British rock drummer, Richard Anthony “Tony” Newman was born in 1943 in Southampton, Hampshire England. Inspired by a combination of Bill Haley’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll”, and Louis Belson, Newman would escape a not so great home life by playing drums. His perseverance and natural ability landed him a gig on Gene Vincent’s 1960 record “I’m Going Home”. From there he has played with as Sounds Incorporated, Jeff Beck, David Bowie, Three Man Army, T.Rex, May Blitz, Donovan, Mick Ronson, and a long list of notables. He at any time, would open up for The Beatles, and many other major league acts. Newman tells tales of opening up for the Fab Four at Shea Stadium in 1969, and for the most part was a veteran studio drummer and all around journeyman musician throughout the Rock scene. Apparently quite a character as well as a bad ass drummer, the Englishman would eventually relocate to Nashville, where he’d be involved with Crystal Gayle and the Everly Brothers and Country Music. He now resides in Las Vegas, where he still performs.
“Soul Thing” does not disappoint. A Hammond monster with a heavy drum beat provided by Newman, I can easily say that this is one of my most favorite 45?s. Newman took a cue from UK library guru Keith Mansfield on this side, and put out one of two solo efforts in his career (the other was “Hoolie Ghoolie”). There’s lots of funny coincidences about this side, Quentin Tarantino has used it in both Kill Bill and Death Proof ( it was background music before both films), also pointed out to me by a coworker as the theme song from Queen Street Gang by psych/ fuzz band Arzachel. That version was a bit slower, but there is no mistaking it’s “Soul Thing”. You can read more about this record in the old Funky 16 Corners webzine from back in the day. Another shining example of a non Funk or Soul guy laying down some funky, funky stuff.