80s IdolsNews

Tony Lewis, The Outfield Vocalist and Bassist, Dead at 62: A Journey Through His Career

In the vibrant tapestry of 80s music, few artists shone as brightly as the co-founder of The Outfield, Tony Lewis. You may know him for the fact that he teamed up with John Spinks and embarked on a musical journey that would define an era. Their infectious pop anthems, including Your Love, All the Love, and Say It Isn’t So, catapulted them to stardom.

There’s a whole world of memories, stories, and experiences that make Lewis’ career so much more than what you see on the surface.

Tony Lewis: A Love for Music

Tony Lewis’s love affair with music began in London’s East End, which is a place as diverse as the music that would come to define him. Young Tony was surrounded by the tunes of the 1960s, and he found inspiration in the classics that played on an old radiogram. At the tender age of 9, he first heard the Beatles, and from that moment on, he was captivated by the magic of music. 

His musical journey continued as he became a devoted fan of T Rex and other glam rock legends, even emulating the distinctive style of the great Marc Bolan.

Rise to Fame and Success

Tony’s path to fame was paved with determination. He formed a band with schoolmate Alan Jackman, where he initially played bass because he couldn’t afford a longer guitar lead to reach the microphone. The allure of punk rock eventually led Tony to perform in numerous local bands at pubs and clubs across London. It was during this time that he extended his guitar lead and took on lead vocals.

One fateful night in a pub in East London, Tony crossed paths with guitarist John Spinks. John recognized Tony’s vocal prowess and suggested, “with your voice and my songs, we could form a great band.” With this turn of events, The Baseball Boys came into existence. For those of you curious, the band was named after a street gang from the cult film The Warriors. Anyway, their chemistry was undeniable, and the music flowed effortlessly.

While holding down full-time jobs, The Baseball Boys tirelessly toured the UK and honed their craft. A local recording venue, Scarf Studios, gave them an opportunity to record demos on a shoestring budget. Luckily for them, the hard work eventually paid off when an American management company introduced them to a record deal. 

In 1984, they changed the name to The Outfield and signed with CBS Columbia.

The Outfield’s debut album Play Deep was released in 1985 and was nothing short of a sensation. It achieved triple platinum sales and secured a spot in the Top 10 of the US album charts. Your Love, a timeless classic, reached No. 6 on the Billboard charts and continues to serenade us even today, playing on over 1,000 radio stations weekly and garnering millions of streams.

Last EP and Musical Legacy

The Outfield embarked on extensive tours, sharing the stage with renowned bands like The Hooters, Nightranger, Howard Jones, Asia, Starship, Mike and the Mechanics, and Journey. However, in 2014, Tony faced the untimely loss of John Spinks.

After this loss, Tony took a hiatus from music. But the pull of his artistic spirit was undeniable, and he returned to his passion with. 

Tony decided to collaborate with his wife, Carol, and together, they explored new creative avenues. Their joint efforts resulted in Tony’s debut solo album — Out of the Darkness — which garnered critical acclaim from both industry insiders and fans. The album exuded the spirit of The Outfield while allowing Tony’s unique style to shine through.

Tony was planning to follow this success with a new EP, which was set to release in the spring of 2021. Unfortunately, he passed away on October 19, 2020, at the age of 62. Tony Lewis’ official website shared the heartbreaking news with the following statement:

“It is with great sadness and sorrow to announce that Tony Lewis has unexpectedly passed away. He was a beautiful soul who touched so many lives with his love, his spirit, and his music. He loved his fans dearly and enjoyed every opportunity he had when meeting all of you. Please respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time. – Team TL”

The 6-song collection was called More Than I Dared, engineered and mixed by Wyatt Oates and released by Madison Records a month after Lewis’ passing. For us folks who hold the yestertimes dear, this EP is a chance to relive the magic all over again.

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