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Born in Yorkshire, England, Fletcher was inspired by the London punk rock movement and started a fanzine as a thirteen-year-old schoolboy which he named Jamming!. Founded in 1977 the magazine began as a school-printed fanzine and in 1978, with the fifth issue, featuring interviews with Paul Weller, Adam Ant and John Peel, adopted professional printing and wider distribution. From 1979-84, it was printed and partly distributed by Better Badges. Between 1978-83, Jamming! featured interviews with a range of artists that included Pete Townshend, Aztec Camera, Dexys Midnight Runners, The Damned, Delta 5, The Jam, Bill Nelson, Scritti Politti, The Selecter, The Beat, Dead Kennedys and more.
In September 1983, Jamming! went bi-monthly, and later monthly. Artists featured in this later phase included The Smiths, U2, Billy Bragg, Julian Cope, Lloyd Cole, the Cocteau Twins, Echo and the Bunnymen, R.E.M., The Specials, Everything But The Girl, Madness and more. In January 1986, after 36 issues, the magazine shut down.
His success with Jamming! led to Fletcher to more opportunities, starting with a major published interview with Paul McCartney in 1982. He presented TV programmes, including The Tube, where he interviewed Wham! in 1983, and networked with post-punk figures including Paul Weller and Echo & the Bunnymen, the latter being the subject of his first book, published in 1987.
In New York Fletcher established himself as a DJ, club promoter and music industry consultant, all the while settling down as a serious scholar of contemporary music history, authoring a guide to the music of The Clash, plus major biographies of R.E.M. and Keith Moon.
With the advent of the Internet in the 90s Fletcher returned to topical writing, with his iJamming.net website, adding wine to his musical interests.
In 2010 he published a study on the musical history of New York City in the 20th century.
His biography of the Smiths, A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths, was published in September 2012.
- Never Stop: The Echo and the Bunnymen Story
- Remarks Remade - The Story of R.E.M.
- Dear Boy: The Life of Keith Moon (published in the United Kingdom. The American title is Moon (The Life and Death of a Rock Legend))
- Hedonism - A Novel
- The Clash: An Essential Guide to Their Music
- All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77
- A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths (2012)
- Boy About Town (2013)
- In The Midnight Hour: The Life and Soul of Wilson Pickett (2017)
- Tony Fletcher (2000–2003). "Jamming Magazine Covers". Retrieved 28 August 2013.
- Fletcher, Tony (2 January 2017). "We were all "Young Guns" then: George Michael and the early days of Wham!, the coolest band in London". Salon (website). Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- "Outsight Radio Hours 10-February-2013 interview". Archive.org. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
- Fletcher, Tony (4 July 2013). Boy About Town. London: William Heinemann. ISBN 978-0434021673.