1. Name: Bob Matzen
2. AKA - Nickname(s): Big Guy, Matteen, Mr. Volume, The Loudness
3. Band member since: 1979 – I have been there from day one, as we
tasted our first beers in Jeff Strauss’ bedroom crammed in with all our
instruments, amps and drums. Between a few 12 packs we just made a
lot of noise.
4. The primary function I serve in the band is as: I started as the
original bass guitar player in the band. We needed a bass player so I
learned to play by default. After 7 years of banging on the strings, I
decided to retire the bass and leave that instrument for more qualified
people to play. Currently, I handle the front of house mix for the band
and book the gigs for the band.
5. I can also fumble my way through playing: Checkers, golf and the
6. I started playing music when I was: In 4th grade I began playing the
trumpet in the Glenbrook Elementary School Band in Stamford, CT. I took
lessons every Tuesday after school with Mr. Pompa, an immigrant Italian
gentleman with a heavy accent and the patience of a saint who was
classically trained on French horn. Eventually, every other kid on our
street started playing instruments and also took lessons from the same
man. During a summer music program we all joined, we were christened
the “Courtland Hill Street Gang” by Mr. Pompa who decided his patience
ran out when we became too disruptive in the band and would not listen.
That was the only time he ever raised his voice. Did I mention he was a
7. I started playing music because: One Christmas around 3rd grade, I
received a plastic toy trumpet from an elderly white-haired gentleman in a
red suit. I tooted away around the house until I could play a few songs.
After mastering this primitive instrument, I was ready to move on to a
greater challenge and play the real thing.
8. Besides POE, I currently perform and/or have performed in these
other bands: Besides the Glenbrook Elementary School Band, I played
with several lesser-known public school bands including the Stark School
Concert Band, the Dolan Middle School Symphonic Band and the Wickliffe
Junior High School Concert Band. Somewhere along the way I think I may
have also been a member of the International Silver String Submarine
Band… or was that the Little Rascals®?
9. Music is a fun hobby. But in real life: I own a digital media and video
production business, R & B Communications, Inc. We produce television
programs for variety of broadcast and cable networks and many
corporate videos from script to screen. We have worked on programs for
CNN, ABC, NBC, A&E, MTV, QVC, GSN, The Food Network, History Channel,
etc. Ask me about working for the Dr. Phil Show....lol.
10. Outside of performing with the band, I have a life. In my personal
life, I: Live with my son in Willoughby Hills in a house that seems to be
under continuous construction. I am considering producing my own reality
show called “Constant Renovation”.
11. When not performing in a band I like to: Ride my motorcycle, tinker
around the house and travel to interesting destinations in far off places
for both work and play.
12. My thoughts on Pieces of Eight are: After our humble beginnings, I
would never have imagined that the band would still be together after all
these years. 1979 seems like… well, like several decades ago. I am sorry
that Rob Vincent, our original lead guitarist is no longer with us to see
just how long we have kept this band thing going. He was there right
from start as well. Together, we have made friendships for life and will
always have the shared memories that continue to amuse us to this day.
Oh, and we like to drink beer too.
13. My favorite band related saying is: Several come to mind but I
guess I can say that one sums up the entire history of the band during
the 1980s…. In bed barely alive and unable to focus my sight while
holding 2 aspirin in my hand after a long night at Put-In-Bay, I uttered the
phrase “I be survive!” to the rest of band as they inquired about my
condition the following morning. Much laughter ensued at my expense.
Never again has Mr. Jack Daniels reared his ugly head so intensely as
that one morning at Put-In-Bay oh so many years ago… “I be survive!”
14. My favorite memory of being in the band over the years is
probably: Well, there are too many to list all of them. But I recall a
practical joke played on Mr. Butzback, the band’s keyboard player. A very
timely sort of fellow, Mike left his watch on his bed at Put-In-Bay while
taking a shower. Yours truly seized the moment and proceeded to turn it
back exactly one hour. For the rest of the day, Mike was the most relaxed
person you ever wanted to meet since he thought he had all the time in