Tony Ashton Gallery

       

The musician, singer and composer Tony Ashton began his career during the Beatles era, but his roots lay firmly in soul, jazz and the blues. A gifted organist, Tony was adept as a producer, and later in life developed a reputation as an artist, However, his enduring popularity also rested on his conviviality, sense of humour and flair for showmanship.

After growing up in Blackpool, Tony had left school and was an accomplished pianist by the the age of 15. In 1962 the singer Jimmy Justice invited Tony to join his band and his first professional job was acompanying the Beatles on their  Scandinavian tour.  Brian Epstein  then invited him to join the Remo Rour, backing stars like Tommy Quickly and Cilla Black, but soon the Remo Four were working on their own, doing their stint at Hamburg's famous Star Club, and recording what became the cult album "SMILE"

 
Tony Ashton
 

Tony and the drummer Roy Dyke then left and formed Ashton Gardner and Dyke with the bassist Kim Gardner, playing jazz-rock and featuring Tony on his beloved Hammond B3 organ. Soon they had a worldwide hit with "The Resurrection Shuffle", the funky number written and sung by Tony, backed by a brass section. The band, driven into the pop world, didn't much enjoy what they were doing however, and soon Tony was caught up in production, working with artists like Medicine Head, Ian Dury, Chas 'n Dave, and Kenny Ball, while touring with Family, and working on albums by George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. His album "THE FIRST OF THE BIG BANDS" with Deep Purple's Jon Lord encouraged the two to do more work together. In 1977  they formed the band Paice Ashton Lord with Ian Paice and released what was to be their only album, "MALICE IN WONDERLAND" during a UK tour which included a dynamic performance at London's Rainbow Theatre, where Tony accidentally fell off the stage.

During the 80s Tony began to develop his second career as an artist, specialising in idiosyncratic drawings and more elaborate paintings, many of which were bought by TV presenter and DJ Chris Evans, who opened the Notting Hill gallery Well Hung to showcase Tony's work.

Tony had a series of exhibitions and continued to tour with his jazz band and with Pete York's on-going Endangered Species band. When he became ill in 1999 a special benefit concert was recorded and filmed at Abbey Rd Studios, featuring the many diverse talents of a number of Tony's friends and colleagues over the years, including  Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Mick Moody, Bernie Marsden, Howie Casey,  Chris Barber, John Entwhistle, Zak Starkey, Pete York, Zoot Money, Joe Brown and Geoff Emerick and Mike Figgis and Ewan McGregor.

This Gallery shows just some of  Tony's artwork, reproduced in a series of fine prints and available for sale.

Hope you enjoy it - as Tony would say: CHEERS AND BOLLOX!