Tony is a dedicated Dixie Chicks fan from overseas! Read more below to see why Tony has loved the Chicks ever since he first saw them in 1999.
What part of the country/world do you live in?
I live in the UK in Bexleyheath, which is a Southeast London suburb.
What are your top 3 favorite things to do?
A. I like to relax with friends and family, quaffing red wine and eating good food!
B. Watching or playing sports like Football (Soccer), Golf, Horse Racing and I’m a Netflix nerd.
C. I love music obviously, apart from The Chicks I like Prince (I have 26 albums, so come on ladies you have some catching up to do!), The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Zac Brown Band and lots of Soul music.
What do you do for a living?
I’m self employed as a London Taxi Driver………..The famous Black Cab. I’ve picked up many celebs over the years (23 of them) including Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Emilia Clarke, Kelly Osbourne, Alan Rickman and others. One worth a mention is Jane Krakowski who ironically played ‘Wanda’ in The Chicks ‘Goodbye Earl’ video.
How many times have you seen Dixie Chicks live?
I’ve seen them 14 times live and CYH twice. We were all lucky to meet Martie and Emily over those two days, and I got to meet for the first time, James from Scotland and Mark Cooper, who was responsible for sending a copy of ‘Taking The Long Way’ to George W Bush, at The White House!!!
The first time I saw them was at Shepherds Bush in March 2003. Clearly that night has gone down in US musical history, ever since. My wife and I were stood 7 or 8 deep and to Martie’s side that evening. For me, Natalie’s comment came and went without too much of a thought from me. We’d had a huge anti war March in London the day before, I think there 250,000 people on it. So Natalie was just expressing support for that in my opinion. Also, I was absolutely knocked out by how good they were and was caught up in the performance. I came away that night, knowing they had knocked Prince off his perch of being my favourite artist/artists!
Tell us what it means to you to be a fan of DCX.
It means going back to October 1999. I was watching the UK National Lottery Show. Dale Winton introduced them as “The FABULOUS…….Dixie Chicks”. They sang ‘Ready To Run’, which was brilliant. I said to my wife Jo, “These are good….like really good”.
The next day I bought the ‘Fly’ CD and played it for 4 days solid. Then I bought the ‘Wide Open Spaces’ CD, and the rest is history.
It also means that this band is my family’s musical upbringing. My kids were brought up daily hearing The Dixie Chicks music. My son was born in 1999, and when ‘Home’ came out, it was played continually. To me, he was my ‘Superman in pyjamas on the couch’, from that incredible song, ‘Godspeed’.
It also means sitting up til the early hours on Nancy Atkins’ fanzine site, Chicksrockchicksrule.com. Nancy was unbelievably dedicated, and would send me all kinds of CD’s and DVD’s from across the pond. Because I wasn’t too tech savvy in those days. She was the best.
It’s also where I got to build friendships with other fans in the UK and all over the world, and indulge in my irrational obsession with The Chicks.
How do you show your fandom?
Over the years it’s mainly been by playing their music to absolutely anyone who’ll listen, and trying to convert them to being a fan. Some don’t havea choice…..my attitude is,”I’m gonna play it and you’re gonna listen!” I know for a fact I drive people mad with it! LOL!
What in your mind makes the Dixie Chicks stand out from any other band?
Mainly their virtuosity as musicians. Their beautiful harmonies, Natalie’s brilliant vocal, Emily’s banjo/dobro skills and Martie’s fiddling and mandolin playing. They are so versatile that they can smash a pop cover, or play bluegrass with the best of them. For me, that’s perfection to be able to achieve that.
What currently is the most played song in your music library? (Any artist).
It’s currently ‘Making Me Look Good Again’ by Drake White and the Big Fire. I’m also playing a live version of ‘The Ladder’ by Prince, ‘Trying To Drive’ by Zac Brown Band, plus Beyonce and The Chicks, 'Daddy Lessons', studio version.
What's your favorite song from Dixie Chicks and why?
This is impossible and been debated many times with other fans. I still can’t answer. But it’s probably from these.
‘I’ll Take Care of You’…….it’s so emotional with beautiful harmonies.
‘Cold Day in July’………for the same reasons as above.
‘Top of the World’…….because it’s different to any other Chicks song. The string arrangements take it to another level. It’s a song that I feel is constructed and planned with thought to great detail.
‘Voice Inside My Head’……I love the timing, the melody and the fact that this song was written, re written and written again, because Natalie couldn’t connect with it initially. I think the end product came out perfect.
‘Not Ready To Make Nice’……….What can you say? Raw emotion…….and an ‘up your arse attitude’!
What is your favorite album from Dixie Chicks and why?
I’m opting for ‘Home’. It’s because of my family’s connection with it. I also think the video, ‘An Evening With’, which I played relentlessly, helped too. I loved the incredible performance on that video as well as the famous Chicks humour.
How do you stay connected with your favorite artists?
Mainly on Twitter. I’ve had some likes and chats with the main Chicks account, as well as few exchanges with Natalie. We’ve chatted about the Oscar Pistorious trial, how she and Adrian often forget their anniversary, and she told me off once (with a wink of course) over an ice cream ‘concoction’, drizzled with juice and salt, that she suggested we all try. I also suggested to her, that her Dad’s moustache should have it’s own Twitter account. And she agreed! Pahahahah!
What is your favorite piece of DCX memorabilia?
That’s easy. On a meet and greet in Canada, I asked Natalie to sign a picture for me. She asked my name, and wrote ‘To Tony’ on it……..so if anyone steals it from me and wants to sell it on Ebay……they can’t, because my name’s on it. Which makes it worthless to anyone else………..but priceless to me.
What was your first concert ever, the last concert you've seen and what will be the next?
1. George Benson, Wembley, London in 1981.
2. Drake White & The Big Fire, at an aftershow gig at Country2Country in March this year.
3. Nothing planned as yet……
Did you attend any shows on the recent MMXVI/MMXVII Tour? If so, which ones?
Yes. I went to 3.
I went to Birmingham, where my wife and I were lucky to meet the girls as by coincidence we were at the same hotel. It was the following morning, and after staying in the bar til gone 3am, they were looking a lot better than me!!!!
We also went to Manchester the following day.
And again the following day to London, which is our local venue, just 15 mins from where we live. My great Chicks brother James from Scotland, also came with me that day. Wow, he’s covered some Dixie Chicks miles too!
I wanted to go to the last show on the US leg, at Hollywood Bowl, on the 10th October 2016. It was because it was due to be the last show of the tour (before Canada, Australia and New Zealand was announced) and it just happened to be my birthday too. Sadly I couldn’t make it, and it would’ve been really special for me. However, I have an ambition to see the girls in Texas some time…..so who knows?
Are you excited about the live MMXVI concert video that will be released later this year?
Yes I am. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it comes over on my TV screen. I thought the whole tour was very innovative and really enjoyed seeing all the interaction with the other fans.
What's the furthest you've travelled to see a show?
Toronto, Canada. That’s a flight of about 3600 miles. I had a meet and greet and took in 2 shows. I also got to meet some other fans, Jenni & Charlie, Diandra, Kirsten & Andy, Judy, and Hilary too.
I’ve also been to Sweden to see the Chicks too.
Tell us something about the Dixie Chicks that a lot of other fans may now know.
Did you know that The Chicks played a hilarious game on UK Television called, ‘Chick or Dick’? I’ll leave you all to ponder on that one! LOL…..
If you could tell Dixie Chicks one thing, what would it be?
I would tell them for 17 years so far, you’ve brought me joy, through your art and music. I’ve laughed with you and I’ve cried with you. You are great people and brilliant moms. Be proud of yourselves.
And lastly, if anyone said to me, ”If you had to choose just one artist/band, that you can listen to for the rest of your life, who would it be? ” I’d choose Dixie Chicks.