Rob Thomas Goes to Nashville, Takes on Record Label

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Rob Thomas playing Jazz at Lincoln Center last year. Photo: Getty Images


Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas debuted My Secret Record — a documentary account of his battles with Atlantic Records bosses while recording his 2005 smash solo release, Something to Be — at the Nashville Film Festival last night, and we learned a few things from it. Another solo effort should come out within a few years, Matchbox Twenty will start work Monday on a retrospective album — and Thomas thinks today's record industry as crass, celebrity-obsessed, and focused solely on the bottom line. The film, which, it's worth noting, first screened far from Atlantic's midtown HQ, is one part behind-the-scenes look at the making of Thomas’s album and two parts muckraking exposé of the music industry's star-making machinery. “I didn’t set out to produce a documentary about myself because I don’t have enough of me,” Thomas said after the screening. “I wanted to see this through because this was an important part of my life. I’m happiest when I’m writing songs, and I’m just trying to find a space between Ashlee Simpson and Beyoncé for a career.” Distribution deals are pending, but, for now, an army of middle-aged female fanatics were begging last night for autographs, pictures, hugs, or whatever piece of Thomas they could grab as their own. We suspect Atlantic Records honchos may soon want a piece of his hide, too, but for less loving reasons. —Steve Ramos