GTR/MARILLION: My Walk Down "Mid-80's Prog" Memory Lane

I was out delivering mail, today, listening to GTR. I happened to mention something about it on Facebook, and my good friend Kate responded that she was not aware of GTR. This really shocked me, for two reasons... 1)I consider Kate to be one of the most knowledgeable people I know, from a musical perspective. 2)Kate is an avid fan of the late 70's era YES music.

If YOU haven't heard of GTR, you are probably not alone. GTR released one album, a self-titled album, produced by GEOFFREY DOWNES of ASIA fame. The band was formed by STEVE HACKETT (formerly of GENESIS) and STEVE HOWE (YES/ASIA).

As I told Kate, GTR is probably the band that I regret NOT seeing live, more than any other. They played in Salt Lake City, during the early of summer of 1986. I recall the venue, plus the fact that the opening act was HACKETT/HOWE, which was essentially the two Steves performing acoustic duets. Every time I listen to that album, I cringe at the thought of not paying the few bucks to see this incredible collective of musicians. In addition to the two Steves, GTR featured Max Bacon on vocals, who was formerly a vocalist for MOBY DICK, as well as... what? A milkman?? Now that touches my heart, as I was also a milkman for seven long, gruelling years. The band also featured Jonathan Mover on drums. Jonathan was formerly of MARILLION, as well as a member of STEVE VAI's band.


Speaking of MARILLION, my trip down memory lane ALSO included the listening of "MISPLACED CHILDHOOD". This 1985 album, by Marillion, featured the minor US hit (and namesake of my niece) "KAYLEIGH". It is interesting to read the liner notes of the 2 disc remastered version of this album, when FISH (former Marillion vocalist) talks about the conception of "Kayleigh". This song was written for a former lover, whose name was apparently Kaye Lee. He didn't want to run into problems, so he created this pseudonym for the person of whom the song was penned. Years later, Fish is always approached by young women who say that they were named after that great song. You could say it's the "Aubrey" syndrome.... a name made popular by the 70's Pop group, BREAD.

If you haven't heard MARILLION, they are very much worth investigating. The early era of Marillion featured FISH on vocals. After his departure, to begin a solo career, STEVE HOGARTH replaced him. Mr. Hogarth still leads the band, today. Truth be told, I am mostly familiar with the 80's era of Marillion. Their sound was very similar to early GENESIS, not to mention Fish seems to have a very "Gabrielesque" voice, referring to original Genesis vocalist, PETER GABRIEL.

Do you get the sense that although these two album choices were not INTENTIONALLY chosen together, that they seem to be more related than they originally seemed? Crazy, crazy...



Kate said…
Never before has my name been bandied about so much in a blog post!

::beams with pride::
Kate said…
Altho I STILL don't ever remember hearing GTR, or hearing OF them, I do remember that Marillion song. I quite loved it at the time! I wanted to have that girl's hair. The one in the video. It was hard to be a girl in the '80s if you didn't have great hair...