Solo albums: Bassist virtuoso, he has played in many albums. Due to his youth, we can still hope many more albums to come in forthcoming years... He was born Anthony James Franklin in Derby, England.


The first Roy album where Tony appears is Work of heart. It features Jimmy Page (guitar), Steve Broughton (guitar), Bob Wilson (guitar), Tony Franklin (bass), Paul Cobbold (bass), Brian Hodges (bass), David Lord (keyboards), Dave Morris (keyboards, violin), Dick Morrisey (sax), Ray Warleigh (sax), Tony Carr (drums), Brian Davison (drums), Charlie Morgan (drums), Dorian Healy (drums), Darrel Lockhart (drums).

Around March 1984, Roy releases a new album, Whatever happened to Jugula? (really credited to Roy Harper & Jimmy Page) with special help from his friend Jimmy Page. Other musicians in the album are: Nick Harper (guitar, he's Roy's son), Tony Franklin (bass), Nik Green (keyboards), Steve Broughton (drums), Preston Heyman (drums), Ronnie Brambles (drums).

In July 1984, this was the stellar lineup for Roy, assembled for promoting the new album:

Some show was taped by British TV, but I think they were never broadcasted. Why? Soon later, Jimmy Page called Tony for his new band, The Firm.

In between every line is a double live album culled from different shows, with that same lineup, plus Nick Harper on guitar.


Around end of 1984, The Firm was created by two great legends, singer Paul Rodgers and guitarist Jimmy Page. They needed a superb band, so they tried with different drummers (Rat Scabies and Bill Brufod). After a while, they chose Chris Slade on drums. The first choice for bass was Pino Palladino, but as he was a busy sessionman, Jimmy immediately called Tony, after asking Roy Harper.

Their first album, The Firm, contained a big hit, 'Radioactive'. It was recorded with help from a horn section: Steve Dawson (trumpet), Paul Weimar (sax), Willie Garnett (sax), Don Weller (sax), and backing vocals by Sam Brown, Helen Chappelle, Joy Yates. By the way, Tony also plays synthesizer in several songs.

The first tour comprised songs from the album, plus some songs from Jimmy Page's Death Wish II, as well as songs from Paul solo album and old standards (such as Solomon Burke's 'Everybody needs somebody to love'). Tony played his solo during the song 'The chase'.

After long tours, they returned to the studio for a second album, Mean Business (including a song written by Tony, 'Dreaming') but for some reason the album flopped. More sucessful tours, and they finally called it a day.


In May 1987, guitarist John Sykes starts his solo career, under the name Blue Murder. He assembles a very powerful band, reuniting his old mate Cozy from his days in Whitesnake.

They recorded the demos for what had to be their first album. But Sykes' management refuses to have Ray Gillen in the band, so he was forced to leave. Almost immediately, Cozy regrets for Gillen being sacked, and also leaves the band in October 1987. During first months of 1988, they tried with different drummers: Next drummer was Nigel Cross: Another one: And: But they finally find the perfect replacement in Carmine Appice (who left his own band King Kobra), Here, it started the most-known period of this band. They released a powerful first album, Blue Murder, recorded during 1988 and 1989, with assistance from keyboardist Nik Greene (who was considered a member of the band), and backing vocals by Marc LaFrance and David Steele. Tony co-writes two songs, 'Blue Murder' and 'Black hearted woman'. Great playing on it.

They also started touring a lot, also with Nik:

But, as it happened with The Firm, the tours were big-sellers, while the album hadn't the same response.
After several years of restless touring, Carmine and Tony leave the band in 1992. There's a 2nd album, Nothin' but trouble, although Appice and Franklin are considered just mere 'guests' on it, as they were out of the band by the time it was released. The Japanese edition contains two bonus tracks, co-written by Sykes, Franklin and Appice.
John Sykes kept the band name for a while with different musicians, but finally changed into new name Sykes.


Tony rejoins Paul Rodgers in late 1993 for a tour. Paul was promoting his Muddy Waters tribute album:
When the tour is finished, the rhythm section stays together backing a new singer, Mari Hamada.


This was the lineup for Mari Hamada tour over Europe:


She's a talented singer, also a friend of Tony. Her debut album was Now in a minute, featuring Tony. A tour was projected after the album.

GARY HOEY band  

Gary Hoey is a guitar virtuoso. He called Tony Franklin for his album Animal instinct, and Tony was recruited for the live band.
The album also features Claude Schnell (keyboards, from Dio). It includes a killer rendition of Focus' 'Hocus Pocus'. I love this kind of albums!! It was recorded during 11 days in March, 1993.


Around May 1996, Alvin Lee, fantastic guitarist from the famous blues-rock band Ten Years After, assembles a band of great veteran musicians, for a tour. But that same month, after four concerts, the original bassist Boz Burrell, leaves, and Tony Franklin joins them.

They finish the tour at the end of March 1997, and Alvin Lee resumes both his Alvin Lee Band and his old group Ten Years After, and Eric Burdon (with Aynsley Dunbar) also resumes his solo career.


In August 1997, David Coverdale unveils the live band who presumedly will feature the last tour under the Whitesnake monicker. The band includes some veterans from the band, such as Vandenberg and Carmassi, , plus Derek Hilland (from the mythical band Iron Butterfly), Tony Franklin and guitarist Steve Farris.

They toured all over the world, including Spain.


This is a project conceived by legendary drummer Carmine Appice. The basic band for the albums is:

And they get different, superb guitar players for each track of the albums.

Guitar Zeus is the first album, and it contains these guitar soloists: Steve Morse (now in Deep Purple), Paul Gilbert (one track, plus a bonus track present in the European release, 'Where you belong'), Yngwie Malmsteen, Neal Schon, Brian May, Doug Aldrich, Jennifer Batten (currently touring with Jeff Beck), Ty Tabor, Slash, Ted Nugent, Elliot Easton (from The Cars, lately in Creedence Clearwater Revisited), Mick Mars, and the great Leslie West (from Mountain).


Next joint project by Carmine Appice and Tony Franklin was called Pearl, with Japanese musicians:

They released two albums, and toured alongside Japan.

GUITAR ZEUS (again) 

Guitar Zeus project is resurrected again in 1997.

Guitar Zeus 2 - Channel Mind Radio is their new album, and it includes guest appearances by: Denny Laine (in the song 'Cruisin''), Stevie Salas (from his own band Stevie Salas Colorcode), Zakk Wylde (from Ozzy Osbourne band and now, with his own band Pride And Joy), Warren DeMartini (ex-Ratt), Richie Sambora (from Bon Jovi), Stuart Smith, Ted Nugent, Neal Schon (from Journey), C.C. DeVille (from Poison), John Norum, Ty Tabor (from King's X), Dweezil Zappa, Vivian Campbell (from Def Leppard), Kenji Kitajima. Plus Paul Gilbert, who plays in one of two bonus tracks appearing in the Japanese version of the album (again the song 'Where you belong', remixed and rearranged). The album was produced by Carmine Appice and Kelly Keeling.

Tony co-writes 4 songs in the album: 'Stash', 'Where you belong', 'Perfect day' and 'GZ blues'.


Tony will release his first solo album very soon.


Press here to read about Tony Franklin sessions

Related links: From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have: From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have:
Musicians mentioned in this page that I have projected to cover in my site someday: And short tributes to:

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Very special thanks to: Tony Franklin, one of the warmest musicians I've ever met, a man that can show you that musicians are also people like any other. Why do I say this? Well, from a fan perspective, musicians are in a higher level. Tony easily shows that you can be in the same level as him. Thanks for all!

Special thanks to: Carmine Appice, for the contact; Mark White, for info about Tony, as well as for support; Alex Gitlin, for all his support.

Thanks to:

Tony Franklin pages have been accessed   times since April 16, 2003.

If you can contribute (with additions, corrections, opinions, etc.), please, send me an e-mail message at

If you want to check my list of musicians covered in my site, just click on...
The Musicians' Olympus Homepage

And if you want to know what has changed since your last visit, please click on...
What's new

Can I ask you a favour?
Please, please, please, go to the homepage, and sign my guestbook!!!!

Page created by Miguel Terol on: 16/June/2000. First published: 16/April/2003. Last modified on: 16/June/2000.