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Open Letter to Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.

Rob Thomas

Matchbox Twenty

Matchbox Twenty

MB20 ... Matchbox 20 ... Rob Thomas!

To Rob Thomas; My favorite rockin' fellow Orlandian! I can't begin to tell you how much impact you've had on my life. Your music with the magnificent Matchbox 20 and as a solo artist makes Sunshine's heart happy.

I was introduced to your music about 12 years ago by my husband. I hesitated because he was also a fan of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I wasn't and I'm still not. Since I have a diverse love of music I said, "Sure, why not, bring on MB20."

The first song I heard was Real World. Wow, that song blew me away! By the time the Yourself, or Someone Like You (1996) album was over I had a headache, but in a good way. Yes, I was doing a lot of headbanging. I immediately bought your second album Mad Season.

I became madly in love with Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas. I still am. I always will be.

Matchbox Twenty

Matchbox 20

Matchbox 20

Matchbox Twenty Greatest Hits

  1. Push
  2. 3 A.M.
  3. Real World
  4. Back 2 Good
  5. Bent
  6. If You're Gone
  7. Mad Season
  8. Last Beautiful Girl
  9. Disease
  10. Unwell
  11. Bright Lights

Rob Thomas goes solo

I understood that you needed a break and wanted to try out a solo career in 2006. I wasn't thrilled about your decision and neither was the band. A couple of catfights broke out with band members, but it was your life to do as you see fit. You garnished a few hits going solo, unlike other artists who break free from a band. You were a success. Even though you were on hiatus from Matchbox you still toured with them in between your two solo albums. In 2010 you announced that Matchbox will be coming out with a fifth album! YAY! Sunshine was elated!

Oh how I missed me some MB20 music and you were bringing it back for your fans. The word on the street was that the album will be out in 2011, it wasn't. Early 2012 was the latest announcement. I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival.

Those of us with inquisitive minds wonder about the origins of names. So I set out in search of MB20's and my discovery was both unique and interesting. Both you and Paul Douchette (rhythm guitar, vocals) were waiting tables in a restaurant. A customer was wearing a shirt with the number twenty covered in patches. Paul could only make out the name matchbox on the shirt. The name of your band was born. Matchbox 20. Now what if this customer was wearing a shirt with the number 13 and you were both working at TGI Friday's? Your band could have been named Friday the 13th. I'm glad you chose the name you did. The first band you were a member of was Tabitha's Secret. They weren't a smashing success like MB20. We all have to start somewhere.

It looks like you have a birthday coming up soon! A Valentine birthday! February 14th, 1972. You have a heart of gold and your birth date is perfect for you. My dad and brother also share that birth date. Not only are you a superstar singer and songwriter, but you have many causes you and your wife Marisol support. Your love and devotion for animals is heartwarming. You both also started the foundation Sidewalk Angels to help needy fellow citizens get back on their feet and animals who are abused. This is a non-profit organization. I commend you for making a difference in the world. If we could all just take a few moments each day to make one small difference this planet would be a more pleasant place to live. Just a thought.

You were born in Germany and traveled often due to being an army brat, but you consider Orlando your home! YAY! Even though you now live in NY, I still consider you an Orlandian! I was born and bred in NY but consider FL home. I'm thankful and I know you are thankful for Russ and Bo from 104.1 Real Radio of Orlando. They gave you your big break and played your tunes for the very first time in 1995. Thank you Russ and Bo! You both rock!

Sidewalk Angels Foundation

Matchbox Twenty, my favorite concert

I've been to many concerts, but Matchbox 20 was and still is my favorite. Chances are it will always be. It's not because we were given free tickets by the record label either. It was because you along with MB20 were brilliant! The fans were on their feet the entire time, heck no one wanted to sit down. We wanted to jump up and down just like you were doing on stage! I wanted to be on that stage with you! Thank you for that memorable memory for my husband and I.

Whether your music is playing on pop, easy listening or alternative radio stations I'm jamming along with you. Whether I am in the car or strolling an aisle of the grocery store Sunshine is singing and possibly dancing. Do I care who sees me, heck no! Life is too short to worry about small things like that. It's all about enjoying the moment.

I'm wishing Marisol good health with her rare autoimmune disorder. Your video of Her Diamonds that you wrote and dedicated to her was very inspiring to others. The video brought your fans to tears. When someone we love is hurting it breaks our heart. We want to make everything better and it's painful when we can't. You and Marisol are both blessed to have each other. Married since 1999, I'm wishing you many more years of wedded bliss.

You rightfully deserved the Grammy's you won and if it was up to me you'd have lots more! You and I are both fans of the Huffington Post! As a matter of fact it was you who turned me onto them! My articles made their way to Huff a couple of times, that was exciting. Feel free to share this tribute with them if you want.

I recall a Huff article I once read where you said you supported same sex marriages. Kudos to you for being open-minded! You actually listening to other's points of view is another reason why you have millions of fans on Twitter! Your tweets on Twitter are sincere and meaningful. You aren't a drama celebrity, you are the real deal. Your fans aren't just fans, they are like family to you, which we appreciate. This is why YOU Rob Thomas will always be held in the highest regard. Now if you could put the pedal to the medal for Matchbox 20's newest album I would greatly appreciate it. I love me some MB20 and need more asap! Thank you for the memories and for being you! Rock on' Robert Kelly Thomas!

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© 2012 Linda Bilyeu


Delynna gregoire on October 16, 2020:

Rob thomas could sing the phone book and i would love it!! Just sayin

JeannieG on December 17, 2013:

I'm sorry, but that's FAR from my "point of view". It is FACT. Fact that is available on many websites, FACT that is stated loudly by Rob Thomas and the other band members, on video, every single time someone says anything remotely close. It annoys them to see stuff like this.

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on October 22, 2013:

Thank you Jeannie for sharing your point of view.

JeannieG on October 21, 2013:

I'm so sorry. I just can't go without correcting some of this for fear that others will believe this is all true.

MB20 NEVER broke up. It did NOT "get ugly". They have been and are still friends. Friends that decided that they would go off, get married, raise a family, and get back together when they had material and wanted to make an album. NONE of them (read that as NONE OF THEM) had issue with Rob making a solo album during that time. MB20 STILL performed concerts during that time. They were NOT broken up at any point since they joined together. They STILL continue. They did NOT just get back together after it was "ugly". They CHOSE to not make a new album for a bit, tour once in a while, and do solo projects on the side. Rob's was not the only solo project, it's just the most popular and famous one. MB20 will again go their own ways, Rob will make another new solo album in 2014 (possibly 2015) and then MB20 will tour again to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. Rob's solo albums were great, and your comment that he "had a couple hits but it wasn't the same" is NOT true, and it's NOT the reason they are now "back together". Do NOT tell people (and I quote verbatim here ) "Hi Rich, I was bummed when Rob went solo. It wasn't a good time for MB20. It got ugly. He did good with a couple of hits, but it just wasn't the same at all. They now have a new CD coming out and groupies everywhere are thrilled!" It is NOT true. At all.

Also, Rob is not an "army brat" that did a lot of traveling because of that. He was born on a military base in Germany. The rest of the story is rather personal, but it IS out there anyway.

So, if you wondered why Rob didn't recommend this to the Huffington Post, now you know.

Honestly, I apologize if I came across rudely. But please don't say such things that you TRULY know nothing about. To suggest, in your opening, that Rob was "struggling to break free of the band" and that the band wasn't thrilled with him is just FLAT OUT FALSE. To say there were "catfights" is not only false, but RUDE.

BTW, "Tabitha's Secret" had the same members as MB20. They just left two behind when they didn't like the deal that was offered to them. Rob liked it, took it and took the other members with and renamed themselves Matchbox 20. (Now officially spelled out as "Twenty").

So, Sunshine, I'm sure you are a wonderful person. Any fan of Rob's has to be! But there are places out there to learn their real story. I'm not sure where you got the whole fighting band/breaking up story, but PLEASE don't spread it any more. It's one of the questions that drives Rob nuts, and he always tries to set the record straight. Matchbox Twenty has been together since day one, they are all free to make solo albums with the best wishes of other band members, and they will always get back together and tour and even make a few more albums. Start looking forward to Rob's next solo in the next year or two, and look forward to the 20th anniversary of the release of their first album in 2016. Trust me, look forward to it.

Michelle Dee from Charlotte, NC on September 04, 2013:

I do love me some Rob Thomas. He has a unique style and can sing! I love to watch him perform. He was really great in that Santana video (can't think of the name right now).

Ayres on July 26, 2013:

Γεια,your articles very heflupl to me, let me copy your articles in my blog don't worry I give your link in my blog and I hope you can be my partner

Dana Strang from Ohio on June 25, 2013:

I am a HUGE fan.... I would love to ask him how he managed to crawl into my brain and put my thoughts into songs, It's creepy. And I really think I should be getting royalties.... seeing MB20 in concert tomorrow. yay!

Linda Bilyeu (author) from Orlando, FL on June 21, 2013:

Wow Marcia! Thank you for sharing your story! Rob's mom had every reason to be concerned, but he didn't allow Hollywood to get to his head. Rob is still the humble, down to earth guy that he was sitting in that restaurant that evening. His family first, then music. Rob is awesome! Congrats on your two children to love and cherish :)

Marcia on June 21, 2013:

Over ten years ago, I was at a bar in Tallahassee, FL with a girlfriend.... I had broken up with my boyfriend and was trying to forget my sorrows after a Florida State Seminole game and graduation. Lots of people celebrating and my girlfriend notice a family staring at us. One of the women came up and told me she thought I was pretty and seemed like a good person, this was a long time ago so do not quote me on the details, but she gave me a CD that was obviously a "burnt CD" not official and said her son was going to be famous, she was worried about his soon to be hollywood life and thought I looked kind and real, she also gave me her number and address on a napkin in orlando if I remember seemed crazy, i threw the napkin away and my girlfriend kept the CD, a couple of weeks later, she called me at work and said turn on your radio. It was the same song on the CD she had given to me. True story. I love that band and I still love his music without it being Matchbox 20 and not because of that night, but because they truly rock and I love his lyrics and I can relate to this day to all that his songs express and embrace. That is the short version of that night, but they were exceptional and beautiful REAL people that only wanted the best for their son/brother. I now can relate to that having two children of my own.