Tony Fox Sales (born September 26, 1951) is an American rock musician. Normally on bass guitar, Sales and his brother, Hunt Sales, played with Todd Rundgren, Iggy Pop, and Tin Machine with David Bowie.
Early life and career
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, a son of 1950s/'60s TV comedian Soupy Sales (January 8, 1926–October 22, 2009) and Barbara Fox (born June 23, 1931), Tony grew up in Detroit, Michigan, with his younger brother, Hunt Sales (born 1954).
His first musical group was with Hunt, a drummer, in Tony and The Tigers. The band also included Jon Pousette-Dart, son of artist Richard Pousette-Dart and later the leader of the Pousette-Dart Band. The band appeared on a TV show hosted by Steve Allen in 1965 and performed two songs, "I'll Be On My Way" and "When The Party's Over," vintage clips of which are featured on YouTube.
Tony and The Tigers released the song "Turn It on Girl," which was a minor local hit in Detroit, appeared on the show Hullabaloo a couple times, December 20, 1965, hosted by Jerry Lewis, and April 4, 1966, hosted by their father, Soupy Sales. The band also appeared on the local Detroit/Windsor dance show Swingin' Time hosted by Robin Seymour.
In 1970, the Sales brothers joined Todd Rundgren in the newly formed group, Runt, and recorded two albums.
They recorded the album Kill City with Iggy Pop in 1975 and provided the rhythm section for Pop's album Lust for Life (1977), which was produced by David Bowie, who also played keyboard. The brothers joined Pop on his subsequent tour, recorded as TV Eye Live 1977 and released in 1978.
He and Anulka Dziubinska were married on August 20, 1978, in Los Angeles. He and his brother, Hunt, did some recordings together. Sales had a car accident in 1979 and was in a coma for over eight months. His recordings with Hunt were stored away. He recovered from his injuries and went back into music.
Sales and Taryn Power, daughter of the late movie star Tyrone Power and actress Linda Christian, had two children, Anthony Tyrone "Tony" Sales (born September 4, 1982) and Valentina Fox Sales (born September 10, 1983).
In 1982, Sales joined a band named Chequered Past, which included singer/actor Michael Des Barres (later of Power Station), ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, and Blondie’s bass player Nigel Harrison and drummer Clem Burke. According to Des Barres, the choice of name was not an idle one. "All the members have been through a lot," he told the Los Angeles Times at his house in Hollywood, including the fact that Sales had fully recovered from a debilitating auto accident. After an album released by Chequered Past in 1984 flopped the band broke up shortly afterward.
Sales joined David Bowie, Reeves Gabrels and Hunt Sales in Tin Machine in 1988. The New York Times said of the band's first album, "Tin Machine sounds as if it was made by people working together, not by a producer with a computer." On November 23, 1991, Tin Machine appeared on Saturday Night Live, which was hosted by then child actor Macaulay Culkin. Tin Machine recorded three albums and did two tours before it broke up in 1992. Bowie later stated that his memories of Tony and Hunt Sales' contribution to Lust for Life led him to invite them to join Tin Machine.
Throughout the 1990s, Sales recorded and produced and was a member of the short-lived all-star band The Cheap Dates, which included actor Harry Dean Stanton, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter and Slim Jim Phantom.
Sales and Hunt's recordings from the late 1970s were released in 2008 by Perseverance Records as a solo album, Hired Guns. An e-book about them, Quintessentially Soul Brothers: The Sales Brothers In Their Own Words by Stephanie Lynne Thorburn, was published in 2009.
Tony lives in Burbank, California
Since the middle of the eighties he has used a Vigier Passion Bass.
With Todd Rundgren
- Runt (1970)
- Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren (1971)
- Something/Anything? (1972)
And with Andy Fraser of the band Free, "Till the Night is Gone"
With Iggy Pop
- Kill City (recorded 1975, released 1977)
- Sister Midnight (recorded 1977, released 1999)
- Lust For Life (1977)
- TV Eye Live 1977 (1978)
With Tin Machine
- Tin Machine (1989)
- Tin Machine II (1991)
- Tin Machine Live: Oy Vey, Baby (1992)
- Hired Guns (2008)