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The Story.....

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Tony's music career has been running for over 25 years!!
It all started on the day his Sister bought a copy of Ziggy Stardust by David Bowie and after hearing that album it was..the beginnings of big things...Tony's other big influences were Mott the Hoople..he was only fourteen at the time and like other teenagers, maybe all teenagers, he dreamed of becoming a rock star..but.. unlike most teenagers..this dream came true for Tony....

In 1976 Tony formed his first band, "Wheels"..( eventually named "The Rip-off’s") he decided that he would be the singer based on the fact that he could not play an instrument! The musical influences of the time where more punk based. Tony loved Iggy Pop and the Stooges. For other band members it was bands like The Damned and The Clash. Over the years he played in a number of bands…not always as the singer..he also played Bass With a band called "The Cracked Actors", Tony created his first single "Disco" this was sent to the music business but wasn’t greatly received.

The band took the decision to replace the singer with Tony, who was also still playing bass and change to the name "Sport" again a number of recording were made. Time was passing and the main musical influences were changing to a more rock based form.

At the tender age of eighteen, Tony successfully auditioned for "Overdrive" who were very successful in the Birmingham area.

They were invited to London by Chas Chandler (The Animals) to

Record a single. Unfortunately Chas had his own ideas and music that he wished the band to play, this did not match the ideas the band had, so this opportunity did not work out. "Overdrive" did record a demo later in Edgbaston, that was their music and this was received well, but unfortunately did not manage to gain a record contract. The next band Tony was asked to join was "Enigma" they played many venues in and around Birmingham in the early 80’s. In 1982 he joined "Orion" these guys liked Beer and Rush…Tony replaced their singer who had left to go work for Black Sabbath (Tony (Cat) Martin)!! This lasted a while and the Tony did some session work for some bands, this session work included some work for a band named "Trojan". This session work continued with Trojan and was sucessfully recognised in Melody maker. In February 1983 Tony was back in the studio again with the renamed "Trojan"…now called "SHY"...

With Tony still as a session singer, commercial interest in SHY was building they were offered a track on a compilation album "Metal Warrior" they had to pay in order to take part but were excited by the offer..."Tonight" was released on "Metal Warrior". In Jun 1983 "Deep Water", "Think of Me" and "Reflections" were recorded. Tony was asked to Join "SHY" as a permanent member!! "SHY" recorded their first album "Once Bitten, Twice'..." and were managed for the first time by Barry Keen. With Barry's support SHY became professional and gave up their day jobs. One of their first professional gigs was supporting "Magnum".

Starting In April 1984 "SHY" recorded some demos:

Demos:-
Was I Wrong ? (Brave the Storm)
Throwing it All Away (unreleased)
Lonely Man (released 1999 ‘Regeneration’)
Two Hearts (released 1996 -bonus track - Brave the Storm - Japan)


Then a few months RCA funded some further more professional demos. so that they could hear the band recorded properly under decent conditions and with more professional equipment.

Demos:-
My Apollo (Brave the Storm)
All on You (released 1998 - Once Bitten, Twice... Neat Records)
Now or Never (Unreleased)

"Shy" Continued writing and recording new material. Their manager continued the hunt for a record deal and Roy Davis (Ex- "Trouble) bass player joined "SHY". After recording "My Apollo"

this was spotted by Peter Robinson from RCA. A concert was arranged by Barry Keen at Goldiggers in Chippenham and the RCA attended and offered "SHY" a five year , seven album contract worth just under a million pounds. (signed the summer of ’84) !!!!

A nationwide tour and two Tommy Vance rock shows followed. Magnum support again. A further tour around the UK. This touring was expensive. The promotion of the band had cost the Management company over 80K ! When RCA paid the first years advance this was taken to cover the costs..leaving the band with little money. Then the Management company ran into serious difficulties leaving "SHY" with no manager.

"SHY" continued on to record ‘Brave The Storm’


Tracks:-
Hold on (to your love)
My Apollo
Reflections
Keep The Fires Burning
The Hunter
Brave The Storm
Wild, Wild Woman
Caught in the Act
Was I Wrong ?
(bonus track - Strangers in Town (b-side of Hold On)

Two videos were also filmed for the promotion of the singles from the album: "Hold on" and "Brave the Storm" The "hold on" went straight into the charts at No60! And the album at No65. RCA had not asked for permission to give t-shirts away with the first album and Gallup moved the album to number 120.

The band did a further nationwide tour supporting UFO. Then a club tour promoting the album.

"SHY" recorded further demos:

August ‘85
Tracks:-
Telephone
Run For Cover
Call of the Wild
Zenith
Fooled Again
Don’t Turn your Back on Love
Deceiving Heart
Turn Me Loose
Who Do I turn To ?
Got Me Runnin’

In February 1986 Steve Harris and Tony Mills were taken to LA to write and soak up the atmostphere. During this time the guys got to work with Don Dokken, Michael Bolton, John Parker (Chicago), Jeff Paris, Michael Thompson, Bob Kulick(Skull), Michael Jay(Survivor) Michael Des Barres(Power Station) and Duane Hitchings(Rod Stewart).

It was also during this time Tony recorded backing vocals for the "Cinderella" -"Nightsongs" which sold seven million copies.

After a few months the rest of "SHY" were flown out to LA to start recording. Tracks recorded were:

Feb ‘86
Tracks:-
Emergency
Last Chance (became Break Down the Walls)
Cant Fight the Nights
When the Love is Over
Talk to Me
Changing (basics) (became Young Heart)
She’s not So Innocent
The Eyes of A Woman
Thrashin’
Follow Your heart
Strange Fascination
Just Love Me

Another album was released ‘Let Them Eat Rock’ a complitation album with ‘The Hunter’ a song from ‘Brave the Storm’ other bands on this album were Judas Priest, Grim Reaper, Mass, Autograph, White Wolf, Gary O, Nick Gilder and The Scorpions.

In the Summer of 1986 "SHY" toured the UK with "Twisted Sister".

At the same time Def Leppard were recording "Hysteria", "SHY" were recording down the road from them in Soundpush Studios in Holland.

Shy had spend a year writing an album, on both sides of the Atlantic. It took three months of recording. Then Excess all Areas was born.. This album was toured by supporting Meatloaf on the 20/20 tour in the UK. Then a major European tour with Gary Moore.., Reading Festival with Alice Cooper, NEC supporting Bon Jovi..

In 1987 Neil Levine became "SHY’s" manager. This lasted a year …

 

To continue....

SHY Tour 2005:

Things that, shouldn't, but can, happen before a gig that you don’t always hear about.….Tony’s Story of recent incident when SHY were on tour in Madrid on 22nd October 2005…

"Soundcheck was cool, and then five of us went for a chinese meal to chill before the gig. It was hot and raining in the Madrid streets. We got back to the hotel and all got in the same elevator to go have a shower and get changed before the promoter collected us for the show. As we hit the up button, the lift went down and jammed half way to the floor below. Mmmmmmm........ Quite funny at first....... 25 minutes later, not so bloody funny................The emergency staff on the elevator intercom could not speak English......Then the lift engineers turned up and manually dropped the lift to floor -2. We opened the doors and got out, what a relief.

 

We found ourselves in an L shaped room that was about 8 feet square. The lift doors closed behind us and that was that. We were in a storage room with a locked fire door

.........and the lift controls were disabled from this room. Doh !!!!!!!!

 

So after much laughing, the smiles faded, and the time that the promoter was supposed to collect us, came and went and our mobile phone batteries died. And the lights went out. Things were not looking good. In fact it was getting hot...there was no escape from the room, the hotel owners refused permission for the staff to break the fire door down, which led to the underground car park, and the lift engineers could not access floor -2 because it had never been recorded on the plans. In fact the only thing in the room was newspaper on the floor when the room had been painted by the contracters - October 2004. So nobody could get to us and nobody could hear us, and we were late for the show. "

 

After 2 hours, the doors to the lift opened and the receptionist told us all to get in. I refused. I said no fuckin way, so three of the guys got in and the door closed. The lift jammed again, leaving four people stuck in the lift and me and the sound engineer stuck in the storage room. Eventually,

the door opened and everybody got out again. The only thing to do was to try sending one man up at a time ...and this worked. We eventually got out into the hotel lobby at 11pm. We were due at the gig at 10pm. After a few beers (!) we walked into a rammed gig and the place exploded. Two hours later, it was all over and Joe and me sat in the hotel bar and got drunk until 4 am. The flight was at 9am and by 1pm we were back in the UK.

 

Major fuckin rock n roll.

 

Next ?..........."

tonymillsfansite@yahoo.co.uk