Starcastle is an American progressive rock band from Champaign, Illinois, United States. Formed in 1969, the group played many shows under the names Pegasus and Mad John Fever before eventually settling on Starcastle. They inked their first record deal with Epic Records in 1974,[1] and received extensive airplay and frequently played in the St. Louis area. The original lineup included former REO Speedwagon vocalist Terry Luttrell and computing author/programmer Herb Schildt, while the mid-1980s lineup would briefly include guitarist Mark McGee, who went on to join Vicious Rumors. They released four albums on both the Epic[1] and CBS labels. The band's debut album Starcastle sold well, garnering worldwide airplay.[1]

Starcastle
OriginChampaign, Illinois, United States
GenresProgressive rock
Years active1969-1987
1997-2007
2018-present
LabelsEpic Records
Websitestarcastlerocks.com
MembersGeorge Harp
Bruce Botts
Jim Questa
Matt Wiles
Tim Baker
Past membersGary Strater
Matt Stewart
Steve Hagler
Steve Tassler
Herb Schildt
Terry Luttrell
Ralph Goldhiem
Mauro Magellan
Scott McKenzie
Mark McGee

Their later albums Fountains of Light, Citadel, and Real to Reel did not sell as well as the first and they were often criticized for sounding too musically similar to Yes.[1] They were opening acts for such bands as Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Fleetwood Mac, Kansas, Boston, Rush, Journey, and others. After several line-up changes, the band went on a ten-year hiatus from 1987.

In 2002, Gary Strater, Steve Tassler and Steve Hagler all released solo albums on the band's own Sunsinger label. This led to work on the band's final album Song of Times, before Gary Strater's death on September 19, 2004, from pancreatic cancer. Song of Times was released in 2007.[2]

In November 2018, the band's official website announced the release of Alchemy, an archive release of studio and live material from the band's 1980s line-up. Additionally, their website announced a new line-up of the band consisting of George Harp (vocals) and Bruce Botts (guitar), both of whom were in the 1980s line-up, and newcomers Jim Questa (keyboards), Matt Wiles (bass), and Tim Baker (drums).

PlayersEdit

Current

  • George Harp - Lead Vocals (1982–1987, 2017–Present)
  • Bruce Botts - Guitar, Backing Vocals (1982–1985, 1997–Present)
  • Jim Questa - Keyboards, Backing Vocals (2018–Present)
  • Matt Wiles - Bass, Backing Vocals (2018–Present)
  • Tim Baker - Drums, Backing Vocals (2018–Present)

Past

  • Gary Strater - Bass, Moog Taurus, Backing Vocals (1969–1987, 1997–2004; died 2004)
  • Matt Stewart - Guitar, Backing Vocals (1969–1981, 1997–2006)
  • Steve Hagler - Guitar, Backing Vocals (1969–1980, 2006)
  • Steve Tassler - Drums, Backing Vocals (1969–1980, 2006)
  • Herb Schildt - Keyboards (1969–1978, 1997–2006)
  • Terry Luttrell - Lead Vocals (1973–1978, 2006)
  • Ralph Goldhiem - Lead Vocals, Keyboards (1979–1981)
  • Mauro Magellan - Drums (1980–1981)
  • Scott McKenzie - Drums, Backing Vocals (1982–1987)
  • Mark McGee - Guitar (1985–1986)

TimelineEdit

 

DiscographyEdit

Year Title Notes Album Type
1976 Starcastle First studio album. Studio
1977 Fountains of Light Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
1977 Citadel Features cover art by the famous Brothers Hildebrandt. Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
1978 Real to Reel Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
2001 Chronos I Archive release featuring demos and unreleased tracks. Studio
2002 Eleven to the Fourth Twice Gary Strater. Synthesized electronic ambient music based on fractal equations. Solo
2002 Alive Beyond Recognition All compositions, performances, programming and production by Steve Tassler. Solo
2002 Echoes of Light Steve & Carol Hagler. Solo
2006 Alive In America: Live 1978 Also released as Shine On Brightly and Concert Classics Volume 5 Live
2007 Song of Times Studio
2018 Alchemy A compilation of songs written while based in San Francisco, taken from demos, live shows and rehearsals. Multiple

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who’s Who of Heavy Metal (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 338. ISBN 0-85112-656-1.
  2. ^ "Starcastle: Song of Times". Seaoftranquility.org. Retrieved November 23, 2019.

External linksEdit