Josh Clayton-Felt

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Josh Clayton-Felt
Birth name Josh Clayton
Born (1967-05-18)May 18, 1967
Died January 19, 2000(2000-01-19) (aged 32)
Genres Alternative rock
Occupation(s) Musician, producer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard
Years active 1990–2000
Labels Capitol, A&M, Dreamworks, Talking Cloud
Associated acts School of Fish

Josh Clayton-Felt (May 18, 1967 – January 19, 2000) was an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He co-founded the alternative rock band School of Fish and later embarked on a solo career.


Early years[edit]

Clayton-Felt was one of two children along with his sister Laura born to Marilyn and John Clayton.[1] His parents later divorced and his mother would eventually remarry Henry Felt, a folk musician who exposed Clayton-Felt to the works of Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger.[1] He grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and attended high school at the Cambridge School of Weston. He later enrolled at Brown University.

School of Fish[edit]

Clayton-Felt moved to Los Angeles after leaving Brown to form The Boon with fellow CSW-alumni Andras Jones. During this time he worked for acclaimed comedy director Robert B. Weide in 1987 as an informal office assistant during the production of Swear to Tell the Truth. He also worked at the Tower Records store on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Josh Clayton-Felt and Michael Ward founded the band School of Fish that went on to be highly successful in America in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s.

Solo career[edit]

After the breakup of School of Fish, Clayton-Felt released an album independently in 1994, and landed a deal with A&M Records in 1996. His album, Inarticulate Nature Boy, was released in February 1996.[2] It scored airplay on college radio, and led to tours with Tori Amos and Del Amitri.[3] The record did not sell well and Clayton-Felt was dropped; he had been writing a follow-up record, to be titled Center of Six, which he continued to work on in 1998 and 1999 with session drummer Steve Scully.

In December 1999, while still writing for the album, Clayton-Felt was diagnosed with choriocarcinoma,[1] a rare form of a particularly aggressive testicular cancer[4] with the worst prognosis of all germ-cell cancers.[5] He died a month later at the age of 32.[1] Robert B. Weide delivered the eulogy at Clayton-Felt's funeral, in early 2000.[1]


In 2002, Dreamworks Records released a collection of songs from the unfinished Center of Six sessions[2] under the name Spirit Touches Ground.[6] Talking Cloud Records released an album of additional unreleased material under the Center of Six name (including the title track) in 2003.[7]


Studio albums
Year Album details
1996 Inarticulate Nature Boy
1999 Beautiful Nowhere
  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Talking Cloud Records
2002 Spirit Touches Ground
2003 Center of Six
(Josh Clayton-Felt & Friends)
  • Released: May 6, 2003
  • Label: Talking Cloud Records
Live Albums
Year Album details
1997 ...Felt Like Making a Live Record
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Self-released
Year Album details
2013 The Spirit Shines Through
(Various Artists)
  • Released: 2013
  • Label: Talking Cloud Records
Promotional Singles
Year Single Album
1995 "Soon Enough" Inarticulate Nature Boy
2002 "Building Atlantis" Spirit Touches Ground

With School of Fish[edit]

Year Album details
1991 School of Fish
  • Released: April 1, 1991
  • Label: Capitol
1993 Human Cannonball

As composer or session musician[edit]

Year Subject Collaborator Comment
1996 "Barely Dressed" / "Starfish Girl" Twig drums
1997 11 Transistor Lazlo Bane co-writer of the song "Prada Wallet"
1998 Spirit Jewel electric guitar
2000 Haunted Poe co-writer of the song "5&½ Minute Hallway"


  1. ^ a b c d e Strauss, Neil (January 31, 2000). "Josh Clayton-Felt, 32, Guitarist And Rock Singer and Songwriter". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Flick, Larry (March 9, 2002). "Sibling Carries On Clayton-Felt Legacy". Billboard. p. 14. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  3. ^ Seigal, Buddy (July 11, 1996). "Articulate in His Own Vernacular". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ Cuomo, Chris (February 12, 2002). "Musician Josh Clayton-Felt's Last Album". ABC News. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 
  5. ^ Verville, Kathleen M. (2009). Testicular Cancer. Infobase Publishing. p. 76. ISBN 9781604131666. 
  6. ^ Schabe, Patrick (April 22, 2002). "Josh Clayton-Felt: Spirit Touches Ground". PopMatters. Retrieved July 6, 2013. 
  7. ^ Schabe, Patrick (July 8, 2003). "Josh Clayton-Felt and Friends: Center of Six". PopMatters. Retrieved July 12, 2013. 

External links[edit]