band bios
Who exactly are these so-called "Imaginary Friends"? Read on...

Imaginary Friend was formed in 2002 when Neal Leatherman was really bored. Having picked up the guitar only 5 years prior, Neal found himself in a prolific period of songwriting. As a result, he recorded three albums' worth of this early material. Although many of these songs were very basic, the seeds of Imaginary Friend's future had been sown. In early 2003, he reunited with an old friend ex-URI classmate Jeff Carroll and the future of Imaginary Friend as we know it began to take shape. Jeff brought a technical background (in both recording and musicianship) to the table and helped Neal produce his next set of songs more fully. The result of these sessions was another set of demo albums, Clean My Bass and Chord To Nowhere. Following the completion of these albums, the duo began writing the songs for what would become A, B & C. This period, between 2004 and 2007, represents the true gelling of the band, as both members collaborated on the songs from start to finish. Imaginary Friend continues to write and record material, and probably will until such time as there are no liquor stores within a five mile radius.

Neal Leatherman

Neal Leatherman: Born in the wilds of upstate NY (Kingston, NY - first capital of the state!), Neal eventually found a way out of said vibrant metropolis by way of college. After consulting (and sadly misinterpreting) the Oracle at Delphi, he chose the University of Rhode Island, located strangely enough in Kingston, RI. Neal enjoys reading, writing, long walks on the beach and coming up with ideas that are too far flung for the band's means. To this day, some still say that if you listen very closely, you just might hear Neal's voice saying "Alright. I know this sounds crazy, but..."

Through a shared and strange interest in the acting pedigree of Ernest Borgnine, he met Jeff Carroll at URI in the early 90s...

Neal's Influences: Badfinger, The Beatles, Better Than Ezra, Jackson Browne, Shawn Colvin, dada, The Lemonheads, The Kinks, Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene, Sugar, The Animals, The Stereophonics, Semisonic, Sleater-Kinney, The Velvet Underground, Poole.

Jeff Carroll

Jeff Carroll: Jeff was born a poor black child... no, wait... that was "The Jerk". Take two. Born in the wilds of suburban Rhode Island, Jeff got into music at an early age. It all started by hacking away at a cheap drum set, then hacking away at the piano, then eventually guitar (all self-taught). Jeff has written many a song and has been known to make a video or two, but he is mostly just content to play his role as the detail-oriented anal half of Imaginary Friend. To this day, some still say that if you listen very closely, you just might hear Jeff's voice saying "OK, fine... but I'm going to need more beer..."

Jeff met Neal while trolling for chicks on a University of Rhode Island VM/CMS mainframe in the early 90s...

Jeff's Influences: The Beatles (who?), dada, Harry Nilsson, Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, Bread, Matthew Sweet, Nick Drake, Aztec Two-Step, Steely Dan, Tori Amos, Jethro Tull and pretty much every obscure pop song released from the 50s through the 70s.

Abe Naven

Abe Naven: Little is known about this multi-talented and mysterious counterculture hero. Abe is reportedly somewhere between 50 and 80 years old and may have served time in the military, although he is not allowed to discuss such matters (and he really, REALLY hates Nazis). Abe decided to give the lads a shot in the studio when they saved his pet Norwegian wolfhound Heinrich from being run over by a city bus. Abe is the personification of Imaginary Friend, as most people question his very existence.

Abe's whereabouts are currently unknown. He disappeared some time ago and has not been heard from since, although we have tracked him through Copenhagen, Iceland, Italy, Paris and Sri Lanka. As to the purpose of this mysterious journey, we still have no idea...

Abe's Influences: Artie Shaw, Kraftwerk, Count Basie, Louis & Clark, Tangerine Dream, Lords of Acid, Michael Gurley & the Nightcaps.

Scotty Naven

Scotty Naven is Abe's long-lost son. Details on their family history are sketchy, but here is what we know: Infant Scotty was left on the doorstep of an anonymous German family during the second World War, with a note containing the mysterious number sequence 4 8 15 16 23 42. The meaning of these numbers haunted Scotty for most of his life, until one fateful day when he happened upon a strange radio transmission. After years of research, father and son were reunited when Scotty finally tracked down the source of the numbers (the Navens refuse to divulge any details of this story). In his free time, Scotty enjoys playing guitar solos whenever the need arises.

Recently, Scotty has once again been attempting to track down his dad (who has gone missing on a mysterious journey). Unfortunately, he always seems to be one step behind...

Scotty's Influences: Richard Wagner, Johnny & the Allens, Tom Waits, Nanci Griffith, Elliott Smith, John Prine, DriveSHAFT.