A few days ago, I received some very sad news from my friend Joe Macoll…
Hello Eric, it breaks my heart to tell you Anthony Randall has died after a battle with motor neurone disease, he was a lovely man.
I remember when Joe introduced me to Tony back in 2008..
Hi Eric, today one of those strange coincidences that seem to thrive in the Louie world happened to me. I met up with an old friend, who I haven’t seen in ten years, since he moved from the U.K. to New Zealand. He in turn brought along a friend of his I hadn’t met before, and he hadn’t seen in thirty years, a guy called Tony Randall, and when Tony told his story to Brian, he said you must meet Joe.
Tony never met his father, who was an American airman based in the U.K in the 50`s, he`s now a journalist and published his story of the search for his father, in an article he wrote for one of our quality papers, in 2004, I remember reading it at the time, you can find the article here.
I remember you saying you had footage of an interview with Johnny Flamingo, and wondered if there was any way Tony could see this footage, as he has only photographs (and of course the music) of his father, nothing of him “walking and talking” so to speak.
Forgive the intrusion Eric, but my time spent with Tony convinces me he is one of the good guys, and if you could help, it would make his life.
With an introduction from Joe, I did make contact with Tony, and I posted this footage of his father on YouTube. It was a humbling moment to meet his father 9 months before his untimely death in 200, especially as my footage turned out to be one of the few video clips of him in existence.
Tony’s story was quite remarkable, and I remember reading about his journey in a 2004 article he wrote for The (UK) Guardian entitled “Looking for Johnny Flamingo.”
It’s an excellent article, and it sounded like it would make a great documentary
Tony did visit me back in 2012. We spent the day yacking up a storm in Santa Cruz. I was happy to give Anthony permission to use my footage in his documentary… but I have no idea how far he got with that…
My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Anthony Randall.
The (UK) Guardian- Looking for Johnny Flamingo
Hail Hail, Johnny Flamingo… and Jeanette Baker!
4 thoughts on “RIP: Anthony Randall, lost son of Johnny Flamingo”
Thank you for sharing this. I am devastated by losing my brother to mnd, or ALS as it is known over here in the US. I saw my brother just last year for a few days. He was on a whistle stop trip to Los Angeles to see his ‘other’ family. Tony always loved music! And after he found his real father it all made sense.
tonys son here thanks for this.
I am sorry to hear Jeanette passed on. I was trying to get in touch with her for the last few years. She was FABULOUS. We spent every Holliday together with her and Mel for 20 years. We never knew of Mel’s career. Mel was kind, quiet, never spoke of his career. We didn’t know. 20 years of holiday festivities, if only I could turn the clock back knowing what I now know…
I just stumbled across this when looking to connect with Tony after many years. We worked together at The Scotsman newspaper when I was in my twenties and struck up a bit of a friendship that I’d consider somewhat close. I moved back to Canada about a year after we met, and we lost touch over the years. He was a kind, gentle soul and I’m in shock to find he has passed away. I hope his last years were filled with love and peace. I’m so glad that he was able to trace his father. The last note I got from him, many years ago, he told me that he had discovered that his father was Johnny Flamingo. We had not talked much about his life. He just mentioned once that his childhood story was not a happy one. I hope his last years were happier. Rest in peace, Tony. I’ve often thought fondly of you over the years, and wish I’d reached out sooner.