Robert Flying Man Abbott
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Robert Flying Man Abbott

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Music man

Robert Abbott’s life revolves around songs and songwriting — even when it doesn’t.

By Shea Stewart (Contact)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Robert Abbott
Robert Abbott
The 3rd Degree

What is the most played song on your iPod?
I don't have an iPod, but I listen to a wide range of music. It could range from The Beatles to Mozart. I spend time on the radio moving the dial.

What would you eat for your last meal?
Crispy Szechuan chicken from China Delight on JFK. That is the only place I know that has it. It has a good flavoring to it. I could eat it up.

If we went out on a Saturday night, where would we find you?
I spend a lot of time on the weekend either listening to music or playing. It would definitely be something to do with music.

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Mike Myers. I like comedians with a serious side.

What would be your super power?
I'd like to be invisible. I like to watch people and look at their character. It helps with my songwriting.

Robert Abbott’s business card simply says he is a singer/songwriter, but a 3 1/2-by-2 inch sliver of card stock doesn’t have enough room to capture all Abbott’s titles.

In addition to writing songs, Abbott plays bass with Searcy’s Jason Greenlaw & The Groove, books bands for Counterpoint in North Little Rock through his booking agency Flyingman Entertainment and has played guitar with The Abbotts in their ’80s and ’90s incarnation, as well as with their reformed 21st-century lineup.

The 40-year-old might work by day as a claims specialist at Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, but Abbott’s world revolves around the music he loves.

Following a busy weekend of playing with Jason Greenlaw and overseeing a show he booked, it’s understandable if Abbott takes a Monday off to rest and chat about his life in music. But when I show up for the interview with Abbott on a day that is a precursor for the coming spring, he has his laptop open and guitar tablature spread out next to him.

For a busy man, Abbott is relaxed — dressed in all black and wearing sneakers, jovial and personable. Ask him what he would do if it wasn’t music related, and the answer drifts away from music before returning.

“I’d like to get more into writing,” he said. “I’ve got a few ideas for books to write. I just need to set aside the time to do it. But I’ve got a CD I’m working on right now. I hope to have it out in May but it keeps getting pushed back. All kinds of things are popping up everywhere.”

The album Abbott speaks of is a solo album with musical friends he is recording at Blackwater Studios in Cabot with Mike Sharpe. Most of Uneventful is finished, but the vocals still need to be tracked.

Abbott’s Flyingman Entertainment (Flyingman is Abbott’s middle name taken from his American Indian birth father’s last name.) began just last June. What started as a Tuesday night showcase for bands that Abbott booked at Counterpoint soon shifted to Friday nights. Currently, Abbott holds an open mic night on Tuesdays, and March’s Friday night schedule includes bands such as Matt Mahar, The Weisenheimers and the Flaming Death Fairies.

“It’s been real positive,” Abbott said. “It gives them a chance to be heard and get better.

“I like to give everyone a chance to come up and play. It’s just a big mixture.”

But as a booking agent, Abbott also has experienced the downside — with more distractions, fewer people are attending live shows.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out,” he said. “It’s weird. Some nights it might be only 20 or 30 people out, and other nights it might be 150. It depends on who is playing.”

Abbott believes clubs can’t depend on one genre of music but have to fight to establish themselves as a music destination.

“Establishment is the key,” he said. “I know it’s hard getting the crowd to come out. It’s a shame how people around here miss out on some really good music. I have found that the more you involve people the more they will come out.”

Abbott’s introduction to music came at an early age. While neither of his parents were musically inclined, his mother gave him her 45 records when he was about 4. He attended a monastery school where music was heavily emphasized, and started violin lessons in elementary school. He also played tuba in the high school band, and is proficient on violin, guitar, bass, fiddle, most brass instruments and piano.

At the age of 16, Abbott took a single guitar lesson from an older cousin before the cousin moved, but his mother bought him a book of Beatles guitar tablature from which he learned more. With brothers Lonnie on drums and Jay on keyboards, The Abbotts were formed, and varying between country, blues and rock ‘n’ roll, the brothers backed up local and national acts.

But by the early ’90s, real life ended the brothers’ musical dreams, and Abbott concentrated on his day jobs either working in a factory or warehouse.

“It just stopped,” he said. “I got a real - SYNC MAGAZINE


my first cd was with Nasty Abbott called Straight for Fun.
My latest cd is Uneventful released Aug 2008
Gone (uneventful) has been played at KABF in little rock arkansas.
My version of Is You Is (louis Jordan) from Nasty Abbott's Straight for Fun has been spotlighted on Arkansongs on KUAR in little rock arkansas
My song Picture on my Wall from Straight for Fun has been played a few times on 100.3 the edge in little rock.



I'm half Cheyenne/arapaho. My influences include my kids and family, beatles, louis jordan and life in general. i've played anything from blue grass to classical, from blues to rock. I've backed such artists as members of the 60's group The Newbeats and rockabilly hall of famer Andy Starr. I'm former lead singer of the pop punk band Nasty Abbott.