Band members Related acts
- Ron Matelic - vocals, guitar (1976)
- John Medvescek - drums (1976)
- Marsha Rollings - vocals (1976)
- Glenn Weaver - vocals, guitar, bass (1976)
- J. Rider
- Sir Winston and the Commons (Ron Matelic and John
Rating: ***** (5 stars)
Company: A Major Label
Year: 1981 reissue (no booklet)
Country/State: Indianapolis, Indiana
Grade (cover/record): NM/NM
Comments: still sealed
GEMM catalog ID:
Okay, with all the hype surrounding this one, you can't blame me for being highly skeptical, though I'll readily admit that my doubts were completely misplaced !!! When I first got this I taped it and played it nearly non-stop for two weeks.
There isn't a lot of documented material on this outfit, but piecing together what you can find, provides the following plotline. Living in Indianapolis, singer/guitarist Ron Matelic and drummer John Medvescek were members of the mid-1960s garage band Sir Winston and the Commons. Following the band's collapse they continued to play, though mostly for fun, rather than profit. By the mid-1970s Matelic and Medvescek were pretty much out of music, though the continued to play together on weekends. They also recruited a pair of friends in the form of singer Marsha Rollings and guitarist/bass player Glenn Weaver to participate in those weekend jam sessions.
In 1976 the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based A Major Label supposedly offered Matelic a solo recording contract. Matelic accepted the offer, but insisted on bringing along his friends, ultimately electing to release the resulting material under the name 'Anonymous'
Now in the interests of honesty, be aware that this is a 1981 pressing. The songs are the same, but it features different cover art (the black and white cover drawing was the back cover on the original pressing) and you won't find the original title "Inside the Shadow" anywhere on the set. The 1976 original is hyper rare (depending which reference you believe, either 300 or 500 copies were pressed and at least some of them are apparently pressed slightly off center); the 1981 reissue is only rare.
Alright, on to the music. Produced by Jim Spencer, "Inside the Shadow" is one of those album that would have been a massive commercial hit with support from a major label and a bit of exposure. Even though it was recorded in the mid-1970s, tracks such as 'Who's Been Fooling?', 'Pick Up and Run' and '' sport a distinctive 1960s West Coast vibe. That's not meant as a slam, since every one of the eight tracks avoids the excesses that plagued so much of the genre. Propelled by lead singer Marsha Rollings' growling voice, the album's full of great melodies, wonderful guitars (courtesy of Matelic and Glenn Weaver), and a sense of fun and enthusiasm that most major label bands would kill for. I almost feel stupid saying this, but every time I play this album I start thinking about bands such as The Byrds (e.g. the jangle guitars that kick 'J. Rider' along), The Jefferson Airplane (Rollings' performance on the lead off rocker 'Who's Been Fooling?') and Quicksilver Messenger Service (the John Cipollina-styled guitar runs scattered throughout the set). On a couple of other tracks, notably 'Up To You' and 'Shadow Lay", Rollings and company actually sound a little bit like Buckingham-Nicks era Fleetwood Mac (again, that's meant as a compliment). I simply can't lavish enough praise on this set ... of the 35,000 albums I own, it's one of perhaps 50 that I would give a five star rating to. Do yourself a favor and buy a copy!
"Anonymous" track listing:
1.) Who's Been Fooling?
2.) J. Rider
3.) Up To You
4.) Shadow Lay
2.) We Got More
3.) Sweet Lilac
4.) Baby Come Risin'
For those of you who want to know even more about this outfit, be sure to read the extensive review on the Acid Archives website (including a detailed description of the different pressings):
The group apparently didn't have any plans to tour, but following the album's release Matelic, Medvescek and Rollings changed their minds. Bassist Weaver wasn't interested in touring and was quickly replaced by Greg Reynolds. The lineup was further expanded with the addition of Justin Garriot on guitar. When Garriot subsequently quit, the survivors decided on a new name - 'J. Rider' (one of the songs on the original Anonymous album).
Back to Bad Cat homepage/search