Throwback Video of the Week!

Throwback Video of the Week!

Throwback Video of the Week!

(L-R) Kyle Cook, Rob Thomas and Brian Yale of Matchbox Twenty perform at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on August 17, 2013 in Wantagh, New York. (Photo by Janette Pellegrini/Getty Images)

Have you ever wondered how your favorite bands got their names? The Rolling Stones took their name from an old Muddy Waters song. Fleetwood Mac came from the last names of founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. And then there’s Matchbox Twenty, which had nothing to do with a childhood love of toy cars.

According to MTV, musician Paul Doucette suggested the name after seeing some guy’s softball jersey in a restaurant where Doucette was waiting tables. The shirt had the number 20 on the back and a patch with the word “Matchbox.” Originally, Doucette thought Matchbox 20 would be a good name for a clothing company, which is something he wanted to start, but later decided it was an even better band name.

From Tabitha’s Secret to Matchbox Twenty

Initially, the rest of the band hated the name. However, within a month, they were calling themselves Matchbox Twenty. That was in 1995. Singer Rob Thomas, bassist Brian Yale, and drummer Paul Doucette had been band mates with Tabitha’s Secret in Orlando, Florida. The three of them left that group, recruited guitarists Kyle Cook and Adam Gaynor, and formed Matchbox Twenty. A year later, they released their debut album, Yourself or Someone Like You, to both critical and popular acclaim. It went to number five on the Billboard 200 album chart.

The band’s 2000 sophomore effort, Mad Season, performed even better on the charts, reaching the number three spot on the Billboard 200. Matchbox Twenty followed that with More Than You Think You Are in 2002 before going on a hiatus. In 2004, rhythm guitarist Adam Gaynor left the band. Drummer Paul Doucette took over for Gaynor when the band came back together in 2007.

The reunited Matchbox Twenty put out their fourth collection, North, which finally reached the pinnacle of the Billboard 200 album chart in 2012. In all, Rob Thomas and company released five studio albums. For this edition of the Throwback Threesome, we’re revisiting to one that launched them into stardom. Let’s go back to the ’90s! Oh, and if you happen to know the guy who was wearing that softball jersey all those years ago, tell him thanks.

  • Push (1997)

    Released as the second single from Yourself or Someone Like You, “Push” was Matchbox Twenty’s first true pop hit in the U.S. and around the world. According to Songfacts, the song’s lyrics were based on Rob Thomas being dumped by an emotionally abusive girlfriend when they were in high school. It is sung from the ex-girlfriend’s perspective. “Push” came back into the public consciousness in 2023 when Ryan Gosling performed it as Ken in the hit movie Barbie.

  • 3AM (1997)

    Matchbox Twenty’s third single was a holdover from the band’s precursor, Tabitha’s Secret, which was named after the daughter on the classic sitcom, Bewitched. “3AM” was originally written at a slower tempo but Matchbox Twenty picked up the pace when they recorded it, per Songfacts. The lyrics were inspired by Rob Thomas’ experience as a teenager caring for his mother when she was battling cancer.

  • Real World (1998)

    Have you ever wished you could be someone else? That’s what Rob Thomas had in mind when he wrote “Real World,” the fourth single from Matchbox Twenty’s debut album. The surreal video imagines the band members in different roles and settings. Some wild animals, including a camel and a zebra, also make appearances.

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