Anthony “Tony” Spicola got his start in the music industry managing, recording and mentoring bands and local musicians throughout Southern Colorado—the Trolls, the Beast, Patti Jo (of the Teardrops), Band-X (featuring John Grove) and, notably, Chan Romero (“Hippy Hippy Shake”). He began bringing bands to his clubs, the Fantastic Zoo and Pinocchio’s in Pueblo; he then graduated to Kelker Junction (a 3,000-capacity warehouse) and the City Auditorium in Colorado Springs, also starting events called Swing Dings. He booked, among many national acts, the Everly Brothers, the Young Rascals, Ike & Tina Turner, the Animals, Buffalo Springfield, the Yardbirds—and the Who, in the band’s first-ever Colorado appearance in August 1968. Spicola owned KDZA, Pueblo’s AM Top 40 radio giant, and, in the ‘80s, co-promoted Van Halen’s infamous “no brown M&M’s” concert at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo.

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Tony talks to G. about growing up in Trinidad and Pueblo and his first forays into local artist management, including Chan Romero of “Hippy Hippy Shake” fame (0:50), promoting concerts with seminal Sixties acts the Animals, Glen Campbell, Paul Revere & the Raiders and Fever Tree (3:30), dealing with “the elephant in the room” (8:48), breaking Buffalo Springfield, the Yardbirds and the Who in Colorado (12:10) and the story behind the legend of the Van Halen “no brown M&M’s” show (18:57).