Tony O'Neill's musical endevours


Marc Almond (1996-1997)
I became Marc's keyboard player at 18 years old.   We did some shows to promote the FANTASTIC STAR album.   After an incident in Moscow - where the Mafia guys who organized out shows beat the shit out of the tour manager and I over an unpaid bar tab - I was ejected from the band.     I managed to get a chance to play piano on PJ Proby's bizarre, Marc Almond produced comeback album.

KENICKIE   (1997 - 1998)
I joined Kenckie after drunkenly accosting them at a University of London Union show.   They were the best band any 18 year old could have ever wanted to be in.   We toured the UK, US and did Top of the Pops.   I left without a penny to my name, before the second album came out and moved to Los Angeles.   Lauren is hosts the BBC Culture Show now and Emma runs a website called The High Horse.

SOUTHPAW (1998 - 2001)
I joined Southpaw soon after hitting Los Angeles, and played with the band on and off for two years.   Bad management record label woes and my spiraling heroin habit all had a hand in the band's demise.     In the meantime we recorded a bunch of great songs nobody ever heard and our lead singer Dito Montiel went on to write the wonderful book A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS and direct the movie adaptation which came out in 2006.

THE BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE (1999)
My (very) brief stint in the Brian Jonestown Massacre came about because Southpaw's bass player, Charles Mehling, was filling in on bass for the BJM.   I was then brought on board after the firing of the bands original line-up.   This line-up proved abortive though and disbanded days before the supposed comeback show at LA rock venue the Troubadour.   Everybody was doing too many drugs, and insanity and darkness were in the air.

RIVIERA (2002)
I joined Riviera after returning to London to clean up.   By the time we were playing gigs I was back on heroin though, and I quit soon after doing a John Peel session with the band to pursue my smack habit full time.   I remember shooting up in the bathroom before we played our session, walking into the studio as high as hell and watching our bass player trying to turn his bass amplifier on for 20 minutes.   That said, the session sounded pretty good.

KELLI ALI (2002 - 2004)
Kelli   Ali was formerly Kelli Deyton of the Sneaker Pimps, and I joined her band to promote an album called TIGERMOUTH on One Little Indian records.   The whole experience was a catalogue of bad timing, bad decisions, ineffectual management, record company stupidity and one of the main reasons I swore I'd never deal with another record company again.   From getting my equipment seized over unpaid rehearsal room debts, to thousands of dollars being spent on remixes of singles which never even saw the light of day while I didn't have enough money to eat with, the whole thing was a fuck up from beginning to end.   We recorded a second album PSYCHIC CAT which came out pretty good but sneaked out under the radar with no promotion whatsoever.   My abiding memories?   Touring the UK supporting Garbage fuelled by a mouthwash bottle full of methadone and dexedrine tablets, meeting Vanessa - who would later become my wife - at a show at Brixton Academy, and literally passing out at a meeting with our management after taking Quaaludes and drinking red wine.