Tony Secunda

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Tony Secunda
Birth nameAnthony Michael Secunda
Born(1940-08-24)24 August 1940
Epsom, Surrey, England
Died12 February 1995(1995-02-12) (aged 54)
Tiburon, California, United States
  • Pop
  • Rock
Occupation(s)Manager, music publisher
Years activeEarly 1960s–1995
Associated acts The Moody Blues, Procol Harum, T. Rex, Steve Peregrin Took, Motörhead, Steeleye Span, Marianne Faithfull, The Pretenders

Anthony Michael "Tony" Secunda (24 August 1940 – 12 February 1995) [1] [2] was an English manager of rock groups in the 1960s and 1970s, including The Moody Blues, [3] Procol Harum, [3] The Move, [2] and T. Rex, [2] Motörhead, [4] Steeleye Span, [3] Marianne Faithfull [3] and the Pretenders.


Life and career

He was born in Epsom, Surrey, England. [3] According to Carl Wayne, the Move's vocalist, Secunda's business acumen and flair for publicity were a major factor in the group's success. "He dreamed up all the ideas, the stunts and the clothing – sending Blackberry pies with bottles of champagne for "Blackberry Way", doing a photo session at the fire station in Birmingham for "Fire Brigade" – and of course the Harold Wilson affair!" [5]

The latter referred to Secunda's most controversial stunt, in which a cartoon postcard promoting the group's 1967 single, "Flowers in the Rain", featured a libellous drawing of Wilson, then Prime Minister. The group and management were sued, lost the case, and as part of the settlement had to relinquish all royalties in respect of the record to a charity of Wilson's choice – a ruling which they tried unsuccessfully to overturn after Wilson's death in 1995. [6] The Move were unnerved by the experience, and fired Secunda as their manager shortly afterwards. [3]

In 1969 Secunda helped organize and finance the band Balls with Trevor Burton (formerly of the Move) and singer Denny Laine from the Moody Blues. The group was not very successful. [3]

In 1971, he became manager of T. Rex and helped Marc Bolan to set up his own record label, T. Rex Wax Co, through EMI. [3] After parting company with Bolan, he managed Steve Peregrin Took, Bolan's former musical partner, [7] Steeleye Span, Motörhead, and Marianne Faithfull; the latter a short run experience which ended with a cash pay-off, after Faithfull decided his management style was not suited to her needs. [3] Secunda discovered Chrissie Hynde and placed her on a retainer, so she could leave her day job and concentrate on writing music.

In the mid 1980s, Secunda moved to San Anselmo, California, where he remained active in music publishing and promotion, and developed an interest in the ecology and green issues. [3] He started a literary agency in Tiburon, California, publishing the biographies of bands and musicians, where he died of a heart attack on 12 February 1995, at the age of 54. [2]

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  1. "". Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 – accessed 27 March 2012
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Chris Welch (22 February 1995). "Obituary:Tony Secunda". The Independent . Retrieved 27 March 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. Frame, Pete (1983). Rock Family Trees. Omnibus Press. ISBN   978-0-7119-0465-1.
  5. Archived 2 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p.  282. ISBN   0-85112-072-5.
  7. "The story of Steve's association with Tony Secunda, the sessions recorded in his basement flat and the 1972 NME interview with Charles Shaar Murray". 14 October 1972. Retrieved 3 January 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)