The music scene in the Fox Valley has suffered a blow with the sudden and unexpected death of a young and accomplished musician.
Oshkosh resident Matthew Golay, 30, died Feb. 5 and his death shocked those who knew him and appreciated his abilities as a songwriter, musician and his management of original music artists.
"He always considered me his best friend and we talked everyday on the phone at least once," said Andy Lubahn, a member of Andy's Automatics, a "rockabilly" country band managed by Golay. "It was incredible how hard he worked to promote music. The Fox Valley is in a little bit of trouble now because there is no one like him out there."
Lubahn said Golay had a huge upside in the music industry and worked to get original artists into venues from taverns to clubs and theater shows. Lubahn said Golay hosted open mic performances in Oshkosh and Neenah where new talent could be showcased.
Golay purchased his first guitar after hocking his baseball card collection to do it, said Jeremy Doemel, who played in a band with Golay for seven years.
"The thing that impressed me about him is he had friends in all sorts of music circles," Doemel said. "I knew guys who played on the jazz scene and knew him. He knew so much about music that he wasn't going to be stuck in one genre."
Golay was also an accomplished musician on the acoustic guitar.
"In the beginning he wanted to be a big rock star, but towards the end he knew that wasn't for him and he turned to being a songwriter. He wanted to get his songs published," Lubahn said. "Not only did I lose one of my best friends, but my band no longer has the guy who was going to take us to the national spotlight. We had a mini tour of Minneapolis set up in a couple of weeks."
Jason Moon, an Oshkosh singer/songwriter, said Golay hadn't yet hit his stride in the music scene. He said Golay had a knack at arranging gigs for musicians after listening to them at open mic sessions.
"He was good at putting musicians into appropriate venues," Moon said. "He was really good at making sure he placed performers well so they would be well received."
Tom Guenther Sr., owner of Big Wave Productions, said Golay was honest and straightforward.
"Matt cared about other people's careers. He was real concerned about helping others," Guenther said.
The Oshkosh Northwestern - February 12, 2005
Doug Zellmer: (920) 426-6667