Billy Bob Thornton/The Boxmasters
Rock 'n Roll, (...and Academy Award Winning Actor)
July 24, 2019
Billy Bob Thornton is undoubtedly best known for his movie and tv roles and his masterpiece, Sling Blade, which he was nominated for Best Actor, and won him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. However, most aren’t aware that his primary passion is music, and always has been. He says acting was a bit of an accident, failing to hook up with a band after relocating from Arkansas to Los Angeles, he took acting classes on the advice of a friend and the next thing he knew, he was in an episode of Andy Griffith’s mega hit television series, Matlock. The rest is Hollywood history.
Along the way he’s appeared in some monster hits including Bad Santa, Monsters Ball, Friday Night Lights, Armeggedon, The Alamo, and his role as Lorne Malvo, the sociopathic hitman, in television hit, Fargo, which won him a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Mini-Series. His relationship with movie super goddess, Angelina Jolie, only served to cement his reputation as a positively unique character and “A” list superstar.
Through it all, music has remained his love. That’s why he formed the group, The Boxmasters. With J.D. Andrew and Teddy Andreadis. That’s also why he took the band out on the road to promote their new album Speck. Not only are the Tom Petty-style tunes outstanding, they possess a unique quality that makes you think maybe you heard it somewhere before,—it’s very familiar. And it should be, because the entire album was produced by none other than Geoffrey Emerick, and if that sounds familiar, it should as well. That’s because Emerick produced and engineered for a little group from England called The Beatles. He was responsible for so many of the amazing characteristics on Beatles classics like album Revolver, Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, and classics like Strawberry Fields Forever, Hey Jude, and Eleanor Rigby. Emerick recently passed away, but his legacy is obviously cemented for all time—and his presence on The Boxmaster’s catalog is a firm shining example of utter brilliance.
Thornton and the group were very obviously close with Emerick and the huge fans of The Beatles, but the one guy Billy Bob most wanted to be like was Flint’s own Mark Farner, and growing up he was able to see Grand Fund Railroad live in person during their heyday, and it made a huge impact. He was very pleased to be appearing in Flint later that night at the Machine Shop, in Farner’s and GFR’s hometown. My time with Billy Bob Thornton and The Boxmasters flew by, and I can say without reservation that they were one of my all time favorite guests. They sit at the head of the class in the all time “Fish and the Flint Chronicles Hall of Fame”!