GTA IV |
The Lost and Damned
The Ballad of Gay Tony
|Full Name||Anthony Prince|
|Date of Birth||1958 (but claims 1963)|
|Place of Birth||Dukes, Liberty City|
|Home||Little Italy, Liberty City|
Luis Fernando Lopez|
Evan Moss (formerly)
Rocco Pelosi (formerly)
Black Schafter fleet|
Black Stretch E and Stretch
Purple Infernus (pictured in the trailer)
|Voiced by||D.B. Cooper|
We got money coming. We can expand. Refurb. Rebrand. I'm an
earner. I'm a survivor. I've been in this game since 1987.
Tony talking to Luis Lopez.
Anthony Prince, otherwise known as Gay Tony or Tony Prince, is a nightclub entrepreneur in the GTA IV Era, and the owner of both Maisonette 9 and Hercules. Tony plays a major role in the episodic pack The Ballad of Gay Tony, as its name suggests.
Childhood and college years
Tony Prince was most likely born in 1958 in the Midwest (his age and birthplace is subject to debate) to Jewish parents. He grew up in Dukes, and according to the Maisonette 9 website, "as a young boy he wandered to the Humboldt River and dreamed of living on the other side (in Algonquin) so he would no longer be considered bridge and tunnel". He also used to play in front of the Monoglobe and would sometimes stare into it, wondering what life was like in different countries.
He also likely would have struggled with his sexuality in his teen years, especially growing up in a somewhat dangerous neighborhood. He is ashamed of his Dukes background, and it's hinted during the beginning of Departure Time that he doesn't speak to his parents anymore. He says of growing up in the 1970s, "In my day, gay guys used to be lonely, needy, and lost. Now, they're all in relationships!".
Tony would have gone to college as early as 1975, though he did not focus on his studies. His first experience working at a nightclub came from being in the cloakroom and eventually the front door of Elephant, until a fire caused it to shut down. In 1983, the first club he opened for himself was PUDDLE, a rave venue, until Tony was arrested for tax evasion in 1985, spending 3 months in jail. According to Luis, Tony also first earned the nickname "Gay Tony" in 1985 - as the nickname suggests, Tony became openly homosexual by the time he was 27.
Height of career and reputation
According to the Maisonette 9 website, his next club (and first gay club) was Thunder in 1986 which was later renamed 2 Backed Beast and eventually shut down by the city. At the height of his career, he also proprieted clubs called Peacock, Platonic Fury and Cox  (Tony "returned to the gay scene" in 1999, which would suggest that none of those three clubs were gay-oriented). In 1996, he was arrested for possession of cocaine. After the failure of 2 Backed Beast, he opened Hercules in 1999. That same year, he got in police trouble for "public lewdness". Sometime between 1999 and 2003, the counterpart straight club in Tony's portfolio was called Death By Machines, until it burned down and Tony was briefly banned from opening new venues.
Maisonette 9 ownership and personal struggles
In 2003 his hiatus ended and he was allowed to open Maisonette 9, but still came under heavier scrutiny for his club's policies on safety, age-checking and drug use.  Sometime after opening the club, he met Gracie Ancelotti, a mob daughter who once failed to get inside Maisonette 9 but was granted a membership after befriending Gay Tony (as Gracie tells Niko Bellic in "I'll Take Her"). Gay Tony would later be heavily in debt to her father.
Tony met Luis Lopez in a prison outreach program, and in 2005, Gay Tony hired him as a doorman and bouncer for Hercules. They quickly formed a father-son-like relationship (Luis having been abandoned by his father, and Tony being unlikely to ever have children due to his age and orientation), although Tony later admits to Luis "I only hired you because I thought you were dumb". Gay Tony had been dating a yoga instructor long-term before meeting his boyfriend Evan Moss. Gracie and Evan first got him hooked on painkillers and cocaine, according to Luis, and by 2008 Tony had been to rehab 5 times. He also gained world-famous heiress Cloe Parker as a best customer and casual friend. Like Gracie, Cloe uses a lot of cocaine and influences Tony down a similar path. Tony once confides in Luis during I Luv LC "Oh my god, 45 years old and I get my kicks doing blow with 17 year old kids whose only claim to fame is that people know better what their vagina looks like than their face. I should be sent to prison, shouldn't I?".
According to www.maisonette9.com:
Tony Prince, the legendary "Gay Tony", grew up in Dukes, as a young boy he wandered to the Humboldt River and dreamed of living on the other side so he would no longer be considered bridge and tunnel and as soon as he went to college, his dream came true. Ignoring school, he spent the middle part of the 1980s working the cloakroom and then the door at the legendary Elephant, until that closed down following a fire. Tony's next venture was the classic rave venue PUDDLE, based famously in a converted mortuary. Unfortunately, the tax man decided Tony was having too much of a good a time and the club was closed and Tony narrowly avoided jail. Next he opened his first gay club, Thunder, which itself evolved into 2 Backed Beast. After this was shut down by the city, he returned to the gay scene with Hercules, which has now been open for ten years.
At the same time, he catered to the heterosexual crowd with the now legendary DEATH BY MACHINES. After DEATH BY MACHINES burned down, Tony was briefly banned from opening any new venues, before he opened Maisonette 9 in 2003. As Tony says, in his inimicable style, "I do it for the love, that and the easy money, access to drugs and ability to suck up to famous people"
The Ballad of Gay Tony
Luis must work for Tony's loan sharks, Rocco Pelosi and Mori Kibbutz. Because of his debt Tony is interested in selling off Maisonette 9, sometimes even resorting to fraud (such as pretending to sell the club to two people at once, and briefly considering setting up a Ponzi scheme). Luis works on the side for two men, Yusuf Amir and Ray Bulgarin, who Tony considers serious potential buyers because of their extreme wealth. However, Luis hides this from Tony and goes so far as to lie to Tony about his activities at least twice.
Tony sees a last chance to pay off his debts in buying and selling some $2 million diamonds for a small profit. When Luis, Tony and his boyfriend Evan go to buy the diamonds from a cook at the Platypus, they are all ambushed by the Lost biker gang, resulting in the death of Evan (who Tony instructed to go a separate way and stash the diamonds at his club). Before this Gracie and Evan had put him back on the drugs. Luis thankfully recovers them after he ambushes a deal between Johnny (who ambushed them), Niko and Isaac Roth. He met Ray Bulgarin after this event, who later claimed that Luis and Tony conspired against him by buying the diamonds - by chance, the cook had stolen them from him. Gracie Ancelotti was kidnapped, and the kidnappers (the selling party from the diamond deal) demanded the diamonds back from Giovanni Ancelotti in exchange. Luis and Tony safely exchanged the diamonds for Gracie, which resulted in Tony still losing out on $2 million but supposedly remaining at peace with the Ancelotti family. Bulgarin successfully persuades Ancelotti to have Tony killed, who ironically choose Luis as the one to shoot Tony in exchange for his own life. Luis briefly considers shooting Tony before turning the gun on Rocco (shooting his uncle, allowing Rocco to flee because of his connections). Within minutes, Bulgarin's men ambush Maisonette 9 in hopes of killing Luis and Tony, which they fail to do after a violent shootout. Finally, Luis successfully kills Bulgarin, blowing up his private jet before it leaves the country. Afterwards, Luis and Tony were apparently free of debts and loose ends.
After The Ballad of Gay Tony
He may or may not have finally sold Maisonette 9 to Yusuf Amir, who sought to franchise it all over the world, even in Pakistan and on the moon (saying he was quite serious about this). Tony tells Yusuf that "the club is all about the people", and after Yusuf expresses apathy by saying "You can whip out your dick and piss on them!", Tony instead tells him that he would be very qualified to own the club.
After The Ballad of Gay Tony is complete, Tony cannot be contacted further. He often spoke of his intentions to move to an extremely secluded getaway spa town, saying his life in Liberty was too stressful (though he says this at the very height of his financial problems, and could have reconsidered). It was believed that he did in fact move away while Yusuf Amir owned the clubs. Tony could have moved to Vice City as the Liberty Tree website suggests.
Possible real-life inspirations
Gay Tony's influence over the Liberty City nightclub scene is mostly reminiscent of Peter Gatien, owner of the Limelight and other clubs. Like Prince, Gatien faced drug (1996) and tax evasion (1999) charges, and owned several nightclubs geared towards different crowds as investments. Unlike Prince, Gatien is a happily married heterosexual, and having been born in Canada, he was deported there after his drug charges and currently lives in Toronto.
Many elements also seem to have been taken from Steve Rubell, owner of the legendary Studio 54. Both were born in New York City (Liberty being a parody), and faced club raids and tax evasion charges since their early years of success. Their business models were also very similar, including a strict, trendy dress code (which Rubell would sometimes enforce personally). Both were homosexuals and habitual drug users, although Rubell kept it a secret, got diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 and died of hepatitis in 1989.
He also bears some similarities to Miami club owner Chris Paciello who, like Tony had connections to New York Mafia families and had one of his famous clubs burn down only to open another club later the same year. Paciello is also straight, however, and is most famous for once having dated Madonna.
LCPD Database information
First Name: "Gay" Tony
Place of Birth: Midwest
Affiliations: Linked to the Ancelotti Crime Syndicate
- 1985 - Tax Evasion (Age 27)
- 1996 - Possession Controlled Substance: Cocaine (Age 38)
- 1999 - Public Lewdness (Age 41)
- Nightclub entrepreneur believed to have links to organized crime, particularly the Ancelotti Crime Syndicate, though the DA's office has not managed to make any of the charges stick.
- Often seen in the company of Gracie Ancelotti, daughter of the Crime Syndicate's head.
- Recent raids have taken place to check the safety standards and underage admittance policy of his Algonquin clubs - Hercules and Maisonette 9.
- Employs associate of Northwood drug dealers, Luis Fernando Lopez, as a personal bodyguard.
- Tony in the only GTA character to have his name in the game's title.
- Tony is the only non protagonist to have been involved with the diamonds and survived.
- Tony is depicted to be wearing a pair of purple and black designer sunglasses. However, its design varies slightly between GTA IV and The Ballad of Gay Tony, with minor differences in details.
- Tony is the only homosexual character in the game who helps protagonist in fights, and isn't afraid to shoot and can handle a gun. Despite the fact that Bernie Crane was a soldier and Evan Moss was a bodybuilder, they were always afraid of shooting and fighting. Tony also wanted to help Luis in his last fight with Bulgarin's men, because he always made a share in their fire fights, and called himself "a seasoned veteran by anyone's fucking standards".
- It is unknown if Tony was born in Dukes or the Midwest as the LCPD database says he was born in the Midwest, although it is implied many times in TBOGT he is from Dukes but nothing is said about him being born there. Many people conclude that he was born in the Midwest, lived there for a short time that he would be too young to remember, and was raised in Dukes or that the LCPD had misinformation which is stated a few times in the game. However, they're much less likely to be wrong about ages and birthplaces as they can access birth certificates.
- Gay Tony's age is also very subject to debate. He claims to be 45 (in I Luv LC and Boulevard Baby), but the LCPD claims he is 50. The most likely scenario is that he's 50 and insecure about his age, which would fit into his feminine personality. He also may or may not have been 21 yet when he opened his first bar in 1983, if he were born later. Even if he were of age, someone opening a bar that young is unlikely.
- He is one of five non playable characters to appear in the main game and the DLCs, the other four being Roman Bellic, The Cook, Issac Roth, and Mori Green.
- Tony's favorite radio station is K109 The Studio.
- Tony can be seen on the front cover of the magazine "BJ". This is only in Luis' apartment, in his bedroom.
- GTA IV
- The Lost and Damned
- The Ballad of Gay Tony