A profile of Tony Hadley

07 February, 2014
Tony Hadley

Hadley is a big fan of the New York crooner and the music industry widely but says a lot of bands – Mud included – didn’t make much money at it. “The music business is a god-awful business. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been ripped off in one way, shape of form.” Hadley talks of the skulduggery – particularly in the US in the ’70s – that saw trusting artists given scant reward for their efforts and said the industry was once riddled with organised crime.  

“People talk about Frank Sinatra and his Mafia ties but the fact is the Mafia owned the clubs, so if you wanted to play in the clubs, whether you were Frank Sinatra or Tony Bennett, you had to mix with those kinds people. I actually met Mafia guys in Italy. There’s a picture of me with the heads of all the Sicilian Mafia. We were in a restaurant and because I’m quite well known in Italy, they all wanted a picture with me. What am I going to say? No?”


Those days are hopefully behind us. Besides, Hadley owns his own music company and from what he says about his brewery partnership he’s well looked after there. In fact, he has high hopes for Hadley’s Gold. The brand debuted at the wholesaler Ooberstock in November under exclusivity and is rolling out to other accounts in due course. 

“It would be nice to have a reputation for ale – we’re not just going to do Hadley’s Gold, there’ll be an IPA and possibly a porter. If we export to every country and supermarket under the sun and every pub has our ale, I’ll be very happy,” says Hadley and reports that a drinks industry friend in Australia is looking to take some of his beer too. But that said, Hadley is keen to be cautious. “We’ll expand but slowly this time – I think we all got too excited last time.”

You get the feeling Hadley mostly just wants to drink his own beer in a British pub. Preferably his own village pub, which the residents own, and preferably with family and friends. “I get invited to the opening of envelopes but I don’t like it if I’m honest,” he says. “I’d rather go down the pub with my mates – I love ale and I love pubs.”  

In a world where booze is big business, it’s nice to hear that sometimes it is still made out of love. 

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