Tony Muggs grew up on the Eastside of Detroit under the contrails of City Airport. He was a happy kid, a dreamer who loved playing sports. Tony’s parents divorced when he was 5, but he found comfort as the middle child of three boys, adding sister Sara, when his father remarried. Though always the smallest kid in Catholic school, Tony was a natural student and a creative thinker. By the time he made it to Notre Dame Catholic College prep in Harper Woods the fates had taken notice. It was there that he met his lifelong friend and musical collaborator, Danny "Muggs" Methric. "Danny and I had a mutual love for all things Beatles,” says Tony, “but it was in our early twenties that we fell in love with the blues.”
Tony credits his father, Frankie, and Danny's step dad, Mike with encouraging the boys. As their aptitude for music grew, they began to emulate the contemporary bands that they heard on the radio in the early ‘90s; Soundgarden, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Jane's Addiction among them. They also delved deep into the blues, learning enough standards to fill a four set night. With Danny on guitar and Tony on bass, they barreled toward their goal of becoming skilled and professional musicians and songwriters. The duo eventually added a drummer, forming the The Muggs in 2000.
Just as they were enjoying growing success in Detroit, tragedy struck. On September 4th, 2001 Tony suffered a hemorrhagic stroke which left him completely paralyzed on his right side and unable to speak. Although he was not informed of his prognosis at the time, Tony was not expected to survive. He spent two months in various hospitals due to complications with his condition, eventually landing at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Downtown Detroit. His recovery was speculative at best, “From my perspective,” says Tony, “the worst thing about my infirmary was I could never play music again, or so I thought.”
Unwilling to consider replacing his friend, Danny put The Muggs on permanent hiatus and stepped in on guitar for Detroit rock act, The Paybacks, and other bands while Tony worked furiously to recover the use of his limbs and return to making the music that he loved. “Throughout the next couple years, I rehabbed extremely hard but still, my right hand and arm were paralyzed and not getting better,” says Tony. “It was about a year and three months after my stroke that my friend, Matt Smith (Outrageous Cherry), suggested I try playing my bass guitar lines on a Fender Rhodes piano like Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek.”
As soon as he was able to manage it, Tony set about teaching himself to play bass lines on a keyboard - solely with his left hand. With Tony on the Fender Rhodes, The Muggs re-formed in September of 2003 - almost two years exactly from the day the stroke ravaged Tony’s body. Since then, Tony and Danny have enjoyed a vibrant career with The Muggs which has included a stint on FOX's American Idol spin-off “The Next Great American Band” (2007), multiple European tours, six full length album releases and multiple Detroit Music Awards, both as a band and as individual instrumentalists. The Muggs also landed commercial song placements, including “Never Know Why,” (from their second album) in the movie, “The Purge: Election Year.”
In between 2003 and the present, Tony has expanded his musical reach to include other projects, including as the primary force behind songwriting/performance entity Dude.
Between December of 2016 to present day, Tony has been working on his first of two autobiographies and Dude 2nd full length album, both entitled Autobiograffitti. He also plays and performs in the Detroit-based tribute bands Rattlesnake Shake: A Peter Green Fleetwood Mac tribute and Mega Weedge: A WEEN tribute.
“My life has truly been a musical fairy tale,” says Tony. “I'm so proud to finally tell the whole story in the form of “‘Autobiograffitti.’”
On with the show…! - Wendy Case