Matt Goss with his brother, Luke Goss
Now he’s back, doing business in Britain again. As we speak, his new album, The Beautiful Unknown, is “number one on Amazon, number three on iTunes, number two on the independent chart”, he says – and number 7 with a shot in the official Top Ten of the UK.
Matt, 53, is happy but exhausted. He has just returned from a solid week of personal appearances at record shops across the country, from the Arndale center in Manchester to the small independent Crashed Records in Leeds where fans lined up in the snow.
Each two-hour signing session turned into four hours. Even on the short walk from Newcastle HMV to his parked car this morning, Matt must have posed for dozens of selfies.
“My fans are awesome,” he says. “They came out by the hundreds everywhere, from queues to gates.
I spend a lot of time with my fans – they treat me like family. Connection goes beyond music.
“A gentleman, who was terminally ill, had gone to Vegas to see me. You hug these people and hope you see them again.
Matt’s album was released on his own independent label Lewisham Records. “We decided to do it ourselves and we broke it,” he smiles.
He faces his friend Michael Bublé who is of course in major. “It’s like David and Goliath,” he laughs. “We are very close on iTunes.”
Born in Lewisham Hospital, Goss was born and raised in South East London. “Good to hear that accent!” he tells me when we talk.
He was 19 when Bros had his first big hit with When Will I Be Famous.
Instant fame saw the family home, 214 Camberley Way, besieged by fans day and night.
Their phone number was on sale at the local school (for £2 apiece), and every morning the answering machine was full of love messages from devoted Brosettes – making life difficult for her stepfather Tony.
“All of my mom’s stuff was stolen, it was crazy,” Matt says. But fans also gave her late mother Carol gifts including flowers, wine and candy.
Matt Goss sings during a special performance celebrating 10 years in Las Vegas
Bros, the brothers and bassist Craig Logan, had eleven hits in four years, including I Owe You Nothing and Drop The Boy; their debut album Push went to number one in 19 countries and sold over 12 million copies.
“If you had told me that I would be on the charts 35 years later…”, he laughs, shaking his head.
“There’s definitely a feeling of being a South East London lad that has done me good.”
Matt Goss worked with Dean Martin, took advice from Jerry Lewis and even sang for Joe Biden – “a gentleman, he asked me about my mother and talked about her dead son”.
But you get the feeling he’s most thrilled to be mentioned by Del-Boy Trotter.
“Only madmen and horses were a religion for us. Bros being put in a script was one of my proudest moments – Rodney was going on a cruise with the Brosettes. Awesome. It makes you feel like you’re part of the tapestry of our culture!
“Spitting Image spoofed us with ‘when am I, am I going to start shaving?’ Young people too, I loved it.
He met Russ Abbot, then a huge TV star, on a plane to Barbados and the much-loved comedian ended up staying at Matt’s villa. “We had dinner with Bob Monkhouse. lovely people; it was as if the old guard were helping the young guard.
After Bros, Matt went solo, landing four hit singles, but he was reborn as a cabaret star in Las Vegas, starting at the Palm Springs Hotel and moving to Caesar’s Palace for a ten-year residency.
“I was there for eleven years – a record for a British artist – doing four shows a week and touring the world every year. You’re learning your craft!
Matt Goss performing at the O2 Arena in 2017
Famous fans include Sharon Stone, Jason Statham, Kim Kardashian and Jerry Lewis “who gave me some really great advice.” But Matt also met his own hero.
“I was the last person to sing for Muhammad Ali, in his house,” he says. “I had the shorts he wore to Rumble In The Jungle – there was still blood on them and he wouldn’t sign them. I sang These Arms Of Mine and his face lit up and he signed I gave his wife a beautiful diamond ring to say thank you.
Matt has worked with Jay Leno, David Copperfield and Dean Martin – “I did his special, it was so good…he was always warm and friendly.”
He also did television shows and concerts with Bob Hope.
“I would do comedy with him, he taught me about timing… I went shopping with his wife Delores. I thought I could go shopping, but I couldn’t hold a candle to her.
Matt even starred as the “new Rat Pack” along with P Diddy, Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and The Sopranos star Frank Vincent in a famous US commercial for Ciroc vodka.
Goss loves Sin City and the affection is mutual. He won the Icon Award at Caesars Palace, received the keys to the Vegas Strip and 8and August has been declared Matt Goss Day there.
“I was made an honorary captain in the US Army for singing for the troops, British and American,” he adds. He also received a United Nations Humanitarian Award for raising millions for breast cancer.
He resigned last year. “It was time to call it a day, for my voice. I could go back, but never again four nights a week. I enjoyed flying the flag for us in America, I am a Royalist and a proud Brit. My grandfather, who was born in Bow, East London, was a gunner in World War II.
A thoughtful man, Matt has strong opinions about modern Britain. “We are too politically correct, as a nation, we have gone astray. We need to rediscover our sarcastic sense of humor. Don’t be afraid to compliment yourself.
“We have to trust people to make choices.”
Matt is irritated by our culture of envy – “Nobody keys somebody else’s car in America, success is a good word there” – and also authorities who hate cars that “won’t allow not workers getting to work without being charged for driving through our own city.
Matt Goss and Luke Goss present an award at the 2019 BRIT Awards held at the O2 Arena
“Let’s have some freedom!” Let’s lift each other up.
Music has always been part of his life. His grandfather Samuel, known as Harry, loved crooners like Sinatra and Dean Martin. “That’s where I found my love of air in voice,” he says.
Matt’s aunt, Sally, drew him to Stevie Wonder, and “dad loved Cream and Free, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple…and the Rolling Stones who had a surprising amount of soul in their music.”
“I ran into them once in Salt Lake City. Keef timed me and said, “What are you doing here? Then Ronnie Wood borrowed a jacket, wore it on stage and they all signed it.
Growing up he loved 2-Tone Ska “Madness, the Specials, Bad Manners, the Selecter… We were obsessed, we had good crops, all the clothes, the trilby hats.
Then we became new romantics. Duran Duran was the band, but the first gig I saw was Depeche Mode.
Bros has sold over 16 million records worldwide. Pretentious critics dismissed them as little boppers. This irritates him to this day.
“We were discovered as a group, then we got yelled at and all of a sudden we were labeled teen idols. We recorded demos of all the tracks on Push before making a deal. We were musicians!
Bros reformed for two gigs at London 02 in 2017, the first of which sold out in seven seconds flat, then starred in the Bafta-winning documentary Bros: After The Screaming Stops, which was watched 20 million times and attracted a new generation of fans. The twins keep in touch via PlayStation.
Critics compare The Beautiful Unknown to Push; Shirley Lewis, who worked with George Michael, called him Matt’s equivalent of George’s Faith.
The album is a triumphant return to pop for the national treasure, weaving deep themes into strong tunes.
Bros’ Matt Goss and Luke Goss promote their new movie Bros: After The Screaming Stops
Highlights include the stadium anthem title track and the Soldiers Of War ballad about broken relationships.
Matt, who has homes in Vegas and Los Angeles, is still on the hunt for Miss Right, splitting from his last girlfriend over his social media fixation.
He signed on for a lead role in his first film, Cobbler Killer Stranger, which is currently in pre-production, and plans to release at least three more songs from the new album. He says he wouldn’t rule out signing with a major label again, but would like Lewisham Records to be part of the package. Above all, he is happy to be at home.
“I wanted to come back to my own country where I am treated like a member of the family,” he says. “My fans create life memories for me and it’s a reciprocal exchange. It moves me to this day. This trip back to the UK is what my soul needed.
*Matt Goss is headlining a special performance at the London Palladium on April 23.