After reading the Rifftides remembrance of Tony Scott, Jair-Rohm Parker Wells sent a message from Stockholm. Mr. Wells discusses a facet of Scott’s musical life about which few people may have known.
I’m a bass player. I played with Tony in Germany in the mid-seventies and then in the US in the early 80s. There are two reasons i feel compelled to leave a comment here. The first is, Tony’s graduation didn’t cause me to remember him again. I never forgot him. During the last couple of years, i was trying to get together with him to do some new music. After tracing him through the Internet i set about nagging him to do a project with me. The other reason for my taking up bandwidth here is to mention something i never see in any of the biographical info on Tony. Tony played clarinet in a New Jersey based “Avant-Rock” band that i was in called “DP and the Grays”. We toured in the north-eastern US with this band during the early 1980s.
Tony was something of a mentor to the band’s leader and guitarist, Dani Petroni. The story was they met when Dani was playing in the streets in Rome. When Dani got back to the states and got his band together and a record deal, he called Tony and asked him to be in the band. Imagine what a surprise it was to me when i showed up to a gig and he was there. The band only released one LP which was recorded before Tony entered the band (Frank Lowe is on reeds on the album). We played all of the significant regional clubs of the time, CBGBs, The Stone Pony, Maxwell’s, etc. Tony Scott was an electrifying musician who elevated any and every musical situation he found himself in. It’s a shame that his playing with DP and the Grays wasn’t properly documented. I’m sure that somewhere out there are concert bootlegs of Tony Scott ripping it up. He is still the only musician i have ever heard who made a clarinet sound more ferocious than an over-driven guitar. It was a dimension of the multi-faceted Tony Scott that i feel privileged to have experienced first-hand.
Jair-Rohm Parker Wells
Mel Narunsky says
Bassist Wells comments, “Tony’s graduation didn’t cause me to remember him again. I never forgot him.”
I will go so far as to say that I don’t think anyone who ever heard and saw Tony perform would forget him either.
Briefly, on August 26, 1957, in Durban, South Africa, I saw Tony at two different venues: in the afternoon at a recording session at the South African Broadcasting Studios; and again in the evening at a concert at the Shah Jehan Cinema which temporarily became multi-racial, without any problems.
I will never forget this day as long as I live: the memory of his musicianship, his charisma, his presence will never leave me.