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First published May 2014

Tony Eagleton, founder and leader of 'Tony and the Initials' passed away on 27th May 2014.


I did not know Tony in the rock band era but some decades later I gigged with him in a group led by Brian Hands. Tony was a very competent jazz guitarist in the Wes Montgomery style and that, coupled with his wry sense of humour made every gig a breeze. A memorable musician. R.I.P. - Bob Barcham
Very sad to lose such a lovely talented person - there was only one Tony Eagleton. Tony used to tolerate me as a kid packing-in his gear, playing his guitar, even pushing me to play a riff at sound check with the great P.J. Proby - that was Tony, always doing something wonderful for someone else. Tony and Diane met whilst both working for my father and what great memories - so much belly-aching laughter!  My love and best wishes to Diane and family. - Arthur Williams
Tony was a great friend, but we drifted apart over the last 15 years or so.  I always used to stay with Tony & Diane when I was in Wellington & boy did we have some fun.  I did couple of advertising campaigns for him when he was with Carlton Carruthers.  Hip Hi Panty hose was one.  We toured the country with that one & had some great laughs.  He was a judge on Studio One the year Dave Jordan's "Don't Let me Lose You" won (I sang it).  He was a fellow Londoner & I have some great memories of times spent with him.  He was a great musician & very creative during his time in advertising.  He wrote & I recorded a novelty song called "Love Is A Laundromat" & if anybody has a copy of it somewhere I would love to hear it again.  My love & best wishes to Tony's family & although it has been a while I will miss him. - Ray Woolf
I remember when I first saw Tony and the Initials play at the Caltex Lounge in Wellington.  Their rendition of Roy Orbison's “Leah” was legendary and one of their signature songs.  Always the gentleman, you will be missed, but I remember you with admiration. - Steve McDonald
Very sorry to hear about Tony's passing.  He once told me he had played at the 2i's coffee bar in London around the middle to late 50's where Cliff Richard was discovered.  I think he knew Cliff and the Shadows pretty well.  Tony was a great character, sadly missed.  - Lou Parun
Tony and the Initials were an early influence on me musically but, more importantly, Tony was a charming and talented man.  RIP Tony. - Alan Galbraith
I first met Tony Eagleton in 1959..  I was playing at the CUBANA in Cuba St Wellington with the HI-FIVES.  It was Tony & Tommy Adderley came up together to the Cubana this night.  Apparently Tony & Tommy were working one of the Cruise Ships from UK that pulled into Wellington.  Of course Tommy had the new pin stripe suit and winkle toe shoes which was impressive (which that dress code hit NZ about 3 months later) and asked if he could sing a number, the number he chose which I never heard of before was "High Heel Sneakers".  I'll never forget that...great.  Tony and Tommy were wrapped with NZ and said that they'll finish their cruise and get back to NZ, of course, everything now is history.  I had gigged a couple of times with Tony..  I'll remember him also with his TV add with BIG SAVE.. (Haera Haera, Tony) - Tuki Witika
Tony was someone I looked up to in the days of the Hutt Valley Youth Clubs, and the fun times we had trying out songs we liked on a captive audience at the weekends. I remember him singing a lot of Cliffs songs which he was very good at.  Tony thanks for sharing your talents with us.  God bless your friends and family. - Byron Knight
That is really sad news about Tony's passing.  I had the pleasure of seeing the band play in the very early days never ever thinking that many years later I would go on tour with them in their capacity as backing band on the Maria Dallas Show into 1967.  I was one of the roadies for that tour with me driving one of the Leyland Vans and Tony and the band the other one (the best one).  Tony was a very talented guy with any extremely wicked sense of humor that he nurtured in his native England.  My condolences to the family and Tony's friends.  R.I.P. - Jim Pilcher
I was saddened to hear that Tony had passed away.  I remember him in the 60’s band ”Tony and the Initials”.  Please pass on my condolences to Tony’s family. - Roger Skinner
A sad day.  Tony was a gentleman and a great talent. - Neil Harrap
Ah this is very sad news - Rodger Fox
I had a short stint playing drums for 'Tony & the Initials' back in 1964.  Tony was the consummate frontman, very professional and very funny!  He will be sadly missed.  RIP Tony - Andy Shackleton
(email me your tribute to Tony and I'll add it in -


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