Having been threatened with a gun three times, I knew I had to escape
At the height of his career, music maestro Terry Stone built up the country’s biggest dance empire, starting and running One Nation and Garage Nation and playing host to more than 25,000 clubbers every week across the UK and Europe.
Living the high-life, it was a regular round of champagne parties and rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous.
But there was a much darker side. And when he was threatened with a gun for the third time he changed the course of his career – fearing the fourth time he might not be so lucky.
Our writer Andrew Vaux caught up with Terry to chat about the highs and lows of his dominance of the UK and European music scene, his transition into acting, his memories of the past and his plans for the future.
What was it like growing up as a kid in London in the 1970s? Do you have any particular favourite childhood memories?
“It was hard. I distinctly remember the 3-day week, the power cuts and the rubbish everywhere. The one positive thing growing up in the 70’s taught me was resilience – thick skin, giving your all, trying to win and hard work were the keys to life and success.
“My favourite childhood memory was buying my first dog “Rollo.” As I was an only child, it was like having a little brother and best mate all wrapped into one.”
From an early age, you became interested in promoting the music scene. How did you first become involved in this?
“I always liked music and like most kids I sang along in the mirror dreaming of being a singer or a rap star. I think whatever you do in life you have to love what you do so you can be passionate about it and I loved music from a really young age, so this was a natural progression into doing something I loved. The recession in 1988/89 accelerated this love into a start-up business.”
It’s fair to say that your work took off very quickly – building up the country’s biggest dance empire, starting and running One Nation and Garage Nation and playing host to more than 25,000 clubbers every week across the UK and Europe. These must have been extremely busy, but also extremely exciting times for you?
“Yes, for sure. I’d say these were the times of my life in my early 20’s running these huge dance music events all over the world.
“It’s a blur now as it’s almost three decades ago. I do slightly regret that I didn’t take it in a lot more at the time but I just kinda ploughed through it and the decade of promoting these amazing award-winning dance events flew by.”