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The Rock-itt : September 2009
True romantic, Tony Nero has seen and done a lot of things, surviving Cyclone Tracy ,a crocodile attack in Darwin, and playing all over Australia, Italy and Canada. His danceable, Latin flavoured music has been enjoyed by many people both in English and Italian and recorded and performed at festivals by known multicultural artists like 'Sabrina'. He has played many prestigious venues like The Opera House, Trocadero, Sydney Town Hall and backed artists like Jimmy Little and Doug Parkinson. At the Belrose Country Music Festival, he got a standing ovation for his song 'Australia Australia' and praise for his music from Smokey Dawson. Arriving here from Italy at the age of 5 and inspired by his great grandfather, who played bagpipes from town to town, all Tony Nero wanted to do was to play music... and play music he did, picking up the accordion and mastering difficult orchestral pieces like 'Hungarian Rhapsody'. He competed in eisteddfods and was obsessed with winning 'the big one', The City of Sydney Open Championship, which he eventually did in 1968 as well as winning 2 other times as a duet. From age 18 his club style cover bands, 'Latin Beat', 'The Star liners' and 'Future' began working regularly with residencies as long as 10years at Porta Villa, Pasadena, Killarney Lodge and many city and country venues before having a great run for many years aboard cruise ships. These cruise ships included The Arcacia, The Oriana, Northern Star, Canberra, and even a Russian liner. Then returning to Conflenti in Southern Italy, he met and married a young choir singer who was the inspiration behind the many beautiful love songs he has written. While waiting for her to arrive in Canada, he wrote his first song at the age of 28 and has never looked back since. Still flying high at 61, Tony, a regular at many festivals, performs at a wide range of venues across many genre circles like country, multicultural and pop with his own brand of highly infectious songs. He has now released his first, full length album, 'Black Eagle' aptly named after the call sign he goes by. I caught up with Tony over a few vinos. Paz: Who are your influences? Tony: I love everything from Robbie Williams, CCR and Bob Dylan to Guns and Roses, but more relevant to my style and baritone voice is 60's Italian like Sinatra, Dean Martin, Mario Lanza and Caruso with Bobby Rydell being one of my all time favourites. Paz: You play a wide range of instruments like accordion, keyboards, guitar, tenor sax, flute, harmonica and congas. What is your instrument of choice? Tony: Instruments are an addiction for me, each one creates a different expression, but my kids bought me a little Yamaha keyboard and I was amazed at what you could do with it so I went and bought a big fancy one which is my main writing tool. Paz: You have performed almost everywhere, is it true you performed to passengers on the Manly Ferry? Tony: Mmm, Yeah, my music