In remembrance of our dear friend, Matthew Osborne
The following are recollections, stories and wishes from a enormous range of people, from those who knew Matt since he was born to those who never met Matt but were touched by his music and spirit. This page will be updated regularly, so if you have any memories of Matt you wish to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
My name is Kimberly Ann Fair and I was Matt's lady friend. I think he called me that because girlfriend just wasn't classy enough. I met Matt Osborne on January 22, 1999. He was opening for Tim Mech's Peep Show, a Toronto band that sings about sex, at the short-lived Mecca Room in the basement of the Walper Hotel in Kitchener.
During the course of the night, I threw my bra at Tim Mech. Matt stuck around until the end, and when I bought one of his CDs from him (it lived in my CD player for the next three months), he asked why I had not thrown my bra at HIM. I of course replied that he didn't have a song with the lyrics "If you throw lingerie up to me on the stage, I know you love me". Almost three years later (shortly after I finally threw my bra at him at the end of" I Want a Girl with Glasses" as he opened for a packed Kramdens show) we became a couple.
I know people are probably curious about" The Kimberly Song". The truth is that song won my heart. We weren't dating yet. Matt overlooked me when he gave thanks on Man versus Concrete. I was devastated. So what did he do? He made me personal liner notes that thanked no one but me. That was enough, but he also wrote "The Kimberly Song". It took close to a year before I could do anything but blush when he sang that song.
Matt had so many different worlds. I had the most private world. I would go to as many of his shows as my life allowed, but we were rarely seen in public outside of his gigs. We liked to stay in and cuddle and watch movies. I think there are many people that didn't know about me, even though "The Kimberly Song" is about me. He used to say that I knew him better than anyone in the world, and it's true that we understood each other, but I didn't know much about the rest of his life. That's not what we were about. I don't regret a single moment that I spent with him. He made me a different person. He made me a better person. He used to tell me how privileged he was to have known me in this life, and I feel exactly the same.
This picture was taken on Valentine's Day of this year at Two Doors Down in Brantford. Craig Norris pointed out that many of Matt's songs were about not getting "the girl". I want people to know that Matt not only got the girl, but the girl loved him very much, and that we were happy together.
He was the best thing to ever happen to me. Many things over the last ten years of my life left me broken. Matt fixed me. There are people in this world that seem golden when you first meet them, but then they tarnish. They betray you or let you down. Not Matt. He became brighter.
Matt and I met at Wilf's back in the early nineties.
He would come to all my gigs, and wrote a wonderful writeup for the Laurier newspaper about me which never got published, but it's on my site just the same.
Sometimes he was the only one in the room, and on many occasions when my back was giving out, he was the only guy anywhere around to help with the THEN half ton of gear which I had to bring in.
He was always cheery, and had a clear sense of what he wanted out of life, and what he was to give back.
He was firm in his convictions and objective about everything. He told me when I sucked and didn't., etc.
He had told me that one of the tunes on my first CD was his "Anthem" above all other tunes; It was called "Every Singer's Song". This touched me in a way that no one will ever know.
I was very glad in years to come to see him take hold of things and book his own gigs, have his own band which I went out to see when they were in London, and to see the hours of advice that I gave him years ago come to fruition. I thrilled to the release of Doggie Blues and then Man vs. Concrete.
He was also there to comfort me about six years ago when my marriage went in the dumps...that was invaluable...
Along about the time some friends of mine were having trouble with their lead singer in a Meat Loaf tribute act, about three or more years ago I guess, I bugged Matt thinking I was doing him a favour by suggesting he try out for the band, because it would be big money, he'd meet new people, they were going to Vegas, blah blah, and he fit the bill...He told me that I was very right for about a hundred reasons, not the least of which he could really use the money-but he JUST had to play his own material, and that's all there was to it. I'm so glad for his decision and his unwavering course, in retrospect.
The rhetorical question here that I may be echoing after others is "Why do the good ones go?"
He will be missed by me something fierce.
The song "Uncle Gary" now messes me up more than ever.
I am shocked & saddened by the news of Matt's passing. He was great guy & wonderful musician. I saw him last at Leaderfest 2003 & we had a nice time chatting as always.
Matt and I worked at Blockbuster Video together in ''96-'97 in Waterloo. During the long shifts and while stocking the shelves with the latest Hollywood product we would always have great conversations about film classics, quote dialogue to each other, etc. As someone who was aiming to go into the film business, I always vowed that I wanted him involved in my first film project.
Three years later, I produced a feature-length student film at Wilfrid Laurier University, "The Nature of Reality". One of the first things I did was give Matt a call and ask if he wanted to contribute a song to the soundtrack and after reading through the script Matt came back with the tender ballad "So Much". When he first played it for director James Muir and I, we knew that it was the perfect song for the film - it ended up being the film's theme song and played over the final credits. It's a great tune that perfectly captures the feeling and themes of the film - the expectations placed on youth and how it's so important to sometimes ignore these expectations and just enjoy life while you're alive. The opening of the song goes,
"There's someone I'm supposed to be apparently,
I listen to the song every few months and every time it brings a tear to my eye with its message. Matt - thank you for your music (this song and every other one), and thank you for the memories.
Anthony Del Col
My husband and I were shocked and numbed by the news in the paper this morning. I first met Matt probably about 10 years ago when I was involved with Sounds of Summer (I later became the chairperson of the board). Matt and I have kept in contact over the years and I was his "unofficial" accountant. He always wanted to do his own tax return but came to me with questions. On one of those occasions, he excused himself and went out to his car and returned with two "Underwater" t-shirts for myself and my husband as a thank you for all the free advice. I'm wearing mine now.
We went to see Matt whenever we could. My nine-year-old son grew to love Matt's music and his favourite was "Pepperoni Princess". Matt autographed a copy of "Underwater" to my son last summer at the Canada Day event at Columbia Lake, with the inscription, "Glad you like the pizza...rawk on". My husband was just getting up the nerve to check out the Circus Room jam sometime soon. He's a closet musician who doodles on his 4-track in his basement studio whenever he can. Matt always encouraged Jeff to "just do it".
Sorry, I don't mean to ramble on, but we will miss him incredibly (like so many other people in the community). He clearly was on the verge of the commercial success which he so richly deserved. Although I told him that "A Saint" was my favourite song of his, I never had the chance to tell him that it has played a leading role in the soundtrack in my head as I'm writing my second novel.
We are very sorry to hear the terrible news. My husband (Yeager) who is a musician also and I were informed of the news Sat. afternoon. We first met Matt about 6 or 7 years ago when he came to one of the jams Yeager was hosting at the Boars Head in Stratford....Wow ...what a great musician and a great guy he was. We have kept in touch through the years as he has periodically came down to the Jams or we have gone to various Stratford bars when he was playin in town. We have the first 2 of his albums and playing them over last night just reconfirmed the talent he had.
Our hearts and thoughts are with you and his family.
Karen and Steve (Yeager) Adair
I can't believe he's gone. I've been close friends with Matt since the summer of '89. We shared many a laugh and thought together in his dad's basement and mom's apartment... to say nothing of the hours I spent watching and listening to him create Doggy Blues. He even helped me write my own song once. I still listen to the CD to this day but I don't know if I'll be able to again for a while.
He was the only person I'd ever met who shared my quirky sense of humour. I'd lost touch with him over the last few years, but this Christmas we went to see The Return of The King together. We had a great time... I just don't know what I'm going to do without my buddy Mathew. I'm not sure if he knew this, but of all my friends, he was the one I loved the most... he was my brother. I'll miss him until we meet again... "Where there is no time"...
Really sorry to hear the sad news about Matt. I didn't really know Matt well at all, but from my few brief discussions with him and from the few times I heard him play, he seemed like an wonderful, genuine, caring person and an excellent musician and songwriter. My heart goes out to you and those close to him.
Peace, Mark Tonin
I am a guitar player in Stratford. I went to the Boar's Head one Sunday night a few years ago when they used to have open jam nights. Matt started into a Hendrix/Dylan song "All Along The Watchtower". It was so cool because it was all slow and spacy. I went up and joined Matt on a Strat that was there and played with him. Just the 2 of us I think... We had a moment after where we both got the beauty of what just happened. Matt was a beautiful spirit and a brilliant musician and really should have and would have been famous one day. He always had time to say hello and always honoured friendship. This is truly a sad loss to humanity. I am very sad and sorry. At least he made sure he recorded a ton of his material. We can honour Matt by listening to his music. He really was a gifted writer and singer and guitar player and a great guy to have a conversation with. You'd always walk away from a chat with Matt feeling good about life. He was a gift to us all.
We in Guelph who were friends of Matt all wish now we'd told him to his face how much we loved him. At the gig at the Woolly Sat. night I expressed the view that we (none of us) do this enough when people are alive. Even the KW media gave Matt much more coverage in death than in life. It reflects badly on us all to us all. Matt gave us all the gift
of holding up a clear but sensitive mirror to ourselves. In his passing all that we can do is keep on listening to the more deeply seated ideas in his music.
I am sadden to hear this news. Matt was just in my office the other day. We talked and laughed. Right now my heart is breaking for the loss of such a great and kind man.
Matt had played for us the World Vision Famine Freedom Concert. He was a supported of our UW Drum Circle.
He always had a kind word to say to people. He always greeted you with a smile.
I have known Matt through various venues. He is linked to our web site. I also known him personally for many years.
It was and honor and a privilege to have know him.
I was hoping I could add my voice to those who will undoubtedly express their deep sense of loss. I don't have much in the way of a memory to share that will be meaningful to anyone other than myself. I heard him play on a few occasions, including a very intimate Hillside-related performance at Cafe Aquarius in Guelph. I don't know that he would have recognized me, but I had the honor of "sharing" the stage with him at a couple Chequegnat Festivals. (That is, we were on the same bill. I never had the pleasure of actually accompanying him.)
I very much enjoyed his music and his sense of class. I will definitely miss him.
in dealing with lots of musicians over the last 20 yrs er so certain characteristics mark the ones of true substance. The sacrifice, the pain, the want... are all worn on a sleeve... but very few come with a special honesty and humility as matt osborne was ( is ) . across the divide of a couple of generations in music, matt touched me immediately...and in the
last 4-5 yrs of being a friend associate, colleague ..not once ever did i hear matt criticise, put down, gesticulate ever at anyone's expense... his ability to calm you down and instantly be happy about what you are, and where you were at and how you might be playing... embodied the concept of ...s'all good man... putting him at the head of any of the jams or public music forums i know of... matt's light was beginning to shine so brightly...and i am one of the fortunate that was so gratefully touched..
guy .f. coolin
I was sad and shocked to hear the news about Matt. He was so young and so very talented. I didn't know him very well personally, but I was a fan of his music and I reviewed him a couple of times. Matt was such a mainstay in the K-W music scene, and I think everyone involved in music in any way knew of Matt. My fondest memory of Matt is this: he called me up to say thank you -- not only for writing about him, but for writing about indie music in general. He expressed his gratitude and admiration for me as a writer and staunch supporter of all things indie. Matt made me feel very good that day, as his shows always did. He was also a kind and generous musical spirit; he would share his talents and expertise with a friend if mine who was just beginning to get involved in music. What a great guy. He will leave a hole.
I first met Matt in 1996, I was out with some friends at the OEP (now called something else, the name escapes me) and there was this guy & his guitar. Matt played all night and I sat there and listened and thought he was really something unique, something like I had never heard before. After he finished a set, I approached him and we chatted for a bit, I was very happy to learn that he was selling cds from his guitar case and listened to it for a week straight after that. The loss of Matt is a true tragedy, not just because he was a talented artist, but because he offered something different to the world, something that was just, well, Matt Osborne.
My name is Brian Cleary. I was a friend of Matt's during his days at Wilfrid Laurier University and had the pleasure of working and playing with him during his days with the Musicians Network at WLU. I moved out of K-W in 1997, and regrettably lost touch with Matt over the years, seeing him only a few times after that. He was a leader and an inspiration to a lot of us during that time. I wish I had more to say or write; a lot of memories are still coming back to me and I'm still in shock over Matt's sudden passing.
with condolences and regrets,
I was Matt's next door neighbour and friend for, well as long as he has lived in Kitchener. I can't say I know who I'm writing to but any friend of Matt's is a friend of mine.
I can honestly say that Matt was the best influence I've had in my life so far. And because I have known him the better part of my life it's saying something of him. I am 17 now and I've know Matt since I was 7. Of course then he was just the BIG scary lookin' guy. It only took one year before I warmed up to him. I remember that he played in my grade 6 class because I had to do research on a band of musical artist and present it to the class. I had Matt come in and make fans with a class of 10 year olds.
Matt was the first person to see my violin after I got it. He was the first person to see my double bass, even my second one after I sold the first crappy one.
He helped me with advice for my first K-W Kiwannas Music festival competition.
I remember that one time in 99 just after hearing down I asked Matt for the recorder part. He gave it to me and a week later he said that I would be able to play it with him if I wanted to but with a serious lack of experience and practice I told him "next time."
He even wrote a string quartet for me that he named Ruminations.
The last time I have seen him was in January just before he moved out of the room next door.
PS has any one beaten Matt a thumb wrestling 'cuse if not his title is still with him- undefeated thumb wrestling champ of the world
PPS just if any one ever starts to wonder, back when I was 8 I got him interested in wrestling again - he got into wrestling and soon after I lost interest in it.
Matt hosted the longest running jam night in Kitchener at the Circus Room, along with many other Blues and Jam nights about the Golden Triangle. He was also involved in the Hill Side folk festivals and many other events across
A pint and a celebration song for you at my next jam Matt. The WWF wrestling gods await you.
I am Derek Wildfong, while reading saturdays record I learned of Matt's passing and was deeply saddened. I was mixing a show at Turkey Point for a band called Release and they also know Matt and made mention of his passing and dedicated the night to him.
Any way back in 1994 I started as the house tech at the Volcano in Kitchener. I remember the first time I met Matt was at an open mic night at the club in 94 or 95. He did a couple of acoustic numbers and one song of his in particular really moved me. He introduced it as a song he wrote in response to a conversation he had with his father. It touched me because I had lost my Dad in 1973. After his brief set I approached him and thanked him because that song reminded me of my own father. I wish I could remember the title.
Over the years I had been fortunate to mix shows where Matt was on the bill. It was at the Hillside Festival in either 2000 or 2001 the Matt played at the "Sun Stage" where I was assigned to mix for the weekend. It was a joy to see and hear him as I had not seen him in over 5 years. After his set I told him that I am very proud of how his writing and performance had progressed in a very short time. I said "you've come along way since those open mic nights at the volcano. From that first night to now your music continues to move me. Thank you Matt"
The last show I did for Matt was at Rob ( of the Kramdens) annual gathering at his property out at Puslinch Lake. God what a showman he had become.
Matt, thank you for the music. You know it is spiritual fuel and I always felt filled up after hearing you play. So long for now.
I would have to say that of all the memories I have of Matt, my fondest would have to be the first time I ever heard him perform. It was St. Patrick's day 2000 and I was in my third year of university at UW. Some friends I had made plan's to go to our pub of choice that evening, Kick-Off and when we arrived we were startled to see that there would live music.
We didn't quite know what to expect but when Matt started to play his lyrics, his joy, his voice and his talent hit us all like a ton of bricks. We were hooked from the first song. I can't remember what the first song was but over the course of the evening we lapped up some of matt's great's such as 'I want to run the world' 'the barenaked cockburn' 'my dinner with meatloaf' 'channel 38' and so many more.
Prizes were being given out all evening but as most of the prizes were linked to questions about Matt we didn't stand a chance of winning (this being the first time we had seen him), but the prizes were cool so we wanted to win something. The barkeep had said that if we could perform a certain humourous song at triple speed we could have some prizes but Matt would have to let us use the mic.
We told matt the situation and he loved the idea and he let us have 30 seconds of his mic. We won the prizes, Matt thanked us for giving him a quick break and he continued to wow us with his music. We bought his Underwater CD and tried after that evening to catch as many shows as possible.
My friends and I spent countless hours watching matt perform Kick-Off and the Raintree where he always greeted our friendly banter with laughter and quick comeback quips. I was at his first Ottawa show in the fall of 2002, and as I am currently in the
His passing is a sad and shocking event. The world has lost a great artist and the community has lost a great man. May he rest in peace and may his music carry on his memory for years to come.
It is a horrible blow to the music industry. I met Matt on his first tour out west a little over a year ago and saw him perform in Calgary twice, bringing friends to the shows who had only heard about him from me. I was introduced to Matt's music during a visit to Kitchener/Waterloo in February 2003, by Kris Hanson - a former bandmate of mine and dear friend who is now a K/W musician. I thank Kris for sharing the music in the first place.
After listening, it was truly a pleasure to meet Matt and talk with him. He had an incredible sense of humour, and he had the most entertaining live show. Matt, as we all know, was a huge wrestling fan as his Mattsnotes would attest. During a break at my first live M.O. show, we talked about the legendary Hart family who live in Calgary and Matt was eager to drive up broadcast hill to visit the Hart mansion. I scribbled directions on the back of a coaster and received an email from Matt a short time later, thanking me for the path to the mansion on the hill. He did not go to the door, but I am sure he would have been welcomed by Stu and the clan that would have been home. I suppose Matt was not wanting to intrude.
It was a sad day for Matt when wrestling legend Stu Hart passed away in Mid October last year, and today is an even sadder day for Matt's legion of family, friends and fans who will have to cherish the time spent with such an incredible individual.
To keep costs down on his upcoming tour, I had offered the guest room in my home to Matt and only 2 weeks ago we fired email back and forth to make those arrangements, as my band will be playing the same weekend and I would not have been able to attend his show. I will sadly, never get another chance.
Thank you for this forum to share our thoughts, I take great pride in calling Matt a friend.
Matt Rawked, but now he rests.
Matt was one of the greatest musicians I have ever had pleasure to meet,
but above and beyond that Matt was always willing to help someone out.
Matt and I used to occasionally jam at Wilf's, and Matt spent many an hour helping me learn some fabulous tunes. (Everything from My Neighbour Ned to Counting Crowes) Matt was always willing to help me with my problems, and always refused to take any cash for his time. (Just buy me a drink) Matt even did the bulk of the work helping me pull together my only Taster track, and he refused to take any credit, even though he put in as much time as me.
He was a fabulous man, and the world will seem a little sadder and a little quieter without him. He will definitely be missed.
I just got the email about Matt. I can't believe it... Very sad news. Please pass along my condolences to Matt's family. My thoughts are with them, with you, and with all of Matt's friends.
My name is Karla Ingleton.
I now live in
Back in 1990, my friend and I started a radio show called Aficionada radio.
We later changed the name to Zona Radio.
It was programmed on CKWR community radio.
It was a unique show which featured 100% Canadian talent.
Matt was our very first guest.
He came into the studio with his guitar.
We hooked up an extra microphone.
For two hours we joked and jeered along with Matt's full-flavoured sense of humour.
He played his guitar and sang with his heart - a marvel of songs.
We had so many listeners calling it and wanting to talk to our LIVE GUEST.
It was a marvelous show - one that will live on forever.
As will Matt.
I met Matt at his cd release party three years ago, 2001.
Before attending, I had learned about Matt through my colleague Serge Solski, who played bass with his trio. Not knowing anyone there, and having to attend alone, something made me want to find my way over to "Loose Change Louie's" on University Avenue anyway. (okay, I didn't want to face Serge the next day if I DIDN'T go!)
"You should come out to Matt's cd release party. You'll like it."
An understatement to be sure. Matt started to sing, and a golden light spread throughout the room. His angelic voice moved me and his intelligent lyrics made me want to read every word he would ever write (and I did so, on his Web site, soon after, and throughout the past years, like a secret obsession.)
After the show I waited my turn to meet and talk with Matt. Though I congratulated him on a fabulous performance, I immediately saw that the true gift of Matt Osborne was his generous heart and twinkling spirit. He touched everyone who met him, and I felt privileged to know him, and lucky that Serge Solski introduced me to Matt Osborne. From then on, I always looked forward to watching in his performances, and having wonderful conversations that were sparkling with his smiles and kind words.
I have been lucky enough to jam with Matt, hearing his voice and tasteful guitar on the stage beside me. He made me and any performer who rose to the stage feel comfortable, welcome and confident. It was always a sweet treat to be in his presence.
His spirit will continue to glow in the lives he touched, and though all to brief, I am forever grateful to Serge Solski for that first introduction. I will never forget Matt Osborne, and feel fortunate to have known him over these past few years.
Matt... You made me glad to be 'the girl with glasses.'
God Bless Matt, his family and loved ones.
I never got to know Matt on a personal level. However, as a member of the WLU Musician's Network from 1996-99, I was lucky enough to get to know his music and respected him deeply as a major force in the local music scene. The passion he put into his songs was and still is truly inspiring. He followed his dream and true love and that is truly what living life is all about.
My deepest condolences go out to Matt's family and friends.
I share in your grief with the loss of Matt. He was such a bright spirit. He always greeted me with big hug and a smile. He will be sadly missed by many...
Thank you, take care,
I am sad to hear about Matt - less than an hour ago after checking out his website (something I do every now and then).
I always read his newsletter and looked forward to hearing about his musical adventures, shows, recordings and wrestling news.
I own his 3 CD's "Doggie Blues", "Man vs Concrete" and the brilliant "Underwater".
His music is played almost everyday at my office at work - I always believed he was going to go the musical distance in time, and never doubted it. He is definitely one of
I don't party much anymore, but when Matt came to the Sault in March 2003 to play St. Patrick's Day, me and my cousin Kevin went there, drank Irish beer and took in the sounds of Matt Osborne (his opening act was the Goulais River Rats). It was the first time I saw him live (at his 2 Sault shows), and he was electrifying. On CD he was great, but live was something even better. I will miss the trumpet/jazzy type sounds from his voice, the future CD's I was looking forward to over the years, and his emails.
On a final note, 2 weeks ago he told me was interested in going back into karate after I told him I went back to it, and that he was inspired by the new Kill Bill movie.
I'm very sorry to hear about this,
My family has been close to the Osborne family for over sixty years. Matt's father and mine were gradeschool chums and I knew Matt since he learned to walk. Our families would get together often for backyard pool parties at the Osbornes' or for weekends at our family cottage. Being a few years older than Matt, most of my memories of are of this little kid with a sense of humour beyond his years. Suddenly, Matt grew up. About 15 years ago, at a 50th birthday party for my Dad, Matt was there playing a guitar.....When did he learn to do that!!!??? It would only be a few years later, when we were all down watching him playing in a Bar in East York.
During the occasions when I saw him perform, I could not believe this talented, sensitive young man was the same kid I had known all my life.
Matt had a remarkable gift and we are fortunate that he worked so hard to share it with us. I am a fan, and very proud of him for his accomplishments and dedication.
I have wanted to forward an email, but honestly it has taken days for the shock to wear off enough so that I could forward my thoughts. My brother, Steve Munro, forwarded a note explaining the long history between the Osborne and Munro family and like my brother I have known Matt my whole life. Matt and I were childhood friends, sharing sleep-overs, swimming parties, and cottage weekends.
I remember when Matt decided to "take up" the guitar and I couldn't believe how fast he got good and then I was amazed at how phenomenal he became.
I am so impressed with Matt's talent and his dedication to his musical career. I remember Matt for the amazing musician he became, but mostly I remember him as my friend.
My name is Bob Adamson. I live in Michigan. I am 53. Day before yesterday, I got a new computer. Lots of RAM, HD space, fast, flatscreen, CD/DVD burners. Cool huh? Well, part of the reason I spent the money was to get into some recording. I'm totally an amateur. While surfing somehow I came to be on the ACID site. Something drew me to click on "Alone." I only listened to maybe 3 songs on the site, so it is strange that that was one of them.
Well, I found this site next. It was difficult to look at all the gigs he won't be able to play. All the opportunities that I could have had to see him in person, but won't.
I am still blown away. I feel the same sadness that I have whenever I think of Steve Goodman. John Prine and Steve Goodman are my favorite singer/songwriter/performers. I never got the opportunity to see Matt, and until that click I didn't know of him at all. I haven't even heard much of his music (I did go and listen to all I could find), but I hope it is a comfort to those of you who did know him, to know that even after he is gone, he is still touching people with his music. To help reinforce that concept, possibly provide someone comfort, or a respite, I took the time to write this note.
In your sorrow, seeds of strength exist. Peace be with you.
Although we may not know each other, I co-own a song called "One Way Love" with Matt. I am still in shock at the news. Regretfully, I did not know of his passing and was not able to attend the funeral. I am just so very sorry to hear and read this. :0(
I wish him peace and lots of music to rock too, forever more. I thank him for the collaboration on our song. I will miss him. Thanks so much Matt ...
To you his friends, I know there will never be another him, but may his memories always bring a smile to your face.
Matt has been a constant in my life for about 12 years now. The first time I saw him play, I wasn't even 19 years old yet (and I still remember the thrill of drinking underage). That gig was a charity concert, and over the years I've been to many charity events. Matt was always there.
I took my solo material very seriously, and eventualy started performing at the same events as Matt. From the first time I saw him play, I looked up to him with adoration and respect. He was a hero to me, and I wanted be like him. I remember how good he made me feel when he treated me like his equal. Matt was always good about that, to everyone. Matt was my musical Buddha.....even up untill the last time I saw him, he always encouraged me to play my music.
Over the years, Matt attended many of my gigs. I can remember playing to 3-4 people, and suddenly Matt would show up. He always made me feel better about slow nights when he was around. He always said the right things to me. Matt was always there.
I stopped striving for musical "success" some time ago. As a father of two children, I try and devote all my extra energy in raising my family. Recently, I remember telling Matt about my new artistic pursuits in wood working. Matt asked questions, and seemed really interested in my new passion. As always, Matt was there to talk about being creative and exploring art.
The last time I saw him was at the Grad House, in March. I told him that as long as the Grad House is standing, there would be a gig for him. Now, for the first time in 12 years, Matt isn't here anymore. Last night, after I locked up the Grad House for the evening, I put "Underwater" on the stereo, and cried.
There is an emptiness at the Grad House now. This void expands far beyond the white farm house on the UW campus. This space is the space which Matt filled, and I don't know how we will ever recover. Matt, you were the best, and we all love you. I wish I could see you play one more time.......
I haven't seen Matt in a long time - but knew him fairly well in university. I used to work at the on-campus pool hall - which was across from the musicians network office. Many a late evening, Matt would come over and keep me company while I closed and tidied - we could chat, sing, and have a good laugh. I knew him socially, as well, through some other local musicians, and always enjoyed his company and his music.
I was very sad to learn of his passing - his sense of humour and musical talent will be greatly missed. I am glad to have been privileged to know him and spend time with him.
It is so hard to think that Matt is gone... but his memories will always bring him to us. I work with a band called Eye Rhyme and Matt would make the effort to see us at our original shows. One day while talking to him, he told me about a band that he saw in TO which was basically a death metal style with a singer that sounded like "Satan's Chihuahua"...YIPE YIPE YIPE!! At least as Matt put it. And so the acoustic duo that the guitarist and I performed also in suddenly had a name. Matt always loved that he could be a help! I miss you buddy! But you're with me in spirit always.
I've known Matt for over 10 years, and have seen him play live dozens of times. I've been privileged to know Matt both as an entertainer and as a close friend, who honoured me by using my photography work in his albums, on his website, and in his promotional materials. Maybe someday the huge gaping wound in my heart left by his passing will close, but right now it doesn't seem like that could ever be possible. I have a decade's worth of stories, which I would never be able to recount in the small space here, and you'd get tired of reading long before I tired of writing.
Most people knew Matt as a musician, and that's a large part of what he was, but that's not all he was. He was also a great man, and a great friend to me at a dark and dangerous time. As incongruous as the image of Matt as a knight in shining armour might be, since he never wore it well, in some way Matt rescued me from something, and I'll always love him for that. I hope that we can turn down the racket and remember Matt was a person, not just a guy with a guitar. He could be a real asshole when he wanted to be, and we all know he battled demons that eventually wore him out, but mostly he was kind and supportive, in that smugly exasperated way he had that was both endearing and infuriating.
The Matt I knew brought me apples when I was starving. The Matt I knew liked to take long walks at night alone, and could usually be found holed up somewhere, reading a book. The Matt I knew made me read every one of those stupid Star Trek Memories autobiographies, and I still feel a twinge of regret at not finishing Beam Me Up, Scotty. When I fell asleep watching movies with him, the Matt I knew covered me up with his coat. The Matt I knew always looked slightly bewildered at all the attention he got, and kept his heart closely guarded while still somehow fooling people into believing he exposed so much in his music. He did, but only after you knew him well enough as a person to be able to decipher what the words meant, and sometimes only if you asked him directly. Sometimes not even then.
He told me once that the key to figuring him out was in the songs, but I'm still not sure about that. The key to figuring out the songs was in the man. The music will live forever, but the man is only a memory. I believe the real tragedy would be in forgetting that the best music is forged without the racket. The best music happens in the moments of solitude, when the amps are shut off and the people go away, and you have time to think and write and dream. That quiet, solitary part of Matt is the part that few of us really got to know. It's gone forever now, and the world is a much colder place for it.
Next time you want to remember Matt, don't play his records. Remember the smile, the kind words, the stupid jokes, the quicksilver intellect, the joy and the sadness of his personality. Think of him in silence, and listen.
I was skimming through the Saturday Record's local section while I was at work on the 24th. The page that was annoucing Matt's passing sat on my desk for a full 3 hours before I realized what it said - the reason being I was so used to seeing his picture in the paper, it never crossed my mind that the content of the article could be somewhat of a preliminary obituary. I played in a show at the Staircase Theater back in January 2003, and Matt and I were both set to perform in the theater section of the cafe. I had never met him, spoken to him, or even heard any of his music, but when my set was done and I walked off stage, he was the first person I saw in the wings. He shook my hand and simply said "You're great. Don't stop." I think those may have been the only words we ever exchanged, and the only time we ever met, but to me, it is a perfect example of the sort of person Matt was - unabashed, unassuming, and willing to encourage anyone, whether he knew them or not. What a loss to us all, especially those close to Matt, but at least there is solice in what we have gained - from his talent, his spirit, and his humanity - so much of which will live on in his music forever. My sincere condolences.
Elizabeth Saunders (formerly Elizabeth Priestley)
My band Paintbox often played with Matt at various benefits at the old Volcano club as well as just playing for fun at the Tuesday night jam parties that Phil's Grandson's Place used to have. I was always very impressed with his passion in playing and the fact that he was just an all-around decent guy. I never met one person who thought otherwise.
His passing is a shock, and I think that all Kitchener-Waterloo indie musicians should dedicate their next set to a guy who worked so hard and so dilligently for what he believed in, and in doing so, raised the awareness that there is a local music scene. Matt will always have our respect.
It so saddens me that i will never hear that passionate, genuine voice saying "Paaaaattt..." back to me anymore. (That's how we used to greet each other)
I was this oriental kid (probably 20 or something young like that) in the midst of a university crowd when i first met Matt in '96 - he was hosting a jam at the Weaver's Arms Pub in Waterloo. He was among a rotational trial of hosts in the winter semester. The second time he was on that rotation i approached him before he started the night off and immediately i noticed what's special about this wonderful man. Matt had a great, warm sense of humour. He made me feel very welcome. (To provide a good comparison, i wasn't very popular in the university crowd at all) He accepted me for who i was - and that was the most important thing.
In the following years i had the privelege of numerous encounters and opportunities to perform and jam with Matt. While a lot of other musicians were putting me down for my shifting-interest in instruments (i'm a keyboard player who picked up the bass around '94 and the guitar in '02 - but couldn't play any of them all that well in my opinion), Matt was not only supportive but very encouraging. He used to take over the bass playing position for me at Boomer's in Kitchener so that i could play guitar for a while. He also taught me a lot about the instrument and how to play it. He is the reason i'm still playing guitar today. Thank you Matt.
Matt had this incredible ability to take an ordinary piece of music and bring it to a level far beyond imaginable. I am very proud to say that i had Matt on the lead vocals for 2 of my tracks and on the bass harmony on another. (I promise to release my long put-away CD project "Guinea-Pigs from Winnipeg" soon - i can't afford to withhold a piece of Matt's memory from the world any longer) We had a blast recording those tracks at my home studio. He was going to move in into my basement apartment if my boarder/tenant moves out. Unfortunately this arrangement shattered as i stared at the shocking email annoucing his passing on Friday.
And his originals. They are simply stellar. One of my favourites have to be "50-30-20". No matter what kind of intense conversation you were in, your attention would immediately be shifted as soon as your hear his introduction to his pseudo-authentic trumpet solo, "I never played trumpet. I probably will never play the trumpet. Instead, I'll transform myself into the world's largest standing trumpet for your dining and listening pleasure. I'll even put a mute on the trumpet halfway through the solo." And so he did. Hauntingly and beautifully he rolled the notes between his lips and a fluid line of jazz trumpet solo captured the venue. The highlight came when Matt annouced the coming of the world's most concise bridge during the applause still remnant from the solo. Then, like a regal arrival, the room rose into the peak of amazement when the only four words of the bridge were simply "This... is... the bridge".
I also recall the interesting stories Matt used to share. And he did them in empathy of the situation. Once i was talking about the time my vehicle was stuck on the 401 so i couldn't get to my gig - upon which Matt told me that he had a similar experience on the way to Stratford where he was almost there but slid into a ditch during a winter storm. Being the optimist that he was, he hitchhiked the rest of the way and grabbed a few helpful individuals with shovels to go back to dig the car out, but with no avail. He used to say, "a gig is not a gig yet until you get the money at the end of the night." Matt basically "introduced" me to the local music industry. I owe him for where i am now.
Above all, Matt was such a giving individual. Not only did he count me in for a lot of gigs when he could have had much better bass players, but he also provided me with transportation a few times when i didn't have a vehicle and wanted to check out a jam or show. I remember fondly, during one of those times, that Matt was sharing how he used to revv up the motor when nobody else is on the road to attempt to make a C major scale - to which i commented about how fast we would be going by the time we reached the octave.
Matt, thanks so much for all the good times, and i'll always remember you. Rawk.
pat-on-keys (Pat Chan)
I first came across Matt in our first year of university. He was 'that guy with a guitar' from Little House residence. I would see him jamming around campus with friends and didn't know what to think of this scene. Being imported from North Bay, my musical knowledge and tastes where bound by classic rock and arena concerts. It wasn't until a night at Wilf's where I was reborn and later snapped up a copy of Doggie Blues when it came out.
My pursuit of the waitress at Morty's - now wife Heather - led to my introduction to Matt and some of the Musician Network folk that Heather had befriended over the years. By the end of university I was trying to catch Matt shows all the time, and witnessed a great performance at the Raintree Cafe. Since finishing university, Heather and I have been blessed with Matt's friendship and introduced our friends and family to his music at countless shows, the release parties for Underwater and Man Vesus Concrete, and Matt was generous to play at our wedding and reception in 1999.
Though our sadness is deep, our love for Matt, his friendship and his music remains in our hearts - a source of happiness and inspiration for the rest of our lives.
Encouragement. That is what comes to mind when I think of Matt Osborne. I first met Matt two years ago when I happened to be at the Circus Room checking out the Open Jam. I decided to try out my Pedal Steel Guitar on stage for the first time...I drove home and picked it up, and nervously brought it back. Matt's blend of Blues, Funk, Rawk, etc. was extremely inviting to a novice musician: He had something for everyone. Everyone got a chance. That night was filled with support and friendly glances from Matt, and even some pop quizzes about minor thirds. I continued to play on the odd Tuesday, and had the opportunity to duo with Matt at the Grad House, a humbling experience. I've said enough. A great musician and a kind human being. He is a part of all those that knew him.
Rob Daniels here from the CKMS show "Visions In Sound" a Movie, TV and Video Game soundtrack program. Matt was a fan of my show and through that I became a fan of his music. Matt has a special place in the history of my show for two reasons. The first is that he was my very first interview. In fact, we had to do the interview twice because of technical problems. However, Matt did not complain and did the interview a second time. He was a class act all the way.
The second reason is that he is the first and only artist to perform live on my show.
His song "So Much" from the "Nature of Reality" soundtrack was not only featured before "Visions In Sound" even existed when I was a guest on "Advanced Warning" on April 7, 2000 and we did a special feature on "The Nature Of Reality". It was also featured prominently on my very first show and several shows after that.
I was deeply saddened when I had heard that Matt had passed away. He will be missed.
In going through my archives I found Matt's Live performance on my one year anniversary show and the amazing discovery of the unedited original tape of Matt's interview back on a rainy day in mid March of 2000.
As a tribute I am playing his live performance of "So Much" at the end of my show today at about 5 minutes to 5:00 p.m..
I will make available to you the interview and Matt's appearance on my one year special. I will turn these all into Mp3's just let me know how and where I can get them to you. It would be my pleasure to honour Matt in this way.
Robert Daniels - Visions In Sound
This is Coral from Coral FM on CKMS.
Matt and I did a Palindrome session in Jan of 2002.
In fact, just listening to Matt sing the words "Bugger Off".
His voice is blaring through my speakers..oh --he just trailed off and stopped playing and said he forgot the rest of the words.
But here is a little anecdote he told me.
Once he was playing "Bugger Off" in TO and he got boycotted from a bar because he supposedly offended these two women in a trendy Queen and Spadina Bar-- must have been the Rivoli or the Horseshoe or somewhere, and about some nasty note they left on the window. He said he learned the lesson about listening more carefully to comments made between sets about his songs in a noisy environment. Because he thought they said that song was "expressive" but they said it was " offensive" and he said, not really hearing them, " thank you". Hence the nasty note about his male private parts and to boycott his songs on the front window !!! I thought this would be fitting way to remember this fun loving music guy.
Man, not only was he a great singer/ songwriter, he was a gifted musician, and a wonderful mentor to budding musicians needing to hone their chops ! I am sure he always made them sound better. Now he will jamming with all the rawk and roll greats ... on the other side of his Mattsong.
I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Matt's untimely passing. Although I was not a "close" acquaintance of his, I do share a very fond memory of him from days gone by...
Back in 2002-3 a friend and I had assembled a goofy musical duo called "the Nowns". We met Matt at while he was hosting a week night jam at the Circus Room in Kitchener, Ontraio. We had come up on a trip to explore the area scene in the hopes of landing a few gigs. When we arrived at the club, Matt had already taken the stage and was in the midst of a blues number featuring his acoustic slide guitar playing. Onstage, Matt was larger than life: intense, yet so comfortable and casual, but I can recall him being bothered that particular evening by something trivial - a broken thumbpick or something, and we had a laugh during the break. We joked that despite years of experience and endless hours of study on the guitar - it can all come crashing down because of some silly little pick. After the break we got up, and did 3 songs including a rendition of Fred Eaglesmith's "White Trash". After completing our songs and unplugging, Matt was the first to greet us as we ambled off stage, ecstatically asking the origins of that song. I'm happy to say that on that evening, we turned Matt on to Fred Eaglesmith, and that is what I remember about him most: He was genuinely into all music. No attitude or presumption, just a consummate musician with an open mind. The musical world has lost a great musician and ambassador.
Matt and I and 3 other guys were roommates 2nd year in a basement in Waterloo. It was very interesting. I originally met Matt during our frosh week at Laurier in Little House. He said he played guitar so we asked him to play. It was amazing. I remember he played 'Angel' by Jimi Hendrix and we were floored. When we got to hear 'Locomotion' and 'Who
Though I have not got to see as many of his shows or talk to him as much in recent years I have always considered him a good friend. His music will always play in my head (and my stereo). His dedication, kindness, and passion will always be in my heart. Matt never sold out to the man. Amen.
My connection to Matt, was Canadian tours. Over the past few years we had both toured across Norhern Ontario and Western Canada.... We shared any contacts we had......and the greatest thing was seeing Matt and talking about some of the venues..becasue Matt was the only person I know that I could talk to about Field British Columbia, a pub in Swift Current, The Madhouse in ThunderBay, Cafe Ultimate in Regina, The Karma Arts Cafe in Calgary...and so on.....It gets lonely on the road, so to be able to share stories with someone who had been down the same road, at alot of the same venues, was always really cool....Matt had sent me huge lists of contacts and I'm still feeling the effects of it..Today i will be following up on a package in Sault Saint Marie that Matt sent to me Last week...ironicaly I recieved the email on Friday....and as usual when I called and mentioned Matt they had great things to say about him....In thunder Bay at the Madhouse a place i had played and told Matt to look into ...He played and when I went there last summer...one of the first things the owner said to me was "man that Matt guy was great!"......I remeber sitting at the still in Kitchener and seeing Matt getting ready for his first Candain tour...the talbe was covered with hand writtend notes with contacts all over them and a rough tour schedule.....i vividly remeber Matt saying to me that night..."I want to make sure I tour Canada at least once before my time is up".....Well he did it, did it twice and was about to head out for the third time..........Matt was single handedly responsible for getting me booked at a couple of places and I will always be greatful for that....I was trying to get into the Woolwich arms in Guelph..and as usual i was having trouble getting in contact with the guy booking at the time......I was telling Matt and he said to me "I'll talk to him"....the next week i was booked at the Wooly and that has turned into a gig I get every few months (and Paul who booked the room at the time told me the only reason he booked me was because Matt told him to and he trusted Matt)....He was that kind of Guy.......The funny thing is..this is just a bit of my story and I didn;t know Matt nearly as well as alot of other people...so I'm sure he did a whole lot for a whole bunch of people....He will be missed..
OH and one more thing...Last Friday I sent a package to a place in Sault Saint Marie for an upcoming tour, on Matts recomendation....Well Today They Booked me.....Once again Thanks Matt
My name is Adam DeSanti, and I'm 24. Matt and I were friends, but I never asked about his personal life. He was one of the nicest, warmest people I've ever known. I would have done anything for him. I met Matt 2 years ago while working the graveyard at Kinko's. He'd pay his usual "2-dollar nightly internet fee" and we'd chat about movie lines and wrestling and I'd pick his brain. Then he discovered the library was much cheaper for internet usage and I moved on, but we stayed in touch. He was an extremely intelligent man, and an extremely warm man.
We'd meet up every month at Kick-Off for the WWE payperview, and I'd save him a seat. It was my special time with Matt, taking turns impersonating Jesse Ventura while watching talented stuntmen do jobs and works. I'd eagerly see him play whenever he was in Waterloo, and be his vocal superfan for the night. It's always been an innocent little dream of mine to rawk in a giant mosh pit to "I Wanna Be the Mayor". He'd always play it when I was there. He knew it was my favourite song. I really wanted to see Matty score that big record deal. Make the millions. Not have to grind it out anymore. If anyone deserved that, he did.
Man vs. Concrete was his gift to me two years ago. I later started to fully apreciate his music and I was hooked. I was looking forward to being one of Matt's superfan's for years and years and years to come. His passing leaves a great big hole in my heart. He died in his prime.
I love you Matty,
The first time I caught Matt's act was in the late 90's when he played at the Brunswick Hotel or, as it is affectionately known, The 'Wick. I was making my usual Saturday night, post-work visit to The 'Wick to catch up with friends and to hear some live music.
Matt was performing with his band and I was immediately captivated. The bartender told me that the band had been on (both figuratively and literally) all night and that they didn't take any breaks.
"Really" I asked.
"Well," he clarified, "two of them took a short break, but Matt (he pointed to the guitar- playing singer) he just does acoustic numbers in between."
It was months before the Matt Osborne Band played again, but, I was prepared. I had arranged to get to the show on time, with friends and to see the entire set. I was not disappointed. I noticed some flyers with a website on it and I signed up.
Over the next few years, I kept in touch with Matt through email and conversations when he was here in town. I am a big fan of Pro Wrestling and I loved hearing his insights into the world of Sports Entertainment. In fact, several of our emails had more to do with wrestling than they did music. More of The Rock and less of The Rawk.
A few years ago, I was volunteering as the late night DJ at our University's Campus Radio Station CHRW. I knew Matt was in town on a Friday night and I invited him to come up to the radio station before heading back on the highway. He agreed and came up for a quick interview, some wrestling chatter, and two acoustic songs. I am in the process of finding the recording I have from that show so that it can be shared.
Last year, I invited Matt to attend our annual musicians' charity hockey tournament. The after-party includes a stage with a drum kit, amps and guitars for anyone (or any group of people) to go up and jam. I knew Matt would love this positive musical environment and I was sure that the room would be appreciative of his contributions. However, Matt was on his way to Swift Current that weekend and could not attend. He did, instead, mail me his CD Collection to put on the prize table for the auction. That night, word got around quickly that the set was available and it was one of the most popular items on the table.
I was devastated when I heard the news of Matt's passing. I spent much of the night listening to his CD and sharing stories with my fiancee and a few friends. In the quiet times in between, I thought about how much I enjoyed getting to know Matt. How I looked forward to his email newsletter and how I would always scroll past all the gig information to read his"Pro Wrestling Rant" first. If I agreed, I would nod quietly. If I disagreed, an email response to him would follow. The latter was seldom the case. Matt was as clever in his understanding as he was in his writing.
"Man vs. Concrete" will get a lot of spins this week as I work my way through the varied memories I have of Matt. I will miss him. He was a man of immense talent and boundless passion. We got a brief sampling while he was with us. It may have been less than we wanted; but, it was more than enough.
I extend my condolences to everyone who knew him.
I first met Matt at the Cicrcus Room Tuesday jam o' rama and the moment I heard him start playing I knew he was something beyond any musician i'd ever met. Matt took a liking to me right off, and we became great friends very quickly. Tuesday became my favorite day of the week cause that's when I knew i'd have a chance to try new material, and hear his coments on it, or we'd puch out a ranchy version of Matthew Good's "hello timb bomb" with Matt singing alternate lyrics about constapation, breafast cerial, traffic jams or codoms.
Over the few months I knew him, we shared the same tastes in music, humour, food and cult B-movies staring Brue Campbell. I had the chance to jam out some of his songs on percussion, and out of every song we played together, Matt had a song by the name of "Time and the Treasure" which to me was better than most of the songs you'd hear on the radio today. When I found out the night of the 23rd, I returned home to check my e-mail..........And I couldn't believe it at first, cause I thought that something this bad could never happen, which means I take things for granted cause I saw him a couple times a week, and I never got to tell him that he made me realize how much better things could be and for that I became a better person, and a better musician. I owe my first gig to Matt, cause if it wasn't for him I would have never written, or picked up the guitar again in a serious manor. Although I know I never knew Matt as well as a lot of others did, but he was the most phenominal person this world has ever had, we all loved him, and we'll all miss him but never forgetting his memory, his music and most of all his personality cause somehow, he all made us better people, or at least me anyway.
I'll miss you Matt, more than anyone will ever know! And whenever I jam out James "Laid" with Andy, there will be an empty space where those high notes belong, cause I know wherever you are you'll be singing them still.
Your good friend, and songwriting trainee ~ Jeremy Brendan Day
P.S. I'll miss jaming to an empty room at 2am after everyone had left, all but 4 or 5 people rocking harder than possible! It was a blast!
I first heard of Matt Osborne at WLU. Matt was well known for his tireless efforts to advertise the Musicians Network.
Later on in life, I became the owner of Circus Room and our paths crossed again. Then, I got to know the man behind the name.
I admired Matt's passion for music but what I admired the most was his continuous willingness to help others, whether being musicians or anybody else that needed help always with a smile on his face.
His passing is a tragic loss, and Circus Room will never be the same without Matt Osborne. Afterall Circus Room was Matt Osborne. When you hear talking about Circus Room, you do not associate it to my name, yet you do associate it to Matt Osborne.
Continuing to host the Jam Night was the only adequate mean we found to pay homage to Matt. It assures that his work will not stop, struggling musicians can come and show what they can do and who knows open doors that would probably not open otherwise.
I would like to invite everyone to come every Tuesday night to jam the night away, to honour Matt's memory because that is what he did and would do. Your presence guarantees the realization of Matt's dreams. I know that he will be there!
Matt, gone but not forgotten!
Irene Ribeiro-Da Costa, Circus Room
Matt remained close friends with my brother, but I hadn't seen him since Christmas, 2002, and before that it had been several years. We knew each other as part of a musical group at church when we were all in high school, where Matt honed his guitar skills before our eyes, extremely rapidly. People have already said it more eloquently than I, but I just wanted to add my name to the list of people whose lives were touched by this kind, gentle man.
I have known Matt for nine plus years. I met him at the circus room when I was eighteen. This was back then I use to sing alternative with screaming vocals. I remember his face would just cringe from my ear piercing notes and he said that I didn't need a P.A. system I needed to learn how to harness my powerful weapon of creating deafness. He introduced me to Billy Cope who was a close friend of his and a fantastic singer and songwriter. She and I hooked up and created "Opps a Dazee". She taught me how to control my voice and sing folk music. Billy and I went to the Moondance Cafe and showed Matt our material. Matt was pleasantly impressed. Since then throughout the changes in bands or being a solo artist Matt had become my teacher, my critic, my big brother picking on me and aupporting me each step of the way. Everytime I had a new song I would get all exicited to show him and sometimes he loved it and sometimes he would give me constructive critism. Thinking of him as a big brother I would go home and pout for a while all disappointed and then work on it over and over and then go back and try it again. His thoughts and opinions meant the world to me. He wasn't afraid to say his opinion to me for he knew I would always come back with a hug all exicited with but another new song for him to hear.I am as good as I am because of him and feel lost with my music without him to ask for help. Who will tune my guitar before I hit the stage? Yes, I know after 9 years I guess I will finally have to learn.
I never had a chance to thank Matt for everything including introducing me to Andrew Miller his house drummer at the circus room three years ago who is the love of my life and brings me great happiness since we met. Andy and I will greatly miss Matt and the times after the circus room jams when we would hang out out, talk, and make jokes. I feel lucky that we had that extra time with Matt as friends not just musicians and will cherish those moments forever.
There's no better inspiration for a young band than to see someone so comfortable in his shoes on stage, bringing rock to the masses that may or may not deserve it. My band played with Matt O. back in Dec of 2002 at the 360, that is to say we opened for him. The place was pretty much empty cause of the cold (which I damn cuz so many more people could have enjoyed the performance that night) but there was nothing but raw energy inside as Matt and his band pumped out the tunes. On an impulse I chatted with him after the show and it turned into a half hour conversation so easy I thought I must have known this guy for longer than, well, half an hour! That night I bought Man Vs Concrete and have not regretted it - it took a whole month and a half before I wanted to listen to other cd's. That he seemed a great guy and very personable was the icing on the cake.
I was very saddened to hear of his passing and along with the guys in the band we just want to say "cheers" to a great musician, condolences to his family and friends, and regret that we won't get to share his wisdom again in some smoky bar.
Matt was my first friend .... he used to bug me that I would always be the "older woman" .... see Matt and I met at birth ... both May 5th babies ... me beating him by only a couple of hours! Our friendship began while our parents anxiously awaited our arrival at St. Mike's Hospital. Our dad's hung out in the waiting room chatting to one another only to discover that we were all about to become neighbours on Deerford Road three weeks later. The Osborne's at #1 and us at #7! We spent many great times - Christmas Eve's at the Osborne's, Kingslake PS, hanging out at the pool. I especially remember our trips to see the Star Wars movies with my brother Mike and our dads! Although I had not seen Matt in a couple of years, I always enjoyed his emails and was just thinking about him and his upcoming Western Canada tour just days before the sad news of his passing. I had the chance to attend a performance in Toronto and the passion he showed for his music was incredible! Matt followed his passion and lived life to the fullest - we should all try and live by his example. Matt - you will always hold a special place in my life and your spirit will be sadly missed by those you touched. It is comforting to know you and my dad are hanging out together looking down and protecting us all.
I just found out about the loss of Matt Osborne. I lived in Kitchener for a 3 year time period and during that time Matt's music touched my soul. He was an extremly beautifully gifted musician and he had a heart of gold. I had a conversation with him one night at one of his "Open jam" tuesday's at The circus room. I told him that I was an aspiring singer and that I was too scared of what people would think, so i was holding myself back. Matt told me that if i have the gift to give it, and not to worry about what everyone else thinks. He told me to keep him updated on my singing and that if i ever decided to go with it to let him know becuase he would support me! I was deeply touched by him, he didn't even know me, and he was offering his support. I have recently joined a band as a backup singer. I still hear Matt's inspiring words in my head.
I met Matt when I was nineteen years old in the summer of 1997. My friend Jeff Jones was organizing a show at the Free Times Cafe at which he was kind enough to offer me a spot. I asked him who else would be on the bill and he said his "freakishly talented" friend Matt Osborne. Being a younger less experienced performer I did not understand at the time what "freakishly talented" meant until that night. When Matt played, I could not believe the combination of guitar skills, vocal power, and sheer passion that he had for his music. With the exception of maybe Stephen Fearing and Terry Tufts who I'd put at par, I still haven't seen anyone who blew my mind as much as Matt did as a singer guitarist. His music has always been an inspiration to me and he definitely gave me something to shoot for as a performer.
People always say that it's best to remember the good times in times of loss. Well, I'll never forget how cool it was when he gave me a copy of his CD "Underwater" back in the Summer of 1998 telling me to pay him "whenever." I'll never forget the gig he, my friend Jay Moonah, and I played at the Free Times Cafe in May 2000 whose basement was flooded that night because of all the rain. I'll never forget giving him one of my email addresses, email@example.com, and he, being so amused by it, wouldn't stop turning to me and saying, "firstname.lastname@example.org?" followed by a chuckle. I'll never forget playing "I Want a Girl with Glasses" with him this past March at the Duke of Somerset and how he asked, "Pat, would you do the honours?" getting me to sing the infamous last line of the song.
Given that there were times when I wouldn't see him for a few years, I'm definitely glad that I got to see him quite a few times this past year and I'm so glad that I saw him play this past Easter. I got a chance to hear him play "Glasses" one last time and to think about how much cooler it sounds with two guitars. :) Him and I were supposed to play another show at the Duke on May 14th and I almost didn't go to see him that night thinking I would see him in a month. Thank God I went.
Most importantly though I had a chance to see Matt happy. Him and I had this ridiculously long chat til sunrise after our show at the Duke and I realized that he had conquered a lot of his ghosts.
I will miss him. Through his music and the way he led his life he will always be a hero to me as he is to many others.
My name is Stephanie Deline.
I met Matt while in second year university... about 1991 or so. A bunch of us were putting together a compilation cassette for the Musicians' Network, and we were a pretty loud, cocky bunch who each thought we'd be the next U2. Matt came to one of our meetings with a recording of LocaMowShun (Chad can correct me on the spelling) and Who Can Do You Right, and rather meekly asked if there was still any room on the compilation for his songs. We popped his tape into a cassette deck and were blown away.
Over the next few months he became a stalwart of the Musicians' Network and was instrumental (pun) in arranging regular jam nights, encouraging other musicians, and ALWAYS being available to sit and play guitar & sing until the wee hours in the Graphics Dept office / Clubs office / stairwell to the Turret. Matt, Joe D., Mike W., Steve H., Chad K., Brent H. and myself probably spent far more time hanging out / jamming / quoting Sean Connery and Steven Segal movies, then we did in class. I will always remember those days as one of the best periods of my life. Over the next few years I would go to many of Matt's shows in Toronto and KW. He would often call me up to sing "Dougie's Lament" (-a great song by Nine Big Dogs). Many times I shied away from it, feeling totally outclassed being on stage with him. But one day I remember thinking that I was a fool to pass up any opportunity to play or sing with Matt, and I have jumped at the opportunity ever since. When he called and asked me to drive up to Waterloo so that I could record a couple of grunts for Pepperoni Princess on Underwater it was a no-brainer (even though I begged him to give me a second take!).
For my wedding, my wife and I asked Matt to play Who Can Do You Right as our first dance. He accepted, but kept telling me that it was okay if we later decided to change our minds... Now my daughter took Underwater to kindergarten last week as her show-and-tell so she could play Down for the other kids. Sorry for the length of this entry. It is hard to stem the flow of wonderful memories and extreme sadness for his passing.
It has been great (and comforting) to read so many other people's memories of Matt.
Matt's mom, Gloria and I have been close friends for many years. In fact, we always visited when we came home to Mildmay ON to visit my parents, when we were living in LA area. On one of those visits Matt decided to bake a cake for our visit and when he served the cake we noticed a piece was missing. Matt told us that it looked so good that he couldn't resist having a piece before we arrived. We laughed at that. He entertained my two younger daughters by teaching them a few chords on the guitar. They were intrigued.
Since moving to Fort Wayne I have been able to see Matt and Gloria more often and yes we too were devastated by his death. I plan to spend some time with Gloria this summer as she wanted me to come after everyone else had gone.
My husband and I went to Tennessee to be with Gloria when Matt was playing at the Blue Bird Cafe. We all had a good time and we were so proud of him. I just loved his wit and sense of humor. It was awesome the way he could incorporate it into his music. He was a very talented young man.
We have his other CDs and want a copy when the latest one is finished. I'm sure Gloria will let us know.
My son Michael and Matt were just 5 months apart in age. We were close.
I remember Matt as an engaging and talented musician who had a gift that lit up the room. It was a great pleasure to share a stage with him. The world is a better place to have a legacy of recordings which capture Matt's spirit.
My name is Jonny Nordstrom and I only just heard about Matt Osborne's passing. I am a singer/songwriter who mett Matt at a songwriter night in Edmonton and he impressed the heck out of the room. He liked my songs and I liked his. We emailed a couple of times and I have been out of the country for a while. My thoughts go out to all of those he touched.
I was a fan of Matt's.
The first time I saw him perform (opening for a Moist concert at UW in 2000) I was truly impressed by his music. While all my friends stopped at the Moist merchandise table on the way out, I stopped to get my hands on "Underwater." Since then, I have found Matt's lyrics to be touching, his music to be moving.
Several months later, at UW's Bomber Pub, Matt was hosting an open-mike night. I approached him and told him I'd bought his disc at the concert. Matt replied with "Oh, so that was you!" His sense of humour, like so many other things, touched me. His approachability set him apart.
Matt was a great man, and a great musician, and all of us are less for having lost him.
once upon a time in a land called scarborough, there was a cheesey little neighborhood bar called cheers. i was the unofficial host of an accoustic jam night, and as the patrons were mainly my friends, i was the most popular entertainer there. one day a young man came in, larger than life in both stature, and personality. he started to play, and immediately the audience was glued to him. matthews songs were beautifully written, with great lyrics and a comedic flair. i felt i was losing my audience. i was lucky enough that evening to have matthew invite me on stage to play harmonica while he played "doggie blues" we became friends instantly that night. matt and i shared the stage at cheers for the next 30 or so friday nights. one day i announced i would be moving on, and no longer playing at cheers. matt came up to me that night as i was packing my gear in my car and said "you've got to come back every now and then, this place was you" when i told him cheers wasn't giving me then enjoyment it used to, he said "well come back for me, cause I love you man" although i haven't seen matt face to face in over 10 years, we kept in touch by a handfull of phone calls and emails, and i was touched when he referred to me as "my favorite newfie" and told me of opening for great big sea, and telling them all about me. the world lost a great talent, a wonderful musician, and a wonderful person. i love you too man.
it was a great pleasure to perform a few times with matt when he opened for my group moxy früvous in the early mid-90s. we became buds and i cherished his humour, his charisma, and his ability to communicate real emotions on stage and in person. his energy was infectious. his voice strong and accessible. his guitar-playing impressive. and even though he claimed to be funnier that me (that's impossible) he did make me laugh. but he also moved me with songs like "follow you." i will remember him and play his music always.
My name is John Mamone and I'm a singer songwriter from Hamilton. I play in a local group called Dragonfly (our originals act is called Volume Water). I met Matt at the Festival of Friends 2003. Although I did not know Matt prior to that weekend in August last year, I have not forgotten him since. I've only recently found out about his passing a few weeks ago from another Hamilton musician friend Steve Sinnicks. I had the pleasure of performing some workshops with Matt, and man did this guy leave an impression on me. Talk about a professional. Talk about a songwriter...man this guy rocked! On top of all that he was a really cool guy to hang out with and talk to. Although our paths crossed for that very short time we did manage to swap cd's, so I will always have a lasting memory of Matt Osborne, Man Versus Concrete. I'm glad to have met
you Matt.........it was a pleasure to sing next to you.
I am currenly living in Mexico City and was shocked and saddened to hear about Matt's passing.
My sister Maria Luisa and I met Matt at the beginning of his journey into music when he was 14 and we sang together with several friends at a church folk group in North Toronto. He very soon provided the best and bluesiest guitar playing that church and congregation have ever heard. First came the guitar and then the voice, with its awesome falsetto. We played at weddings (including my sister's), talent nights and most memorably, into the early hours at informal gatherings held at home even up to a little over a year ago.
Matt's first album enabled more people to witness an enormous talent and hard work that began the day he fell in love with playing the guitar. His songwriting took new turns with every release. The song "Down" is on a CD that I burned to show people here what real Canadian music sounds like.
I am sure that his gentle way of encouraging other musicians is appreciated by everyone who knew him. I admire and will greatly miss Matt Osborne.
John A. Gardner
I knew Matt only casually, during the time I lived in Kitchener and Stratford in the early nineties. We met at a few parties, shared many friends, played many of the same venues, and did a radio show together on CKWR in, I think, 1993. It was around the time Matt released his first CD and I released my second. On that occasion we talked about songwriting and the ins-and-outs of being an independent musician in Canada. We cited many mutual influences, one being Neil Young and Crazy Horse, and I remember Matt quipping, “there’s a little Crazy Horse in all of us”--his way of acknowledging the common bond between Canadian musicians who value songs above production and put integrity before image. As his brilliant songwriting, relentless performing and infectious personality proved, Matt was a living example of those values--values essential to music’s survival as an artform, not a product.
That night at CKWR was one of the last times I saw Matt--I moved to London, England and then Ottawa--although I received the occasional email from him in later years and got to hear his songs, thanks to our mutual friend Pat Ang who covered them regularly at Ottawa’s Café Nostalgica. In 2004 I was saddened to hear of his death, on April 23rd, the day before my birthday, and was grateful to have Pat Ang as a fellow Ottawa musician who could appreciate what the world had lost by losing Matt.
Flash forward to July 2006. I’m on a tour of Western Canada, playing the same circuit and similar types of venues that Matt played on his two tours—a circuit where, as Matt once put it, the prospect of becoming “unbooked” looms as surely as being booked. I was also going through a painful divorce with my wife of five years, so there were a lot of pent-up emotions broiling under the music I played on the tour.
On a day off in Regina, I strolled into a record shop called Tramps and there, in the rack, was a copy of Matt’s Underwater CD. Surprised and excited to find it, I asked the store clerk to put it on the listening post so I could hear a couple of tracks.
Tell God for me I’ll be coming soon.
Lines from the opening song, “Rain,” sung by a musician contemplating his mortality while struggling to be heard above the din of an indifferent crowd. Well--God--I should have waited to play that CD, because hearing Matt’s voice again after so many years, and in the context of my personal troubles brought me to tears. I was long overdue for a meltdown, but Tramps was hardly the place to have one. I couldn’t help it, though. There was something in Matt’s voice that said, “go ahead, let it all out,” so it did. So now I was in the interesting position of wanting to buy the CD but too embarrassed to approach the counter with tears streaming down my face. A small tribulation, but I got through it and was grateful for the much-needed emotional release.
I played Underwater repeatedly during the long drive back to Ontario--knew most of the words by the time I arrived home. Sometimes when the hidden final track, “Channel 36,” came on I would just pull over to the side of the road and listen to it over and over. The CD convinced me that Matt was a genius, and I don’t say that just because he died. I would tell him to his face if I could. “There’s a little Crazy Horse in all of us.” Yes, and hopefully a little Matt Osborne too.
Pete Webb, singer-songwriter
The Matt Osborne Trust Fund logo was designed and used by kind permission of Rik Emmett.