tyler - journalist, author, musician, former features/assistant editor on the New Musical Express in its 1970s glory days - died 28th October 2006, a few days short of his 63rd birthday. I met him through Charles Shaar Murray and warmed to him immediately. He was a big, intelligent, kind-hearted character whose mischievous, subversive influence on the NME had a major effect on me and my generation of readers. He is already greatly missed.

Tony's funeral at the Church of St Laurence, Guestling, was a mixed experience. The service itself, held on a sunny November's day in this ancient-looking church set among the most spectacularly quintessentially English landscape complete with rolling hills, leafy copses, and clear blue sky, was a deeply sad affair. A tall dude in life, his huge coffin sat high on pedestals in front of a packed gathering, dwarfing the vicaress (a dead-ringer for Reece Shearsmith in The League of Gentlemen). We sang our hearts out for him but, fittingly for TT, tragedy was punctuated with comic moments as we stumbled over the third line in every verse in an unexpectedly formal arrangement of the deceptively familiar Amazing Grace. Was this your last prank, TT?

The wake in The Royal Oak pub afterwards was a bit happier with copious amounts of food and inebriants washed down with a tsunami of TT anecdotes. To add to TT's slightly surreal send-off, James Bond's dad (TT's childhood chum, Tim Craig) led the jollities with wild tales of their questionable youth. Most of the surviving old lags of the NME, or MOGs (Mad Old Gits as Charles puts it), turned up, many of whom hadn't seen each other for years, and much bonding and rebonding was done (as well as Bonding, courtesy of Tim).

These pictures capture something of an unforgettable day. TT - RIP.

Tony Tyler obituaries
Guardian - Charles Shaar Murray
Independent - Chris Salewicz
John May's website

A historic gathering of the clan 6th November 2006
All pix by Anna except for those marked by Tim Craig, Danny Baker, John May and Joe Stevens



The Church of St Laurence, Guestling. Pic by Tim Craig

 

John May, Andrew Tyler, Charles Shaar Murray
John May (AKA Dick Tracy), Andrew Tyler and Charles Shaar Murray after the service outside the Church of St Laurence

 

Anna Chen, Andrew Tyler, Charles Shaar Murray<
Anna, Andrew Tyler and CSM. Pic by John May

 

Charles Shaar Murray NME journalists
Historic moment alert! NME writers (minus Kate Tyler who was still inside) and editors outside The Royal Oak pub in Pett. L to R: Alan Smith, John May, Chris Salewicz, Charles Shaar Murray, Danny Baker, Roy Carr, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, Ian Penman, Nick Logan. Where's their hair?!!!

 

Charles Shaar Murray NME journalists
Same again: L to R: Alan Smith, John May, Chris Salewicz, Charles Shaar Murray, Danny Baker, Roy Carr, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, Ian Penman, Nick Logan

 

Charles Shaar Murray NME
Same again from Tim Craig: L to R: Alan Smith, John May, Chris Salewicz, Charles Shaar Murray, Danny Baker, Roy Carr, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, Ian Penman, Nick Logan

 

Charles Shaar Murray, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, John May, Danny Baker, Chris Salewicz
L to R: Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, Charles Shaar Murray, John May, Danny Baker, Chris Salewicz

 

Charles Shaar Murray, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, John May, Danny Baker, Chris Salewicz NME

 

Charles Shaar Murray, Andrew Tyler, Neil Spencer, John May, Danny Baker, Chris Salewicz NME

 

Anna Chen, John May, Charles Shaar Murray
Anna, John May and CSM in pic taken by Danny Baker. Note the strange energy field in the middle of the pic masquerading as a greasy paw-print. (Danny insists the lens was spotless so perhaps I have the spirit of TT to thank for the soft focus effect.)

 

Chris Salewicz, Neil Spencer, Andrew Tyler NME

 

Tony Tyler, Charles Shaar Murray NME 1975
Born To Run and run: Tony Tyler and CSM in 1975 anticipating Withnail & I by eleven years. Pic by Joe Stevens

 

(c) All pix by Anna Chen except for the ones marked by Tim Craig, Danny Baker, John May and Joe Stevens. With thanks XXX

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