Okay so tonight I am looking into the life of Tony Allen, number 49 on “Modern Drummer” The 50 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Tony Allen was born in Lagos, Nigeria and is 75 currently living and working in Paris. He has an autobiography Tony Allen: Master Drummer of Afrobeat co-written with author/musician Micheal E Veal which I will be adding to my reading list for the summer.
Allen is credited with co-founding Afrobeat music and was a part of the Africa 70 from 1968 to 1979. Tony has since started his own bands as well as releasing a number of albums and played in Rocket Juice & The Moon and The Good, The Bad, and The Queen. One thing I found interesting was that he did not start playing until he was 18 years old – still a kid but makes me feel a bit better about starting now.
For those of you who may not be familiar with Tony (as I wasn’t) but are familiar with a little Brit Pop band “Blur” Damon pays homage to Tony on the song “Music Is My Radar” makes mention of Tony Allen dancing and ends the song repeating “You really get me dancing” referring to Tony Allen.
I am looking forward to learning more about Tony and will post more once I complete his book sometime this summer. I will leave you with two video’s today – the first is Tony performing a solo in Boston,” Second is Blur – Music Is My Radar.