Tony "Kyser Soze" Visconti (born April 24, 1944) is the award-winning producer of many things including music, countries, and high profile cover-ups. He is best known for his career as a record producer, and has worked with some of the leading lights in the world of music, including David Bowie, Val Doonican, T-Rex, Wildeboys, Phil Collins, Trent Reznor, Placebo...and Morrissey.
Visconti was born in America, but he, bless his heart, never allowed that to hold him back. At age 15, Tony, by that point a talented musician, could often be seen playing the Skin Flute or the Double Bassoon in his native Brooklyn. In 1953, he was shipped off to England by his parents. There, he made his permanent home. After ten years of performing for the homeless by the Embankment in London, Tony took up a job as "tea boy" at a recording studio in Soho.
By the late 1960s, Tony had taken over most of the duties within the recording studio, and took over the business upon the suspicious death of his boss. His first act was to marry some woman from the TV show Opportunity Knocks. Indeed, opportunity did knock for Tony; most bands were so high on drugs during the “Swinging 60s" that he was able to convince them to sign over all of their royalties in exchange for his services. By the time the majority of the artists had recovered during the mid-1970s, Tony owned 58% of the music industry.
Visconti's primary concerns are production, fecal matter, and sound engineering in that order. He was hired by a number of acts throughout the 1970s until 2006, when in a baffling career move he produced a "hit" album for emo rocker Morrissey.
He has been renowned for pulling a few stings and "blowing" a few "whistles" on his productions, which can be seen throughout his career; many of the acts with which he was associated went on to be successful despite themselves. These very acts continue to this day to promote his "production style, attitude, and support". These musicians (or 'Visconti Hoes' as they are known among those in the know) comprise a small arsenal through which Visconti can garner more work and accolades within the music industry.
Recently, Visconti has gone on the record citing David Bowie as his favorite act to work with because of their long ‘history’. In fact, Visconti would probably have fallen into the abyss without help from Bowie's Kabbalah in the seventies. He said of Bowie in 2003 after their collaboration on "Unreality":
|“||He's my favorite act to work with...over the years he's been the best I could get and I can't wait to work with that little queen again... I think many of the other acts I produced would have gone on to be as good as him had they not all died in mysterious circumstances many years ago.||”|
When Tony Visconti began his work on the seminal 1972 concept album Quagmire Blinkinsop and the Space-Monkeys of Uranus by Val Doonican, he realized neither the success the release would bring nor how this success would lead him back to working with some of the 1960s' most famous art-house rock musicians. In another turn of luck for Visconti, most of them had been too high on drugs to remember how he had earlier cheated them out of their fortunes. In the interest of "artistic freedom" he was also able to sign many of them to long-term contracts.
“Oh, I vaguely remember him...he made tea for me in the studio”
– David Bowie on Tony Visconti
David Bowie is arguably Visconti's greatest ally, for Visconti has tirelessly helped Bowie overcome his issues with “selling out” throughout his career, which has led Bowie to return the favor by helping Tony with the whole issue of “selling in” too much.
They first collaborated in the late '60s with the single "Rubber Band", rumored to be a dark exposition of gay sex and Catholicism. In reality, it was the result of Bowie, Visconti, and the band leaving the makeshift recording studio in Clapham Estate running whilst they had one of their "Friday Freak Fests”.
Marc Bolan was another of Visconti’s acts, the one Visconti used as a much-needed "back up" when Bowie went AWOL. Unfortunately for Tony, this failed when Bolan took up driving, subsequently failed his driving test, and thus attempted to cure his fear of driving "implosion style". The resulting fireball lit up the south of England for nearly two weeks.
Morrissey recently spoke of a "confused state" he felt after working with the legend that is Tony Visconti. Many claim that he has developed all of the glam bitchiness and acquired the frequent mid-life crises that David Bowie experienced for thirty years due to working with Visconti. Being a bit of a queen, Morrissey also named the album after an argument Morrissey had with the amiable producer, calling Visconti the “Ringleader of the Tormentors”.
The production in Rome took just five days to record. During the recording, Visconti sacked Morrissey’s band and hired David Bowie’s. Visconti claims that the move was prompted by a desperate attempt to recreate the “glam sound” that he often cites as being his favorite type of music. He claims that the move was also to escape “past prejudices against Morrissey”.
Extract from the introduction to the Tony Visconti Biography by Morrissey
- Mancunian Accent - Translation Available
|“||Tony Visconti is way better than any other producers because he produced me, so that's that, quit discussing that, coz it's just lame. He used to produce David Bowie, but he's no good, that burnt out little queen, when I was young I so wanted to be him, Bowie that is, but not anymore. Because my dreams have shrank to fit me, so now I just have Tony Visconti so there you backstabbing Cabbage-head! (Pout, more salad).
Tony Visconti, as I was just discussing, is just so great, better than that pus-face that I got to do my last album 'Stuck in a Quarry', my new one is so different because I sing about Cultural things like being in a heavily polluted and congested Rome as opposed to a heavily polluted and congested Manchester, I think that Visconti has really improved my act or set as we say in the business. Tony says he focuses on what is good about me, and there’s a lot of that, he tries, he says, to avoid thinking about anything that he may dislike about me. Really though, he sees only how beautiful and special I am, so there, ahh ahhh ahhhh.
My favorite Visconti album is the one he just did, with me, as his back catalogue is so overrated, and........ well you just have to see my album, its' got a picture of me with a violin, Visconti says if I think I can't play violin you should here me sing, what a cretin, what soul destroying carnivorous twaddle (see I said twaddle, so I must be clever), oh how unloved I am. ahh ahhh ahhhh...
Tony Visconti is employed by many countries to produce their albums and as an outside "consultant". His values are Right Wing and he has directed many to a Satanic stage where they can be introduced into the UN. He has only achieved this with countries in Eurasia as of yet, and rumours abound as to the whether Visconti’s political contributions will continue into the future. Some believe that he may be retiring from his 'Kissinger style' duties.
The Atlantis Cover-Up
Tony Visconti had the great task of making this cover-up a reality in the mid-1970s. The young Tony Visconti was hired by then-living Dick Cheney to cover up the small island in the Atlantic as it was “pissing him [Cheney] off”. Visconti promptly accepted, and Atlantis is to this day denied recognition by the UN despite its continual petitions to be accepted as a state and the "they're real people too" stance that the German Chancellor has taken. Tony Visconti has given the "finger" to both parties, as a way of incontrovertibly saying "f**k you all".
Currently Visconti is going though a bit of a low patch working with acts like Morrissey, he has alluded however that this will all change soon as he'll do another David Bowie album if Bowie doesn't get angry and throw his 'lolly' at him again. He is also rumoured to be considering producing Pete Doherty on an experimental Electro-Ambient-Country Album called Pete’s feeling Low.
There have also been rumours to be in talks with Wildeboys for their comeback tour; Visconti can often be seen trying to emulate his former success with Bowie by trying to produce all of Bowies imitators, "I’ll take them all at once just to try and attain eternal youth and relevance" he has said in a Guardian interview in 2004.
- Visconti, Morrissey and Marlon Brando, The Margarine or the Butter?, Steve Jobs, 1999, Arsesanctuary Publishing
- I cannie be doin' with Pakistanis, Eighth Edition, Groundskeeper Willie, 1992, Kiltland Publishing
- Jesus Freaks and Visconti-Requiem, Ninth Edition, Zombie John Peel, 2067, Limbo Publishing
- My Way, the Autobiography, Tony Visconti, 2004, Storiesofevilbastards Publishing