Steve Barton (vocals, guitar, bass, drums) is best known as one of the singer/songwriters for the ’80s new wave band Translator. However, Barton actually began his musical career in 1967; it’s just that hardly anybody heard it. At the age of 12, Barton recorded a song for Sidewalk Records called “Lost” with his band the Present Tense; however, the guitar player’s father refused to sign the contract, and the track wasn’t released until more than three decades later, appearing as a hidden bonus track on Barton’s solo debut, The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around the World.
Influenced by the breathless energy and raw anger of punk rock as well as the sublime melodism of the Beatles, Barton formed Translator in 1979 with Robert Darlington (guitar), Larry Dekker (bass), and Dave Scheff (drums). Although Translator only had one commercial hit, “Everywhere That I’m Not,” the group’s devout cult following on college radio stations rewarded all four of their ’80s albums with substantial left-of-the-dial airplay. After the release of Evening of the Harvest in 1986, Barton found himself without a band. Troubled by the breakup, Barton ceased recording for several years. In 1999, Barton released his first solo album, The Boy Who Rode His Bike Around the World.