In the hopes that sometime
in the near future there will be an upsurge of interest in my musical career,
I have made the effort to chronicle some of my musical endeavors of the
past. I have seen my audience dwindle to 4 or 5 on a good night and I hope
that perhaps with a little bit of musical history I can persuade the audiences
of Chapel Hill that I am indeed a serious musician who has climbed the
ladder of success to the pinnacle where I now wait to be noticed.
The Top Cats
Got together in 65-66
with some kids in my 6th grade class at 5th Avenue Elementary School in
East Northport, Long Island. No performances, no practices and one guitar
between us. At our first meeting we listed 145 songs that we were gonna
do. Among them were "Satisfaction", and "You Keep Me Hangin On", the Vanilla
Fudge version(another Long Island band.)
After the first get-together
the group was never mentioned again. Of the original members of the group:
Roger Pase ran away from home
and became a Scientologist
David Schuster moved to upstate
New York with his parents.
Tom Taylor dropped out of
David Attivisimo joined the
Steve Lekutis went to college,
dated girls and works on cars.
The Hat Day Revolutionaries
Me and my friend Russel
Bravatta put together a musical plea to sing to the principal of our junior
high who had outlawed the students annual Hat-Day in 1967. This was a very
important issue at the time. Russel now has a law degree and a family but
chooses to be a minister somewhere in upstate New York.
St Paul and the Apostles
1968. Athens, Greece.
My first European endeavor. We had one practice before I quit. They went
on to be ridiculed.
Perry Fairchild moved
away and was never heard from.
Norbert Minch is serving
a life sentence for trying to kill his weird family.
Tom Brenner moved to
Belgium and played on the Little League All-stars.
Chris Cleveland joined
Yesterdays Beginning with Rod Spearin and Steve Girardi who had the longest
hair in the school.
Gary Simon joined Monty
Pythons Flying Circus.
Also in 1968 and 69.
First serious band with over 26 cover songs. Played a couple sub-teen dances
but gave up after being humiliated. While playing the music for a game
of musical chairs, guitarist Rick Rock Miller missed a hand signal and
kept on playing after the rest of us had stopped sending the children into
a state of total confusion. It was a miracle no one was seriously injured.
Our greatest moment was playing "Land of 1000 Dances" with The Blues Period
at a teen dance at the air base. Tried to get American Youth Center Sub-teen
President Paul Ford into the band to assure us of gigs but teaching him
to play bass proved to be a difficult task and the group broke up in dismay.
Rick Miller became
Parthenon Huxley and is a big star in LA and plays in ELO
Tim Aquilinna is a
rock star like me with a new album.
Chuck Miller auxiliary
member owns a foreign car service in Hillsborough called Millersport. Very
reasonable. Also a key member of the Ruse.
C.C. Blues King
1970. Same line-up
as above with the addition of Scott Tevon who moved to Athens from
Ghana and had a pet chameleon who later died. Scott survived and moved
to Chicago to form a blues band.
1970. Original incarnation
formed on Australian terrorist Barry Furler's roof with a few grams of
really great hash, a movie camera, a tape recorder, a bunch of instruments
and a pair of vacationing parents. The film of this session is worth millions
and will one day resurface. Also performed once at the American Youth Center
with totally avant-garde approach that was way ahead of it's time.
is a legendary insurance agent in Seattle.
Barry Furler is a well
known sheep herder in Adelaide.
Peter Christ was the
drummer for Kiss but now roots for the Golden State Warriors
Ed Leight is a
land developer in a city near you.
Visit the Official CC Bluesking Website
Jesus Christ Superstar
1971. My first foray
into theatre. A special role was written into the play for me. I played
a tree and though I had no spoken lines my character was on-stage the entire
The Long Island Years
1972. Live version
featuring the Christ brothers, Rick Miller and the Rodent
bros. (from Chicago.) Through self promotion and deceit amassed an
enormous following among our friends and played several dances before being
banished from the music scene. Famous for driving out the entire audience
from the American Youth Center at a quarter to twelve at the New Years
Eve dance, a feat that has never been equaled. We opened the door for several
generations of talentless rock bands who believed Iggy was God and Lou
Reed was a poet. For our grand finale loaded the band with talented ringers
for last day of high school farewell performance and fooled many students
into wishing they had liked us from the start. Played one reunion gig at
the airbase where we were affectionately showered with pieces of hot dogs.
It was this performance that Rick paid tribute to in the song "Bhudda Bhudda"
with the line"...our worlds are the same...hot dogs and jet planes".
1974-5. Tried to cash
in on the Leslie West and Mountain craze by continuous practicing and eating.
1975. With Rick
Miller in Chapel Hill. Traditional approach to the blues after realizing
someone had to save a vanishing art form and if it wasn't us then someone
else would get all the money. Finally gave up after realizing that we only
knew one song with a lot of different words.
1978-80. Under the
strong arm of producer Don Dixon came out with a snappy pop EP that
lashed out at several former girlfriends. With a cryptic cover and title
that we didn't figure out the meaning of until several years later we set
the college radio on it's ear by giving away nearly 500 copies and selling
almost none. Recently this collectors item of a record was offered for
sale at the price of $2500. Unfortunately nobody bought it. In fact nobody
even called me.
1982. Chapel Hillsfirst super-group featuring me, Rick and two unknowns, bass player Zoe
Lagergren and scientist drummer Dr. Scott Schwartzwelder. Utilizing the
media tricks we learned in high school we were met with instant success
and built up a following that followed us from our gigs to the wild parties
that followed. By using a scientific formula developed by Dr. Scott we
discovered the key to sounding modern was by practicing very little and
playing very loud. We also discovered that by having a band open for us
we could have twice as many people in the audience. It was through this
generous practice that young Dexter Romwebber got his start. With the success
of the Police it was decided that our future was that of a three-piece.
Straws were drawn and mine came up short. Sadly I took my leave but when
the other three could not decide on a leader I was invited back. We set
off on a series of terrible gigs and by the time we split up nobody was
sure if there had ever been a band.
The Ruse 2
Is This It? / Nothing At All
To Write Home About
1983. Second version.
Formed to back up the Dots on their North Carolina tour. We practiced for
2 months and did 4 gigs. When we finished our last show we never even talked
to each other until several years had passed. Led by the keyboard Wizardry
of J. Reynolds Smith we passed unnoticed through the history of North Carolina
The Old Captain Period
Spent 2 summers playing every night at the Old Captain Bar in Kamares, Sifnos. I actually got really good, which happens when you play every night, and played a couple months at 2 clubs in Athens before returning to NC to set the record for most gigs played at The Cave.
1988. With the helpand inspiration of famed DOT bass player Leigh Sioris, recorded this underground
classic in an orgy of pot and retsina with Wes Lachot at Overdub Lane Studios.
Released as a single with esoteric cover that confused buying public who
instead flocked to REM. Sold a few to my friends and gave the rest away
to the dregs of society who don't have the money to waste on records: reviewers,
A&R people and record company executives.
The Price of Illusion
1990. Recorded mycassette-demo masterpiece, produced by Paul Price but despite rave reviews
in the Scandinavian press and the inclusion of a free blank side it went
un-noticed by most of the general public.
Lonesome and Adrift
After this I embarked
on a series of commercial ventures that metamorphised into my current incarnation
of Matt Barrett, "lonesome folksinger". Since the beginning of 1992 nearly
300 people have seen me play, (though 280 of them had actually come to
hear Nikki Meets the Hibachi.) I also hold the record for the smallest
audience for a performance, 0, which I have done twice, once at the Cave
and once in Montreal at a bar called Hell's Kitchen, a scant 3 blocks from
the home of my hero Leonard Cohen. (Luckily he wasn't there that night.)
I have done benefits for causes I was totally against, just to play in
front of people and I have several dozen great songs that are worth a million
dollars to anyone but me. I have been banned from playing the Hardback
for being too folky and I have been banned from playing at the Station
for being too loud. I have opened for Al Stewart, the Indigo Girls, Rick
Danko, Chandler Travis, Jonathan Richman, Eugene Chadbourn, Aztec Two Step,
Junior Brown, Roger Manning and Parthenon Huxley and not one of them have
called me to ask how I've been doing lately.
But they really liked me in