14 February 2020 – Eddie ‘Tan-Tan’ Thornton releases his Fur Elise (single), one of Beethoven’s popular pieces, taken from the forthcoming “The Reggae & Ska Nostalgia Album” on Handspun Records. 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven.
Fur Elise (Single) taken from The Reggae & Ska Nostalgia Album
Eddie Tan-Tan Thornton’s journey to his first solo album, is a love story spanning some 50 years, which began in Spanish Town, Jamaica. Soon after his father passed away, the 13 year old Tan-Tan was sent to the musical Alpha School, run by Nuns, which was to influence and change his life in ways he never would have expected. Tan-Tan’s life could easily have been one of crime, but instead, thanks to one nun in particular, Sister Ignatius, he found his lifelong faith and passion for music, the trumpet! Even today, Tan-Tan still thinks very highly of her, proudly showing the few remaining photographs he holds close to his heart.
Reggae & Ska Nostalgia is a journey of some 35 years, representing some of his favourite tracks to which Tan-Tan adds his musical touch and trumpet, demonstrating why he has played for the cream of the crop of musicians: Boney M, The Beatles (Got To Get You In To My Life), Andy Fairweather Low, Georgie Fame, The Small Faces, Desmond Dekker, ASWAD, Lilly Allen, Gyspy Kings, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Jools Holland, Jimmi Hendrix, Sandy Shaw, to name a few.
At the age of 87 Tan-Tan is still gigging on a weekly basis, and can often be seen riding his bike around Acton! These tracks were all recorded in analogue, on 24 track tapes. Producers Mike Howlett and Anthony Cooper decided to digitise the first single, Beethoven’s Fur Elise, out on February 14th, to maximise on the improved technology, some 35 years after Tan-Tan and Anthony initially recorded the track together! There is a vibrant animated video to accompany the single release, and Tan-Tan hopes that classical purists, will enjoy the track too!
It was following a young Jamacian girl, in search of work, that brought Tan-Tan to the UK. He was not part of the Windrush movement, that was happening simultaneously. No, he arrived, like that star he was to become, by plane, rather than by boat! So it was following his heart that brought Tan-Tan to the UK, bringing his trumpeting to the attention of so many of Britain’s best musicians. But it is to May, a Scottish lass, whom he finally married and made a home with in Acton, west London, where he still lives today.
About Eddie ‘Tan-Tan’ Thornton:
Tan-Tan credits his days at The Alpha School when he says “To me, Alpha is like heaven. You get up, you eat, you play music, you eat, you play music. Alpha is the most inspirational place for me. The discipline and respect and everything.” To this day, Tan-Tan is an ardent Roman Catholic, having made two pilgrimages to Rome, to see the Pope.
In ‘60s London Tan-Tan and his fellow musicians would hang out at Blaises, The Marquee Club and The Roaring Twenties, where he would be found in the company of John, Paul, Ringo and George Harrison. The Small Faces even dedicated a song to him, ‘Eddie’s Dreaming’.
Eddie Thornton says “I am very grateful to The Father for everything. Coming from nowhere, I’m very grateful. Travelling around the world three times – my passport is full up! And it’s all because of Alpha.”