In January 2000 BtP ran a very well-received series of articles about the supposed Lost Matthew Fisher album: pseudonymous 'evidence' was refuted by research, and a confession that the evidence was spurious was followed by a message from the real 'Clayton' himself, to whom we also spoke on the telephone; a Doubting Thomas codicil followed. There the matter would have rested, had we not received the following message from Gordon Cox ...
I have read the fascinating pages covering this long running saga of this guy with the numerous identities, and some are still confused. So, with this in mind I thought I would add my twopenny-worth for what it's worth.
I have recently been putting together all the relevant material from numerous scrap books onto my hard drive. This covers all record reviews, photographs, record releases etc.all about this Matthew Ellis / Obie Clayton / Michael Cox person, But, I'm sorry, there is no connection with Matthew Fisher.
However, it makes fascinating reading even after thirty years. When, in 1971, he was asked by EMI Records what influenced his music he replied as follows:
"Influences? I suppose I am bound to be compared with Elton John, but I like to think I am more self contained - there's no Bernie Taupin involved. I think I would put Elton in brackets as an influence, but the main ones are Bach, James Taylor and Eric Clapton. As a lyric writer I admire Procol's Keith Reid most."
I think I should add one other little snippet of information for you out there who have listened to Obie's Blues for Beginners. Imagine the scene ... a dimly-lit bar ... a guy singing his heart out ... an unlit cigarette ... someone strikes a match ... and then puffs it out !!
All clever stuff. Not many people know that.
And how do I know all this?
I am the one that bought him his first guitar at the age of fourteen.