A Tribute To TONY MILLS - RIP

Thu
19
Sep
Artist: 
Categories: 
Anthony Paul Mills
07.07.1962 - 18.09.2019
 
“It is with a shattered heart that I announce the passing of my loving husband and best friend Tony Mills. He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in April of this year and lived his life to the fullest until he exhaled for the last time in my arms. He wanted to live, but wasn't afraid of death.
 
Most will know him through his incredible contribution to the music world as a singer in bands like Shy and TNT as well as a solo artist and session vocalist. He leaves behind him a legacy that will live on for many lifetimes.
 
Those people closest to him will also know him as a gentle and kind soul, a dedicated husband with a love for the quiet life, his animals and his motorbikes. His sense of humour was always on point. His last summer was the happiest in his life, at the end of each day he exclaimed "It's been another fantastic day!" He spent a lot of time in his workshop fixing up his dirtbike so he could ride it later this autumn. The evening before he passed, he managed to whisper:
 
"I've had a good life. I've had a GOOD life. I'm just a bit pissed about the bike."
 
Linda Mills
 
 
We all knew this was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.
 
I would like to pay tribute to the one and only TONY MILLS – singer, songwriter, frontman, philosopher, comedian…and realist. Friend.
 
Tony and I swapped countless emails over the last decade, he was always that guy to replied to everything, almost immediately. He was always upbeat, even in the face of something he knew he couldn’t beat.
 
Cancer is a bastard, but through Tony’s courageous decision to be as open and honest about his treatment, we got to learn a little more about it and perhaps understand the emotional impact this had on both Tony personally and his family and friends. And by reading the many many comments posted under every update, we also got to learn a little about how his fans lived with the news too.
 
Tony Mills was one of the good guys. And you won’t ever hear anyone say differently. He will be missed.
 
His openness continued in his private correspondence with me. I’m sure many others received similar emails. I’m going to share one of the very last messages he sent me, as I know he wouldn’t mind. He sounded at total peace. I can’t overstate my admiration for his state of mind.
 
“I'm actually not sure now, if I have days or just a few months left. Either is definite.
I am enjoying a smoke, spending all my savings, forwarding advanced pocket money for the kids and paying for other artists to record their songs, that just can't afford it themselves.
I'm not listening to bible bashers or cannabis oil salesmen, just doing sessions, drinking good beer and dying naturally. I'll be remembered for that, thank you.
Oh and picking your own grave place, is a weird one, trust me.”
 
To close on a brighter note, which I know Tony would want – I asked him to send me some of his famous ‘tales from the road’ that I was at the time considering compiling and putting into book form. Who knows, I might still do…
 
He sent me some cracking tales, but its this one that has me smiling right now:
 
“SHY - somewhere in Europe. 1987
 
Parties with fans on tour buses are notorious. Most of the time, it ended up as a smoke filled, bottle strewn mess filled with laughter and sci-fi films on the video and 50 buck bets on who is willing to swallow the contents of an ashtray. I remember Chubby Brown being our host on the stereo for weeks and of course, some Monty Python and Black Adder. When it gets late, and everyone retires to their bunk bed, at whatever hour, then you know it's over.
However, not so, for a group of fans, who were informed in no uncertain terms, that they had to leave the bus at this point, (which was in the middle of a Belgian forest) at 0400 in the morning, because of checkpoint and passport control. We had driven for hours before that. I wondered how the hell those people ever found out where they were and how they got home, for years. Be careful, which bus you catch!!
It was fortuitous; the curtains of my bed, were parted by a machine gun at the border, with the words, 'Out!! - Drugs check !!'
The bizarre end to this tale, is that as we were signed to RCA at the time, we had some of their stock on the bus. The guards really only wanted our Coca Cola, so after they confiscated all the Coke, we signed a few copies of, 'Huey Lewis and The News' albums and they let us pass through the border, as we sang, 'The Way It Is'.”
 
That’s the way it is….
 
TONY MILLS RIP.
 

 

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