Tony Sales

“Well, I’m just a modern guy, although I’ve had it in the ear before…” His overdriven, deep-in-the-pocket Bo Diddley inspired bass motif defines one of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest anthems as rendered by the former James Newell Osterberg – “Lust For Life.”

Tony Fox Sales, son of the iconic comic Soupy, is among rock’s most underrated bassists. With the unfairly maligned, still ahead-of-its-time Tin Machine collective comprised of sibling Hunt on drums, David Bowie (sax/vocals), and virtuoso guitarist Reeves Gabrels, Tony rendered bass passages that belied harmonic tradition yet propelled the ensemble’s quirky canon by way of old school rhythm and blues phrasing throughout their triumvirate of absolutely essential releases; Tin Machine (1989), Tin Machine II (1991), and the live set Oi Vey Baby (1992). At the age of 19, Tony shined on Todd Rundgren’s stunning debut release Runt (1970), especially on the track “I’m in the Clique” wherein Sales’ brittle solo clashes with everyone in the studio yet somehow manages to make a statement.

To my ears, the Sales/Sales rhythm section for Iggy’s Lust for Life (1977) album represents a flawless fusion of art, punk, pop, and hard rock. You want to know why bass players are the coolest cats? Refer to Tony Sales.