1986: local guitarist Daz Rice was looking for a singer for his band “Heat”playing
“Gary Moore, Van Halen, Queen etc & asked Mitchell to join. After joining, writing
some originals & tweeking the show, in 1987, there were problems with the drummer
& keyboardist, Mitchell called upon his childhood friends & band mates, George Williams
& Scott Elliott, “Fantazia” was born. After seeing “Magnum” on their “Wings of Heaven”
tour, they decided to elevate their show, the likes of, nobody had seen in local
venues. Drum risers, ramps, huge lighting & pyrotechnics show & a flawless show,
Fantazia was a huge draw.
1989: Local guitar dealer, “Terry Pack” saw the band & referred them to a friend
& drummer, “Barriemore Barlow” from Jethro Tull. He heard the tape “Remember September”
& decided to come up from Henley–on-Thames to the Star (Blackpool) to see the band.
After witnessing such a huge show of originals & classic rock covers, he offered
them a chance to go to his studio (the Doghouse) to record. After a successful recording
session, Mitchell & Williams signed an international publishing deal with Warner
Chappell & management with Barlow.
Fantazia tried countless times showcasing for record labels at Nomis studios London
whilst living at the Doghouse for almost a year but all past. Mandi Judge was replaced
by friend & fellow musician “Martin “Malv” Talbot on bass & instantly gave it a harder
groovier edge…”Kiss of the Gypsy” was born.
Whilst rehearsing at the doghouse in the summer of 1990, Atlantic USA’s Jason Flom
came to visit & saw them. He signed them straight away, liking KOTG to Free, Bad
co, Humble Pie etc.
1990 should have been the release of the album but Atlantic UK folded & “East West”
took over as the mother company for the UK. They postponed the release of the album
but released “Whatever it takes” as a single. KOTG toured with “Winger, Tesla, Great
White & Magnum” before headlining various tours of their own on the back of singles
“Take this old heart & From the dirt”. Postponing the release proved critical as
“the Grunge” movement invaded & melodic rock waned & Atlantic had a huge clearout
After 3 years of constant worldwide touring & living together, KOTG decided to call
it a day.
1992: Mitchell was asked to sing for Pat Cash, John McEnroe & Jannick Noah’s Friends
of the Earth benefit concert at the Bercy stadium, Paris.
The backing musicians were made up of the top French session players around & after
the performance, “Kamil Rustam”(guitarist) asked Mitchell to form a band in Paris
to try for a deal.
After 6 months recording & lots of interest it was impossible Geographically & Mitchell
1993: Mitchell & Williams formed “Cowboys & Angels” playing originals & covers locally
to massive audiences. Mitchell did more session work for tracks, TV & radio ads &
started writing for others. “Gina Walters” from Warner Chappell sent a tape from
“Sanctuary” music from “Steve Harris” asking if Mitchell would fill the vacant place
for “Iron Maiden” later to be filled by “Blaze Bailey”. “Deep Purple & Survivor”
also wanted Mitchell to front them.
Mitchell turned the Maiden job down as he would be seen as responsible for the demise
as “Bruce Dickinson” was the only frontman for the job.
The next few years was a combination of writing, recording, solo/band gigging & travelling
1999: Mitchell sang “Mr Slow” from “Rick Wakeman’s” “Return to the center of the
2000: “David Fishof & Pete Smith” asked Mitchell to sing & play lead guitar/backing
vocals on “British Rock Symphony” 2000 South American tour.
Mitchell was lead vocalist for Alan Parsons project, lead vocals 2 spots of his own,
lead guitar & backing vocals for Alice Cooper, Jon Anderson & Tony Hadley for the
full tour in front of 18,000+ packed arenas from Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile
& more for the next 7 weeks to rave reviews.
Plans were made for the show to be permanently put into Las Vegas 2001 for the next
3 years but sadly, 911 happened & plans were scrapped.
2001 – 2004: Writing for & developing bands & artists & setting up his 1st studio.
2004: Set up XGypsy music label for Mitchell releases & projects.
Released “New Revolution” album including “Kiss of an Angel”
Composed various soundtracks for TV/Film media.
2005: “Released “Calling Mother Nature” album, gigged it locally with fellow musicians.
Started filming music videos, documentaries & short films.
2006 – 2008: Solo acoustic tours & continued to write & record for him & others.
Starts writing “Through eyes of madness” book of dark poems which was later to be
the foundation story of “Black Rhapsody”.
2009: Stealers Wheel remaining members asked Mitchell to re-record their classic
tracks & start writing a new album for them which is still ongoing to this day.
Starts scripting “Black Rhapsody” & transforming it into music.
“Black Rhapsody” is the story of a young 14 year old girl who has lost her Mother
& abused by her Father every day for years until she runs away, trying her luck at
fame, she is disillusioned & joins a travelling show, a group of misfits & outcasts
“the Kingdom of Deadmen” where she meets all sorts of dark characters & learns about
revenge. After a few years of drug & alcohol abuse, failed relationships, prostitution
& lost faith, she moves to New York & gets a job as a dancer under the name of “Wildflower”
where she saves up enough money to return to her home after being given a gun to
kill her father. Sadly, this doesn’t satisfy her…it fuels her, she wants more but
her soul has already been sold ……… “My Soul to Take”.
2010: Forms “Kingdom of Deadmen” & Releases “Black Rhapsody” through XGypsy music
& “Holier than thou records to huge acclaim & great reviews.
Gigged the album with the band but the show proved too big to tour.
2010: After a meeting with members of KOTG, there were talks of getting back together
after a number of record labels had offered various deals for them to reform. Mitchell
always said that he would only do it if it was new material so started writing for
KOTG. After much tooing & frowing, it wasn’t to happen so Mitchell finished recording
it as “Far away from home”.
2011: Mitchell released “Far away from home & an acoustic album “No man’s land”
2011: KOTG reformed to raise money for a one off acoustic show for guitarist Daz
Rice’s son Yuto who was critically ill & sadly passed away later that year.
Mitchell filmed & documented “Unplugged & Unrehearsed”, edited it & gave it to the
Rice family to release it as a DVD for all the proceeds to go to the Yuto appeal
2012: Mitchell (AKA Syd Zilla) Writes, records, plays lead guitar & releases “Death
Rattle & Roll”as a new Psychobilly project “Boneyard Zombies”, films, edits 4 music
videos, toured & played punk/psychobilly festivals & had huge reviews.
2012: releases the follow up story to “Black Rhapsody”…”My soul to take” with Kingdom
of Deadmen which continues the story & the biggest production of his career.
2012 – 2013: Reunited with KOTG for 2 full electric shows (Yuto fest & Methusala
Releases various compilation albums, shoots music videos & promos for various bands
& artists & forms You Showcase from the XGypsy webpage to allow people to showcase
their talent through recordings & videos.
2013: Gathers friends, musicians to record a feel good Xmas song Mitchell had written
for his son, Danny’s school mini bus appeal, shoots the videos as recorded … releases
“Christmas Time” with the Fylde Hillbillies.
2014 – present: continues to write for XGypsy Music & Video production, solo gigs
locally, produce artists & bands & about to release his alter ego Syd Zilla’s debut
album for the dark/Americana/Psychobilly/50s/Horror punk genre.
2015: Embarks on a year of solo dates with his classic rock shows & acoustic shows
all over the UK. He & X-Gypsy are working with several artists & projects, writing
for, recording, producing, filming & developing them.
Future: A huge ambition is to try & write the full Black Rhapsody story as a book
& script, try & hopefully license it on to a film company & adapt it for a dark
musical for theatres with the music of Black Rhapsody & My soul to take … a long
shot but NEVER SAY NEVER!!!
Tony Mitchell Past to Present
1980: Started as a drummer in local pubs & clubs at the age of 14.
1981: At 15, formed a band called Subway with George Williams & Scott Elliott, writing
original songs & playing punk covers like “the Clash, the Jam, Stiff Little Fingers,
the Skids etc.
Saved a years worth of school dinner money up each to record, press & release a vinyl
single called “In my Town”, built a big fan base & gigged continuously from 1981
1984, at 18, formed “No Hard Feelings” with George Williams, playing classic rock
such as Journey, Foreigner, Kansas, Boston etc & Mitchell still writing & recording
Entered a rock battle in Warrington & came 2nd to F.B.I (fronted by Rick Astley)
who got signed with Stock, Aitkin & Waterman as a result of it.
Got his 1st record deal with “No Hard Feelings” with Spirit records in Buckinghamshire
on the strength of originals “Don’t break my heart again, Best of me & you & packed
out shows at the Star venue in Blackpool.
The band split in 1985 after musical differences & Spirit records froze their contracts…