Before They Were Famous   Leave a comment

Have you ever wondered what certain, high profile, Smycms Members did before they were famous (ED. if you can count being in Smycms as being famous, then who am I to question any delusional behaviour on their part.) well, here in an occasional feature we will explore the myths and gossip that have built up over time to muddy the waters and bring you the true story behind the names that have graced the pages of a Smycms cast list, so, for our first featured Smycm it was a simple choice. With some uncanny inside information Sons Of SMYCMS are proud to give you the Legend that is Tony McDonald.

Let me take you back to the summer of 1988 (ED.yes that is 22 years ago, how, I hear you gasp, does he still look so youthfull. Well I can exclusively reveal that I don’t know, but I have heard he has a daily regime of Imperial Leather and pumice stone.) It was the same year that CD’s outsold the LP for the first time and Michael Jackson bought the Ranch in Santa Ynez, California and names it Neverland. It was also the year that Celine Dion won the Eurovision Song Contest representing Switzerland (ED. Did you know that in 2011 Smycms show will be EUROBEAT, no?, I thought not.), and the year that the world sadly lost the one and only Roy Orbison who died of a heart attack.It was in this year that Tony McDonald saw a small notice in the Herald and Post, a free newspaper distributed in Edinburgh, asking for new members, especially men, to audition to join the Smycms for their 1989 production of Guys and Dolls. Without telling any one Tony went along to the audition night at the Westfield to try his hand at this singing lark, unfortunately he walked into the Westfield Bar first and was told there is no auditions here, outside on the street he contemplated just going home, as he made his way back to his car he noticed at the end of the road The Westfield Function Room, and as they say the rest is history.

Tony McDonald was born in the summer of 1957 in the cottage hospital, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, some years later when the hospital was closed it was used as a piggery, it is currently the clubhouse for the McDonald Golf Club in Ellon. (ED.Tony has Tony as a Toddler.even at this tender age he was destined to play a drunk man on stage.no connection to the golf club or to the pigs for that matter!.) The third son of John and Jean McDonald, when he was born his mother having had two boys previously had hoped for a girl (ED. Ah! that explains everything) and when she was presented with another boy she was upset, so much so that she even asked the local Doctor if he would like to adopt it, fortunately for Tony he declined, but unfortunately for the Doctor the next day he decided to take his wife out for a drive and they visited all their old haunts, it seemed for the last time as he died later that evening. (ED.again there is no connection to Tony being offered away and the Doctor sadly dying, though I’m sure he would have got a fright, would you honestly want to adopt Tony McDonald.) It is widely believed that Tony should have been called Andrew but when he was registered the name that was put down on the form was Ronald. (ED.haven’t a scooby doo where that came from, it does rhyme with McDonald though, so that’s a good thing right!, right.)

The name Tony only surfaced some years later after the McDonald family had moved down to Edinburgh when his dad started a new job as an Inspector with the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and yes, this did lead to the young Tony sharing bath times with various ducks. For years Tony has been asked to explain why he is called Tony when his name is really Ronald, some people even thought that his mother had a fourth son called Antony, well here we have it, the official story, There was a girl called Helen Macdonald who lived Tony with one of those ducks as featured in the Daily Express back in 1964.round the corner, with whom the young Ronald used to play with and she had great difficulty in saying An early Publicity PhotographRonald and so it would come out as Noni (ED.what if that had stuck, Noni McDonald.) His dad meanwhile used to call Ronald, Tonto after the Lone Ranger on Television, this was Ronalds’ bestest program ever and when ever it came on the young Ronald would jump on to the back of the settee shouting “The Lone Ranger rides too gain” and shooting every thing in sight by forming the shape of a gun with his fingers and making a noise like “PEEOSSH” which if said quickly at speed sounds remarkably like a bullet being fired (ED.is there anyone still following all this?) at this point his two older brothers Malcolm and Neil, who were both in the scouts, and when you are in the scouts you have to have a nickname (ED.Malcolm was called Smith, no don’t ask.) so it kinda followed that when Ronald joined the cubs, scouts for wee ones, he was introduced as Tony, a combination of Tonto and Noni.

So from then on Tony or Ronald has led a double life (ED.sounds like a spy, maybe that’s why the young Tony sent off his hard earned pocket money to become a member of The United Network for Command Law and Enforcement, better known on the T.V. as the Man from U.N.C.L.E and starring David McCallum as Ilya Kuryakin. Tony had a small briefcase that he kept all his secret papers and ID card, according to Tony it’s the second bestest program ever.),and having two identities is normally not a problem, but can make writing out his christmas cards a tad tricky, as in one particular year he put Tony down instead of Ronald and the recipient thought that his wife Sheila was now married to someone else. So that was the young Tony McDonald, why not join us next time when we explore Tony the Teenager in part two of our occasional feature, Before They Were Famous. Want to know the truth behind other Smycms Member then please come back soon, but watch out it could be you.

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Posted November 27, 2011 by tony mcdonald

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