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© Joe Mavety 2015

 

 

Joe Mavety was a well-known Canadian guitarist born on August 15, 1950. He died of pulmonary cancer on SEPT. 25, 2013 in Toronto Ontario. He was the last surviving member of the Mavety family. At the time of his passing his only immediate living blood relatives were his two aunts Joan and Greetah.

This web site is the only official site for both his music and memorial.

Both his music and outstanding playing have appeared on many recordings as well as in both highly successful television and film production. His song 'The Crusaders' was featured on the television show De Grassi Junior High.

Joe also had appeared on Saturday Night Live with Marianne Faithful, hosted by Chevy Chase in February 1980. Joe was the only band member flown to New York City for that historical guest appearance. His co-written song for Marianne Faithful "Witches Song" was used in the Hollywood cult classic horror film "THE CRAFT" in 1997. A number of his compositions have been covered by international recording acts.

Joe was raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Joe's birth name was Charles Frederick Mavety. His parents had nicknamed him Joe. That nickname stuck with him for his entire lifetime.

He discovered his first guitar at his birthplace, the famous Circle M Ranch in Kleinburg, Ontario as a very young child. It had been left unattended in a small bunk house on the ranch property. Elvis was his first musical inspiration, so holding a guitar became natural.

His father "Charlie" was the sole distributor for Hollywood Films in Ontario when the whole cinema industry first started during the early 20th century. The Circle M Ranch being a highly successful horse riding ranch was also used in the early days for the filming of many early cowboy and Western films starring the likes of Roy Rogers, Hop-a-Long Cassidy and Gene Autry. To date the ranch property still houses a major film studio facility, used in hundreds of international film and television productions, located along the banks of the Humber River just north of Toronto.That same facility was the primary filming location for the ground-breaking Canadian 1963 TV series "THE FOREST RANGERS" a CBC and BBC kids classic television show. Joe was most fortunate to attend the 50th anniversary party for that well respected series in June 2013, along with virtually all of the show's original cast members. In 1940, Joe's father Charlie F Mavety Sr. spearheaded a fundraising event resulting in $712,000 being raised and donated to the 'Win The War' campaign. Joe's mother Norma was a young British showgirl who came to Canada with the RAF. Joe's father was tragically killed in an auto accident just months after Joe was born. That left his mother Norma alone to raise both Joe and his older sister. The ranch where Joe was born was later sold and the family then relocated to Toronto Ontario.

During the mid 1960's, Joe started taking guitar playing very seriously. He was a natural talent and was always the best player among his peers. While jamming rock & roll and blues during high school, he would also regularly frequent any jazz club that would let him in to listen to the music he loved the most. The scene was hopping, and he heard many of the great jazz artists of the time.

In his highschool years, he met his lifelong friends; Nick Gurr, Bill Delingat, and Jimmy Thompson. It was during those years Joe became adept at playing electric blues and jazz guitar.

Although an outstanding rock and roll player for his age, Joe soon tired of the 12 bar blues pattern. He was looking for his own original sound and scoffed at much of what was being played on the top 40 radio format of the day. Joe decided music was what he wanted for his lifelong career. Money alone did not really motivate Joe. Unlike many other teenagers in the 60's his mother strongly supported his musical ambitions and long hair. The music came first for Joe. By 1967 he had already learned note for note guitar licks he had heard from the likes of Hendrix, Beck, Clapton and Page, the British guitar gods of the time whom had changed electric guitar music forever. At seventeen, Joe was too young (the legal drinking age at that time was 21) to attend the gigs of jazz genius Lenny Breau. Breau noticed him sneaking in all the time and eventually began passing on his knowledge. Joe would usually only play someone else's music using his own style. He was an artist first. Joe was never a collector of guitars either, but loved to constantly change instruments, searching for something different to keep him inspired. He owned many guitars over the years and once none at all when he ran short of cash… Somehow he always managed to find a replacement guitar in time for a gig.

Joe and close friends Nick Gurr, and Bill Delingat formed a jam band called "Draco" in the late 60's. Soon adding vocalist David Jensen to the mix, this was the ideal group for Joe to develop writing skills and inventive sounds over several formative years. It was a band that allowed Joe to merge everything he had ever heard into one melodic sound encompassing many musical styles. Joe was a natural, born to play guitar. Joe never missed a good concert or gig in those days. He preferred small clubs featuring little known true genius artists, for the most part, highly regarded musicians in the jazz world. Joe's own personal record collection at that time included primarily older American jazz greats and some American blues artists... Joe was once quoted as saying , "I make what the world calls North American music. There's jazz, rock and blues and every other sound I've ever listened to in my music. I just do what I do. I love a clean melody rather than just playing the scales as fast as I can up and down the guitar fret board. I can easily do that, but at best that is only a silly circus act gimmick. I understand why some people enjoy that as entertaining and that it sells well, but good melodic music is about hitting the right notes and that is what I try to do."

After a stint at the Miles Davis School of Music and a few years of playing Canadian college concerts, high school dances and the bar circuit with "Draco", Joe realized there really was not much of a music industry in Canada other than a few indie producers making Top Ten radio-friendly Canadian Content hits. The major record labels were not risk takers in Canada and just followed up on the promoted acts featured by their U. S. and British parent companies. They had no idea how to market Joe. "They only wanted to record their tunes their way for a fast buck and quick tour." Joe had no interest in that. Joe once opened for "Iggy Pop and the Stooges" as well as playing the famous Toronto Yorkville club scene performing his own music. The late Dewey Martin of the Buffalo Springfield and other similar groups approached him to reform bands, but Joe realized all the Canadians gaining success and exposure had moved to the U.S. or somewhere else.

In 1972 Joe packed up his guitar and moved to another of the musical hot spots of the world — London, England. He hooked up with many of the great British Rockers and put together some fantastic group lineups with the best sidemen. The British music industry demanded a new sound, not just talent.

They already had all the music business they needed. Joe played a lot of record session work (to pay the bills) in many of the best studios in England including EMI's Abbey Road. Joe became a well-known London musician. THE Who's guitar roadie gave him a red solid body Gibson L5 out of appreciation. Joe became known as 'The Canadian kid with the red guitar'. Joe got to meet and perform with many of his idols.

Finally his luck would change and things would click. Joe met a woman who would guarantee his place in musical history. Marianne Faithful hired Joe as her lead guitarist and co-writer. British recording engineer Bob Potter had to first talk him into it. It was not his thing musically at all, but his better bands did not click with the record labels. Marianne had once before been somewhat successful in the 60's and was friendly with The Beatles. Her voice had changed a lot and this was her chance for a major hit record again. The "Broken English" project was completed, but held for one year prior to release. It soon became a smash hit record in many countries. Like most musical artists at the time getting properly paid by the recording industry was a different matter. Joe Mavety was a very gentle self deprecating human who was about to learn quickly about the industry tendency towards artist ripoff. The music business was not known for its ethics.

Joe Mavety co-wrote and played on many of the songs on this Marianne Faithful's groundbreaking comeback album Broken English including 'Why D'Ya Do It?' 'What's the Hurry?' and the title hit 'Broken English'. Mavety spent six years with Marianne, recording and touring, silently holding the reins when direction was needed. They sold lots of records, but the record producer disliked guitar and only wanted Joe to strum on her second album. (That album, "Dangerous Aquaintances," lacked the sound of the first and did poorly in sales.)

Joe once said, "It was great recording with Steve Winwood on keyboards and all the top session musicians in the UK, but things were changing in Europe with the 'NEW WAVE TECHNO POP SOUND' being created using just computers. Joe relocated back to Toronto in 1981 and after a final 1983 North American tour, finally ended his stint with the diva to start up with his own music again. Back in Toronto Joe forged new relationships and resurrected old ones. He met 'the Garys', a major Canadian music promoter and was gigging a lot with many of Toronto's best musicians. He was respected by everyone in the business. Extensive tour work with Stanley Clarke, Chris Spedding, Dr. Hook, Adrian Belew, The Grease Band, Marsha Hunt (Mick Jagger's 'BROWN SUGAR'), and others paid the bills, but Joe had no interest in a future doing only that.

With long time keyboard and Hammond B3 organ great Michael Fonfara, who on his own was used on hundreds of recordings, including dozens of international hit records and had a long history of touring as a sideman playing with the most successful artists in the world Michael and Joe became a close team. Joe was the writer for the most part. He was soon heralded as one of Canada's finest musicians, carving a name and reputation for himself through his astute playing and dedication. Together they recorded some great tunes and toured constantly. Joe relocated to Vancouver in the winter of 1996. He wanted a change and better weather. Quickly establishing him amongst the city's more experienced and tasteful players Joe was doing well. He hired the best players on the West coast and contracted with strong management. He also began to do a lot of solo gigs in intimate locations. Those gigs were his life dream. It was a great place to live. He was also a sought after recording session player in B.C.

The music scene in the west began to change as the new kids were taking over with their music. After a decade living on the Pacific Ocean in Whiterock, BC, Joe moved back to Toronto. It was time to move on home. His great music friends were still around to gig and record with. He managed to secure a solo gig that was a dream for him, a weekly act at a lovely quaint restaurant in Toronto's Queen West area called NUNU. It was the perfect venue to hear him perform in and was exactly how he had wanted to continue his musical career. He had accomplished his life's goal and his playing was never better.

Joe Mavety was a wonderful musical artist with a lovely gentle character that was rarely seen in the music industry. Both his compositions and and playing are available for your listening here on this site. All of his original compositions and music are owned exclusively by MAVETY STREET PUBLISHING . Unauthorized use is prohibited.