The Tornado Nobody Saw!

It happened quietly, almost unexpectedly. A gentle gust which got gradually stronger until we were swept off our feet. However, there were so few who witnessed it we called it the tornado that nobody saw. When it was over we were left breathless.

I was in the US when it occurred, travelling as usual. However, I was not in the dustball of Oklahoma or the flat lands of Kansas like you might expect, no, I witnessed this phenomenon in Athens, Georgia.

I along with a few locals and some friends of friends, were in this quaint southern town to hear music. A friend of mine, Ryan, a guy I met in Iceland and who other tails have been written about, and his band were going to put on a performance – they were the tornado that nobody saw.

Ryan was the main star of this enterprise along with his Brother Chris Monahan who played drums, Josh McMichael was on base and a young guy named Ben Lewis played banjo and mandolin. Ryan played lead guitar and sang. I introduced the quartet to the mostly empty bar room as ‘Ryan Monahan and guests’. It went down a treat.

It began quietly enough, Ryan opened with a solo piece named ‘Mr. and Ms. Understanding’, which resembled the gentle cool breeze of the Rocky Mountains. Then it began, and the storm crashed as Chris hit the drums and the tornado gained velocity as the boys increased the volume. Each song had its own unique quality, an individual sardonic twist. Tracks such as  ‘Consequence’ and ‘Love Me Sober’ exposed themselves for what they were, lyrical truths with a twist  and a tuch of dark humour. At one point during the set the musical wind howled and wipt up a fury of motion. One could have said the ‘eye of the storm’ was the song ‘Revolving Doors’, a kind of jazzy rock classy number full of rich guitar chords and mandolin tricks. The storm eventually blew itself out as Ryan ended the gig with a couple of gentler numbers before the band rejoined for the final little burst of wind. Then that was it, an hour and a half of around a dozen songs of rock-jazz excentricity with soprano-folk vocals, offset by a steady base and heavy experimental drumming. Ben interacted with soft clever string playing, giving the music an added intelectial quality. He was probably the most talented of the musicians. The music was original which was in itself refreshing. Even the Billy Joel cover called ‘Everybody Loves You Now’ had its own personal ryan Monahan touch.

I went crazy at every heavy turn of rift, crash of drum, change of chord. I yeld and encouraged like any lover of music should. It was just a shame that there were so few people there to witness it. Ryan is a natural and has plenty of material. He should go far.

We can only hope that one or two men from the music profession were there to discover what we all saw.

It was amazing, electrifying – it was indeed the tornado that nobody saw.

This is the end!

Hi everyone, I am just letting you all know I am pulling off the road for the foreseeable future. My health is taking its toll and I am getting too tired. This will give me the chance to update you all on the last eight months of travel.

Until then keep travelling for me and keep rocking.


Current number of countries visited; 41 plus all 50 US States and all 10 Provinces of Canada.

Nearing the end of travels for now!

Hi all, its Tonythetraveller. I have just finished another amazing trip. It lasted eight weeks and took in most of the east coast of Canada and some of the US. I visited Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland in Canada, thus completing a visit to all of Canada’s 10 Provinces. Before that I was in beautiful Norway. What a country! The most expensive in the world! This was proved to me when I had to take a taxi to the airport which is in the middle of nowhere. I could not afford to miss this flight as I had a connecting flight to New York awaiting me in London. The distance was 70 miles, 100 kilometres. It cost me a staggering £280; I could not believe it!!! The food in Norway was amazing, veggies with every meal! I tried Reindeer, it was delicious – tender but filling.

I next go to Switzerland to jump one of the longest bungee jumps in the world. I might be in Europe a month or maybe 10 days, it depends on my health. My kidneys are nearly non-functional. this means I will be off the road for the foreseeable future until I get a kidney transplant. Wish me luck. Keep rocking on the road everyone, Tony


Hi people, just to let you all know I did some amazing a couple of weeks ago. I finally crossed the Arctic Circle. I was on the coastal steamer going up Norway’s West coast and at around 07.18 am at parallel 66.33 we crossed the Arctic Circle. What an achievement. I tell you it was cold!!!

I am at present in North America. Toronto to be exact. I have the last two Provinces in Canada to explore – Prince Edward island and Newfoundland. I will be back in the UK around April 14th

Tony the traveller

Something cool

Hi everyone just a quick note to tell everyone. I am currently in Norway, Bergen. Today I climbed a mountain. With no help apart from the occasional word of encouragement or a direction or two. I made it to the top found snow and stuff up my fum. then wondered back down, as you do!!! I naturally walked on the edge many times even falling off on one occasion! Naturally I survived. A nice quiet day with Tony. Have fun whatever you are all doing in the world.