March 2019 at the John Power tribute gig at Memo Hall

March 2019 at the John Power tribute gig at Memo Hall

Tony Faehse’s music career spans five decades..

1960′s as lead guitarist in Adelaide & Melbourne with Village Eyes & Music Express

1970′s touring England & Europe with Alvin Stardust

1980′s ARIA HALL OF FAME success with Australian legends JO JO ZEP & THE FALCONS

1990′s writing and guitar for hire in Melbourne

2000′s writing and producing five all original solo albums

Born and raised in Adelaide in the middle of the last century Tony took up guitar aged 13 initially studying classical guitar technique with Lionel Ward, later self teaching the electric lead guitar. Formed Village Eyes with classmates at High School and soon got gigs at local dances playing the rhythm & blues made popular by the English beat groups. Later influences included soul and psychedelia. Gigged extensively around Adelaide and South Australia.

Four piece beat group Musick Express already had a following when they asked Tony to join in 1969 before moving to Melbourne in 1970 and releasing the single Jackie’s Thing with B side How does paternity suit you Tony’s first published composition. Appeared on many TV shows, gigged extensively in Melbourne and toured throughout Australia. Returned to Adelaide 1971 and reformed. After more gigging headed to Sydney as band for controversial stage production Oh Calcutta! Rehearsed the show for a month, banned after its first performance. This proved to be the end of the group.

Married Wendy at the end of 1972 (still together to this day) and moved to London early 1973. Successful auditions with a reforming Atomic Rooster, Stars (with Davy Jack and Lionel Morton) Peachy Keen and Mirrors followed but none led to lasting success. However glam-rocker Alvin Stardust whose first single My Coo Ka Choo was number one in the charts formed a backing band and that successful audition got a result. With Alvin Stardust Tony toured all over the UK and Europe as well as many appearances on television including Top of the Pops. At the same time Wendy was working at Barbara Hulanicki’s big BIBA store in Kensington High Street. However when the rock gigs gave way to midlands cabaret Tony left and at the end of 1976, reluctant to face a fourth English winter he and Wendy returned home.

In Melbourne Tony immediately joined Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, an established live act already with an album to their name.  With the writing team of Camilliri, Burstin & Faehse the next five years produced two gold albums Screaming Targets & Hats Off Step Lively and the evergreen tracks Shape I’m In, Hit & Run and So Young. Regularly appearing on Countdown and other television shows the band toured all over Australia undertaking a world promotional trip in 1980. Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons rightly hold their place in Australian rock history, and were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007. In line with the current interest in classic but now vintage Australian music the band continues to do occasional special performances memorably supporting Elvis Costello for the 2013 Day on the Green tour, just like they did when he first toured Australia in 1980

After 1996 Tony began stepping back from full time music to open vintage design shop Retro Active with Wendy. This proved to be a successful venture. And then, with no criteria but to create his own music his own way he returned to writing and recording, releasing his first album Learn to Fly in 2000. St Tropez (2004), Dance With a Flower in Your Hair (2007), If you’re a cat (2010) and Fancy That (2012) followed.

For some years Home & Away used numerous excerpts from Tony’s tracks, licensing being a useful commercial application of his music, and there are film music and other licensing possibilities now in progress.