An Interview with Tony Carey,

who plays Keyboards in 'Over The Rainbow'. Interviewed by Glenn Milligan in late January 2009

What influenced you to become a musician?
Well, it beats workin'. Plus, it was a great way to meet future.

What musicians influenced you and what would you say are your favourite instruments to play and why?
Influences? Dylan, Elton, Springsteen, CSN, Santana, Creedence... No favorite instrument, it's satisfying when what you're playing helps the song - bass is a lot of fun, but I only play it in the studio. Harmonica's a great instrument, I have a couple of bluesy side-projects..

What started you off playing with bands and how were they?
The honest answer would be 'drugs'. How were they? Who knows?

What led to becoming a member of Rainbow?
Good question. When I think of an answer, I'll let you know.

What were your most memorable times in the studio?
All of them - it's great to get it right, frustrating when it's not going well, and it STILL beats workin'.

Do you have any particular songs you enjoyed recording and performing - if so, which ones and for what reasons?
Once again, all of them - you'll never hear the sh*tty ones... I particularly enjoy performing 'The Girl From Ipanima'.

What album covers do you like best from Rainbow and why?
don't have a preference, it's the music that counts. The rest is promo and that's above my pay-scale...

What were your favourite concerts/tours in your Rainbow days?
The ones where everybody was sober and nobody was p*ss*d-off about anything.

Got any cool road stories of the time you'd like to talk about?
Thousands. As soon as I die, you'll probably hear em.

What did you enjoy doing when not in the studio or on stage?
In those days? I might have answered that already, obliquely. Other than that, fishing.

What would you say are you most proud of from the Rainbow days?
Pride is a mortal sin, don't you know that? If I catch myself being proud of anything as silly as a career in music, I do my best to morph the feeling into gratitude.

After Rainbow what made you decide to become a Producer?
Well, that's not a decision you make... if nobody makes you an offer, you'll never be a producer. You kinda slide into it... I suppose I was in the right place, right time, and was lucky enough that that first couple of productions recouped their budgets. That's a big part of it...

Who have been your favourite artists you have produced and why?

They all have something, or I wouldn't take the job... but John Mayall stands out, a true gent with a great band - Walter Trout and Coco Montoya were the guitarists, and I got to play some hammond...

What would you say have been your favourite own albums and for what reasons?
First, I haven't made my favorite album yet. Secondly, they're all as good as they can be IN THE MOMENT AND PLACE - it's important to not settle for something you know you can do better. That said, planet p project's 'Levittown' says what I wanted it to say, describes America in the 50's, was VERY challenging to edit down to 66 minutes, and I think I got it nearly right.

What were your initial thoughts when you got the call of asking if you'd like to be the keyboard player in 'Over The Rainbow'?
Don't tell anybody this, but I MADE the call.

Have you worked with any of the other 'Over The Rainbow' members before, if so, in what context?
Well, Joe and I worked as boxboys in a supermarket in NJ in the seventies. No union, sh*tty money. Does that count?

What are you most looking forward to for the tour?
Playing Hammond onstage - loudly - again.

What songs are you enjoying playing again and for what reasons?
I quite like 'street of dreams', it's a good tune and whatshisname sang the SH*T out of it. Our samba version of 'moon River' would be a close second, though.

Does it or will it feel strange to you performing Rainbow songs with a different frontman or different line-up altogether?

'Strange' is a proctologist visit; this is music, which by definition feels pretty cool.

What songs are you looking forward to playing from the later years of Rainbow, when you weren't a member of the band and why?
See above. Did I mention 'guantanamera'?

If you had the chance what venues would you like 'Over The Rainbow' to play and why?
Bar mitzvahs, in a perfect world. Other than that, if someone wants to see us enough to pay for us, I'll be there.

What would you say is your favourite line-up of Rainbow?

I played with ronnie, cozy and jimmy so I'd have to say that line-up.

If you had the chance who would assemble together for the ultimate line-up?

Ultimate? OTR!!

Do you often still get recognised as being an early member of Rainbow on a regular basis and how does that make you feel?
1)Yes 2)Old

What's the coolest things you have been asked to sign for a fan and where was it?
Do you need an anatomy lesson here?

Who would you say are your favourite musicians now and why?
Bruce, The Allman Bros and a thousand others. Anybody 'real' is okay in my book.

What is your favourite make and model of guitar and keyboard and why?
Guitar? I favour the kind with a) strings and b) someone to tune them. Keyboards? Hammond C3, cause it's cool and if you have to sell it you can live in the packing crate under a bridge somewhere in relative comfort.

What do you enjoy doing when not involved in music?
My family, my dogs & cats, fishing, reading, and coveting other men's wives, mostly.

Overall, what would you say you are most proud of in your career so far?
Well, 'pride' is inapplicable - I'm pleased, though, that I didn't kill/maim Ritchie, or vice versa, in a dressing room somewhere in the 70's.

What would you like to say to all the fans of Rainbow and beyond who would like to or will be attending an 'Over The Rainbow' show?
I'm very grateful for the interest; it won't sound like you're expecting; and a good time will be had by all.

Thanks Tony for both the serious, honest & humourous answers. Big Thanks to Lisa Walker for setting it up