Musicians say goodbye to Golay with benefit concert
"We sing our songs and stay in time
We stay in tune and try to rhyme
What will come next we will try to find
The words to fit inside that one last line"
The above lyrics come form Matt Golay's song "The Last Song," fit the spirit that will bring at least nine bands together at the Algoma Club to honor their friend and fellow performer who died Feb. 5 of a heart defect known as a myocardial bridge at the age of 30.
A Tribute to Matt Golay will begin at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Algoma Club, 107 Algoma Blvd., and features bands Golay promoted, played with and befriended as he sought to develop and expand the live music scene in Oshkosh and northeast Wisconsin.
Local goups like Andy's Automatics, the Wandering Sons, Copperbox, Rob Anthony and Verona Grove are asking for a $5 donation at the door to raise money for the Golay family to pay for funeral costs and for MusiCares, a charity to help musicians when faced with financial or health care needs.
Andy Lubahn, the frontman for Andy's Automatics, said performers who knew Golay didn't even need to think about whether or not to organize the tribute concert. Lubahn said Golay was a close friend of the Automatics, and the person who first encouraged him to play the guitar before an audience and.
"We thought something had to happen," Lubahn said. "Knowing that Matt was uninsured, his parents had spent a lot of money trying to help him out."
Wandering Sons guitarist and singer Cory Chisel said a lot of musicians and performers in the area have struggled with Golay's passing and said his presence within the music community in Oshkosh cannot be overstated.
"The military has their way of saying goodbye and for us, this is how we open doors and it's how we close them," Chisel said. "I definitely feel like there's something missing and I hope this helps punctuate the events of his passing. A lot of us won't think it's over until we can put a song behind it."
Drummer Mark Powers will perform with several bands that night including the Wandering Sons, the Automatics and the Great Garbonzos and said the tribute concert will do little to match Golay's contributions to Oshkosh's live music community.
"He contributed so much to the scene from being a band leader to being a booking agent to just being a friend," Powers said. "He touched a lot of peoples' lives."
Chisel said Golay made a lot of great things happen for local groups, including the Automatics and the Wandering Sons, and that the benefit is something Golay would be proud to see happen.
"He wanted to help as many people as he could as he was rising to the top," he said. "He had a lot of new songs, he had a new record he was excited to start making. It's just hard to think those songs were taken with him."
Lubahn said the community should be proud of the outpouring of volunteer support for the event. He said the benefit will be one to remember.
"Being a local musician and loving local music, this is going to be one of the biggest events for years to come around here," he said. "In my mind, you've got the best original bands in the Fox Valley performing at this thing."
The Oshkosh Northwestern - April 9th, 2005
Jeff Bollier: (920) 426-6688