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|Origin||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, jam rock|
|Associated acts||Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, The Break and Repair Method|
|Past members||Rob Thomas
Tabitha's Secret was a band formed in March 1993 in Orlando, Florida. It was originally composed of lead vocalist Rob Thomas, John Goff and Jay Stanley on guitar, Brian Yale on bass (Colin Christan was the original bass player), and Chris Smith playing drums. In September 1993, Paul Doucette joined the band as a second percussionist, only to replace Chris Smith entirely a year later. Some of the band's most popular songs were "And Around", "Dear Joan", "Unkind", "Forever December", "Paint Me Blue", and "3 A.M."
In 1995 the band interviewed several managers and selected Kevin O'Malley, then manager of Spider Monkey, a regional band enjoying a great deal of success at the time, to represent them. O'Malley immediately connected the band with a publicist, agent Chris Tanner out of Nashville and several record company reps including Kim Stephens, a promotions and A&R rep for Atlantic Records. Kim Stephens brought the band's demo to Jason Flom, then President of Atlantic's Lava sub-label. O'Malley arranged a showcase at Potbelly's in Tallahassee, FL and Flom was sold on the band's material, which included the future hit 3AM. Kevin O'Malley's brother John, Jay Stanley and John Goff financed a new recording session in Atlanta which yielded recordings of new material (the songs Tired, and Swing) as well as refreshed versions of Forever December and 3AM.
Also that year, songwriter/producer and representative for Atlantic Records, Matt Serletic, approached the members of Tabitha's Secret concerning a long-term record deal with his production company, Melisma, which neither Jay Stanley nor John Goff were interested in, believing that it would be better to sign an album deal directly with the label and not with Serletic's company. However, Serletic pressed on with his desire to sign the band. It is commonly believed that Serletic was more interested in helping Thomas find his voice than he was in the band Tabitha's Secret. In spite of objections from Stanley, Rob Thomas decided to take the offer.
Stanley and Goff's refusal to sign a long-term production contract, along with alleged pressure from the record company to drop the two guitar players, convinced Thomas to leave the band and take the deal for himself. Stanley continued to operate Tabitha's Secret as a business, however, Goff signed over his interest in the Tabitha's Secret business to Stanley in 1998 and started his own company, separate from Stanley.
Serletic's own personal manager and accountant were installed to handle Thomas's affairs. Shortly after, Thomas, Yale, and Doucette signed a seven-record deal with Atlantic Records. Atlantic Records introduced the trio to two guitarists: Adam Gaynor (Serletic knew Adam from his time at Criterion Studios in South Florida with Collective Soul) and Kyle Cook (Serletic grew up two houses from Cook in Stone Mountain, Georgia). With Cook on lead guitar and Gaynor on rhythm guitar, the five formed the well-known band Matchbox Twenty.
In 1997, guitarists Jay Stanley and John Goff filed a lawsuit against three members of Matchbox 20, singer Rob Thomas, drummer Paul Doucette and bassist Brian Yale, along with producer Matt Serletic and attorney David Mantel. The lawsuit alleged that Serletic approached the band about a long term agreement and the production of a self-title/self-published EP, which included the track "3 A.M.," and then agreed to represent that band to Atlantic Records. No recording contract was obtained, and Thomas, Doucette and Yale later left the band to form Matchbox 20. The track "3 A.M." was later published on Matchbox 20's debut album Yourself Or Someone Like You. Stanley and Goff sued Matchbox Twenty claiming fiduciary breach of contract and sued Serletic and his attorney for tortious interference. This lawsuit lasted three years and was settled out of court in 2000.
The first recording released by Tabitha's Secret was a self-titled and self-published EP featuring the name "Tabitha's Secret?" and original artwork by Perry Souza.
The first post-breakup Tabitha's Secret album was entitled "Don't Play With Matches" (a thinly-veiled reference to Stanley's ex-bandmates), released in 1998.
The next recording, in 2000, was entitled Live, and features recordings from Tabitha's Secret's shows.
In 2001, Jay Stanley joined with Tony Miceli and George Spatta to re-mix, re-master and overdub the original recordings from the self-titled EP, much to Thomas's disapproval. Unfortunately for Thomas, the laws in the US state that any audio recording may be released providing the songwriter is provided royalties. Therefore, as long as Thomas receives payment as a contributor he has no legal standing to stop the release. Thomas has been quoted as saying he is angry that Stanley is making a living from his past.
Recently, Jay Stanley has begun to release new Tabitha's Secret material, entitled the "Vault". Currently, three releases are available, Vault(s) 1, 2 and 3.
- Rob Thomas – lead vocals (March 1993 – 1995)
- John Goff – guitar, backing vocals (March 1993 – 1995)
- John "Jay" Stanley – guitar, backing vocals (March 1993 – 1995)
- Brian Yale – bass guitar (March 1993 – 1995)
- Paul Doucette – drums, percussion (September 1993 – 1995)
- Chris Smith – drums, percussion (March 1993–September 1994)
- Colin Crisman – bass guitar (March 1993)
- Mike Pilarski – instrument tech, roadie (March 1993 – 1995)
- Matt Serletic – songwriter, producer, representative (1995)
- Kevin O'Malley - personal manager (1995)
- Chris Tanner - booking agent (1995)
- Don't Play with Matches (1997)
- Live (1999)
- Tabitha's Secret? (2001)
- The Vault Vol.1 (2007)
- The Vault Vol.2 (2007)
- The Vault Vol.3: The Covers (2007)