Anthony Thistlethwaite

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Anthony Thistlethwaite
Born (1955-08-31) 31 August 1955 (age 63)
Lutterworth, Leicestershire, England
GenresFolk rock
InstrumentsSaxophone, mandolin, harmonica, hammond organ, guitar, bass, drums
Associated actsThe Waterboys, The Saw Doctors

Anthony "Anto" Thistlethwaite (born 31 August 1955, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, England) is a British multi-instrumentalist best known as a founding member (with guitarist Mike Scott) of the folk rock group, The Waterboys[1] and later as a long-standing member of Irish rock band The Saw Doctors.


After a year busking in Paris, playing tenor saxophone around the streets of the Latin Quarter, in 1980 Thistlethwaite moved to London and in 1981 he played saxophone on Robyn Hitchcock's Groovy Decay album as well as Nikki Sudden's Waiting on Egypt. Mike Scott heard the saxophone solo on Nikki's "Johnny Smiled Slowly" and invited Thistlethwaite to come and play with his fledgling band "The Red and The Black". Their first record together "A Girl Called Johnny" was to be released as The Waterboys' first single in March 1983 and featured Thistlethwaite's tenor sax howl.

Although Thistlethwaite is mainly known as a saxophonist he has also featured heavily on mandolin, plus harmonica, Hammond organ, guitar and bass with The Waterboys and other acts. During the 1980s and 90s he also featured on recordings by: World Party, Fairground Attraction, Psychedelic Furs, Sharon Shannon, Bob Dylan, China Crisis, Johnny Thunders, Donovan, The Vibrators, Chris De Burgh, Bruce Foxton (The Jam), The Mission, and others as a session musician.

During the 1990s he released three solo albums which included contributions from the likes of: Kirsty MacColl, Eddi Reader and Ralph McTell as well as many musicians including ('Rolling Stones' guitarist) Mick Taylor and Sonny Landreth. His third album Crawfish and Caviar consisted of songs recorded in St. Petersburg, Russia and Louisiana.[2] For the past twelve years Thistlethwaite has been a full-time member of The Saw Doctors from County Galway, Republic of Ireland.

Sharon Shannon, also a member of The Waterboys, recorded a song that she named "Anto's Cajun Cousins", after his Louisiana Thistlethwaite relatives, on her eponymous debut album.


Thistlethwaite has released five solo albums:

  • Aesop Wrote a Fable (1993)
  • Cartwheels (1995)
  • Crawfish and Caviar (1997)
  • Back to The Land. The Best of... (2002)
  • Stinky Fingers (2011) With Mick Taylor


  1. ^ "Anthony Thistlethwaite". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
  2. ^ Owens, Thom. "Crawfish & Caviar – Anthony Thistlethwaite". AllMusic. Retrieved 2 August 2012.

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