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Thread: Kevin Gilbert Memories w/Bonilla, Kerzner & Cotey

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    I have never thought that Kevin would have joined SB. However, I find it very interesting that he produced Beware if Darkness and have wondered why that album and not the first. More interested in his musical contributions if any to SB were important. Why Kevin’s studio? Was it financial? Anyway it is certainly water under the bridge at this point.
    The answer depends on whether Kevin G knew Nick D and Spock's before they started making the 1st album, which would have been ca. 1992. By the time Nick D played with Giraffe for Progfest '94, "The Light" was close to being finished, and my impression is that Kevin met Nick D not too long before. I think Kevin's involvement with "Beware Of Darkness" came as a result of the band liking the way he made them sound at Progfest '95, and possibly Kevin liking what he heard that night and volunteering his services. But surely Squids would know more on all of this.
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  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    I have never thought that Kevin would have joined SB. However, I find it very interesting that he produced Beware if Darkness and have wondered why that album and not the first. More interested in his musical contributions if any to SB were important. Why Kevin’s studio? Was it financial? Anyway it is certainly water under the bridge at this point.
    Here's what I know. Kevin met Nick in the early 90s doing some kind of Summer gig... I want to say a ski resort thing or something like that. Nick was then brought into the picture because Kevin and I were tasked to put together the band to play The Lamb. He already knew Dan Hancock would be a good Hackett. He said Stan would make a great Rutherford but didn't know if he'd want to so I was tasked to talk to Stan and convince him which I did thankfully. Then Kevin said he knew the perfect drummer to do the Collins role. He said he knew all of the Genesis material and had the right kit for it and even the headset mic and sang! At the time, we were taking a short break from Thud gigs but Toss Panos was the drummer of Thud not Nick. Not yet. It wasn't until after we played The Lamb at Progfest '94 that Kevin came to me and said that Toss was busy and what do I think about having NDV as the drummer of Thud. I loved Toss and it was a lot of fun to play with both him and Corky. But, having just had a BLAST playing The Lamb tunes with Nick I said "YEAH!!!". So, the next Thud rehearsal he was there and so was Russ Parish who I didn't realize was replacing Corky James. Oddly enough I knew Russ from years before that so it was a fun surprise for both of us.

    Regarding Spock's Beard, I only remember a few things that I was around for. One was going to see SB at The Whiskey and I DO remember them performing "The Light" because Kevin made a comment to me about how every Prog band has to have "the light" involved in a song (and I guess I have to agree because my band In Continuum has a bunch of that. You can't escape The Light!!! Haha). We went to see Nick and he's always great. I remember thinking "Spock's Beard??? What kind of name is that?" haha. But, over time you know how names transcend their original meaning. Look at "The Police" for example.

    Anyway, a little known fact was that SB called me and offered me to be their keyboard player before Ryo joined. They liked my performance at Progfest '94 on keys and Neal wanted a second keyboard player on stage so he didn't have to do it all. I was tempted to do it but I turned it down because we had just learned an hour of The Lamb in just a week and it was quite a challenge and that's even doing one of my favorite bands and favorite albums. I thought if I have to learn some other band's new prog songs and I didn't even co-write them it would just be overkill. In retrospect, it would have been fun and I probably should have said yes. I'm sure I would have co-written the tunes eventually too but... hindsight is 20/20. I've made some smart moves and not-so-smart moves in my career but at least I'm doing what I always wanted to do now and don't depend on anyone to do it.

    Anyway, to answer your question about why he worked on the second album as opposed to the first, I think it was just a timing thing. We ALL looked up to Kevin for his skills, talents and success. On top of that his studio was GREAT! He had a Neve console and Studer 24 track and his mentor was Bill Botrell. It would have been easy to see why they'd have hired him to produce their album and it was probably as simple as that. Certainly Nick would have been the driving force behind that... and also he'd be the best person to ask because I wasn't around when all of that went down. I have no idea if Neal butted heads with Kevin. I could see that potentially happening though because of the personalities. The reason Kevin was able to work with Nick a lot and also the reason I still work with Nick too is because, in addition to being an incredible musician and a drummer with great feel and style, he's also very easy going and cool to work with.

    You know how they say you can't have too many cooks in the kitchen? That was the thing with Kevin. He was clearly the "Master Chef" by nature. Even if it was a collaboration he'd lead the way. He could even play all the instruments and sometimes he would, perhaps without even telling you! I knew Billy Sherwood at this time too and he was like that as well. In fact, they reminded me of each other. You gotta hear Billy's story about the time the two of them were almost in a band together. The long and short of it was that Kevin gave Billy an ultimate and said he had to decide (maybe choose between him and Yes!!! haha) by the next day. I didn't know that even happened back then. It must have been before I started working with Kevin. Billy told me this more recently. But, the two of them in a band never would have worked! Too many cooks.

  3. #28
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    "whether he'd be in SB or Dream Theater or even Genesis"

    I think Kevin deserved a better fate than joining any of those, honestly. Though the Genesis one would surely have bumped him up several tiers in notoriety.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    "whether he'd be in SB or Dream Theater or even Genesis"

    I think Kevin deserved a better fate than joining any of those, honestly. Though the Genesis one would surely have bumped him up several tiers in notoriety.
    He would never have done what they needed which is sing all the 80s hits. He would have really pushed to do Gabriel-era stuff which would have sounded great, especially with NDV on drums as well. If they were truly fans of Kevin and not only admired his skills and talents (especially lyrically) that would be one thing. But, Mike and Tony liked to do a majority of the writing. So, yeah, Kevin was more than just someone who would sing someone else's songs (even though he'd have gladly done it if it was Gabriel-era tunes only or the non-commercial PC tunes).

    Funny thing is, later on when Tony Banks heard Nick D'Virgilio sing (on his Lamb tribute album) he said to Nick Davis (their producer) who said to me and eventually even said to Nick directly that had they known he could sing like that AND play drums they probably would have given him the full gig replacing Phil... on drums and vocals! I remember telling NDV that Nick Davis told me that and he was so laid back about it and said something like "oh well... at least I got to go over there and play with them at all!" (See what I mean about easy going?). But, then apparently Tony Banks and Nick Davis went to go see Nick perform in London and they grabbed a bite to eat or a drink and they told him the same thing themselves!!! Oh to be a fly on the wall for that one (or on the windshield... prog humor haha).

    The other person who almost got the gig was David Longdon of Big Big Train btw. Don't know if that's common knowledge. Oddly enough I could see how that could have worked... and I even think Ray could have worked out well had they just had stronger material (and a better album cover!!). I like Ray's voice and he's a good songwriter as well. I thought he did a GREAT job singing the Genesis material too (Both PG and PC era). Well... anyway, they're back one last time to do a tour when this whole Covid thing is over.

  5. #30
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    The great thing Dave about your writing and answers is that this history is being maintained and will if not already become common knowledge. I read the in depth interviews about Longdon’s audition in Genesis for Phil’s slot and the reason given for not choosing Longdon, is that he would be compared by fans to Gabriel and Collins. Apparently the Two wanted to depart from classic Genesis. Personally I think that is BS, because the person they chose wasn’t bad, but not in the same league as Longdon on any songs, and the live performances featured a lot of old PG Genesis songs. But again in a comparison to Kevin, Longdon is a composer and instrumentalist, someone Genesis could have used, versus what happened which was a variant of Mike and the Mechanics. Clearly Mike drove pop Genesis starting with Follow You Follow Me.

    Thanks Dave for your comments.

    PS: Maybe I misunderstood Banks if this is true:
    https://ultimateclassicrock.com/gene...-all-stations/
    Last edited by Firth; 1 Week Ago at 07:04 AM.
    On the verge of indecision
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  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    Anyway, getting back to that idea of whether he'd be in SB or Dream Theater or even Genesis... I say probably not.
    I don't know if the thought was he was going to join Dream Theater (or Spock's even) as a member of the band and on tour, etc.

    What I have read is that Kevin was going to work with Dream Theater as a PRODUCER (like Spock's on Beware of Darkness?...
    I didn't realize he actually was the producer for BoD. I thought Kevin only mixed/engineered some of it per discogs lists Neal Morse and the band as producers https://www.discogs.com/Spocks-Beard...elease/5225116
    ).

    But given the challenging experience Dream Theater had with Kevin Shirley producing the record they made (Falling Into Infinity), and the personalities wanting control (Mike Portnoy especially), the same issues may have come up with KG, that they did with Shirley.
    Last edited by mnprogger; 1 Week Ago at 04:57 PM.

  7. #32
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    You may expect to see some overlap between audio producers and engineers — in fact, many producers started out as engineers and in today's recording world they are often the same person! But overall the engineer has the more technical role.

    https://www.ipr.edu/blogs/audio-prod...ucer-engineer/
    On the verge of indecision
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  8. #33
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    After their critically acclaimed masterpiece The Light, fans and critics alike were keen to see if the band could repeat the magic on the follow up. Of course, the band manages to destroy the myth that second albums can often break a band. Beware Of Darkness explodes with melody and is just as infectious as their debut. Mixed by the late, great Kevin Gilbert, the album features classic Beard tunes such as the epic The Doorway and the title track - a cover of the George Harrison song.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  9. #34
    Oh as a producer or engineer I could have seen him working with a wide variety of bands and artists. That's different. Sure, if Dream Theater wanted to hire him I bet he would have. Whether it would have worked or not I don't know. He was quite opinionated even about audio. However, he ran a pro studio and really liked engineering. He even engineered on a Michael Jackson album. Plus, I used to score television with him (along with Robert Ferris and Sherry Sarto under the name "Matthew Delgado"). The standards for that music was not particularly high BUT... it was a gig and it paid well so... yeah as a hired gun in audio he would have done all sorts of things. That's different than the idea of him actually joining certain bands.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    Oh as a producer or engineer I could have seen him working with a wide variety of bands and artists. That's different. Sure, if Dream Theater wanted to hire him I bet he would have. Whether it would have worked or not I don't know. He was quite opinionated even about audio. However, he ran a pro studio and really liked engineering. He even engineered on a Michael Jackson album. Plus, I used to score television with him (along with Robert Ferris and Sherry Sarto under the name "Matthew Delgado"). The standards for that music was not particularly high BUT... it was a gig and it paid well so... yeah as a hired gun in audio he would have done all sorts of things. That's different than the idea of him actually joining certain bands.
    The one technical opinion of Kevinís I read about, was his devotion to the Neuman tube mike (I cant remember the model). Maybe itís self fulfilling prophecy on my part, but his mike on his vocals is just freakin smooth in the digital age. So many other vocals sound like nails on a chalk board to me. This live capture which has a bit of focus on Sheryl, and highlights Bonillaís guitar work on the live band is cool.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  11. #36
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    BTW, Kevinís and Bill Botrellís production/engineering work is up there with Steely Dan IMO.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  12. #37
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    The greatest example of blurring the lines between Audio engineering and production is the fact that Alan Parsons engineered Ambrosia’s first album and produced the second “Somewhere I’ve Never Traveled”. Alan may not have turned the knobs or slid the sliders on that second album, but I’m sure he directed those actions. Alan learned from George Martin, both musicians and engineers with big ears.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

  13. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by mnprogger View Post
    this was very informative. Great stories.

    The Monkees thing hits home given my wife is an enormous Monkees and Michael Nesmith fan (and actually Sheryl Crow), but hates Prog.

    Nez's son Christian Nesmith has even covered 2 Kevin tunes on YouTube. But it baffles her to learn how The Monkees have these connections with Prog.
    Christian also worked with the late Michael Sherwood, Billy's elder brother, who also did backing vocals on Yes's Union album, and work with Toto.

    Henry
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  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    The one technical opinion of Kevin’s I read about, was his devotion to the Neuman tube mike (I cant remember the model).
    His main vocal mic was a Neumann U47. It's one of the few things from Kevin that I own. I love that mic. It is incredible. I also had a chance to buy his second favorite mic from Jon Rubin, our former manager for Thud. It was a Neumann M49 and probably I should have but these mics cost a lot of money. I do progressive rock music so it's not THAT lucrative! A bit of a luxury to have both but they are great. His third favorite vocal mic that he had was an AKG C24. It's a stereo C12. All of these are tube mics. I don't know where that ended up. I would have loved that too but again it was expensive and still is. In any case, I use the U47 on my albums and it's awesome. At the moment it needs some maintenance though. But, I look forward to getting it back in tip top shape! I'll never sell it though because not only is it one of the best vocal mics in the world, it also has priceless sentimental value to me. I'm lucky I had the chance to get this.

  15. #40
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    Sweet
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

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