PHUKET EXPOSED: Tony ‘Chainsaw’ Wilson
Saturday 23 July 2011, 02:38AM
Job: Lead Vocalist/Frontman
What were were doing before you moved to Thailand?
I was teaching basic IT in a college in the UK and singing with various bands.
What were you doing 10 years ago?
I’ve lived in Phuket for the past 10 years, prior to that I lived in Bangkok for three years, working full-time as a teacher and singing with various bands in the evenings.
I was singing regularly with a band called ‘The Delta Boys’, a great blues/funk band. They had all given themselves jokey blues names – Dr Blues, Southside Les, Ezyrolling Nolan – and they decided that I should have one.
As I was the small, weedy guy in the band they said I should have a macho blues name. Hence ‘Chainsaw’. Since then I’ve been called ‘hacksaw’, ‘see-saw’ and many other variations, the latest one is ‘eyesore’!
Why did you move to Phuket?
I came to Phuket to visit friends in 1999 and fell in love with the place, I knew that one day I would make the move to Phuket from Bangkok.
In the meantime I met the lady who is now my wife and when the time was right, we pooled our meagre resources and came down to Phuket with the idea of buying a small plot of land, just enough to build a house on. As things turned out we ended up with a large piece of land and built our dream house (our own design – basic, not perfect, but we love it).
What is best thing about living here?
Lots of sunshine! I got a taste for the tropics as a young man in the Merchant Navy and decided there and then that I would rather be too hot than too cold any day. I have horrible memories of scraping the ice of my car windscreen and shovelling snow brrrrrr! Bring on the heat!
Also there is a wealth of untapped talent among the Thai and expat community here and living in Phuket has given me the opportunity to perform alongside highly accomplished musicians of many nationalities. It's a fact that music knows no borders
What do you do to relax?
I retired from teaching three years ago and since then I seem to be permanently relaxed. I’ve never really felt stressed out about anything since moving to the island. I hear people complaining all the time about the traffic and the scams etc. but I think by applying a bit of common sense, stressful situations can easily be avoided. If my stress level does start to climb I usually resort to some sort of relaxing medication, eg: a glass of wine etc.
We like to eat out at a good restaurant occasionally but I spend most evenings out on my spacious balcony reading and/or listening to music. I sometimes nip down to my local bar The Freebird to have a few games of pool with my mates but I’m usually home by 8pm.
The only times I’m out late is when I’m gigging. (a real rock star life eh?)
What hobbies or sports are you interested in?
As I mentioned, I like to play pool. I also have tropical fish tank on my balcony, I suppose you could say that’s my hobby.
What is your favourite childhood memory?
My first professional (paid) gigs. My parents were both in show business so I was encouraged to sing from an early age.
I used to get paid a shilling for standing on a chair and singing for my aunties and their friends.
Favourite food or dish?
Fried egg, chips and beans with tea, bread and butter. A touch of curry powder in the beans for that extra piquancy!
What kind of music are you into?
Blues, rock, soul, funk, jazz and all points in between. Favourite band - Steely Dan.
What is the best tip you have for people moving to Phuket?
Leave your preconceptions and expectations back in your country of origin. Above all, accept Phuket as it is warts and all, it’s not perfect, but it’s a damn sight more perfect than where I came from.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you while living on the island?
While teaching a mixed gender group of Thai students in their early twenties about the way to ask “Have you ever” questions, I asked if anyone could give me an example. One young man raised his hand so I told him to go ahead. He turned to the rather attractive young lady next to him and asked “Have you ever had an orgasm?” Needless to say, it took about 15 minutes to restore order in the class, mainly because I couldn’t stop laughing!
The person you admire the most and why?
My wife for her intelligence, humour, nurturing nature and her natural grace.
If you could come back as any other person who would it be and why?
I can’t think of anyone I would rather be, I like being me.
Is there anything you don’t like about living here?
A few things, litter, moaning farangs, suicidal bikers, the usual trivial stuff.
Favourite place on the island, and why?
My balcony. (see above for reasons).