Wednesday, December 4, 2013

20 Questions with 80sMuscGirI-Interview with Matt Backer of ABC

Below is my first ever interview with anyone! The interviewee, world renowned guitarist and band member of the amazing group ABC! I had a lot of fun putting this together and I would like to thank Tammy Brackett with Moonstruck Promotions for setting up the interview and putting it all together! I hope you all enjoy it!

Matt Backer Black and White by Julian Lennon

Hello Matt Backer, My name is Rose Fullerton, aka 80sMusicGirl and let
me start off by saying what a fantastic opportunity this is
to interview you and give the fans more insight into your world

80sMusicGirl: Tell me a little bit about yourself, where were you born? 

Do you have brother and sisters?

Matt: I was born in New Orleans, and I'm a spoiled
only brat.


80sMusicGirl: What was the first musical instrument you ever played and at what age? 

Matt: I was always obsessed with guitar. There's a photograph of me aged about five putting a guitar into the paws of my Snoopy doll.

80sMusicGirl: Who do you think was the biggest influence in your life musically?  Teacher? Parent? 

Matt: All of the above. I remember being about fourteen and
my father (who worked for an oil company and didn't play an instrument)
heard me learning whatever licks I was working on and asked me how many
songs I'd written that day. That caused me to re-think lots of things

 80sMusicGirl: Did you always want to be a musician? 

Matt: Yep!

80sMusicGirl: When was your first solo gig? 

Matt: In seventh grade

Matt Backer and Martin Fry old band pic and new

80sMusicGirl: So tell me, being from the US, How did you come to be in the band ABC?

Matt: In late '99 I had just returned from a world tour with Julian Lennon. A
friend of mine asked if I would mind depping for the guitarist at a
corporate show. I'm still there. Guess I'm not a very good dep !

 80sMusicGirl:  Were you involved in any of the songwriting?

Matt: No, although Martin and I have written some songs that have yet to be

 80sMusicGirl: How did it feel to hear ABC on the radio for the first time?

Matt: I was in college, a jazz snob. I heard "Poison Arrow", heard the
production, lyrics, arrangement, and thought "I will allow this into my
ivory tower"...

 80sMusicGirl: Bands tour a lot, how did you adjust to so much traveling?

Matt: Sleep whenever possible!

80sMusicGirl: Of all the 80s bands that came out during that time, 
do you think ABC was in a category by themselves?

Matt: Yes. The orchestration, production (remember - pre MIDI - no
sequencers, so everything on "Lexicon" was played) - but a lot of the
post punk bands were doing their own thing in their own ways. People
get called "New Romantic" or "Synth Pop" or whatever in hindsight to
provide a handy marketing term.

80sMusicGirl: I was reading an article in other day in Guitar Player magazine and was surprised to find how many different types of guitars one musician can own.  Do you have a collection of guitars and if so, which one is your favorite :)

Matt: That's a tough one! It's like having to choose your favourite child.
Not counting mandolins, basses and ukes I have 22 (I think!) guitars. A
lot of them have specific roles and sounds - nylon, 12 string electric,
12 string acoustic, baritone, etc. But I have a marvellous 1963
Fender Strata-caster electric and 1946 Gibson LG-1 acoustic which is fab.

Matt Backer playing Gold Top Les Paul with Nick Heyward Band

80sMusicGirl: You have gigged with some pretty awesome musicians,  any humorous stories you would like to share? 

 Matt: I hope Belinda Carlisle doesn't mind me mentioning the time she fell backwards over the bass player's monitor. She's a yoga expert, however, so she bounced back immediately! 

80sMusicGirl: You write and perform songs for kids, how did you get involved with that?

Matt:  By having two of my own! 

80sMusicGirl: What tips do you have for young musicians/singers/songwriters out there?

Matt: Two things I stole from Robert Redford, which may seem
contradictory, but aren't. Trust your instincts and never forget it's a business.

Matt Backer and Julian Lennon 2013

80sMusicGirl: Thank you very much Matt for taking the time out to answers my
questions.  I wish you all the best

 Matt: You too, Rose!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My Halloween Playlist

People love holidays. Let's face it, we make a big to do about everything during the preparation, we spend more money, we eat more, drink more and party til our socks fall off. And why shouldn't we? we deserve it right? we work hard for our money! (cue Donna Summer)

Halloween has been no exception.  It has been one of the best "candy driven" holidays for years.  I wonder who decided that kids loved candy so much, that they would dress up in the most outlandish outfits and parade from door to door to get free candy! Don't get me wrong, I did it.  Hell, I would still do it if it was frowned upon by society.  After a certain age, wandering the streets for candy when your an adult just looks kind of sad, and yes even a bit twisted.

I have a tendency to go to the dark side during the holidays, and Halloween is my jumping off point.  I like my candy corn, my days somber and my music a bit on the Alternative/Gothic side.  Here are some of my favorite 80s tunes to listen to during this most auspicious occasion.

Halloween by Kirsty Maccoll
Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo
The Ghost in You by Psychedelic Furs
Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
Cities in Dust by Siouxie and the Banshees
Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett (remix done in the 80s)
Pictures of You by The Cure
Zombie-fied by Alien Sex Fiend
Desire by Gene Loves Jezebel
Seven Hail Marys-Flesh for Lulu

Just a small list for now, running purely on memory, but that's what I will be and have been listening to for the last 24 days. 

What about you? How do you musically celebrate Halloween?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Johnny Hates Jazz, Then and Now

The very first line of Shattered Dreams is "So much for your promises"  It has to be one of the best lines in a song that I had heard up until then.  It still is.  It's raw its sarcastic its hurtful and desperate.  But hey,  that's what happens when you find out you've been played for a fool right?  Right.

And that's how JHJ rolls, every song they release was just as amazing as the last.  From Shattered Dreams to Cracking Up, it creeps into your mind and heart and body until you are just moving uncontrollably to the beat of the music.

And then it stopped.  Clark left to pursue a solo career and a new voice was heard (Phillip Thornalley) but even that couldn't keep the momentum going and all that was left was the memories made by the music that was created.

My grandma used to tell me that "Time heals all wounds"  I wasn't sure what that meant because I was like 10 when she told me, but eventually I put two and two together.  I guess the "Jazz" guys must have done the same thing because they decided to reform in 2009.  I'm sure even then, there were plans to create a new album full of fresh ideas, new passions, new pains, new beginnings.

It wasn't until I had heard an interview with Clark Datchler and Mike Nocito on @rcremebrulee that just those thoughts were becoming a reality.  I was astonished and very excited to hear that one of my favorite bands was working on a new album.  I told anyone and everyone that I could about it any time I would bring up the subject of 80s bands and music "you know JHJ has a new album coming out" and they would say.."oh wow, really?"  And I would smile knowing, as you do.

But these things can't be rushed, especially if they are to be perfection.  Which is exactly what their new album is..

Flash forward, 25 years later...

THE very first song on the album..Magnetized, is one of the most heartfelt tunes I had heard in a while.  The music is unmistakeable JHJ no doubt about that.  The voice of Clark Datchler, sounds virtually amazing.  I honestly thought for a minute that Clark was inside my head because that is how I completely and totally feel about our world that we live in  "I can see it in your eyes, your a spirit I recognize, feelings I can not explain, I don't even know your name" to the chorus-- "Do we only live to die, or is it that our hearts are Magnetized and our worlds collide for a reason"

I knew that very moment, I had to have it, I didn't care what other songs were on the album, I needed to have that song.  And slowly but surely, other songs were released as Magnetized was on Jango Radio, Nevermore and Release You..each one more touching and heart warming as the one before.

I thought to myself, that there was no possible way that the entire album could be this awesome, I mean lets face it, we've heard the "reunion" albums right? one maybe two good songs on it and the rest is filler, hell there's new bands coming out with albums like that now..but that's a rant for another blog.

I received the download on Monday the 6th of May and holy moly I was blown away! Every song on the album is fantastic.  Every song.  

I know what you're thinking "Rose, you are a fan, of course you are going to think all the songs are good" well that's what fans are supposed to do right?

Any way all of that aside, Magnetized, great album from a fabulous group of guys that are just wonderful musicians. Best of all? they know who their fans are and love and appreciate them.

Sorry Martin, @mcmaenza I know I said you should blog this but I couldn't help it.  You would done a better job I think, but my enthusiasm got in the way. 

So that's it for me today, thanks to @ErikaPinel who sparked the thoughts that gave me the motivation to finally get this out in print, I hope that in some way it helps JHJ moving forward into Tour mode and eventually coming to Seattle where I can see them live.

Another one of Grandma's sayings? "Good things come to those who wait"

I'm waiting guys. xx

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Flock of Seagulls has been Usurped


Remember when I said that I was going to listen to Flock of Seagulls this afternoon? (yes Rose we remember)  Well I didn't! (but Rose you promised)  No I didn't promise, I said I might. Might is not promising.

Instead, I decided to search for something a bit less cheerful.  So I found something else :)

Particularly this album:

It was really awesome! Live concert footage, backstage interviewing, screaming fans, Peter Murphy's voice was amazing, every part of it was just a thrill for me. 

It was great, no more needs to be said.  Check it out, it's streaming on YouTube.

I bid you good evening...

George Michael

So I felt like blogging a bit today so here goes.

My topic today is George Michael. 

To me, George Michael is the whole package. He has a great voice, he can dance, he is musically adept and he is very handsome.

Because it was the 80s, I could hazard a guess that I appreciate the latter more than the actual attributes that made him a superstar.  Pure speculation though.

I was perusing through YouTube this morning, looking for something to listen to and I found that several subscribers had uploaded his Faith album, in its entirety.  So I gave it a listen.  Mind you I don't listen to George Michael as a solo artist as often as I listen to Wham! so I had forgotten some of his bigger hits like Faith, Father Figure, and a personal favorite One More Try.  I also found a very interesting track on there called Hand to Mouth which I was very impressed with.


That's pretty much it, I'm glad I decided to listen to it today, it brought back some nice memories and reminded me why I love the music that I do.  Of course hearing George Michael singing I Want Your Sex wasn't bad either :P (I'd forgotten that was 9 minutes, because it was parts 1 and 2)

Not sure what to listen to this afternoon.  There is a Flock of Seagulls album on there, I might listen to that :)

Have a great day everyone, remember to keep real and keep it 80s ;)

Ciao For Now


Monday, April 29, 2013

David Bowie Has a New Album out-The Next Day

No I haven't heard it yet, I've listened to one of the songs and watched the video. but this blog isn't about his album.

Rolling Stone's website published a very nice article about David Bowie on their website today.  No, I didn't read it. 

Why am I writing this blog?

Because of this:

Fantastic picture huh?

Sigh...Love ya Mr. Bowie.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Shhh...Here that? It's the Winds of Change"

Well howdy everyone! I know it's been eons since I've posted a blog, but then again, why write for the sake of writing huh?  Let's just say I didn't have anything new to talk about for awhile ;)

So.  Now that its a new year, there are just so many things that I want to accomplish that I will have to make a list.  Why? Well because my brain won't hold them all silly.  (you guys crack me up)

The first thing I wanted to do was attend some concerts.  The Specials, OMD, and in July-Peter Murphy. However it doesn't look as though that's going to happen.  Which makes me sad, but everything happens for  a reason right?  Right.

I am however really excited about working on my album though.  In case no one is aware that I sing (try) I do.  I have been wanting to make an album for some time now and actually have the resources to do so. It be all covers of 80s tunes (surprise!) and the title of the album will be Pimps Like Me.  Hopefully I won't have to explain what that means to too many people, I think most of you will get the gist.

I had thought about the contents of this album for quite a few  years now, I didn't want to do anything too over the top but I wanted to have somewhat of a challenge also. Having said that here is the list of the first 5 tunes I would like to record:

1.  Advice for the Young at Heart by Tears for Fears

2.  A View to a Kill by Duran Duran

3.  Steppin' Out by Joe Jackson

4.  Human Racing by Nik Kershaw

5.  Talk of the Town by The Pretenders

I am probably going to have some issues with Human Racing as there are not any backing tracks for it anywhere that I can see.  If I can't find one I will then replace it with Wouldn't It Be Good, another awesome Nik Kershaw tune.

I haven't put much thought into what the next 5 will be, I want to focus on these first.  Feed back would be nice from any of you consummate professionals out there, or someone who just wants to help out.  I like input. :)  It helps me think more thoroughly.  

So that's it.  The first of many more blogs to come.  I hope everyone is having a great week so far and that if you celebrate Easter, it is a glorious one.  If not, have a faboo weekend of your choice.

Loves and Hugs

PS.,  Johnny Hates Jazz has a new album coming out May 6th called Magnetized. It's ready for pre-order on  They are on Twitter, Facebook and you will find a couple of radio stations of them on Jango.  if you haven't already check out the new tunes, they are amazing.

Okay, really leaving now..Ciao!