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Tony Fletcher (born 27 April 1964) is a British music journalist best known for his biographies of drummer Keith Moon and the band R.E.M., and also as a show director for the Rock Academy in Woodstock
Born in Yorkshire, England, Fletcher was inspired by the London punk rock movement and started a fanzine as a thirteen-year-old schoolboy which he named Jamming!. Founded in 1977, the magazine began as a school-printed fanzine and in 1978, with the fifth issue featuring interviews with Paul Weller, Adam Ant and John Peel, adopted professional printing and wider distribution.From 1979-84, it was printed and partly distributed by Better Badges. Between 1978-83, Jamming! featured interviews with a range of artists that included Pete Townshend, Aztec Camera, Dexys Midnight Runners, The Damned, Delta 5, The Jam, Bill Nelson, Scritti Politti, The Selecter, The Beat, Dead Kennedys and more.
In September 1983, Jamming! went bi-monthly, and later monthly. Artists featured in this later phase included The Smiths, U2, Billy Bragg, Julian Cope, Lloyd Cole, the Cocteau Twins, Echo and the Bunnymen, R.E.M., The Specials, Everything But The Girl, Madness and more. In January 1986, after 36 issues, the magazine shut down.
His success with Jamming! led Fletcher to more opportunities, starting with a major published interview with Paul McCartney in 1982. He presented TV programmes, including The Tube , where he interviewed Wham! in 1983,and networked with post-punk figures including Paul Weller and Echo & the Bunnymen, the latter being the subject of his first book, published in 1987.
Fletcher also juggled band and record label management, before moving to New York City in the late 1980s.
Fletcher produced and co-hosted 2019's It's A Pixies Podcast, which broke new ground by unveiling the recording process of Pixies then upcoming album Beneath The Eyrie before it had been released.
In 2020, Fletcher also launched the podcast One Step Beyond, a fitness and travel podcast inspired by spending most of 2016 traveling around the world with his then-wife and then-11 year old son.
In New York, Fletcher established himself as a DJ, club promoter and music industry consultant, all the while settling down as a serious scholar of contemporary music history, authoring a guide to the music of The Clash, plus major biographies of R.E.M. and Keith Moon.
With the advent of the Internet in the 90s Fletcher returned to topical writing, with his ijamming.net website, adding wine to his musical interests.
In 2010 he published a study on the musical history of New York City in the 20th century.
His biography of the Smiths, A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths, was published in September 2012.
On 4 July 2013 William Heinemann published Fletcher's memoir "Boy About Town" about his youth in London.
Tony currently is a Show Director at the Rock Academy in Woodstock.
Fletcher has two children and was married to Posie Strenz. He lives in upstate New York.He became a vegetarian and later a vegan inspired by the 1985 album Meat Is Murder .
Keith John Moon was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour.
Woodstock was a music festival held August 15–18, 1969, on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Woodstock. Billed as "an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music" and alternatively referred to as the Woodstock Rock Festival, it attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain.
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.
Tommy is the fourth studio album by the English rock band The Who, a double album first released in 23 May 1969. The album was mostly composed by guitarist Pete Townshend, and is a rock opera that tells the story of Tommy Walker, a "deaf, dumb and blind" boy, including his experiences with life and his relationship with his family.
Echo & the Bunnymen are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1978. The original line-up consisted of vocalist Ian McCulloch, guitarist Will Sergeant and bassist Les Pattinson. By 1980, Pete de Freitas joined as the band's drummer.
Sniffin' Glue and Other Rock 'N' Roll Habits..., widely known as simply Sniffin' Glue, was a monthly punk zine started by Mark Perry in July 1976 and released for about a year. The name is derived from a Ramones song "Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue." Some of the zine's writers, such as Danny Baker, later became well-known journalists.
The Tube was a United Kingdom music television programme, which ran for five series, from 5 November 1982 to 26 April 1987. It was produced by Tyne Tees Television for Channel 4, which had previously produced the similar music show Alright Now and the music-oriented youth show Check it Out for ITV; production of the latter ended in favour of The Tube.
Marquee Moon is the debut album by American rock band Television. It was released on February 8, 1977, by Elektra Records. In the years leading up to the album, Television had become a prominent act on the New York music scene and generated interest from a number of record labels, eventually signing a record deal with Elektra. The group rehearsed extensively in preparation for Marquee Moon before recording it at A & R Recording in September 1976. It was produced by the band's frontman Tom Verlaine and sound engineer Andy Johns.
Alternative rock is generally understood to have begun in the late 1970s and early 1980s, primarily in the United Kingdom, starting with proto-punk, punk, post-punk, and new wave. Reaching a commercial and critical peak in the 1990s, alternative rock acts are still popular today and AAA radio is a common format.
Ian Stephen McCulloch is an English singer-songwriter and musician, best known as the frontman of the rock group Echo & the Bunnymen.
"The Killing Moon" is a song by the band Echo & the Bunnymen. It was released on 20 January 1984 as the lead single from their 1984 album, Ocean Rain. It is one of the band's highest-charting hits, reaching number nine in the UK Singles Chart, and often cited as the band's greatest song. Ian McCulloch has said: "When I sing "The Killing Moon", I know there isn't a band in the world who's got a song anywhere near that". In a retrospective review of the song, Allmusic journalist Stewart Mason wrote: "The smart use of strings amplifies the elegance of the tune, bringing both a musical richness and a sense of quiet dignity to the tune".
Ocean Rain is the fourth studio album by the English post-punk band Echo & the Bunnymen. It was released on 4 May 1984 and reached number four on the UK Albums Chart, number 87 on the United States Billboard 200, number 41 on the Canadian RPM 100 Albums and number 22 on the Swedish chart. Since 1984 the album has been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. Ocean Rain includes the singles "The Killing Moon", "Silver" and "Seven Seas".
"Panic" is a song by the English rock band the Smiths, released in 1986 and written by singer Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr. The first recording to feature new member Craig Gannon, "Panic" bemoans the state of contemporary pop music, which "says nothing to me about my life", and exhorts listeners to "burn down the disco" and "hang the DJ" in retaliation. The song was released by Rough Trade as a single and reached No. 7 on the Irish Singles Chart and No. 11 in the UK Chart. Morrissey considered the song's appearance on daytime British radio a "tiny revolution" in its own way, as it aired amongst the very music it criticised.
Seymour Stein is an American entrepreneur and music executive. He co-founded Sire Records and was Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. With Sire, Stein signed bands that became central to the new wave era of the 1970s and 80s, including Talking Heads, the Ramones, and The Pretenders. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
Gil Norton is an English record producer known for his work with alternative rock bands such as Pixies, Echo & the Bunnymen, Foo Fighters, Tribe, Jimmy Eat World, Dashboard Confessional, Feeder, The Distillers, Maxïmo Park, Counting Crows, Terrorvision, The Triffids, Del Amitri, James, The Feelers, The Beekeepers, Twin Atlantic, General Fiasco, Span and Intergallactic Lovers.
Two Sides of the Moon is the debut and only solo album by English rock musician Keith Moon, drummer for the Who. It peaked at No. 155 on the Billboard 200.
Leslie Thomas Pattinson is an English musician, best known for his work as the bassist and co-writer of the Liverpool-based band Echo & the Bunnymen, along with vocalist Ian McCulloch and guitarist Will Sergeant. He was brought up in Aughton, Lancashire and attended nearby Deyes High School in Maghull, where he and Sergeant were classmates and became friends.
Better Badges was a London button-badge manufacturer, started in 1976 by Joly MacFie. During the years 1977–1984 it became the leading publisher and merchandiser of 'punk badges' - exporting millions worldwide from their offices at 286 Portobello Road. Better Badges was a major player in the punk and postpunk scenes from 1976–1983 - a pioneer viral marketer, fueling the independent labels' fan-based promotional successes of the time.
David Nolan is a British television producer and author, specialising in music and popular culture biographies, covering subjects from the Sex Pistols to Simon Cowell. He is a former lecturer at Salford University.
TNN Radio is an American modern rock radio program that broadcasts from station KX935 in Laguna Beach, California. The station serves the Greater Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego areas. The contemporary modern rock format is similar to that found at other modern rock stations in California such as KROQ, 91X – XETRA-FM, and LIVE 105.