Context and Content Warning
This interview with Ibizan Legend Tony Pike was first published in print in June 2014, soon after the newspaper was relaunched. It has not previously been published online.
The original interview was published as it was first written, with Tony Pike declining the option to censor any part of content, nor hide any individual’s identity.
The morning after publication we received a legal notice stating that individuals named in the piece considered it libellous and demanding that section of the interview not be circulated further and that an apology/retraction be issued.
We complied with that request and so this interview is now presented without those passages.
It is worth stating that the newspaper was not bullied or sanctioned into agreeing to withdraw that portion of the text. Nothing Tony Pike has ever said to me feels fabricated, but at the end of the day the individuals that objected to being included in the text had a fair claim to say they did not get an opportunity to put over their side of the story.
Warning: Contains explicit sexual and illegal drug references.
The Tony Pike Interview, Part 1
- Words: Nick Gibbs firstname.lastname@example.org
- Photos: Nick Gibbs
- Model: Ingrida Antulyte
It has been 4 or 5 weeks since I met Tony Pike for the first half/part of an interview in our Ibizan series. I say first part though splitting the interview was not originally the idea. The other interviews in this Ibizan series have taken a single sitting of between 1 and 2 hours.
The thing is that in the context of Tony Pike you must understand that Tony can talk. Boy can he talk.
After four and a half hours I had to say we needed to halt. I really couldn’t take any more in and he speaks very softly so recording wasn’t possible.
In that time we hadn’t really even arrived in Ibiza. I had set out thinking that, in the context of the huge story that would be Tony’s life, I’d need to steer it to start at his arrival in Ibiza. Easier said than done—but the thing is I want to listen. I love his tales of global escapades, shenanigans, debauchery, fast, loose and pretty well every other way of living that go to make up the character he is.
Since holding the interview I have attempted to write it up several times, only to find myself staring blankly at my notes without a clue how to get going.
Such are Tony’s leaps from subject to subject, period to period, woman to woman, that it just seemed so daunting as to how to start. How could I put it in order? How could I sort it – chronologically, or by subject, or by woman (or women)?
Then you have the issue of printability (is that a word?—someone look it up please, but I like it so I’m leaving it in). So much of what he covers is risqué and forthright at best, extreme and obscene at worst – or best, depending on your outlook. It is not just an issue of considering reader sensibilities. There are many names mentioned in situations that you’d have to question whether that person would want to be named. We don’t want a lawsuit on our hands.
With his 80th Birthday celebrations this week (Tony’s actual 80th was February 22nd 2014 so he is now 82) I again turned to my notes looking for inspiration from above. None forthcoming. Fortunately a few Strongbows did what divine intervention did not, and so we have Mssrs H.P. Bulmer Ltd to thank for my writing epiphany.
Quite clearly I had been approaching this all wrong. Who am I to try and bring order to Tony Pike’s life? He doesn’t need me to make ’sense’ of it. The whole point of his life-less-ordinary is that much of it it doesn’t make sense. It is unplanned, spontaneous, to put it at its most base, it is mad.
As for upsetting our reader’s sensibilities, Tony does not ask for approval from anybody. He is the ultimate own man, so I am not going to try and portray his story in a way people may find acceptable. Anyway, to do so you’d have to remove the best bits.
I’ll let Tony go over it to avoid embarrassment on his part, but aside from other people’s names I don’t think he understands the concept of embarrassment. It will be immediately evident how ’censored’ he has made it anyway as I intend to hand him the red pen for the purpose of protecting identities.
So in that context here it is. What will we call it? Part 1? The early years? I think one thing I can safely say is that very little of the big and very well known Tony Pike stories are covered. Nor, aside from a glimpse, is his greatest tragedy. Perhaps we’ll get to them in another sitting, perhaps we won’t. So here it is, direct, natural, real and uncensored (except where it’s censored). It is what it is.
Talking to Tony Pike is very much like his life. It is random, full of surprises, sometimes incomprehensible and very, very, long; but you know if you hang around long enough there is another jaw-dropping punch line waiting for you.
Happy Birthday Tony.
The Tony Pike Interview. Sun, Sea, Sex, Drugs & Censored Stuff.
NG: “Where shall we start Tony? At the beginning I guess. Where are you from originally?”
TP: I was born in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.
“I had a terrible childhood Nick. Awful. I suffered a lot of abuse. I had three brothers and one brutalised me. It’s why I say I’m Australian. I can’t forget what happened to me when I was a boy.
“I wanted to forget everything about Britain. I joined the Royal Navy when I was 13. That was even worse. I was bullied by this chief officer, Derek was his name. He was a right bastard.
“So I left and joined the merchant navy when I was 15. They didn’t want me because I was so small. I was a late developer because I was undernourished from childhood. I went on-board a ship heading for South Africa and begged for a job.
“The officer told me to get lost, we don’t want boys, but I kept on at him. In the end he said I could be their Peggy which is the very lowest job on the ship.
“Wow, what an adventure that turned out to be. They were right bastards too. Turned out even worse than the Royal Navy. The ship was woeful. The crew were all blacklisted sailors who couldn’t get on anything else.
“The worst of the lot was this big brute. He was called Norman Pyke funnily enough. We’d only been out at sea a couple of days and he said to me “nice arse boy, I’m gonna have that”. I told him I wasn’t interested and he said “who’s gonna stop me? You’re on your own out here boy”.
“He kept on pestering me, saying he was gonna have my arse. He kept on and on. I wasn’t sexually experienced at all back then. I had a very small penis. I was a late developer. Now it’s very big but back then I wasn’t developed.
“Anyway I was more interested in getting some food. I nicked some Pork Chops they’d left out in the galley. The cook chased me all round the ship waving a bloody huge knife, but he couldn’t catch me because I was so small I could get through places he couldn’t. They used to torture me rotten. He suspended me by my thumbs when he finally got me.
“It took us 7 days to get to the Canary Islands on this bloody boat, it was so slow. When we got there I thought it was heaven, but when they all went off on shore I had to stay on the boat.
“That bastard Pyke came after me but I got away and hid in the back of a cupboard. He was standing outside laughing telling me he was gonna have my arse. He was reaching in and couldn’t quite get me and was getting really angry, telling me how bad he was going to make it for me.
“Then just when I thought I’d had it this sailor called Jock came in and said “what’s going on in here, what’s all the noise about?”. Pyke said “I’ve got the boy in there and I’m gonna have his arse”. So Jock said “no you’re not” and he kicked him right in the balls. He really started on him too. He hurt him really bad.
“Jock saved me that day and then things started to get a bit better. It was still tough though. When we went over the equator they do a crossing ceremony. I’ve still got the scar on my leg (shows me).
“I had my first drink soon after. Half a bottle of red wine. We’d go on shore and they looked after me because I was the youngest.
“I ended up getting this carbuncle. I had to go to see the nurse. He was Gay and told me he had to make my blood flow by ejaculating. So he masturbated me.
“I didn’t know any better, I was very inexperienced. Blood Flow is why I can keep a hard on for so long now though. I’ve got a double aorta in my chest and it pumps the blood at a much higher rate than normal.
“I married my first wife Patricia O’Donnel in 1953 when I was 19. This was in Australia. She fell pregnant the first time I had private sex.
NG: “What do you mean private?”
TP: “Private in that I didn’t pay for it. She was from a very strong Catholic family. I don’t want to be rude but they are a bunch of fucking hypocrites. I don’t have any time for religion but if I did it would be for the Buddhists. They are alright.
“I stayed with Patricia 7 years but I outgrew her, so I left.
“I met my second wife on a blind date in Sydney. She was called Pat too. I was with her 4 years, but she became impossible so I had to move on again.
“My 3rd wife was Robin Fairfax. That was lust at first sight. She had the best arse in Sydney, everyone thought so. I met her through a financier Yorum Polany.
“Yorum used to have playboy pads in Hong Kong and London. They were the real thing, mirrors everywhere, all the drinks you could want, girls, loads of girls, and anything goes.
“He was holding a party and Robin was there. I saw her across the room. Gorgeous she was. I knew I was going to be with her. The first thing I said to her was “hello baby, you’re going to change my life”.
“I loved her Nick, I really loved her, real love it was. I am a very loving person, a very open person. After a year with Robin, 1 year 6 days it was, she came home and found me in bed with another man and woman and she left me.
“Well what happened is we were shipwrecked of Haiti …
NG: One of the great things about talking to Tony is these little pearls of one-liners that he slips in here, there and everywhere. To most of us ‘shipwrecked off Haiti’ would be the total focus of a lengthy tale to tell, but Tony Pike will use them for nothing more than a scene setter.
In all the times I have talked to him I haven’t really figured out if he knows and/or is trying to be funny with these little gems. For sure he has a very dry sense of humour. Whether by accident or design, I love them, and there is never any feeling of them being used to impress or brag. Tony’s tales make me quite genuinely laugh out loud.
We slowly meander on his verbal path to eventually reach Ibiza. By path I obviously mean crossing the seven seas, spending time in many countries, but always in the Tony Pike aura of a charmed existence.
Here are a few more of Tony Pike’s one liners that I enjoyed during that journey:-
“So I hired the ballroom at Raffles”
“She was a complete nymphomaniac”
“I was living with a 16 year old French girl”
“We’d just done the cresta run at St Morritz”
“I eloped with an Indian girl”
“I was the Winston cigarette man (model/face of) for South East Asia, look it’s on my business card”
“So this bloke said he was driving his motorbike to Ibiza and I got on the back”
NG: You might think there was a clue in the last one-liner that we were approaching our final destination. From memory it was at least another half hour before we arrived—but quite an arrival it turned out to be.
TP: “I arrived on the boat into Ibiza port and drove off the ferry. I just wanted my bed but an Australian mate of mine was waiting for me on the quayside and he’d have none of it. He said he’d get me a bed, but first we would have to make sure there would be a couple of Sheilas in it.
“It was a Citreon Mahari my mate had, one of those little jeep things. We were driving in his car and a Fiat Panda went the other way. There were 2 gorgeous girls in the Panda and so we chased it until it stopped.
“It was Lynn in the car and I said to her “Hello baby, you’re gonna change my life”.
“I never married Lynn but we were together five years. Basically she was a complete nymphomaniac and we ended up going around the world swinging.
“I was in bed with this woman one night and Lynn was with her husband in the other room. She didn’t like him much so she came in with us I said ‘Lynn I’m a bit busy darling’. It was then I had my first coke and with my big cock found I could go for ages.
“I never had any cash, just ideas above my station. When we got Pikes we didn’t really have the money to run it, but wanted to extend it.
“I really loved Lynn, but I am a manipulator of women. I manipulate them kindly. I manipulate with care, love and attention.
“I was in Ibiza one day and saw in a travel agent window they had a Pan Am round the world ticket. It cost all the money I had and I could only get one ticket. I went back and told Lynn that I needed some space and had to get away. She said to me ‘it’s not about space, your’e getting away to go and have sex’. I said ‘no it’s not’, but she was right.
“The first flight I took was to London. I don’t like the English snobs but I copped off with a couple on the first night.
“At Pikes we only had 2 rooms when we started in 1980. It was the same year Café Del Mar opened. I couldn’t cook at all. I was so bad I couldn’t charge for the food. I used to do Lamb on the fire, but it always ended up just black and burnt.
“It was in 1982 this man just walked into the hotel. He said he’d been walking across the fields and he was looking for a place to shoot a music video. He said Pikes was perfect and asked me if I was interested. I said yes but I know nothing about music. Nothing at all. I didn’t know who Wham were.
“So they all turned up. They only had a £25,000 budget. It wasn’t much, but to make matters worse they left all their equipment in Heathrow airport.
“I liked them, I just tried to help out as much as I could. George Michael was only 17 but he had the aura of a much older man. You could tell he was going to become a star. Andrew Ridgewell I didn’t like. He was a bludger, do you know what that is Nick, it’s a shirker, a hanger on.
“So we got the video made and I had a small part in it (Tony is the mustachioed waiter/host who opens the door right at the start of the video). It turned out that the Wham video, Club Tropicana, would be what made Pikes really famous.
NG: It was at this point we decided to break and take a drink.
On the way out of Pikes Tony stopped and pointed to the tree and plaque which bears monument to his son who died in tragic circumstances at the hands of some very heavy people several years ago.
From what he has told me previously about the circumstances of his son’s death, it is clear he must feel the pain of responsibility, doubling the burden and pain of loss.
As Tony was taking this moment of reflection by the tree, you could see in his eyes that, as is so often the case, the highs of the most exciting lifestyle are balanced by the ying and yang of a deeper sorrow than many people will ever know.
We went to Tulp on the Paseo in San Antonio for some beers, a few Frikandel and the late afternoon sun.
Tony was constantly calling his unresponsive P.A. Jonty, and cursing him for having disappeared ‘on the lash again’.
Jonty and Tony have been together some years now, but you will rarely find more of an odd couple—at face value at least. They treat each other like bickering siblings, but it seems to work.
As we were driving back to Pikes Tony told me another story. I don’t think for one moment he had planned it as a showstopper, but as is his way it sure is one.
TP: So the England football team had come over to stay at Pikes……
The next 316 words have been removed in accordance with our legal agreement.
NG: Having completed the interview and escorted Tony safely back to his room, I was getting ready to leave when a young woman came into the room briefly. I assumed she was Hotel staff.
TP: “That was my girlfriend Ursula Nick.
NG: “What happened to your fiance?”
Tony had recently introduced me to his latest fiance, a 60 year old German erotic artist. He had also told me that he could make her orgasm over and over, but he didn’t like her German accent. “I’ve just got to touch her and she cums” he had said, “but why does she have to ruin it by talking afterwards? It sounds horrible.”
TP: “Oh I said goodbye to her.”
NG: I had to ask. “How old is Ursula Tony?”
TP: “She’s 30 Nick”
NG: Tony gave me a beaming smile, a big, beaming, but totally debauched smile. I’m sure that as I left I could hear his double aorta valve starting up its motors.
Tony Pike is a man who divides opinion. Following publication of his interview we received many comments from readers, both positive and negative. There are plenty who love his zest for life and Ibiza is certainly the perfect home for one with such hedonist tendencies. Those who are not fans question the morality of his lifestyle. That is a perfectly fair opinion, but I will say this. Even if you find the extremity of his excess distasteful, it would be unjust to assume that such excess must be indicative of a man without thought or consideration beyond his own self interest and gratification.
Tony Pike could well adopt my personal favourite quote; the words of French philosopher Voltaire;
“I Have absolutely no morals, though I am a very moral person.”