Tony's story could best be told by the trail of
one-night lovers and peeved hotel managers he has left in his wake.
Few performers have been able to imbibe so much alcohol and still
be able to function enough to (nearly) reproduce the piano intro
to 'Firth of Fifth.' The other band members might have grown weary
of his constant shallow prating and his irresponsible, shameless
flights of uninhibition, had it not been for the fact that most
of them have known him since his public school days, and have long
since resigned themselves to his outgoing behaviour and sinful exploits.
'There was never ever shutting him up, honestly,' says Mike Rutherford,
the band's guitarist. 'It was always "let's do another chord shift,"
"let's have six mellotrons," "look at that girl's bum;" at some
point we all just learned never to pay any attention to him, and
that was that.' It is a tribute to the other band members' compassion
that they were able to keep Tony alive until now. 'I remember many
a night when we had to get Tony to the hospital to have his stomach
pumped,' says Phil Collins, who plays the drums and sometimes sings.
'You wouldn't believe the things that he would ingest! And sometimes
not even on a dare. He once bet Chester Thompson that he could eat
a whole double-neck guitar. It took him several months, and fifteen
stomach pumpings, but good God, he did it!' Adds Collins in an undertone,
'It was really one of the only things he ever accomplished.' Tony
has also contributed some writing on one or two Genesis songs. He
is currently out of rehab.
Click on the pictures to the left for a larger version,