Tony McPhee (born Anthony Charles McPhee, 23 March 1944) is an English blues guitarist and founder of Groundhogs.
Groundhogs backed Champion Jack Dupree and John Lee Hooker on UK concerts in the mid-1960s, evolving into a blues-rock trio that produced three UK top 10 hits in the UK charts in the 1970s.
McPhee has also released many solo acoustic blues records, as well as duets with Jo Ann Kelly. He is often credited as ‘Tony (TS) McPhee’. He was dubbed TS by the producer Mike Vernon in the mid-1960s. Apart from Groundhogs, McPhee has played with Herbal Mixture, the John Dummer Band, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, Tony McPhee’s Terraplane, Tony McPhee’s Turbo, the Tony McPhee Band and Current 93.
1.) WHICH RECORD HAS HAD THE MOST PROFOUND INFLUENCE ON YOU?
Loads by Little Richard, but ‘Boogie Chillen’ by John Lee Hooker totally GOT to me!
2.) HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU SPEND A WEEK RECORDING/PLAYING/CREATING?
Recently not that many, but that’s gonna change.
3.) WHICH OF YOUR OWN CREATIONS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
As a complete album ‘Thank Christ for the Bomb’, ‘cos I wrote all the songs, no recycled blues.
4.) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST REGRET?
Not backing Howling Wolf, leaving John Dummer band just before they backed him.
5.) WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
Take my dog, Bonnie, for walks.
6.) OTHER THAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION?
My Zemaitis metal front guitar.
7.) TELL ME THREE OF YOUR HEROES/HEROINES?
Tony Benn, John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, all R.I.Ps.
8.) WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
The Greek Islands mainly Crete & Paros or Pembrokeshire in UK.
9.) IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE YOUR ART WHAT OCCUPATION DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING?
Summat to do with electronics.
10.) IF THERE IS ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT YOU HAVE NEVER CONVEYED IN AN INTERVIEW BEFORE WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
When I applied for a job at GPO telephones my friend who’d joined them shortly before, told me about the ‘test’ they did. He said they asked for the quadratic equation formula one question, so I learnt that by heart, unfortunately the next question was to use it to work out a problem, I couldn’t & the ‘examiner’ pondered for ages until he took me upstairs to face the ‘panel’ of various hierarchy including the postmaster general, who asked me about kings & queens of which I didn’t have a clue, but finally somebody asked me to quote Ohm’s Law, which was more relevant than kings, etc. So I quoted it & used it to work out current, resistance, wattage etc. & I got the job which eventually I left to be member of a band!
Liles and McPhee, Holland, 2014.