Tony Wood before Tony Wood Hair: 1980 to 1984
While all the boys at school were playing rugby and smoking behind the bike sheds, I had my head down in the art room, wearing my mum’s clothes. Let me explain!
I grew up on a massive council estate, and went to a school with no uniform and a bad reputation. My dad was a builder, and worked away from home in the week. My mum was a dressmaker, specialising in jeans. The smell of denim was unbelievable. I spent many a happy hour in her workshop.
Being the small creative one at school led to me being quite the outsider, but I soon found my place in the realms of music and fashion. It was the mid-80s, and bands like Adam and the Ants, Madness, and The Smiths all left their mark on me. The tougher things got at school, the stronger my fashion grew.
Not being a rich family, I felt very lucky that I could replicate my music idols’ clothes with the help of my mum’s skills. I remember walking into my headmaster’s office — Mr. Jones, his name was — steeling myself for yet another telling off. He told me, ‘Tony, you’ll never ever get a job unless you smarten up and start to conform’. I’d love to see him now…
The 80s were so much fun, and wearing make-up with big colourful back-combed hair was all part of it. No wonder my career ended up being focused around creativity and fashion.
When 1985 rolled around, I still hadn’t found myself in Castle Road, the street which would nurture my entire career. The next half of my 80s story will take you to the Tricorn Centre...