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2. Neon Warriors
3. Sector 387
4. Maybe I’m A Fool
5. The Prophet Song
6. Leaving Tonight On Vacation
7. Blue Moon
8. Oriental Doctors
White Boy and the Average Rat Band was formed in the unlikely small mountain town of Richlands, Virginia in late 1979 by guitarist and songwriter Michael Matney. Fresh out of high school in 1979, Matney would venture over the mountain to neighboring Tennessee to try his luck in the music Mecca of Nashville. There Matney would join Kriss Famous’ longtime established local act “Tabu”, replacing Ron Keel as lead guitarist. It was in this arrangement that Matney would be christened with the name “White Boy”.
His time with “Tabu” and in Nashville would be brief before returning back to Virginia. Once back home, Matney would take a job with a local record store and recording studio owner who would grant him recording time in exchange for employment. There Matney would helm his own project deemed White Boy and the Average Rat Band; writing, composing and producing the self-titled debut. On the project, Matney played all the instruments, in exception to the two separate drummers used to complete the album. Musicians were then assembled in order to represent a band on the album and in live performances.
The Album & Its Reputation
In 1980 the White Boy and the Average Rat Band self-titled debut album would be released in a limited number of 300 copies, of which 50 would be lost. They would see very limited distribution, which only added to the curiosity the album would become. The band in the early 1980’s would have a short lifespan that would well be surpassed by their reputation on into the next couple of decades.
Matney would then go on to other projects, such as a live guitarist sitting in with Dr. Hook and as a touring guitarist with David Allen Coe. During which time, unannounced to Matney, White Boy and the Average Rat Band’s name was gaining somewhat of a cult status amongst record collectors around the globe seeking private press releases and on-the-fringes type rock bands. As the records continued to circulate through the hands of these collectors, the album began to become more and more difficult to find, as well as fetching prices in the high hundreds of dollars.
In 2010 a bootleg pressing of the band’s album would begin to circulate. This unofficial release would be a response to the high demand of people seeking the record. Although it was unknown to the band at the time and obviously done without permission, the bootleg only helped to grow the band’s cult status even greater.
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