The Journey of Rhett May
Rhett May owes his rare musical sound and style to the unique environment that he grew up in. Born in 1950, in Calcutta, India, he was immediately immersed in a magical, musical melting pot. Carnatic and Hindustani music and instruments such as the Sitar and Tabla were always providing melody and percussion against a daily backdrop of lifting and soaring voices of Ragas. Ragas especially played a vital part of Rhett"s musical experience with their series of five or more musical notes forming melody. However, this environment of classical Indian music wasn"t the only sounds floating about Calcutta in the nineteen-fifties and nineteen sixties. By the time Rhett had begun boarding school in the Himalayan foothills; western music had also begun an invasion. The cinemas featured musical movies from The Monkees, Cream, or Jimi Hendrix. Elvis and Ricky Nelson"s pop also pulsated through the airwaves. Sixties - Seventies - Success…
Rhett"s formed his first band, The Wooly Bullys, at the age of 15 with Preston Bortello and childhood friend James Payne. Their first taste of fame came in 1966, when they won Battle of the Bands. They became such a hit that they performed many of the venues that were hot at that time, such as Trincas, The Park Hotel and Mocambo"s. The Wooly Bullys evolved into a band called The Flint Stones. The Flint Stones became India"s most successful pop group, being featured on the cover of many of the music magazines. The Flint Stones recorded a successful single in “Be Mine (Happy by My Side)” and even attracted the attention of former Beatle George Harrison and Apple Records. The band was asked to come to the UK, and was double billed with the likes of legendary jazz guitarist Charlie Bird.
This was a very successful time for Rhett who accompanied his band to play a private concert for the Queen of Bhutan and her family. This was not the end of May"s musical growth, however, only the beginning. The nineteen sixties were blossoming musically with the addictive melodies and varied styles that were precisely what Rhett loved. Rhett states, “The sixties got me hooked on bands like The Yardbirds, Steppenwolf, The Beatles, Herman"s Hermits … and the list goes on!” Rhett would carry this heavy influence of the nineteen sixties into his musical future as the underpinning of his musical style. A Saturday Night In “Oz”…
Rhett left his native India in 1969, and would start his music career anew in Australia. As a solo artist, he would win the Perth Talent Quest whole performing backed by the Troupadours in 1971. However, he wouldn"t remain simply a solo artist; Rhett would recreate the same group success he had in India all over again in Australia. Rhett states, “I got a totally new group of musicians together in "Oz" - we were doing the "garage" thing.” This garage band would develop into a successful band which evolved from the “Shakespeare Sarani” to “Prodigy”, and eventually they changed their name to “Lucifer.” As the decade of the seventies progressed, Rhett"s success was about to be changed forever by the “fever” of Saturday Night Fever. The Disco era came suddenly, and it would force Rhett and his band mates to move out of music. The gigs disappeared for the styles of music they played, and the dance floors became filled with DJs and Disco lights. Indeed, the sixties and seventies were a time of change, not only for the world, but for the world of music. Rhett"s musical career was about to be turned upside down. One of the biggest changes would be the decision of childhood friend and musical cohort, James Payne, to leave the music business. Over the years, James" influence on Rhett was immense. However, Payne"s departure was not to last forever… he would soon return. Payne’s return would be the catalyst that would spark a rekindling of Rhett"s musical future. Fast Forward Thirty Years…
Rhett teamed up with Platinum Producers of Musik and Film to create a new EP "Insatiable" with the first radio release "Cocktails and Cannabis"