Roger Glover Remembers Tony Ashton
A great man was Tony Ashton. I am thankful that I have so many memories
from over the years. It is impossible to relate them all, but these are
some moments that stand out for me:
When I asked Tony to sing Together Again for The Butterfly Ball, essentially
a drinking song, he had just come out of rehab by a day or two.
Nevertheless he gamely acted drunk but the irony was not lost on anybody.
The following year, he stole the show at the Albert Hall, although he told
me afterwards that it was all down to nerves - he was terrified that night.
The jam we did for Knut's 40th. birthday in Hell was something very special
and I'm grateful that I got the chance one more time to stand on a stage
with him. An honour indeed.
One of the funniest times was at Ronnie Scott's Club, some time in the 70s.
Ashton, Gardner and Dyke were performing and between songs Tony would talk.
He came out with a long speech about the duty of performers. He rambled on
at length that people who go on stage should be aware of their
responsibilities as role models and that bad language is something that
should be avoided at all costs because who knew what effect that might have
on younger ears and that when anyone had a microphone they should refrain
from such language, and on and on, etc. Then he said, "Oh, I've talked
enough, fuck it - one, two, three, four... and the band kicked in. I
guess you had to be there. I'm glad I was.
He was an original, he invented many things, he had a wicked and wonderful
sense of humour, he wrote some great songs, he had the kindest thoughts and
was one of the gentlest men I have ever met.
He was blessed to have found love with Sandra. A tower of strength. My
thoughts are with her and Indira at this painful time.