Anthony Thistlethwaite

 

Anthony Thistlethwaite grew up on the land. His parents somehow managed to combine being art teachers with running a hundred acre farm in the “lush green heart of England”. Early dreams of being a lion-tamer soon gave way to Rock’n’Roll fever as first the Beatles and then the Rolling Stones took over his world. To kill time during a six-month contract in the oilfields of Basrah, Iraq, he took a saxophone along for the ride. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon soon gave way to hanging out in the Cafe Mazet, HQ of the buskers in the Latin quarter of Paris. Twelve months on and he’s ready to leave the City of Light for the “Smoke”, it being time to join a proper band and London being the place to do it.

The first 33 rpm vinyl to carry his name was Robyn Hitchcock’s “Groovy Decay”. It wasn’t long before the phone rang and a young Scotsman asked him to come down and add that “dirty, smokey, New York alley” tenor sax to his passionate songs. So began the Waterboys. Their first single “A Girl Called Johnny” featuring just Mike Scott’s vocal and piano with Anthony’s saxophone carrying the breaks. This seed of a band went on to grow and blossom and eventually, after three albums and some acclaim their path took them to Wild West of Ireland where they met the Saw Doctors and a whole new adventure began……

Anthony’s enthusiasm and appetite for Rock ’n’ Roll have led him to play with others along the way: Bob Dylan, Johnny Thunders, The Psychedelic Furs, Sinead O’Connor, Bruce Foxton, World Party, Donovan, Fairport Convention, Fairground Attraction, the Pogues, the Mission and Sharon Shannon have all given him reason to smile over the years.
And, on stage at a UNICEF charity concert back in the “Smoke”, when a harmonica-playing blues-singing Bruce Willis hollered “Saaaaaxophoooone!” he didn’t need asking twice to step up to the microphone and let fly………