Photo of Tony Anthony Earle Peter Butler
Bass guitar & pedals, backing vocals

Born: 13th February 1957 in Shepherds Bush, London, England
Lives in: Ealing, London [then]; Cornwall [now]


Tony had the rare fortune to be encouraged to play bass guitar at school. An enlightened music teacher asked all the kids one morning what instrument they would like to learn. Tony had been watching Top of The Pops the night before, and fancied being a guitarist, but chose bass to be different. "I'll always be grateful to him for his help and encouragement." So at the age of 13 he was playing in the school band when he was approached by one of the other boys who suggested he met some friends of his - the Ealing Family Townsend. His meeting was followed by more than ten years musical association with members of that family. In the early days he played with Simon Townsend and middle brother Paul - with his brother Lenox sometimes joining in on vocals. But when they began to take the music business more seriously, Tony stuck with Simon and the others went their separate ways. They would rehearse for days on end and finally made their debut at a council-run festival at the Questors Theatre in Ealing. When Tony left school he got a job as a clerk with the BBC, which gave him a chance to save for his first decent guitar - a beautiful black Rickenbacker, which he still uses occasionally. The Simon Townsend Band lasted several years, with a break when Simon got a solo record deal. Tony took the opportunity to broaden his scope by joining his cousin's reggae and calypso band - playing the West Indian dances and church hall wedding receptions. But later he rejoined Simon, eventually being asked by Pete to come and work for him. Tony ran the Townsend sythesizer hire company, driving up and down the country - but when Pete needed a bass player for demos at short notice, he started to ask young Butler, and was impressed with what he heard. For the rest of the tale check Mark's biography, for they followed the same course for around four years. Tony is now fully committed to Big Country. "When I first heard Stuart's tapes I knew this was going to be something special. I had been looking for a band to get involved with, but nothing seemed to click until I found Big Country."


Supports Tottenham FC, watches Darts and Snooker on TV and plays Golf.

Tony is married to Jackie. Click here to see their 3 children (L-R) Alexander (29th August 1984), Jake & Joella. The photo is taken from Issue 20 of the Country Club Magazine.

Favourite singles

"Armageddon Time" - The Clash, "One Step Beyond" - Madness, "Brass In Pocket" - Pretenders, "Solsbury Hill" - Peter Gabriel, "Pass The Dutchie" - Musical Youth, "Lunatics" - Fun Boy Three, "In The Ghetto" - Elvis Presley, "The Dreaming" - Kate Bush, "Babooshka" - Kate Bush, "Going Underground" - The Jam
Taken from the Country Club Fanzine (Issue 1 & 2)

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