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

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Kevin Gilbert Memories w/Bonilla, Kerzner & Cotey

    Did a show this weekend looking back on the music, career and life of Kevin Gilbert...




    For Episode #29 we take a fond look back at the life and career of one of the 90s brightest progressive talents- Kevin Gilbert. Our guests are three musicians from three phases of his career- Stan Cotey from Giraffe, Marc Bonilla from Toy Matinee and Dave Kerzner from Kevin's Thud band. For the first hour or so we get up to date on what Stan, Dave and Marc have been up to as of late, their early influences, vinyl buying and early concerts seen. Then we get into a chat about the best/fave albums from the likes of Yes, Genesis and ELP. Marc also looks back on playing with Keith Emerson, Eddie Jobson and The California Transit Authority.

    After that, we delve into a chronological look at Kevin's career from starting with Stan. The early years with Giraffe, Toy Matinee, a reunited Giraffe performing The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway at Prog Day 1994, the Tuesday Night Music Club with Sheryl Crow, Kevin's solo album and band Thud and more. Also, the guys ponder what Kevin might have done had be had the chance to live a long life. Though through his music, he does indeed live on.

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    One of the best in the series so far. A lot of this conversation should end up in a book at one point. Congrats to all involved.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
    Canterbury & prog interviews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdf...IUPxUMA/videos

  3. #3
    Though I haven't seen every one of Sean's shows, this was by far the best one I have seen. Totally engaging, fun and informative for 2+ hours. These guys could go on and on for days and it would be first rate entertainment.

    Well done Sean!!

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    The Jakko episode was very cool, too.
    Calyx (Canterbury Scene) - http://www.calyx-canterbury.fr
    Legends In Their Own Lunchtime (blog) - https://canterburyscene.wordpress.com/
    My latest books : "Yes" (2017) - https://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/yes/ + "L'Ecole de Canterbury" (2016) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/lecoledecanterbury/ + "King Crimson" (2012/updated 2018) - http://lemotetlereste.com/musiques/kingcrimson/
    Canterbury & prog interviews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdf...IUPxUMA/videos

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    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    That was awesome, Sean -- thanks (and thanks Stan, Dave and Marc.) It was great to hear these guys speak in such an honest, open and unguarded way about Kevin. I feel like I understand what was really going on back then 200% better than I did before.

    As an aside -- I was living in the south bay/San Jose during the time these guys are talking about. The Cabaret club off of Stevens Creek was the focal point for the prog crowd down there, which is where all the prog bands played including Toy Matinee. But that part of the Bay Area has more in common with Orange County towns like Fullerton or Santa Ana than places like San Francisco, and it's hilarious to me that for a brief window of time in the early 90s it was the center of the prog universe in America.
    Last edited by Paulrus; 09-06-2020 at 04:09 PM.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  6. #6
    It was a good combination of people for a round table chat. First, there's a lot of love and respect between the three of us even though we don't work together. There's a bond through both Kevin and Keith, two geniuses sadly no longer with us. There are so many people who have pieces of the puzzle regarding Kevin's story. Sean was clever in picking 3 from different eras as I think even the three of us learned things about Kevin from each other that we didn't know. Like, I don't think Marc or I even knew that "Giraffe" as a band name came from Gi - Gilbert and raf - Robert A Ferris (one of Kevin's friends and collaborators over the years).

    But, in addition to the stories about Kevin (which thankfully didn't get too gossipy but were still very candid and real) there was a great "musician's chat" going on.
    Last edited by Squids; 09-06-2020 at 10:38 PM.

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    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    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.

    I'm glad Sean brought up the Jeff Buckley thing, granted a lot of the similarities are likely purely coincidence.

    Also the quote from Jeff Lynne about Toy Matinee, I may have heard, but forgot how he said they were the greatest band he'd ever seen.
    Last edited by mnprogger; 09-07-2020 at 02:24 PM.

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    Is this a show you're doing regularly now, Sean? Very cool
    And the code is a play, a play is a song, a song is a film, a film is a dance...

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    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    Thanks! Yeah, it's one I've been doing since Covid started up.... I just finished my 30th episode today, chatting with Steve Hackett. Here's my past shows, if you could hit Subscribe I'd be grateful.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/SOALNightLive/videos

    Recently I had some cool chats with Lyle Workman, Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Jakko Jakszyk and Derek Shulman. To name a few... I'm chatting with Jellyfish's Roger Joseph Manning Jr tomorrow and have some other familiar folks in the works later this month.

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    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.

    I'm glad Sean brought up the Jeff Buckley thing, granted a lot of the similarities are likely purely coincidence.

    Also the quote from Jeff Lynne about Toy Matinee, I may have heard, but forgot how he said they were the greatest band he'd ever seen.
    Has your wife seen this:
    On the verge of indecision
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    It was a good combination of people for a round table chat. First, there's a lot of love and respect between the three of us even though we don't work together. There's a bond through both Kevin and Keith, two geniuses sadly no longer with us. There are so many people who have pieces of the puzzle regarding Kevin's story. Sean was clever in picking 3 from different eras as I think even the three of us learned things about Kevin from each other that we didn't know. Like, I don't think Marc or I even knew that "Giraffe" as a band name came from Gi - Gilbert and raf - Robert A Ferris (one of Kevin's friends and collaborators over the years).

    But, in addition to the stories about Kevin (which thankfully didn't get too gossipy but were still very candid and real) there was a great "musician's chat" going on.
    I only wish more about Kevinís Lawnmower Shop studio and his work with Spockís Beard has been discussed. Also, How did he get along with SB, and vice versa. It was discussed about what his future would have been. Sure itís water under the dam, but how much influence did Kevin have on SB.
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Thanks! Yeah, it's one I've been doing since Covid started up.... I just finished my 30th episode today, chatting with Steve Hackett. Here's my past shows, if you could hit Subscribe I'd be grateful.

    https://www.youtube.com/c/SOALNightLive/videos

    Recently I had some cool chats with Lyle Workman, Rick Wakeman, Jon Anderson, Jakko Jakszyk and Derek Shulman. To name a few... I'm chatting with Jellyfish's Roger Joseph Manning Jr tomorrow and have some other familiar folks in the works later this month.
    I havenít watched the whole Roger Manning interview yet, did he also discuss the Monkees and/or Kevin?
    On the verge of indecision
    I'll always take the roundabout way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Did a show this weekend looking back on the music, career and life of Kevin Gilbert...

    I wanted to post this here originally but couldn't for some reason put my fingers on this thread:

    This was a really entertaining and informative listen. I appreciate that so much history was discussed and shared without ever veering into gossip/grudge land. It also gave me added appreciation for the skills of the three estimable gentlemen involved, and deepened my perceptions of Gilbert as a musician and a human being. Thank you and well done!
    David
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    If Kevin had lived, was there a chance that he would have replaced Neal in Spock's Beard?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    I only wish more about Kevinís Lawnmower Shop studio and his work with Spockís Beard has been discussed. Also, How did he get along with SB, and vice versa. It was discussed about what his future would have been. Sure itís water under the dam, but how much influence did Kevin have on SB.
    I'm not sure any of those 3 guys would have insight into that. It would have more been a question for Nick D'Virgilio when he was on. From what Neal Morse has said, he (Neal) and Kevin butted heads a lot.

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    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    When Kevin passed away, his music focus had primarily been The Shaming of The True and Kaviar. Kaviar was a band Kevin wanted to move forward, and from my discussions with him, others, and notes on the subject, I believe he would have been concentrating on advancing that project. Any further thoughts of his career I can't seem to envision because he really wanted Kaviar to take off.

    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    If Kevin had lived, was there a chance that he would have replaced Neal in Spock's Beard?
    To accept the question, one must use a baseline for the position of Kevin's career at the time this opening in Spock's Beard occurs. If the plot stays the same in the Beard camp and Neal Morse leaves Spock's Beard as proven history revealed, I would think Kevin's career would have been at a level to which joining a band such as Spock's Beard would not be financially or musically viable for him or his journey forward.

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    "I haven’t watched the whole Roger Manning interview yet, did he also discuss the Monkees and/or Kevin?"

    Roger didn't actually know Kevin. I asked in a prior interview, so I didn't feel the need to bring him up again this time. We talked about some groovy 60s pop, but not the Monkees. Roger suggested an album in that vein called Rolled Gold by The Action. Try that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    To accept the question, one must use a baseline for the position of Kevin's career at the time this opening in Spock's Beard occurs. If the plot stays the same in the Beard camp and Neal Morse leaves Spock's Beard as proven history revealed, I would think Kevin's career would have been at a level to which joining a band such as Spock's Beard would not be financially or musically viable for him or his journey forward.
    Yeah, based on Sean's interview I came away with the understanding that Kevin was a) VERY success driven (he seemed to have a major chip on his shoulder following the TMC episode), and b) not really into a band project unless he was one of -- if not THE -- controlling member. I can't see how any kind of group project like SB would have been a fit.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

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    Member mnprogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firth View Post
    Has your wife seen this:
    yeah she has. She's probably a bigger fan of The Monkees, than I am to any band/artist I love. She finds HEAD weird like many, but doesn't really see it as so weird she doesn't enjoy some of it. The music of course she enjoys, although she's not crazy about Porpoise Song oddly.

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    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Yeah, based on Sean's interview I came away with the understanding that Kevin was a) VERY success driven (he seemed to have a major chip on his shoulder following the TMC episode), and b) not really into a band project unless he was one of -- if not THE -- controlling member. I can't see how any kind of group project like SB would have been a fit.
    Kaviar was a different beast. It was treated as a band similar to TMC. If you were there, you got a songwriting credit if something formed no matter how small or large your contribution. Check out the songwriting credits for Kaviar at Kevin's site HERE. Click the song title to review authors. I believe "Deathorgy 9000" has 7 writers.

    The band idea of Kaviar was so enticing that it led to Brian MacLeod leaving Tears For Fears to devote all attention to Kaviar. With that, Tears For Fears gained Nick D'Virgilio. Of course, Nick was a full member of Kaviar, so he had to bow out after a majority of the album was done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruno View Post
    Kaviar was a different beast. It was treated as a band similar to TMC. If you were there, you got a songwriting credit if something formed no matter how small or large your contribution. Check out the songwriting credits for Kaviar at Kevin's site HERE. Click the song title to review authors. I believe "Deathorgy 9000" has 7 writers.

    The band idea of Kaviar was so enticing that it led to Brian MacLeod leaving Tears For Fears to devote all attention to Kaviar. With that, Tears For Fears gained Nick D'Virgilio. Of course, Nick was a full member of Kaviar, so he had to bow out after a majority of the album was done.
    So what you're saying is Kevin would not have wanted SB because it wouldn't have provided the platform to further his career?
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

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    ALL ACCESS Gruno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    So what you're saying is Kevin would not have wanted SB because it wouldn't have provided the platform to further his career?
    I can only say at the time of his passing Kevin wanted to be in Kaviar. If Kevin were alive, who knows if Spock's Beard's history is similar to what transpired. Does Nick finish the 1996 Tears for Fears tour and rejoin Kaviar for their 1997 album and tour? Does Nick not go back to Spock's Beard? Too many variables to decipher one path of logic without taking into consideration another.

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    I did like the Genesis audition discussion which echoes I recall some comments from a few years ago about how Kevin seemed to be someone who may not have functioned in a band well, especially when he isn't having enough creative input (control).

    Another topic though that was not brought up was the possibility of Kevin working with Dream Theater.

    It seems that may have been a more likely thing to happen (than him going on to front Genesis), had he not died.

  24. #24
    I think it would have been highly unlikely that he'd have joined Spock's Beard. I remember going to see one of Spock's first shows with Kevin at the Whiskey. We went to see Nick.

    Obviously anyone could evolve over time and we'll never know how he would have changed his outlook or approach to things. But, his personality back then was one that wasn't well-suited for joining someone else's band. Even Toy Matinee was a struggle and when he took over for purposes of having a live band to promote the album (totally understandable under the circumstances but still...) it was the beginning of the end for that "band". He was a great band leader though in many ways. I loved working with him in Thud, especially as a keyboard player because he was a great player himself. I learned a lot from him. I like being in a band/project with someone who is driven and has a vision. These days I have to take on that role myself. But, if Kevin were around today I'd love to play with him.

    Anyway, getting back to that idea of whether he'd be in SB or Dream Theater or even Genesis... I say probably not. Only if those bands really got what Kevin had to offer and gave him enough room to do his thing. Even then the personalities could clash because he was very opinionated and had no filter. He'd just say it bluntly and some people I can imagine wouldn't respond well to that. Oh well... water under the bridge at this point. We'll never know. What I miss the most is what music he would have written himself. That means a lot more to me than what band he might have been in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    I think it would have been highly unlikely that he'd have joined Spock's Beard. I remember going to see one of Spock's first shows with Kevin at the Whiskey. We went to see Nick.
    ....

    Oh well... water under the bridge at this point. We'll never know. What I miss the most is what music he would have written himself. That means a lot more to me than what band he might have been in.
    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 Kevinís studio? Was it financial? Anyway it is certainly water under the bridge at this point.

    PS: I have thought that Kevinís compositional and musical abilities were exactly what Genesis needed wrt my own musical tastes. However, I donít think the post Gabriel Genesis egos wanted that or any other competing musical talent like Steve Hackett. This brings up the existential question, if you remove the balls from these guys with big brains, do you lose the output drive?
    On the verge of indecision
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