Remembering Buck Barrett
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Marlborough – Throughout his 56 years, Buck Barrett’s love of music took him from the local club scene in Marlborough to the recording studios of Tennessee. And although his talent won him accolades and the chance to play with stars ranging from Aerosmith, Bo Diddley, Extreme, and Lonestar, it was his kind and open heart that many will remember about this musician who passed away on June 27 of complications from cancer.
After his death, his niece Colette Golgata-Sychantha reminisced about the man she called “Uncle Buck.”
It was as a young boy growing up in Marlborough, she said, that Barrett first fell in love with music. Although he only had a few formal guitar lessons, he picked it up quickly.
“He practiced hard,” Golgata-Sychantha said. “He just wanted to prove how good he could be.”
Music was also a way for Barrett to deal with the pain of being taunted by other children when he was just a young boy. That was an experience he carried with him throughout his whole life, Golgata-Sychantha said.
“He always felt for the underdog and wanted to help everyone,” she said.
As a young man, he was a regular at the Poor Farm, a recording studio in Marlborough. There he played with well-known national acts such as The Cars, Jefferson Starship, Boston and Aerosmith.
He also worked at a radio station in Marlborough as well as at the city’s public access television station, where he had a show, “Muzak with Buck Barrett.”
For the last 14 years or so, Barrett lived in Tennessee. He moved there in order to expand his musical base and found success there as well, Golgata-Sychantha said.
“Although his style was primarily rock, he also wrote a lot of love ballads. One song, “I’ll Be There,” was a popular wedding song,” she added.
Another song, “Star over Tennessee,” caught the attention of Johnny Cash, who told Barrett how much he liked it, Golgata-Sychantha said.
Barrett was also known for sharing his love of music with children.
“Kids would come to him and he would teach them how to play different instruments,” she said.
“He played at so many benefits and helped raise a lot of money throughout his career for people who needed it,” she said. “He was all about music and helping others.”
During the final days of his illness, Barrett’s friends in Tennessee held a benefit to help raise funds for his medical expenses. Nearly 2,500 people came to support the man who had in turn supported so many others over the years. But Barrett knew his time was ending, Golgata-Sychantha said, and expressed a wish to come home to Marlborough.
“He was too ill to come back home for his final days,” she said, “but we were able to honor his wish by bringing him back here to be buried.”
The late Robert Arthur (Buck) Barrett was born to Donald Omar Barrett and Charlotte Helen (Gilliat) Barrett on Feb. 3, 1957. He was the father of son Bobby Barrett. He was the beloved sibling of brother William Barrett and his wife Linda Barrett, brother Richard H. Barrett (deceased) and his wife Tammy Barrett, sister Marianne Louise (Barrett) Testa and Terrence James Barrett. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 27, at 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church, 22 Mechanic St., Marlborough. Friends are also encouraged to share their memories of Barrett on his Facebook page. To listen to a selection of his songs visit http://www.reverbnation.com/buckbarrett.
Donations to the First Baptist Church can be made in his memory at P.O. Box 248 Marlborough MA 01752. Barrett was a member of the church as well as a musician there.
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