Pop rock band from Orlando, Florida. They formed after a jam session in 1994, while some of the band members were experimenting in a studio. They gigged in Florida venues but, just as they were to be signed by a major label in 1995, they disappeared.

Tabithas Secret are (were)

Robert Kelly Thomas
John Joseph Stanley
John Leslie Goff
Brian Yale
Paul Doucette

Rob Thomas, Brian Yale and Paul Doucette are now three members of Matchbox 20.

The style of music is unmistakable Rob Thomas. However, in my opinion, the songs do all sound remarkably similar. In almost every case, the guitars have too much chorus and the vocals have too much reverb.

To my knowledge, they only released one CD, Dont Play With Matches.

Dont Play With Matches track listing

  1. 3am
  2. Forever December
  3. Here Comes Horse
  4. Paint Me Blue
  5. Dear Joan
  6. High
  7. Unkind
  8. Jesus Was an Alien
  9. Tired
  10. Swing
  11. 3am
  12. Forever December

Fans of Matchbox 20 will recognize the hit 3am, which was originally performed by Tabithas Secret.

The Band
Tabitha’s Secret were an Orlando alternative pop/rock group that formed in 1993. They were originally a 5 piece, picked up a 6th member and then settled again as a 5 piece in early 1994, loosing their first drummer Chris Smith. In 1994 they won a Jammy award for the best new alternative band. And during 1994 and 1995 played many gigs, even supporting bands such as Oasis. They disappeared amongst much controversy in 1995 just when they were about to make a big record deal.

The members of the band were
Jay Stanley – Guitar
Rob Thomas – Vocals
John Goff – Guitar
Brian Yale – Bass
Paul Doucette – Drums

The Split What exactly happened when Tabitha’s Secret split up is beyond me, the stories change depending on what side they are coming from. As far as I can tell, and trying not to take sides, this is basically what happened.

Matt Serletic approached the members of Tabitha’s Secret over a record deal, He wanted a long-term contract but Guitarists Goff and Stanley were not keen on this. They wanted a 1-record deal, to see how things would go. Rob Thomas however thought that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and that they should take what they were being offered. It ended in a lot of accusations about secret meetings and the like and eventually Jay and John parted ways with Rob, Paul and Brian who went on to form Matchbox Twenty(and get the record deal).

The Law Suit
When Matchbox Twenty released there debut album ‘Yourself or Someone Like You’ in 1996 they included on it a song originally done by Tabitha’s Secret – 3am. This led to Stanley and Goff suing Matchbox Twenty for royalties. The legal battle was long, nasty and messy and I don’t know for sure but by comments made by Rob Thomas (he said that MB20 would be recording no more TS songs because he didn’t want to be making money for other people) I assume that Goff and Stanley got there royalties.

The Music
Tabitha's Secret never actually released an album while they were together, but Jay Stanley and John Goff have since released three albums of work recorded when the band was together.

Don’t Play With Matches (1997)
1 3 a.m.
2 Forever December
3 Here Comes Horses
4 Paint Me Blue
5 Dear Joan
6 High
7 Unkind
8 Jesus Was An Alien
9 Tired
10 Swing
11 3 a.m.
12 Forever December
13 Dizzy (Bonus Track)

Don’t Play With Matches came about pretty much because fans of Matchbox Twenty got word of Tabitha’s Secret and demanded to here their stuff. The album is made up of demo songs that were recorded when the band were still together, the sound is therefore a bit rough but once you get past that the music is very good. The album contains the song ‘3am’ which was a hit single for Matchbox Twenty.

Live (2000)
1 Million Miles
2 Paint Me Blue
3 (Just Plain) Tired
4 This Is Not A Love Song
5 Unkind
6 High
7 Jesus Was An Alien
8 Here Comes Horses
9 Loss, Strain & Butterflies
10 3 a.m.
11 Forever December
12 Dear Joan

The Live album is exactly that, songs that were recorded live during various Tabitha’s Secret performances. Again the sound in this album is rough and untouched, but offers some very good songs.

Tabitha's Secret? (2001)
1 And Around
2 Unkind
3 Here Comes Horses
4 Dear Joan
5 Forever December
6 Tired
7 Paint Me Blue
8 Swing
9 Dizzy
10 3 a.m. (acoustic)
11 Blue Monday

Tabitha’s Secret? contains pretty much the same songs as Don't Play With Matches except they have been re-mastered up with additional musicians, background singers, re-mixing etc. The results of this is either very good or it ruins the songs completely, depending on who you are asking, it is basically just one of those things you have to hear for yourself and then come to your own decision on.

Where they are now

Rob Thomas, Brian Yale and Paul Doucette are all members of the very successful (In Oz at least) band Matchbox Twenty. The currently have two albums out and are about to release a third.

Jay Stanley had a brief stint in the band Jack Glass, they released an EP in 2001 before parting ways. Stanley also manages the Tabitha’s Secret empire.

John Goff, as far as I know, is not currently doing anything musically.

I can not guarantee the accuracy of any of the information here. A lot of what I have learnt contradicts itself and therefore not been put here. If anybody has any corrections or information that they know is accurate I would be very grateful if they would send it on to me, but please, no more rumors or guesswork, I have enough of that.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.