am gone from this world, but you will find me in my songs."
Gerald Masters (1955 - 2007)
True to his
words, Gerald left us a grand artistic legacy of music, song, and
Gerald’s story of
music—his vocation and passion—began when he was a student at the
Royal Academy of Music (RAM). He studied classical piano, violin and
composition. A prodigious talent, he won the Pernod Composition
Award and gained an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Trinity
College of Music.
Gerald continued to pursue classical training at RAM, but he became
deeply captivated by the joy of writing and performing rock and
roll. His self-described turning point toward a career in the pop
rock genre arrived when he won the British Songwriter's Guild
Competition. He was rewarded with a publishing contract with ATV
Music (most famous for possessing the publishing rights to the
Beatles song catalog) and a record contract with PYE Records.
With his first recording venture on the PYE label, Gerald and his
band mates, Nick Walpole and Chris Hudman, formed the group Flashman
and released an album for PYE. Gerald succeeded this effort the
following year, with a solo album entitled Purgatory & Paradise.
Following the release of these two albums and four singles with PYE,
Gerald signed with New York based Handshake Records and released his
most critically acclaimed album Gerald Masters.
Gerald successfully broadened his compositional skills by writing
production music for TV and radio, most notably penning the
Handful of Smarties campaign in the UK. During this time, Gerald
also had the opportunity to become a keyboardist and backing
vocalist for the Rubettes. Gerald toured with the band in Europe
(including the Eastern Bloc), performing Sugar Baby Love and
other Rubette fan favorites.
Following a fourth album release in 1983, Gerald continued what
would become his lifelong passion for writing songs. Additionally,
he focused more of his time into collaborating with and producing
In 1985 Gerald realized his compositional works were being lost in
the acquisition and ownership transition related to the Michael
Jackson purchase of the ATV Music Publishing company, which Jackson
sought in order to obtain Northern Songs music publishing, and (with
it) control of the Beatles song catalog. Shortly thereafter, Gerald
After an intense
competition for Gerald’s talents, he signed a publishing and
management contract with Island Music. Gerald’s songwriting and
production collaborations flourished while he was with Island, and
he had the opportunity to work with other famed artists like Andy
Gibb, Neville Staple (The Specials) and The Equators.
Gerald’s signing with
Island Music also solidified a dynamic and creative collaboration
with fellow producer and songwriter, Terry Barham. Gerald and Terry
teamed up with guitarist Mick Butler and vocalist Tracey Preece,
forming the first incarnation of Rescue Party. The band thrived
creatively, writing and recording over 40 songs from 1986-1990.
In 1994, Gerald
returned to songwriting, after a musical hiatus and a return to
classical composition (his first since completing his studies at the
Royal Academy). He signed with music publisher Bucks Music. Soon
thereafter, he began collaborating with the well-respected guitarist
Aziz Ibrahim (Simply Red and The Stone Roses), and keyboardist Paul
Beard (James Blunt and Robbie Williams).
In 1999, Gerald began working with Gareth Rhys Jones, pitching songs
for Warner Bros. From there Gerald and Gareth went on to write and
produce many songs together. The pair would eventually become the
second incarnation of Rescue Party. Their creative collaboration of
writing and production culminated with what Gerald described as “the
most complete and important work of my [Gerald’s] career,"
Imaginary America. This thematic album was released in 2006, and
is a musical journey through America “as seen from the outside.“
Throughout his musical
career, Gerald was a teacher, sharing his vast knowledge and passion
for music. He shepherded a number of young talents into the Royal
Academy of Music and other respected universities. Among others,
Gerald taught and mentored his creative partner and protégé, Gareth
Rhys Jones, keyboardist Paul Beard and studio engineer Myles Clarke.
On February 5, 2007, teacher, mentor, musician, singer, songwriter,
recording artist and producer GERALD MASTERS passed from this world,
leaving us all a huge gift of song and music to enjoy and remember