This has always been the type of column that I’ve had the most difficulty with. Writing about friends who are no longer with us is a bittersweet experience at best. But when it comes to specific individuals, it must be done. That is the case this week. The New Jersey music scene lost two principal members, and the overall effect is still settling in for many who knew these men and understood their importance to the music scene, and life in general.
Bob Colyard was a music fan. I’m talking about a real music fan. We would often have conversations about bands he was following that I had no idea about. Sincerely, he supported some pretty diverse acts, and we discussed it every time I saw him at The Saint. Bob Colyard was a mainstay of the scene. Along with his wife Janet, Bob would often be spotted down at the end of the bar at The Saint on any given night. Sometimes Bob and Janet were the only ones there for specific acts, but the fact remains that he was always there. His knowledge of music, and life in general, was astounding. No matter what we discussed, it was always done with a frosty cold mug of beer and a band in the background.
And Bob was never a disagreeable critic. While many that I know will diss a band or a person with a quick list of choice words, I never heard Bob disrespect one individual in the time I knew him. He preferred to use his time for good. Listening to music was one of his favorite pastimes and apparently it is what he was doing when he passed away.
Robert W. Colyard was only 68 when he passed away suddenly on May 20 after enjoying another of his favorite activities, riding a bike at the park. His obituary tells us more.
“Brick – Robert W. Colyard Sr., 68, passed away suddenly on May 20, 2018, after enjoying a bike ride through the Manasquan Bike Trail. Mr. Colyard was born in Neptune, raised in West Belmar, serving in the US Army first in Fort Monmouth and later in Okinawa for three years before settling in Brick for the past 41 years. He worked for AT&T as an Electronics Technician. Mr. Colyard volunteered for many years as a coach and manager of children’s sports. He was an accomplished artist, avid Radio DXer and very active in the Asbury Park music community. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He will be much missed by all that had the privilege to meet him.
Mr. Colyard was predeceased by his parents Mildred and Thomas Colyard and sister Gail Hauselt.
Robert is survived by his wife of 47 years, Janet, son, Robert Colyard Jr. and his fiancée Marie Ferrante, daughter, Adrienne Scutellaro and her husband Shaune, grandchildren, Evelyn, Cecilia and Archer, brother, Thomas M. Colyard III and his wife Ingrid, brother-in-law, Jerry Hauselt, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The Memorial Gathering was held on Thursday, May 31, at D’Elia Funeral Home in Lakewood, NJ. Memorial Service was held on Friday, June 1, at the Funeral Home. Cremation will be held privately. In place of flowers, please make donations in Robert’s memory to Fisher House at donate.fisherhouse.org.”
Mathew Gerard Lott
Three days after Bob died, Mathew Gerard Lott passed away. Another shocking revelation, Lott died from complications of battling drug addiction. Matt was a well-liked musician who played with many and was amicable to most. While admittedly a wallflower, Lott was a gifted musician who graced many of the musical stages in New Jersey and New York. Most nights Matt could be seen onstage with Tony Tedesco and Full Fathom Five. A saxophone guru and accordion expert, Lott lent his original talents to the band on their first and second records, accompanying Tedesco and the group through a myriad of memorable tunes. Offstage, Lott was quiet and friendly, sticking to the background and watching other musicians as they took their turn onstage.
Lott was a talented musician with a varied background and lifestyle. He lived with his father Gerard and played in several bands and with various musicians. I spoke with Tony Tedesco who had this to say. “Even now, I am at a loss for words when it comes to discussing Matt.”
“He and I hung out and worked together a lot over the last seven years, and was instrumental in helping me define that unknown sound I was digging to discover. I honestly do not know where I would not be as a songwriter or as a performer without the wealth of Matt’s contributions to my creative endeavors. Above and beyond my personal relationship with him, Matt stood apart from the crowd. Matt was a gentle, kind soul that was always a little beyond the pale, a bit out of sync with the local scene in general.
In fact, he was the sort of person that was a little out of sync with the world at large, given how harsh and cold the world tends to be. He was an innate dreamer. He was extraordinarily gifted and insightful. He never hesitated to play with anyone who asked.”
“He always could provide the right instrumentation to whatever endeavor he undertook, all the while keeping his singular voice intact.
While it was clear he had some hurdles to overcome, he was working extremely hard to make progress, and had recently turned so many corners in the right direction. Maybe this is what makes finding the words now so difficult. One thing is for sure, I will miss him more than any string of romantic sentiment will ever do justice.”
I spoke with Matts father who gave me the following information. “Matthew Gerald Lott passed away unexpectedly in Asbury Park on May 23. He was a graduate of Ocean Twp. H.S. and attended Brookdale Community College. He is survived by his father. Gerald Frank Lott, sister Alison Lott Bright, niece Caleigh Bright, brother in law Jonathan Bright, His Aunt Karen Lott-Waldman and David Waldman. Also by his cousins Rebecca Ward and Juliana Iglay and Russell Iglay. He was never married.”
As far as bands that Matt played with, the list is as varied as the musician himself. He played with Tony Tedesco and Full Fathom Five, James Piantanida in Capt. James and the Pain. With Geena Buono in Geena and Dragster. With David Wrong as a sax and accordion, guitar, singer/songwriter duo. There are recordings of all these bands. Every one of these is on Facebook. He also helped several friends to record songs at his home. He was playing with Inspector 7 also on tenor sax and was in Joe Harvard’s band. On sax, and maybe even accordion, he also played with Bootsy Lewis and his band.
In Addition, he played with the Dina Pyanoe Band, and he busked on the Asbury Park boardwalk for several summers. In high school, he was in the All-Shore Jazz Band, first chair tenor sax, and first chair baritone sax — two years in each position. He played soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass saxophone, the accordion, and piano/synthesizer. He knew ProTools and Garageband software, and he was also studying baroque recorders on his own with Sarah Jeffery’s YouTube channel.
He also played bass guitar and owned, but did not play so much, a beautiful Schechter electric guitar. He was kind enough on every one of these to perform in public. He soared on the saxophone…he could laugh through the sax and cry through the sax, and of course, he sang through his musical endeavors using the horn.
Memorial Observance will be at The Saint in Asbury Park NJ starting at 5:45p.m. on Monday, June 11.