Jeff Alan Ross
telephone interview conducted on January 3, 2009 with Dan Matovina
transcribed by Tom Brennan, edited by Jeff Alan Ross
posted March 2, 2009
introduction | Early History | Badfinger | The '90s and on | Lock My Feelings In A Jar - the new CD
JEFF ALAN ROSS was initially familiar to me as Elliot Joffrey (his stage name), a member of the 1986-87 touring incarnation of Badfinger. I went to one of their performances in 1986 at the FM Station in North Hollywood CA, just three years after Tom Evans' death. Reluctantly, I must say... as only three years earlier, Tom Evans had committed suicide, which shook me to the core. I made a vow not to listen to Badfinger for a very long time, such that I may enjoy the band’s music down the road, and not associate it too much with the tragedy. I couldn’t resist checking out THIS Badfinger, as I lived only down the road from the venue and had the night off from work.
Pleasantly, I was very impressed. First off, it was great to see Joey Molland and Mike Gibbins (who was there to my surprise). The set was varied, full, dynamic; truly excellent and a nice tribute to the band. What really put it over the top was this Elliot Joffrey (a.k.a. Jeff Alan Ross). Jeff did the lead vocals on all the big Pete Ham songs and Tom Evans' Blind Owl. He even looked a bit like Tom Evans, and though he didn’t sound like Pete Ham (who does?), he was still in his vein with a smooth delivery, perfect pitch, and a real exuberance. Besides, he also was playing keyboards, which was great to fill out the Badfinger sound. After the gig, I returned to my work grind and put all this in the back of my mind... and only saw Badfinger one more time, in 1989, with Jerry Shirley on drums, and Joey Molland singing all of Pete Ham’s songs (except one). It had nowhere near the impact. I only started to listen again to the Badfinger albums in the early '90s, when I started on the Badfinger biography book.
I did interview Elliot (Jeff) in the mid '90s; he had long since left Badfinger. We had a great conversation. As it was, I did not use any of the interview for the book (an editorial choice of mine as to relevance of their story at that time), but I always hoped there would be a continued career for him and an eventual way to promote the gentleman.
A few years ago, Jeff approached me with his cover version of Pete Ham’s Name Of The Game. I was blown away. It is one of the best cover versions of any Badfinger song. Then he hit me up with his new, full-length album featuring the song. I am extremely pleased to let the word out to everyone. Lock My Feelings In A Jar is a stunning album. Every song is of great merit and very much tailored to most Badfinger-ish tastes. It crosses into many styles of melodic music. It's a very matured work in the best vein, not saccharine or syrupy, but tasteful with brilliant musicianship.
Enjoy this interview with Jeff Alan Ross and please check out his new music...
Dan Matovina (February 2009)
part 1: Early History
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