What would it be like to be in a ... Band?

We asked the band
Matchbox who had the great rockin’ hit ‘Rockabilly Rebelabout this song and about being in a band. Gordon Scott from the band helped us out by writing back.

[Connor thought it would be great if we could write to the band that wrote Rockabilly Rebelsince we love singing the song, since we’re all cool cats!]

Some stills from the 'Rockabilly Rebel' video. How about that playing of the mandolin on the double bass as it thumps out the rhythm!

Where do you all come from and who is in the band? (Aline, Sydney, April and Caitlin)

Hi Ailine, Sidney, April and Caitlin.

Well first off is me GORDON SCOTT. I play rhythm guitar and sometimes harmonica. I also sing a few songs as well. I live in a town called Stevenage, which is about 35 miles north of London in a county called Hertfordshire.

Next will be GRAHAM FENTON. He`s the singer and front man of the band. Graham lives on the Isle of Wight.

Then there`s STEVE BLOOMFIELD the lead guitarist and mandolin player of the band. He’s the one who wrote `Rockabilly Rebel`. He lives in a place called Stanwell Village which is very near to London`s Heathrow airport.

Also there`s JIMMY REDHEAD the drummer (the youngest of the band and also the noisiest). He lives in a place called Feltham which is in Middlesex and also close to Heathrow airport.

And last, but not least, is FRED POKE the bass player in Matchbox. He also lives in Feltham near to JIMMY.

Matchbox is - Steve Bloomfield, Graham Fenton, Jimmy Redhead, Me (giving the thumbs up) and Fred Poke.

Is the song ‘Rockabilly Rebel' about a real person? (Jack)

G`day Jack. Well no, the song is not about any one person. It was about the young kids that were coming to see Matchbox back in the late 1970`s that did not want to be `Teddy Boys` or `Rockers` as they thought them to be too old. So they called themselves Rockabilly Rebels to be someone different on the rock`n`roll scene.

Who wrote and how long did it take to create the song ‘Rockabilly Rebel’? (Ellie, Ronya, Aurora & Alex)

Hi Ellie, Ronya, Aurora and Alex.

`Rockabilly Rebel` was written by STEVE BLOOMFIED the lead guitarist. I spoke with him this morning and he tells me that although the whole idea about the song was about four weeks, he actually wrote the song in a couple of days.

How many times have you performed ‘Rockabilly Rebel’? (Aurora & Bella)

Wow! That’s a difficult question to answer. I suppose that over the last 30 years
Matchbox must have performed the song well over a thousand times!

These pics were taken at a gig called `BILLY BOB`S` in Euro Disney near Paris, France.

Who made up the band's name? (Ronya)

Hello Ronya.

The band back in the mid 1970`s didn`t have a name, so whilst performing in a local pub they asked the audience what they should be called. Everyone put down their favourite name on a piece of paper and put them into a hat. The first name that was picked out was `Matchbox` (the name of a famous CARL PERKINS song) and that`s how the band got its name.

Carl Perkins, the 'King of Rockabilly'. His most famous song was 'Blue Suede Shoes' that was covered by Elvis Presley and made really famous by Elvis too! In the second photograph Carl and Elvis are signing each other's autographs. Now, that is cool!

Is this your favourite song? (April)

Well April, I suppose that as this song is the most famous one we have recorded it has to be my favourite.

Did you have lessons to learn to play your instruments? (Shannon)

Hi Shannon.

The simple answer to that is no! I learned to play the trumpet at school when I was a little older than you, but the guitar was something I wanted to play, so when I found someone who could play one I asked him to show me how. He showed me a few chords and then I started to teach myself.

How old were you when you started playing this style of music? (Lilli)

Hello Lilli.

I suppose that I was really ancient (about twenty five) when I started playing rockabilly.

How long did it take to become really confident to play in front of a crowd? (Jack)

G`day (again!) Jack.

Well that’s another tough question. I think that when I first started playing it took about a year to have the confidence to perform in public, but even now after over 30 years I still can get nervous before a concert.
The front of a record album (in those days before CD's and downloads) of Matchbox's bestseller, 'Rockabilly Rebel'.

Where have you enjoyed performing the most? (Sydney, Marg & Clancey)

Hi Marge and Clancy,

Wow some of these questions are tough. I suppose the best concerts I have enjoyed most are the open air festivals we have played on, with up to as many as 30 thousand people, but if you mean what country then for me it would have to be FINLAND where the people are very friendly towards Matchbox.

In which countries have you performed? (Class Question)

I`ll have to look at the map to remind myself.

Matchbox have performed all across Europe, Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Finland, Sweden, to name a few, but we have been as far afield as the USA, Canada, Japan, and also not forgetting Australia and down to Tasmania.

In the UK the band are just known as Matchbox, but in Australia you already a band over there called `Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band and later on were called
Matchbox, so I believe that the Australian record company decided to release our records under the name of `Major Matchbox`.

Are your families into rockabilly music? (Arshida)

Hello Arshida.

The answer to that question is no. Most of our children listen to popular music of the day, but don`t ask me to name any of them as I would not have a clue who they were!!

Is it hard work being rock stars? (Connor & Marg)

Well Connor and Marg, being in the music business is always hard work (sometimes you may be travelling to a show for ten of fifteen hours non-stop to arrive and perform for just 1 hour) but the satisfaction you get from performing makes it all worthwhile.

You get to see some really nice places and meet many nice people.

How have you stayed together for so long? (Caitie)

Hello Caitie.

I think the best answer to this is because we all get on with each other, of course we may have arguments from time to time but then we make up and that’s what being friends is all about.

Do you still have fun playing? (Alex)

Hi Alex.

This for me is the best question. Sure, I really do enjoy playing and we all have a great fun time together when we are performing onstage.

Thanks to all you kids for asking these questions. It was a real pleasure to answer you.