Matt Fink is a keyboard player with a big impact on the first part of Prince’s career. He was part of the first band Prince assembled for live performances and remained a key figure in the various configurations of Prince’s bands until December 1990 when he left Prince’s employ.
| Musical Career
Fink started playing piano at age 7. He studied classical piano and some jazz piano. His parents were into jazz, Latin pop and Broadway (show tunes). A Beatles fan, his mother played a lot of pop music around the house. Fink recalls enjoying "the British Invasion" music playing on the radio.
He was in his first band at age 12.
| Early Musical Career
| Work With Prince
Dr. Fink was auditioned by Prince in November 1978 in Pepe Willie’s basement, when he has assembling a band to do live performances. Prince already had a bassplayer, his childhood friend Andre Anderson and drummer Bobby Z. for his band.
After he put an ad out in Minneapolis newspaper 'City Pages' reading Warner Bros. Recording artist seeks guitarist and keyboard player, guitarist Dez Dickerson and keyboard player Gayle Chapman were recruited. Prince however needed two keyboard players to be able to reproduced the thick layered sound of the For You album during live shows.
One of the players that auditioned was James Harris who later ended up in The Time, he was a good enough player, but to have an eclectic band (white and black, male and female) Prince preferred to have a white keyboard player, so the search went on. Therefor Matt Fink, an acquaintance of Bobby Z. was asked to audition, which landed him the job.
Matt became "Dr. Fink" during the Rick James Tour ’80 when Prince was the opening act. Wearing a jail outfit quite similar to one of Rick James outfit on "Bustin Out (On Funk)", Prince asked Fink to change his image and come up with ideas:
"In one video I wore a tacky looking paratrooper’s jumpsuit. It was actually Prince’s, but didn’t fit him. I had also worn a black-and-gold suit with tails a la "Elton John". He said: "nah...it’s been done before". I was also looking at trying to do something in black leather, but there wasn’t enough time to get that together...
Fink left Prince’s band after signing a contract with another company to produce a record. He turned down his position as keyboard player for the Rock In Rio performances to avoid losing money by backing out his new contract. Prince then recruited Tommy Elm (renamed Tommy Barbarella) to fill in Fink’s position. What was supposed to be a spot on replacement became permanent, as Prince kept Elm in the (new) NPG band and didn’t call Fink back. Fink recalls:
Another idea was a guy in a doctor’s suit. He perked up on that one. He said: "why don’t try you try on a doctor’s suit and you can become Dr. Fink". He sent his wardrobe person out in Chicago - we were on the road - who brought back a pair of scrubs, a stethoscope and a mask."
"In a way it was a combination of self-imposed leaving and being let go by Prince".
| After Working With Prince
Following his work with Prince, Fink built his own studio facility StarVu in Savage, MN, USA and started working on different projects, from video game soundtracks, radio and TV commercials to voice over work. He worked for five years with Dominion Records (a subsidiary of K-Tel Records). Fink also released his own Sony Acid Loop Library entitled Dr. Fink’s Funk Factory.
Dr. Fink worked with Lexington Bridge feat. Snoop Dogg, Jimi Blue, Popstars On Stage Allstars and Lipps Inc.
In 2001 he released an album called Ultrasound.
In June 2007, Doctor Fink signed an exclusive management deal for the European market with German-based management and production-company Mozart & Friends.
| Current Work
In early fall of 2010, Fink joined The Purple Experience tribute band rehearsals. Their first show took place in November 2011 at the Feather Falls Casino, Sacramento (CA). Fink and the band are still active in 2013 and play shows regularly.
Fink still does production work at his recording facility StarVu Studios; he has worked with his son Maxwell Fink’s band "Q the Clique".
On 9 March 2013, he joined Bobby Z., Andre Cymone and Dez Dickerson at Bobby Z.’s annual benefit "Celebrate Life" concert held at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN, USA.