Talented singer/songwriter David John Matthews (1967- ) was born on this day in Johannesburg, South Africa. His father was a physicist and his mother, an architect. The story goes that his mom listened to Vivaldi when Dave was in the womb.
Matthews grew up amid apartheid and revolution. "We were brought up, very aggressively, that bigotry and racism are evil things, and they stem from fear," he said.
Inspired by the Beatles and Bob Marley, Matthews moved to the U.S. as a teen. He was a bartender in Virginia when he formed his popular band in 1991 (Carter Beauford on drums, Stefan Lessard on bass, Boyd Tinsley on violin, and Leroi Moore on saxophone).
"Our music is written to be clear and simple," explained Matthews. "It's pop music with a pretty positive message. I hope it's accessible to everyone."
With an irresistible sound of joyous abandon, the Dave Matthews Band built a reputation as a live band, with marathon tours which break records and music that celebrates a unique mix of jazz, reggae, pop, and rock. Together, they are dynamic and tight.
"Maybe I'm crazy, but laughing out loud makes the pain pass by," sang Matthews in Spoon. Rolling Stone magazine described his voice as "vulnerable and expressive." The band has successfully sold out large venues. In 2003, they played an historic concert for 85,000 fans at New York's Central Park.
"The wonder of life is amplified by the fact that it ends," he once said.
Matthews continues to celebrate life with his music, either with his band or as a solo act. "Find your inspiration, it's deep inside you," he advised in True Reflections, "amend your situation, your whole life's ahead of you."
More ROCK & ROLL Quotations | Song: Crash Into Me
In the dark, something bright glows.