Tony The Crow

A Leeds Seen

Res-27_Crow
Images Joe Stenson
Text Andrew Owen Cook

These extracts are from Floor Chips & Guitar Licks the planned autobiography of Tony the Crow, platinum selling musician and our most famous Corvidee. He’s struggling to finish them though, as you would to if you lived in a 100 room nest with everything you ever wanted. Fortunately we all know Tony’s life story as well we do our own. Fancy helping him finish them? Pick a tale and send the conclusion to contact@aleedsseen.com 

 

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“…The thing is, the darkness in our music didn’t come from the people and things we’d grown up with. Those people weren’t dark. They were bright and sunny and hard, like a burst of sun in the late afternoon. The darkness in the music came from what happens just after that sun burst, when the
lights are just coming on and you’re outside flying over the motorways and shopping outlets and terraces and they seem to go on and on and you imagine that it’s like that for infinity till you’ve flown right back to where you started. Which for me was Leeds, I guess. That’s where the darkness comes from. Of course, once the journalists found out about my life growing up in the Market, that’s all they wanted to write about. But they didn’t know anything about it really. At that time not even my wife did. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to hide something that was really huge. It’s like…

 

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“…The thing is, the darkness in our music didn’t come from the people and things we’d grown up with. Those people weren’t dark. They were bright and sunny and hard, like a burst of sun in the late afternoon. The darkness in the music came from what happens just after that sun burst, when the lights are just coming on and you’re outside flying over the motorways and shopping outlets and terraces and and they seem to go on and on and you imagine that it’s like that for infinity till you’ve flown right back to where you started. Which for me was Leeds, I guess. That’s where the darkness comes from. Of course, once the journalists found out about my life growing up in the Market, that’s all they wanted to write about. But they didn’t know anything about it really. At that time not even my wife did. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to hide something that was really huge. It’s like…

 

 

 

“I love reading. Always have. Never read many autobiographies. though I read quite a few in preparation for this though. Quite a few from other musicians too. And I’ll tell you what. I was amazed. These people never have a dull moment in their lives! Just gigs and guitars and other musicians and nothing personal about themselves. It must be fantastic if you just want a whistle-stop tour of some chink of musical history, if you’re a complete jazz-head or whatever, but there’s more to life than that. There’s more to people than the instruments they play, no matter how well or badly they play them. Actually, I quite like that. Might use that one in the next album! [Laughter] But really, here’s all that stuff we have that makes us odd and unique and interesting: what you think about when you’re trying to get to sleep, when you completely embarrassed yourself, what really turns you on. That’s the stuff that you lean over the table to hear about. And we’ve all got that stuff too, all that …

 

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“With me and Courney L-, it was only ever an emotional thing, despite what the press were shouting.  She couldn’t ever get over the physical difference. Some girls could, some girls couldn’t. I fancied her the moment we met but that’s just the way it was. We got close a few times. But it was more like when you suddenly you find your lips are being pulled, as if by a magnet, towards someone else’s. You’re just as surprised as they are. When you’re really close with someone it’s like that. You’re in that twilight zone between friends and lovers.  People say that when you’re young you think nothing can touch you. After what I’d seen, I knew that there were lots of things things that could touch me. I just didn’t know that all the talk and rumours were one of them. Look back, I wish I had done things differently because. You see, the thing about Courney – was …

 

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“It was about more than just an excuse to knick an iPhone. Yes, for some people it became an excuse to knick an iPhone but it didn’t all happen because of that. It was about the anger that’s been gathering up inside of this country. It was about Mark Duggan and racist policing in London. It was about that anger from young people ‘cos their future had been taken away from them. And if you don’t have a future, you only have a now, so why not smash up your city. It doesn’t want you anyway. Right? There were a lot of tragic events that week but the real tragedy was the discourse surrounding the actual event. It was an opportunity missed by the mainstream media. But I’m glad I was there for it; for the start, before things got violent. There was a real party atmosphere. A dark pre-Olympics gathering. And we need to share that mutual knowledge. Knowledge that …