Tony Funches was the coolest guy, and that’s why rock stars like Jim Morrison wanted to hang out with him. Tony passed away yesterday (June 21, 2017) surrounded by family and friends in Denver, Colorado. Doors fans probably know that he was Jim Morrison’s bodyguard for a while (approximately January 1968-August 1970). Tony was hired to make sure Jim showed up at concerts on time and hopefully not too drunk, the philosophy being that Morrison was going to do whatever he wanted to do and bodyguards were hired to limit the damage. As Tony said, “I was the only guy who could drink Jim Morrison under the table and STILL keep his ass outta jail!”
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After a stint in the United States Air Force Tony found his way into rock and roll circles, both as Jim Morrison’s bodyguard and as security for the Rolling Stones at Altamont. Later he worked for Barry Fey productions, a big promoter in Colorado, and was part of the infamous “Feyline Crew” that had a reputation for being not so gentle with those that ran afoul of them. In later years Tony was working on his memoirs, with the working title “The Ancestor’s Soundtrack” or in more general terms “the accursed book.”
Tony was also politically active and outspoken over the years. He used his Facebook platform, which has a great number of followers due to his rock and roll connections, and while I may not have agreed with all his positions he was good in the debate and from his unique perspective his posts always provoked thoughtful reactions.
Tony was also a friend and supporter of The Doors Examiner, frequently providing recommendations and testimonials for the articles, and was kind enough to write the forewords of “The Doors Examined” and my writing in general. Tony’s support meant a lot and I thank him for his kindness over the years. Like I said, Tony was the coolest guy.
In recent years Tony suffered from COPD. He was a proud father and grandfather, mentioning his children and grandchildren in just about every email I got from him. Thank you for everything, Tony, you touched a lot of people in this life and will be remembered by us all.
You can leave condolences at Tony’s Facebook page.
June 22, 2017