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Kevin Gilbert
Born November 20, 1966(1966-11-20)
Sacramento, California
Died May 17, 1996 (aged 29)
Los Angeles, California
Genres Progressive rock, industrial rock, pop/rock
Instruments Vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, drums
Years active 1983-1996

Kevin Matthew Gilbert (November 20, 1966 - May 17, 1996) was an American songwriter, musician, composer, producer and collaborator born in Sacramento, California and lived in San Mateo, California through high school. He died at age 29 in Los Angeles from apparent autoerotic asphyxiation.[1]



Kevin Gilbert was an accomplished composer, singer and instrumentalist who played trumpet, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar and drums. His talents also extended to producer. He toured with Eddie Money before winning the 1988 Yamaha SOUNDCHECK International Rock Music Competition with his progressive rock group Giraffe.[2] Producer Patrick Leonard was impressed with Gilbert's performance at the competition and invited him to join him in forming a new band which became Toy Matinee. During this time, Gilbert worked on the projects of several established pop musicians, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Keith Emerson, acting as producer for the latter's album Changing States.

The lone Toy Matinee album (eponymously named) was released in 1990 but effectively shelved by the record company, so Gilbert assembled a new backing band to promote it, eventually getting two successful singles released: "The Ballad of Jenny Ledge" and "Last Plane Out".

Later, Gilbert was part of the songwriting collective "The Tuesday Music Club" that met at producer Bill Bottrell's studio in Pasadena, California.[3] After he began bringing his then-girlfriend Sheryl Crow to the sessions, the result was Crow's debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Gilbert co-wrote many of the songs on that album, including 1995 Grammy Record of the Year "All I Wanna Do". Crow later acrimoniously split with most of the musicians in the collective and only producer Bottrell and drummer Brian MacLeod were involved in her follow-up album. Meanwhile the remainder of the collective worked with singer-songwriters Susanna Hoffs and Linda Perry on two more albums.

Cover to the album Thud

Gilbert continued to work in television and movie soundtrack work as well as studio work and producing and eventually released his first solo album Thud (1995) as well as partially reforming Giraffe to perform the Genesis piece The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway at Progfest '94. Gilbert's manager sent a copy of the recording to Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford who were searching for a new Genesis front man to replace Phil Collins. His manager, Jon Rubin, had come to Gilbert's home to tell him that he had managed to get him an audition and discovered his dead body.

Since Gilbert's death, a live album titled Kevin Gilbert & Thud - Live at the Troubadour (comprised primarily of songs from Thud) and a compilation of Giraffe material that Gilbert had been working on were both released in 1999.

Gilbert's second solo album, The Shaming of the True, (2000) was also released posthumously. The album was largely incomplete, but Gilbert's estate asked Spock's Beard drummer and close friend of Gilbert's, Nick D'Virgilio, to complete it based on the extant tapes and the album planning notes Gilbert left. Following this, an "industrial" album of music performed by Gilbert's group, Kaviar, was released in 2002.

In November 2002 Nick D'Virgilio headlined Progwest in Claremont, CA and played the entire The Shaming of the True album live.

In October 2009 three new works were released; Nuts and Bolts (collectively a body of mostly unreleased songs and mixes, released as two individual CD albums) and Welcome to Joytown - Thud: Live at The Troubadour, a DVD/CD double-pack which expanded on the original 1999 release.

His estate has furthermore promised a release of a live performance from Gilbert's promotional group for Toy Matinee, and it was made available on March 10, 2010.



  1. ^ Joel Selvin (September 15, 1996). "More Than 'The Piano Player'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  2. ^ Jay Graboski (December 2003). "OHO MACH III". Retrieved 2007-07-25. "The big winner was Kevin Gilbert, fronting his band, Giraffe." 
  3. ^ Richard Sine (August 1, 1996). "All Rocked Out". Metro Silicon Valley. Retrieved 2007-07-26. 
  4. ^ "Kevin Gilbert at Pop Plus One". Retrieved 2010-03-03. 

External links



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