matinee

The Toy Matinee project…

The Toy Matinee saga began in Los Angeles in the late Eighties. Following an exhausting five-year stint composing, arranging and producing for Madonna, Bryan Ferry, Julian Lennon and others, keyboardist Patrick Leonard decided to form a band. Recruiting guitarist Tim Pierce and bassist Guy Pratt, Leonard began writing songs that reflected his love of British pop, progressive rock and Seventies-style jazz fusion. During this gestation period, Leonard was asked to judge a nationwide battle-of-the-bands sponsored by Yamaha. During this competition, Leonard saw Kevin Gilbert performing in a postmodernist rock band named Giraffe. (The group won the competition.)

Discovering a shared passion for Sixties pop and conceptual rock, Leonard and Gilbert became fervent songwriting collaborators. Drummer Brian McLeod (Sheryl Crow) is hired to complete the lineup and Toy Matinee, the band, is officially born.

Upon its original release, the album was embraced by rock radio programmers that took an immediate shine to the frothy opening track, “Last Plane Out.” But the single only hinted at Toy Matinee’s capabilities. Album tracks like “Queen of Misery,” “The Ballad of Jenny Ledge” and “There Was A Little Boy” were compelling exercises in free-thinking pop and superbly conceived rock ‘n’ roll.

With Kevin Gilbert’s untimely passing, Toy Matinee was temporarily suspended. And though Leonard vows to carry on the band’s legacy, this reissue pays eloquent tribute to the talented and lamented Mr. Gilbert. As Leonard himself effused in 1990: “No strings … no expectations … we had the opportunity to do an album we cared about, simply because we cared about it.”

In a day when pop music is all too obvious, Toy Matinee Special Edition is an earnest record with genuine mystique. Enjoy…

Words and picture from Unitone Recordings.

Discography

Toy Matinee

Noble Rot Records 2009

Tracks: Last Plane Out, Turn It on Salvador, Things She Said, Remeber My Name, The Toy Matinee, Queen of Misery, The Ballad of Jenny Ledge, There Was a Lttle Boy, We Always Come Home, Eenitam Yot Eht, Blank Page, Things She Said (Alternate Version), There Was a Little Boy (Early Version) & Last Plane Out (Early Version).

Musicians on the Toy Matinee album: Patrick Leonard, Kevin Gilbert, Julian Lennon. Bill Bottrell, Jon Clarke, Jon Kip, Brian MacLeod, Tim Pierce & Guy Pratt.

Toy Matinee “Special Edition”

Unitone Recordings 2001

Tracks: Last Plane Out, Turn It on Salvador, Things She Said, Remeber My Name, The Toy Matinee, Queen of Misery, The Ballad of Jenny Ledge, There Was a Lttle Boy, We Always Come Home, Eenitam Yot Eht (add. track), Blank Page (add. track), Things She Said (add. track), There Was a Little Boy (add. track) & Last Plane Out (add. track).

Musicians on the Toy Matinee album: Patrick Leonard, Kevin Gilbert, Julian Lennon. Bill Bottrell, Jon Clarke, Jon Kip, Brian MacLeod, Tim Pierce & Guy Pratt.

Toy Matinee

Reprise Records 1990

Tracks: Last Plane Out, Turn It on Salvador, Things She Said, Remeber My Name, The Toy Matinee, Queen of Misery, The Ballad of Jenny Ledge, There Was a Lttle Boy & We Always Come Home.

Musicians on the Toy Matinee album: Patrick Leonard, Kevin Gilbert, Julian Lennon. Bill Bottrell, Jon Clarke, Jon Kip, Brian MacLeod, Tim Pierce & Guy Pratt.

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