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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

RIP Tony Urso

Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013 after a long battle with cancer.  Tony played in the Cleveland, Ohio bands Starvation Army, Sissy, Hucklebuck and Buddy Love Combo.  He loved life and was loved by many:  his family, wife, children, friends and fans.  You are missed Tony.  I played in Starvation Army with him back in the late '80's / early '90's.  Below is just one memory from those years.





Tony Urso was a great guy.  A perfect balance of smart and smart-ass.  A real straight up Cleveland guy.  They don't get better.  His many friends, his family...they all know that.  He did have his quirks though.  Since I played with him in a band for a while, and went on a couple of tours with him, I got to know a few of those quirks firsthand.  Just little things that made him unique.  It's funny what you think of at times like this, but one thing that has been on my mind the last week concerns Tony and electronic guitar tuners.  Mainly I remember how much he disliked them.  In the two years I was in a band with Tony, I never once saw him use one.  Let's face it, clubs and bars can be very noisy places when you are trying to get ready for a performance.  All of us used an electronic tuner, it's just easy and more reliable then the ears when you are an environment where it's so loud you can't hear yourself think.  Not Tony though.  He'd scoff at tuners: "I don't like those things."  Of course he usually was in tune and he sure knew how to play the hell out of his guitar, so it never really mattered.  Still, just out of curiosity I recall questioning him a few times about his aversion to electronic tuning gadgets.  On one of those occasions I remember him telling me: "I don't need them…because I am in tune with nature.  I AM IN TUNE WITH THE COSMOS!"  Of course my response was to laugh (at, with) him.  Right Tony, I think you are also in tune with a few beers!  That was Tony though.  He was known within the band circle to occasionally be slightly "out there."  On his own plane of existence, I mean.  Planet Tony.  A deep thinker I guess is another way to put it.  Anyway, later during the gig I began to notice something...something out of tune.  Who is it?  Well it couldn't be TONY.  He's in tune with the cosmos...so it must be the rest of us!  Now I think, well, he really is in tune with the cosmos - and the cosmos is now a much better place.  Unfortunately he has left a vacuum on this level of existence, here in Cleveland.  We are not a better place without Tony...but we are a better place for having known him and having good memories of him.  So I just want to say, so long Tony.  See you 'round the cosmos sometime.

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Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut
Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut

Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut

Francisco Antonio "Tony" Urso passed away Aug. 14, 2013. - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/news-herald/obituary.aspx?n=francisco-antonio-urso-tony&pid=166446300#fbLoggedOut