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The Rock-itt : September 2009
teacher, Mr Peachy would make me practice the accordion on the way to the eisteddfods to loosen my fingers and calm my nerves, but by the time I got there I was pretty much played out, and stiff ...and still nervous. Paz: How did you overcome those nerves to perform at a young age? Tony: I used self hypnosis to get over my nerves and I gained a better understanding of myself which helped me to achieve my very best and maintain the high standard that I have come to set. I am very disciplined and as an instructor, I have a masters in 'Tae kwon do' (6 Dan) and also refereed in the sport in Sydney and WA. Paz: What is your best moment? Tony: There have been many; like finally winning The City of Sydney Open Championship, meeting my wife Maria, who has been my inspiration and drive, and when I played in my home town in Italy then 5 years later when I returned to play a festival in front of 2000 people, I was blown away that they remembered my songs and were singing along to the lyrics of 'Make it Simple' Paz: What is your worst moment? Tony: That would have to be Christmas 1974 in Darwin 'Velvet Canon' were contracted at a holiday resort playing for tourists 4-5 nights a week for a year until the cyclone wiped us out. Our gear was wrecked and we lost everything. But we were extremely lucky to be alive. It was a long, scary night. Do Tell: The most frightening experience I've ever had. I went outside to see what was going on when I got lifted 5 ft in the air then finally dropped back down to the ground, there was no power and everyone was isolated in the chaotic darkness. I couldn't think about looking for anyone else but had to heed self preservation and take refuge somewhere until the morning. I have fought off a 6ft, launching crocodile, with just a net, without an ounce of fear but this was a nightmare of pure terror and adrenalin and I truly thought it was the end for all of us. It wasn't until the morning that I realised I had been running around with a big shard of glass lodged in my foot. Mercy! Paz: You have written over 120 songs but only recorded just 20 or so, why is that? Tony: I had a great opportunity and casual arrangement with Shaun Looker at Jungle Studios where we would record tracks and he would add some guitar parts. But then he went back to New Zealand and I never really thought about it much, till now. I've been happy just to write and perform my songs and see what works and what doesn't so I've got a fair bit of catching up to do. Paz: How does it feel to have artists perform and record your songs? Tony: It's amazing and a great recognition of your work knowing that other artists like your songs. Most of my songs are written in 2 languages and can be easily varied and done at different tempos and rhythms and many are designed for shows, which is also appealing. Paz: What does your music mean to you? Tony: Music is a big part of me. I've always enjoyed playing and expressing myself in my songs. Sunday is my writing day when I go down to my little studio space and create with a clear head. My songs are simple and from the heart and I've always just followed wherever it's taken me and I'm pleased to see that people are enjoying what I do as much as I am, and now with the new CD I can give them something more to take home with them .