Tony Sciuto's 1st song covered by Bay City Rollers in 1976 called “My Lisa”. Tony went on to be signed to EPIC Records in 1980 with the release of “Island Nights” which was Top 10 in Japan along with the title track single.
- Wrote “Last Sound Love Makes” on Don Johnson’s “Heartbeat LP on EPIC 1986.
- Wrote “Stronger Than The Wind” for Tina Turner on Capitol in 1989.
- Also has written songs for B.J Thomas, Little River Band and Nigel Ollssen.
- Performed in the Fictitious ABC TV FULL HOUSE band Jesse and the Ripper’s with John Stamos.
- Joined Little River Band as a member and their Pianist from 1990-97.
- Performed with PLAYER (Baby Come Back) in 1998-2001.
Tony still writes and performs and recently reunited with Jesse and the Rippers from FULL HOUSE (on the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon). Tony will also be releasing his Solo CD “Under the Radar” on the Vivid Sound Label in Japan this Fall. Tony Sciuto: “Music is a way of life, a passion, a great expression, a communication, and a GIFT from God”
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:35
Today I have the privilege of having Tony Sciuto with me today. Tony, welcome to the program.
Tony Sciuto 0:40
Thank you. It's great to be here.
Umar Hameed 0:42
Tony, I want you to take me we're gonna go kind of mid career 1981 you get off the plane in Japan. What was that like?
Tony Sciuto 0:51
Oh my god. Well, it was a long flight there.
Umar Hameed 0:55
Tony Sciuto 0:56
The longest flight
Umar Hameed 0:57
I've been to Tokyo. It's a long flight.
Tony Sciuto 0:59
In my life. I was only 26 maybe 28. By that time.
Umar Hameed 1:04
Did you travel with a band o were you
Tony Sciuto 1:06
The whole band went at the same time. And it was amazing. getting off the plane at Narita Airport. I'm riding through the city. It was like, Times Square. But you couldn't read the signs. It was red and blue and yellow.
Umar Hameed 1:25
So it's Like times Square on LSD.
Tony Sciuto 1:27
Yes. And all the pagoda buildings, you know, it's just amazing. It was like unreal.
Umar Hameed 1:35
When was your first show and when was it?
Tony Sciuto 1:38
The first show, we did three shows in Tokyo to start it off. And they were at the Yamayuri Hall, which it wasn't really it wasn't Buddha con. Because my single had first come out my album was very popular over there, had a top 10 top five single top 10 album.
Umar Hameed 1:59
Tony Sciuto 1:59
So I was a new artist. And so they put me in a maybe a 3000 seater to start of.
Umar Hameed 2:06
Tony Sciuto 2:07
And we filled it. And the Japanese girls were crazy. They were rushing the limousines and throwing roses at me it was much like all the Beatles stuff.
Umar Hameed 2:18
That's what came to mind as soon as you said that, that's what it sound like.
Tony Sciuto 2:21
Yeah. And it was so cool for me to experience that. Under the power of my music. The fact that the music that I created in my head, got me on a plane push me over there to another side of the world.
Umar Hameed 2:33
And it moved people.
Tony Sciuto 2:34
And it moved people that couldn't even speak my language.
Umar Hameed 2:37
What's interesting is I see the Japanese as the polar opposite to Americans. I've done a presentation there. It was like the worst presentation ever. Because all the businessmen in the room. They show no emotion.
Tony Sciuto 2:51
Umar Hameed 2:52
And so we like transmit emotion all the time. But the only thing that's different is when it's rock and roll music, especially Japanese girls. A moat.
Tony Sciuto 3:03
Umar Hameed 3:04
So that was the height of your career at that point?
Tony Sciuto 3:07
Yes. Um, as me being a solo artist, Tony Sciuto. The record did very well over there. Because Epic Sony bought the master and marketed totally different than United States put a different single out. Um, you know, and it was very, very popular. But the United States did not do the same single did not do any marketing at all.
Umar Hameed 3:36
Yeah, it's kind of sad, especially now. And maybe back then. I'm more familiar with books. And this is an amazing book, if you ever get a chance.
Tony Sciuto 3:48
That's my book now
Umar Hameed 3:50
Is that they rely on you publishers rely on you, the artist, the author, to do all the marketing. They'll give you a check. Like thank you for writing this book. Here's a retainer, but they expect you to spend every single dime of that on publicists and promotion. And so take them back to Japan because you're about to open in this market. That's really hot for you. So what's that like mentally? Like is there pressure there? Is there relief there? Like what were you feeling?
Tony Sciuto 4:20
Well, you were mentioning earlier about a life changing experience. And I was scared shitless because I'm a pretty laid back guy. And I'm not an in your face, like hey, check me out type of guy. And my manager told me says look, you I want you to wear cowboy boots. And I want you because of Western you know, right pose Eastern wants you to jump into the audience. You know, and man that was like something that I could
Umar Hameed 4:53
Like holding you or just go in and start walking?
Tony Sciuto 4:56
No I just jumped over the edge of the stage into the audience and started playing guitar as long as my cord because it needs to be wireless
Umar Hameed 5:04
Tony Sciuto 5:05
Or there might have been wireless back then. But we didn't have it. And I mean, I remember the night before I could barely sleep because it was thinking about, you know, that's what they wanted me to do. But once I did that, I felt like I jumped into an ocean not knowing the depth, but I survived it.
Umar Hameed 5:23
You know, what's kind of interesting is, you're up on the stage, the audience is down below by just doing that one simple act. You connect with them in a more personal level.
Tony Sciuto 5:34
Umar Hameed 5:35
So how did that change your career or you're thinking about your music when you had that kiend of reaction?
Tony Sciuto 5:40
It I more than that, it changed my life. I I delve into things quicker now. Not anticipating failure.
Umar Hameed 5:50
Tony Sciuto 5:50
Because most a lot of people go, Well, maybe I shouldn't do that. Because this could happen, or that could happen. Um, I just kind of size it up and go, you know, what, if I could do this, I'm gonna just go for it and do it. Sometimes. It doesn't work. And sometimes it does. But I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go getter I'll go for I go for it.
Umar Hameed 6:09
And even if it doesn't work, it is next year, feedback, it's experience. It's feedback. What can I do better, even if it works really well, there's also lessons there. Yeah, to improve. Today, just earlier today, at 10 o'clock, I had a meeting with this prospective client. And he had heard me speak, we had a conversation, he came on as a client, then it just so happens today that my wife passed a year ago today. And I reveal that to him just matter of factly. But kind of a lot of emotion came up when I did it, I didn't realize. But something interesting that happened. He trusted me enough to hire me to help him. But soon as I reveal that, he revealed that the name of his company is because his parents had passed away his 3g leadership, and G's the last name, or the letter that represents it. And he shared that story. And in that two minute interchange, we bonded like brothers. So when you reveal yourself, most people think it's a weakness. But no, it's the ultimate strength is being yourself. Yeah. And step into that even when you're doing music.
Tony Sciuto 7:16
Umar Hameed 7:18
Like when one of the things that sucks about doing podcast people is this is that we're going to do this podcast, we're gonna have a great conversation. And then I'm going to turn off the recording equipment. And then gold comes out of that side of the desk. Because for whatever reason, people let their guard down. And all of a sudden, they, they tell me these amazing things. And we can do that for ourselves. When we reveal ourselves. The best self comes out.
Tony Sciuto 7:42
Umar Hameed 7:42
Tony Sciuto 7:43
I don't know. I feel that way. I'm pretty open. I don't really I mean, what is this I mean, reality is reality. And I mean, you can paint it all kinds of different colors. But it is what it is or what Elvis said
Umar Hameed 8:01
Don't step on my blue suede shoes?
Tony Sciuto 8:02
Yeah. You said that too The truth will always come out. It might be a cloudy day, but the sun will shine and show the truth. He said it in different way. But that's what it may.
Umar Hameed 8:13
That's the essence right?
Tony Sciuto 8:14
And so many people today, hide behind some kind of barrier because of weakness.
Umar Hameed 8:23
What's interesting is, and you can probably think of a few people right now when I mentioned this, that you've met people that were not being truthful, not that they were lying, but they were hiding some part of themselves. And you didn't know what it was. But it just gives you this slight kinky feeling that you know, something isn't right. Yeah. And why go through that? The there's a scene from this movie. Do you remember Crocodile Dundee?
Tony Sciuto 8:46
Umar Hameed 8:46
There's this one scene where his hostess publisher is talking about psychiatrists. And she says, what do you do back in, you know, Australia in the bush? He says are we tell his his partner this old kind of guy? People go and talk to him? She goes, Oh, is he a therapist is no, he's a busybody. If you tell him everybody in the village knows, and if they know, you don't have a problem anymore. So Tony, tell me about a particular time where you were accidentally awesome. And by that, I mean, you've done a lot of performances in your career. And that could have been a time where you did this performance where you were just in the zone and you kind of look back at that evening, go, you know, I wonder what happened today that I was just my very best self. Have you had one of those where?
Tony Sciuto 9:34
I have those nights? I've had one of those nights all through my career. And they have one common thread.
Umar Hameed 9:41
Tony Sciuto 9:42
Umar Hameed 9:43
Tony Sciuto 9:44
Umar Hameed 9:44
Isn't that interesting?
Tony Sciuto 9:45
Yeah. And I i equated to they say that if the moon can move the ocean, where 75%
Umar Hameed 9:54
Tony Sciuto 9:55
Yeah, so I would a, my wife
Umar Hameed 9:59
That's missus. You gotta look after her.
Tony Sciuto 10:01
Umar Hameed 10:02
So here is Seth only seen you perform once.
Tony Sciuto 10:06
Umar Hameed 10:07
It was as in West.
Tony Sciuto 10:08
Umar Hameed 10:08
And a friend of mine, Jimmy Olsen. And Lee Kramer, she had interviewed you in Ocean City.
Tony Sciuto 10:15
Umar Hameed 10:16
And a you remembered right away.
Tony Sciuto 10:17
Umar Hameed 10:18
But the thing the reason I wanted to sit down with you was this is that two things. One, you said that, you know, you were super big in Japan. And I wanted to know what that felt like being a hero in a foreign land because Jimmy Wilson is super big in Germany, where people are lining up for an autograph. And but not in his homeland as much. And say A that and B when you went from just being Tony Sciuto. And all of a sudden, being really popular. What was that transition like mentally? So we talked about the Japan thing. What was that transition like for you when you went from trying really hard to making it?
Tony Sciuto 11:00
Well, it was making it in a sense. I mean, when I was a little boy, um, even before I saw my first rock band, which were the Beatles, right, that blew my mind. But I was listening to the radio, and the radio caught my ear. And my older brother would buy 40 fives
Umar Hameed 11:24
Tony Sciuto 11:24
Today, 40, fives and guns. But back in my day, there were records. And I always look at it turned around and said, I want to put my name on one of those one day.
Umar Hameed 11:33
Tony Sciuto 11:33
And I accomplished that.
Umar Hameed 11:36
So when when did you have that thought I'm gonna put my name on that when
Tony Sciuto 11:39
It maybe 1962, 1961
Umar Hameed 11:42
And how old were you then?
Tony Sciuto 11:43
That was, excuse me?
Umar Hameed 11:44
How old were you then? 1962?
Tony Sciuto 11:46
Umar Hameed 11:49
Okay, so I'm going to take you through a little thing, if I may.
Tony Sciuto 11:52
Umar Hameed 11:52
So Tony, take a deep breath in for a moment, hold it for about three seconds, let it out slowly. And for a moment, just close your eyes. And I want you to go back to that moment in time where your brother had that 45 and see what have you saw back then? It could have been the 45 could have been him? Especially Oh, yeah. Especially as you can go back to that moment and hear what have you heard his compensation? Your thoughts? And looking at that 45. And when you go back to that moment, seeing what you saw back then, and hearing what you heard back, then you get to re experience what you were feeling.
Tony Sciuto 12:23
Umar Hameed 12:24
What were you feeling? And where in your body do you feel it now?
Tony Sciuto 12:28
It was the awesomeness of the sound.
Umar Hameed 12:31
Tony Sciuto 12:31
And it how the sound moved me. When I was a baby, my mom told me, she would take me to like cookouts and where there were bands.
Umar Hameed 12:45
Tony Sciuto 12:46
And whenever I heard trumpets, I will cry. I will cry and it music moved me. Um, so I was very delicate.
Umar Hameed 12:57
Tony Sciuto 12:57
So she knew that when I was a little boy that music was I was very affected by music. So when I saw that 45 spinning around, heard that music, it it woke something up in me that made me what Hey, I want to do that's what I want to do.
Umar Hameed 13:13
You know, what's kind of interesting is I love nurses when they're hot. But no, do you know it's the most trusted profession in the US more than doctors by far. But when I talk to nurses, they'll tell me about a time that I was six years old and my dad had an episode he got rushed to the hospitals. And when I saw nurses doing what they did, I knew that I'm going to be a nurse. So it sounds like a very similar thing. When you saw that it was one of those life changing kind of this is going to happen kind of things. So how did that change your outlook on life at that point?
Tony Sciuto 13:44
Well, it did in a sense, I tell you, um, academically because so. Okay, I'll tell you a story. Um, I fell in love with this one band, the Four Seasons when I was a little boy. And I lived right like a couple of miles from TV Hill. And they were going to be on the Buddy Deane Show, which is right down the street from my house and I was in school. And I must have done something bad because I had to stay at school. And then we're going to be on the show at a certain time.
Umar Hameed 14:15
And you're going to miss it?
Tony Sciuto 14:16
And I was going to miss it. I ran down a hill skin my arm I was bleeding. But I got in front of the TV with blood going down arm and I watched that show. It changed my life academically because you know, when I got into high school, um I was working in retail selling mod clothing. I was in a band making 200 bucks a week making 150 with retail $350 a week I'm making. I'm in a Polytechnic School and I have the the Principal say, you got to cut your hair or you're kicked out of school. So bring your mother into school. So my mom came school and the principal goes Oh, your son looks like a girl. He's got to get his haircut. If she goes, go to hell is keeping his hair like that. So that's how it changed. That changed me because I knew from being a little kid what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Umar Hameed 15:11
So what's interesting is every single human being on planet Earth has a purpose in life, the only problem is 98% of people never figure it out. And one of the ways, you know, that is how many people do you know, in their 40s and 50s that end up in a life going? This is not what I signed up for, and you had the blessing of uncovering your purpose. And quite literally, you bled for it. Yeah, going there. And it just gives you focus and power to achieve right.
Tony Sciuto 15:37
That's the right word blessing, because I feel like, I feel like I'm chosen. I mean, a lot of times when I write music, and I hear it back, and I go, where did that come from? I don't remember. I mean, I remember but it's like, Wow, what a gift.
Umar Hameed 15:53
So it almost transcends the physical plane when you're doing stuff like that, where it's like, where did that come from? How did I channel this particular gem? So right now, you're not at the height of your fame? So what was that transition? Like when you went from, you know, adoring fans, and it's like, a career to stepping out of it? What was that transition like?
Tony Sciuto 16:16
It was depressing. Um, you know, the high that you get from going, I signed up for this. And, wow, I hit a home run. And then I find out when I come back to my home country, we had a meeting right after our Japanese tour, because you fly to LA, from Japan, to come to the east coast. And I have a meeting with the head of the record company and I, we finally get to the rec company and knock on the door, and doors closed. So we think we're thinking the worst already. But finally, the door swings open. And it's Ringo Starr. And he looks at me, he goes, I hope you have better luck than me. So obviously, he got he was on the same label as me, he got fired. And I didn't have better luck than him because I went in and we had our meeting and said, Tony, unfortunately, the ball of wax is not in Japan, and it's in America. And you didn't sell but you know, we want to do some thousand copies here. So I was left out so but while the telex is sent from Japan said we were knocking them dead without the Dow all that. And they said it didn't matter. So that put threw me into a depression. Yeah.
Umar Hameed 17:31
So here's my hypothesis, correct me if I'm wrong, is depressing. For sure. But when you know your purpose, at some point through that depression, it was making music again, I suspect is what kept you saying
Tony Sciuto 17:47
Oh, yeah I still to this day and making music it's it's like, it's like sweating, you know, I mean, something that's going to come out no matter what, you know?
Umar Hameed 17:56
So purpose is a direction. If direction is West is no less West, you can go around the planet 150 times and still go west, in different directions. And I think that's the blessing of purpose is that I suspect, you know, when you're in 95, and people minded, you'll still be sharp when it comes to making music. Because you hear these stories of musicians that have curled up fingers, and they can't do anything. But when they get before a piano, things just free up well, and the strength of that.
Tony Sciuto 18:27
I'm kind of one of those.
Umar Hameed 18:28
Tony Sciuto 18:29
Because I mean, I have all neuropathy in my left arm in my hand, you could see a shaking, right? And my little finger sometimes doesn't make the exact note I want to hit. But when I'm on stage, I just blind all that out. And I just my ears, find the sound nice, and my hands kind of put it right where my ears want to hear it. And even if I have to do stuff that hurts, I don't hurt until I get in bed later. When I'm laying down. I feel the
Umar Hameed 18:56
You're in the flow at that point. And it's just happening. And I think that's what I want for people watching this listening to this is that you have to find your passion and the passion isn't something stupendous out there. When you uncover your purpose. Everybody has one. It changes the lens on how you see the world.
Tony Sciuto 19:15
Umar Hameed 19:16
And it allows you to no matter what's going on, whether it's incredible fame, or it's not that you still feel happy and said well,
Tony Sciuto 19:28
Just having that having the purpose is great when you have fame but that's it but it's also great just to have it period because a lot don't have it. You know?
Umar Hameed 19:40
Absolutely. So Tony do you have children by the way?
Tony Sciuto 19:43
I have two daughters. Yes. Grown daughter.
Umar Hameed 19:45
Tony Sciuto 19:46
One is 39 one is 32.
Umar Hameed 19:48
Tony Sciuto 19:49
Yes. Just had one. Clementine and she's the love of my life.
Umar Hameed 19:54
And you should write a song. No, there's a song already written about her.
Tony Sciuto 19:57
Yeah, My Darling Clementine.
Umar Hameed 19:59
Tony Sciuto 20:00
I sing it to her all the time
Umar Hameed 20:01
Here's the question for you. As she grows up in this ever changing world. So what's kind of interesting to take a side note, I'll come back I promise, is why the hell is Shakespeare still relevant today is because the human condition has not changed, the toys have changed. But that human connection has not. So looking at your life and what you've learned all the good, the bad, the ugly. What would be three lessons that you wish you could impart to Clementine that would help her in her life?
Tony Sciuto 20:34
Three lessons, well
Umar Hameed 20:35
Stay away from Umar. But other than that
Tony Sciuto 20:40
Well, I've already made her privy to the guitar, because we have one up on the wall. And every time I come in, she looks at it. She's not even one year old yet. But um, I would just say stick as close to the truth as you possibly can. Or your life because there's nothing that exists other than the truth. Be kind. And stay healthy. I don't. I mean, that's, that's three.
Umar Hameed 21:07
Even the truth can be healthy.
Tony Sciuto 21:09
Umar Hameed 21:09
Third one will come soon as we finish up on that we shut off the mic it'll, come on. Tony, what's the question I should have asked you that I didn't?
Tony Sciuto 21:19
That's interesting. Um, well, I mean, I, the Tony Sciuto. aspect, artist of my career was just a small part I was. I spent eight years on the road with a Little River Band. I was there pianist.
Umar Hameed 21:33
Tony Sciuto 21:33
I've written songs for Tina Turner, Don Johnson Bay City Rollers, BJ Thomas, and a lot of other artists that aren't as famous as that. The Beatles manager wanted to take me to New York and grew me as a child star, when I was mere 13 years old, interesting stuff. I mean, my life has been blessed with a lot of nooks and crannies that are wonderful.
Umar Hameed 22:01
So this podcast is called No Limits Selling. What we're really talking about as human beings is ultimately selling is that.
Tony Sciuto 22:07
Umar Hameed 22:08
And I think our lives and the way we see the world is a lens. And through this podcast, people get to see their lives through your lens
Tony Sciuto 22:20
Umar Hameed 22:21
And sometimes that gives us deep moving insights that we normally wouldn't have gotten through our own lens.
Tony Sciuto 22:27
Umar Hameed 22:27
So Tony, thanks so much for sharing your journey. I really appreciate it.
Tony Sciuto 22:30
Thank you very much.
Umar Hameed 22:37
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.