Words For Our Manager Barry Matheson
The following are personal letters from each of us to our dear but now departed manager Barry Matheson. We wanted to share them with you as he was, for over 20 years, as much an integral part of Secret Garden off-stage as we are on-stage.
This month we made our final farewell to our manager, friend and partner Barry Matheson. Barry fought a long battle with cancer and his strength and determination helped to delay its outcome for the past 3 years.
As our manager for 21 years, Barry opened many doors and opportunities that we could never have imagined. Nothing was an obstacle for him and his huge belief in us and his amazing ability to never take no as an answer meant that we were the first Norwegian signed act to travel the globe as much as we have done. Everybody loved Barry and to travel with him was an experience in itself. By the time we would board our plane he already was on familiar names and terms with the ground staff, ensuring our very overweight baggage was on board! – and throughout the flights, his charm continued with the crew. On arrival, he would always know every detail of the local record company staff and promotion team just ensuring a safe and easy passage for us all.
Traveling with Barry was fun and hassle-free and still now when there have been flight delays or cancellations we wish we could call him as Barry could fix anything, and in the process was a soothing and caring presence that took all the stress away.
Apart from his natural charm Barry was incredibly well dressed for every occasion, Beautifully tailored suits, shirts pocket handkerchiefs with a briefcase full of any emergency items you might need. It was always lovely to watch him work a crowd or a reception, he could be spotted from afar as been the most well dressed and vivacious person in the room. He was so outgoing and fun that we could hide behind him when we were exhausted from performing.
As a friend and partner, there was nothing we could not call Barry about, and at any time of day or night 7 days a week, Barry never switched off – he was always there for us. When my father died in 1996 it seemed that Barry quietly stepped into that role, guiding me throughout the years, being at the other end of the phone whenever I needed to talk, being a mentor and best friend. For my 40th birthday, Barry bought me a diamond bracelet, which I treasured so much and wore it continuously. So much so that due to wear and tear it eventually broke and I had it remodeled into my now wedding eternity ring. I love that wedding ring which is a constant reminder of Barry, and a lovely comfort and memory every morning when I put it on.
Barry understood the importance of family and relationships enjoying his time with his amazing wife Berit, siblings, children and grandchildren all that he was so proud of. He encouraged me always to have time with my family and kept up with the minutiae of all of our everyday lives even though he had such a busy schedule.
Barry was very much recognized as a hugely important influential person within the Norwegian Music industry not to mind his chair role of Rotary International, that it’s hard to believe he could also be our partner and manager in Secret Garden. His capacity was endless.
For us to lose Barry after all these years is like a wheel has come off.
He was our partner, best friend and manager and his loss is immense.
He has gone but will never be forgotten.
Bless you Barry and Thank you.
We’ve always been close to Barry – nearly every day for two decades. He was the “total” manager caring about every aspect of our professional lives – and far beyond. Maybe the past couple of years, after Barry retired due to illness, I realized how much I depended on him. His knowledge and experience were priceless; his energy and ambition inspired us to be our best; his respect for everyone and his gentleman-like demeanor always made us proud of him. So we realized more than ever how dear he was to us when he was no longer there.
Last year we released our album ‘Storyteller’ and in the booklet, we wrote a special dedication:
”A special thank you to Barry Matheson for being our manager for the past 20 years. It’s been a journey of extraordinary guidance and fatherly care for us – both professionally and personally – now coming to an end by this album. We can never thank you enough. We dedicate this album to you with our deepest gratitude and love”.
Thank you from bottom of my heart Barry,
Rest in Peace.