"I 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 inspiration.

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 other artists.

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 left ATV.  

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 him by.

Biography: Fabian Fernandez