A Tribute to Lolly Vegas & Tony Bellamy
"During my time in Redbone from 1974 to 2002, I grew very close to Lolly Vegas & Tony Bellamy. I was the keyboardist, historian and archivist for the group. I got to know the Not only as exceptional performers sharing the stage with, but also as brothers, with whom I shared some of my proudest moments. On this page, is a collection of fond memories, photographs, archival videos, performances, during my tenure with them." I'm revisiting the splendor and exciting time of my life dedicating the music and adding dance, stage, film and video, in future performances involving some of the musical compositions, on future shows, radio, TV, concerts and workshops, in the future! The native culture should be proud of the paths, Lolly and Tony exemplified.
I had the privilege of working and learning a great deal from the two of them. As a result, I'm dedicating this page and paying tribute to Lolly and Tony! I want to share my personal feelings, music and video of my perspective of the two of them with the masses!
"There's so much to say. I grew up with Lolly and learned Native American traditional ways from him. He was my inspiration, who I'll always remember and owe a great deal. Lolly showed me how to be steadfast and never give up hope. He was prolific in his writing and performance skills in music. He taught me arrangements and chordal structures, implemented in hits by Redbone. In addition, he also taught me "The art of laying low"- waiting for the right opportunity to make the necessary moves. Lolly was always kind, sharing his personal stories, his philosophy and personal history of family and the other band members. Most of all, he articulated the strength of our Native American and Mexican roots, things that I hold and remember today! In the early 1970s, Lolly and his wife Risa brought me out of a dark time in my life. Risa was like a big sister to me.
The moments I had with the two of them and their dog, Grigri, up in Stone Canyon and Hollywood were priceless. I'll always treasure the two of them, for their love and kindness, and I miss them a great deal! Ah' ho"
"I first met Tony at UCLA, right at the bottom of Jann Steps, while he was performing with Redbone. I would then go on to know him as a top guitarist and great friend for 38 years. We played many concerts, shows, and clubs across the world. He later performed masterfully on my album 'Dare to Dream.'
He had many incredible qualities as a guitarist, composer, dancer, and choreographer. I recall one sound rehearsal, when Tony and I were doing a sound check at the Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Connecticut. Tony and I were on stage, testing our musical equipment. While we were checking out the sound balance, I started playing a ballad I had written entitled 'Fuiste Tu, (Was it You)'. Tony jumped in, as if on cue, and started singing the lyrics in Spanish and playing his guitar. When we finished the song, people had gathered, standing at the bottom of the riser clapping. That was a very special moment I'll never forget. We always learned and grew from each other and made such sweet music together. When I think of Tony now, it's 'Good Heart Medicine!'
Till then, T-Bone!"