No Use for a Tribute

“It’s too late to talk to you
And it’s too soon to say good-bye
Listen where ever you may be
You still live inside my mind

Something tells me that you are free again
In a place that feels like home

It’s never easy to understand
Why memories hold our hand
But people let go”

– Feels Like Home by No Use for a Name

This song was written by Tony Sly 10 years ago. You can listen to it here: http://youtu.be/7UMCf97jXtM

I bought the CD the day it came out from Von’s music shop in West Lafayette, IN. We still had record stores in 2002. I don’t really see those anymore. I parked between, Von’s Books and Von’s Comics (may Von’s Comics rest in peace) in the ally way. Is was with Chris Balich. A tall, straight-edged, vegetarian that purchased a Michael Jackson CD. I told him we could only play it if we could listen to “Heal the World” as loud as possible and drive as slow as we could past any girl we saw.

I, of course had to listen to HARD ROCK BOTTOM first. That’s why I went to Von’s. I had listened to No Use for a Name for six years up until that point. There was something about the way Tony’s soft style juxtaposed against the punk rock rifts. He was slow, they were fast. It made for an interesting melody.

HARD ROCK BOTTOM begins with “Feels Like Home.” The song is one minute long. I put the CD in. It loaded. I turned left onto Pierce street in front of Harry’s and the picking of the guitar came across the speakers. Tony started singing. I looked at Chris. I looked at the CD player. I came to the stop sign at Wood St. I looked back at Balich, “When did they become a folk band?” He laughed and as soon as I began my turn onto Wood “International You Day” Dropped and all was right again. It was fast and slow and melodic and sloppy.

Seven or eight years after I bought that CD, I found myself in Milwaukee. I was there to see NOFX with Johnson. It had been awhile since he had seen them and it was a nice get away weekend to see NOFX and hang with Johnson. Relax, have a few dozen beers and rock out. Tony began touring as a solo acoustic artist and NOFX had him open the show.

He stood up there. One man, sleeved up, with an acoustic strapped to his shoulders. Him and 100 angry white teenagers. Kids threw shit at him and spit at him and yelled at him. He never broke from the song and he played his set. Johnson liked it. I loved it. The Menzingers were good too, but Teenage Bottle Rocket really sucked.

I’m glad Tony opened for NOFX that night. I had always wanted to see No Use for a Name, but had matured to appreciate what he was doing that night, and it was almost more intimate. It was more pure. I wish I could have seen more.

On Wednesday, August 1st. Fat Mike and Fat Wreck Chords issued a statement saying:

“It is with great sorrow that we must say goodbye to Tony Sly of No Use For A  Name. We received a call earlier today of his passing, and are devastated. We have  lost an incredible talent, friend, and father — one of the true greats.”

I will listen where ever I am and see that inside my mind. It sucks that we won’t get any new music from Tony, but I am glad we got what we did. Another candle burns out, but the sound resonates through the halls.

Please to enjoy.

“@ESPNBruceLevine: Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson may be called this month. Both would play every day according to Sveum.”

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