Tony Butler quits Big Country
LONG-serving Big Country bass guitarist Tony Butler has quit the band.
The re-formed Dunfermline group had appeared to be going from strength to strength since getting back together but Tony has decided to end his 32-year association and is tight-lipped over the reasons.
The news comes as it was announced that the band would be playing a home town end-of-year gig at the Glen Pavilion on 30th December.
He had been in the band since their early days and was part of their huge chart success in the '80s.
Tony has issued a statement saying, "There comes a time when a big decision has to be made and I've made one.
"I feel that after 32 years of dedicated service to Big Country, I need to dedicate some time to myself, so I am announcing my retirement from the band as of now.
"I have no wish to declare any reasons other than my time with the group has come to an end. After 32 years of incredible highs and a very tragic low, I feel that now is the time to look to new horizons.
"My deepest love and thanks go to: Ian, Stuart, Bruce, Mark, and the many associated families and friends (and not forgetting my own family that have been an inspiration and massive support) that have so enriched my life.
"Many thanks to Mike and Jamie for the past two years. Also, a big thank you to you, the fans that have supported us throughout this incredible life experience; without you, this group would not have achieved anything.
"Time to move on. Good luck one and all."
Since getting back together the band have put in tremendous performances at the Isle of Wight Festival, T in the Park and have twice played the Alhambra.
Tony told the Press earlier this year he was loving with the band second time around despite having resisted the idea for a decade.
He said in January, "I was very reticent to start off with. I've kept the wolves at bay for nearly 10 years because I personally didn't feel that the band had a place any more.
"I loved what we'd one so much in our time and I was happy to leave it there. I looked on it as very big and fantastic part of my life that I wasn't going to repeat because one of my best friends had passed away."
He added, "We were asked to consider doing this next tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of 'The Crossing' which is cool because it's the album people consider to be our classic.
"It's also an opportunity to make this our last swan song for Stuart. We don't want to keep banging on about it. I think this is a fitting end tribute to us celebrating him and I want to leave it at that.
"The idea of us coming back with the 'Steeltown' tour, then 'The Seer' tour - to use your vernacular - that's a pile of s**** to me.
"That's just milking the cash cow and I'm not interested in that. I want to be in a band that makes things and has credibility.
"If we can come up with an album that reflects the group today in 2012 then that will be cool."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 24 Sep 12