Rodney Matthews - Drums, Lyrics and Words
Jeff Scheetz - Guitars and Bass
Oliver Wakeman - Keyboards
John Payne - Bass and Vocals
Pete Coleman - Bagpipes, Recorders and Keyboards
Tony Clarkin - Bass
Steve Amadeo - Bass
Rick Wakeman - Harpsichord and Church Organ
Bob Catley - Vocals
Charles McNeal - Alto Sax
Sarah Prothero - Vocals
Mark A. Williams - Narration
JEFF AND RODNEY AT M2 STUDIOS IN 2018 MIXING AND MASTERING WITH SHEENA SEAR
People know about my career as a fantasy artist and designer, but what's all this stuff about drums?
My dad, W.J. Matthews, played drums in a dance band during the 1930s and 40s - his band stories were eclectic and amusing. He made the mistake of assembling one of his ancient drum kits in our living room when I was around 16 years of age. Looking at this Temperance Seven styled percussive display, I thought, "perhaps, I could practice up on this lot and become a popstar!?" I took great pleasure accompanying my favourite instrumental band The Shadows, by way of my little record player of briefcase size, and their first album, titled appropriately The Shadows. I guess a seed was sown there and then in 1961, I wanted to record my own album!
However, not long after, I enrolled at the West of England College of Art, Bristol, UK, commencing my art career. For years I tried to combine my art and music inclinations, even while working in advertising and later as a freelance illustrator. I have some great memories of those times. I played gigs supporting legendary bands - Cream, Eric Clapton's Derek and the dominoes, Deep purple, Gary Moore's Skid Row, etc., etc. Oh, and on one occasion I played drums in the Graham Bond Organisation - Graham asked me to put down my beer and get on the drums, when his band failed to turn up due to traffic delays! There were a couple of TV and radio appearances, appearances at the first and second Glastonbury Festival (see photo), a gig at the original Liverpool Cavern Club, a couple of appearances at the original Marquee Club in London's Wardour Street, and three nights at the legendary Metropole in New York City in 1965, where my drum heroes, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich would have played earlier in times.
Sadly, my rockstar aspirations ground to a halt in 1974, when our final attempt to secure a recording deal with CBS failed. Metaphorically speaking, I threw down my sticks to concentrate on my art that was just beginning to take-off. For the next 30 years or so I would drag out my drums to play for a variety of jazz bands in Bristol and North Wales, but for not much else worthy of mention. The album idea faded away.
Until that was, I met and became friends with American guitarist Jeff Scheetz at a Christian hard rock event in Oswestry, UK. Not only did we become friends, but we agreed to do an album together, with tunes inspired by my artwork! "Fantastic" I thought. However, many holdups occurred, devouring the years, until finally, I flew over from the UK to Jeff's studio in Kansas City. We laid down some rough ideas for songs. Once again, I thought "fantastic, this is it this time!" This short delight was followed by many years in which I stood with my back against the wall, as serious delays, tragedies and disasters placed the album far from my mind.
Eventually though, in 2012, prompted by Jeff sending me over some guitar tracks, I got back on my drums and recorded my parts. John Payne and Pete Coleman had agreed to come on board by that time and then later Oliver Wakeman. We were on the way, but moving slowly - until that is I met and married Sarah. With her encouragement, coordination on graphic skills, we arrived at our goal - Trinity, the 58-year-old album!
Rodney Matthews 2019