Rob Thomas: My Secret Record

Rob ThomasThe old adage in the music business is that it takes about ten years to find overnight success.

While other Billboard chart toppers stumble over themselves to sign up for reality shows, Rob Thomas brought documentary director Gillian Grisman along for the ride during the making of his solo CD, Something to Be. Many of the reviews I’ve read of the film mark surprise at how sophisticated, friendly, and smart Rob is. That’s no surprise to me and the other folks who met him when he was working so hard to make Matchbox 20 a success.

Although I spend a lot of my time writing about artists who are trying to get from Point A to Point B, I think it would be interesting to glimpse an already successful artist trying to reinvent himself and stay relevant in a business that’s constantly asking, “what’s next?”

The film screened last night in Nashville, and is on the film festival circuit. I’d love to hear reactions from anyone who’s seen the film — check the comments form and tell us what you thought!

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One response

  1. I saw Rob’s documentary during its Nashville premiere last week. As a 30-something who has recently discovered both mb20 and Thomas, I am captivated by his sound, his songwriting, and what I perceive to be a down to earth artist who is just trying to make an honest living at his craft. What I learned from the premiere was that all of this is true…and more. The film clearly portrays Thomas as an artist unwilling to compromise his work or his principles for anyone, not the least of which are his record label execs. Indeed, in one memorable and somewhat uncomfortable segment of the film, Thomas is seen dressing down the record company’s publicist, who, against Thomas’s wishes, had him consent to a GQ interview that — as Thomas had predicted–made him appear to be a total ass. In another scene, Thomas gets noticeably perturbed with his manager for bringing up yet another offer from a corporation to buy rights to his music or use it in the company’s marketing material. But there was plenty of lighthearted frivolity in the film, too, something that I have come to expect even in my brief time following Thomas. An interview with High Times magazine was particularly funny, as were numerous ironies brought to the camera’s attention by a smirking Thomas. All in all, the film provided a better glimpse of the artist, his inner compass, and the foibles of the music biz. Kudos to Thomas for surviving–and even thriving despite of–these.