Tony Barber (musician)

Anthony Arthur Barber, known as Tony Barber (born 3 December 1942) is an English-born author, singer-songwriter, artist and designer who emigrated to Australia in 1963.


He was a member of the hugely popular band Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs in the 1960s. Subsequently performing as a solo artist, his biggest hit was "Someday" (Aust #13/1966). He wrote 35 children's books in the 1980s under the names A. A. Barber and Tony Barber, including The Puggle Tales.[1] He appeared on the children's television show The Music Shop as Tony the Toymaker.[2] Many of his books feature a fantasy character he created and named "Puggle", for which he also designed a stuffed toy of the same name, which gained popularity. The name "puggles" has now also come into general use in Australia to refer to juvenile monotremesechidna and platypus pups — during the period between hatching and weaning.

In 2009, he theorized that if one were to redesign traditional A- and H-Frame artist's easels to remove visual and physical impediments and barriers in front of an artist, artists might feel better when they painted and their art would improve. An adjustable rotating easel that he implemented, the so-called ARTristic Easel, was his attempt to achieve those goals. The easel accommodates a wide range of substrates from canvases and boards to foamcore, and artwork in sizes up to 120cm square can be tilted from a near-vertical position for oil painting to horizontal for watercolour or acrylic painting.


  1. Booth, Doug (10 January 2004). "Snuggle with Puggle". Home Magazine. Australia. p. 20.
  2. "Green-haired Fred a Barber's delight". Gold Coast Bulletin. Queensland, Australia. 19 February 2009. p. 9.
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