Tony Tornay. Credit: Todd Zimmer

Tony Tornay is definitely on the list of desert music royalty who have cultivated our local music scene. Starting out in Fatso Jetson, Tornay was a part of the generator-rocker scene that electrified the desert with riffs and hard-hitting jams. Since then, Tornay has contributed to Desert Sessions’ Volumes 3 & 4, the stoner rock outfit All Souls, and more recently, Dry Heat, a group of CV rock legends led by Sean Wheeler and his desert-focused poetry. Tornay is the latest to take The Lucky 13; and here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Billy Idol/Chequered Past, Wright Gymnasium, College of the Desert, March 13, 1984. I still have the ticket stub!

What was the first album you owned?

For Christmas in 1977, I got a cassette of the Bee Gees’ Saturday Night Fever. I think the first album I bought with my own money was AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Slint, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Idles, Fugazi, Quicksand, Subhumans, Jimi Hendrix, Sonic Youth, Crass, Miles Davis, and Devo.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?


What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Jimi Hendrix or Beethoven.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I don’t believe in that idea. You shouldn’t feel guilty for the things you like.

What’s your favorite music venue?

Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. It’s pretty great. During load-in and soundcheck, before they open the doors to the concert, you have the whole space to yourself. If you don’t know what Meow Wolf is, go to Google, and make that happen for yourself.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Never Fight a Man With a Perm,” Idles.

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Black Flag. They were the whole package: the music, the artwork, and they had their own record label (SST) that had, arguably, the best independent music roster ever. They, along with D.O.A. and Dead Kennedys, invented the independent touring network.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Jimi Hendrix: “Do you really need to take that many pills?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Anything that is over 10 minutes long. I figure people would be polite for the first few minutes, but by the five-minute mark, I imagine that people would start looking around and shifting in their seats, and by the 10 minute mark, I bet people would start leaving. I love moments like that.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

Bad Brains, “You.”

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Matt King

Matt King is a freelance writer for the Coachella Valley Independent. A creative at heart, his love for music thrust him into the world of journalism at 17 years old, and he hasn't looked back. Before...

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