Tony Ashton’s book out now, foreword by Jon Lord

Zermattitis is the title of Tony Ashton‘s self-penned memoirs and short stories published now by Wymer UK.

Taking its name from the Swiss town of Zermatt, where Ashton and Jon¬†used to spend many a holiday on skis – after skis and gazing at the Matterhorn – the book was painstakingly transcribed from Tony’s hand written manuscript. Written in his inimitable style, it promises to have your sides splitting with laughter over Ashton’s amazing sense of humour.

Possibly most well known for his role in Paice Ashton Lord, Tony was also the main man behind Ashton Gardner & Dyke, whose biggest hit Resurrection Shuffle put them on the charts in 1971.

Tony Ashton passed away in 2001.

Subtitled A Musicians’ Guide To Going Downhill Fast (a line from one of Ashton’s last recorded songs), the book’s foreword was written by Jon who still counts Tony Ashton as one of his very best friends.

Read more about the book – and order it here to support

First of the Big Bands, now even bigger

Purple Records have released the remastered edition of Tony Ashton and Jon Lord‘s First of the Big Bands album.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer recommends the album and calls it ‘thoroughly enjoyable.’ Hitting the nail on the head, they say that you are ‘drawn into it’s warm, rootsy embrace.’

The remastered CD contains two bonus tracks – the single b-side Sloeback and an alternative version of Downside Upside Down – along with extensive liner notes by Simon Robinson.

The project was Ashton’s and Lord’s brainchild and continuation of their working relationship after Ashton Gardner & Dyke helped out on Jon Lord’s soundtrack album The Last Rebel.

Stylistically, First of the Big Bands was the precursor to Paice Ashton Lord‘s Malice in Wonderland. Lots of brass, piano and female backing vocalist. Lots of excellent musicianship.

First of the Big Bands resulted in just two live performances, one of which was for the BBC. This was later issued on a now unavailable live album, First of the Big Bands Live in Concert 1974.

Read the full review.

Buy the album.

If you don’t know the album, check out Downside Upside Down (from the original unremastered edition):