The Georgia Satellites
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|The Georgia Satellites|
|Also known as||Keith and the Satellites (1980-1982)|
|Origin||Atlanta, Georgia, United States|
|Past members||Dan Baird
The Georgia Satellites are a Southern rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, USA. They are best known for their 1986 top five hit single "Keep Your Hands to Yourself", and draw inspiration from Chuck Berry, Little Feat, and AC/DC, among others.
Beginning in 1980, lead singer Dan Baird (formerly guitar in Atlanta band the Nasty Bucks -- "I Saw God on Ponce de Leon"), lead guitarist Rick Richards, bass player Keith Christopher, and drummer David Michaelson formed a band called Keith and the Satellites in Atlanta, Georgia. After playing local Southern bars the line-up changed to lead singer and guitarist Dan Baird, singer and lead guitarist Rick Richards, bassist Dave Hewitt and drummer Randy Delay and they recorded a six-track demo at Axis Studios in Atlanta. Christopher had left the band in 1982 to perform with Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush and eventually move to London, England for a few years, then Nashville with Coleen Cash (Johnny Cash's daughter). He is now living in NYC. Meanwhile, the band then changed the name to The Georgia Satellites. They played every Monday at Hedgen's, a beer-stained bar in the otherwise tony Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead.
Jeff Glixman who had produced, mixed and remastered artists such as Paul Stanley and Kansas, Gary Moore, Yngwie Malmsteen and Black Sabbath was enlisted to produce. Soon after the demo was recorded, the band broke up in the summer of 1984. Drummer Randy DeLay later performed with the Tony Sarno Band and the Hell Hounds around the Atlanta music circuit. Randy died of cancer in 1993.
However, while the band felt they weren't making any progress on their musical path and had moved on, their English manager, Kevin Jennings, took the demo to a small Yorkshire record label, Making Waves, who liked the material and released the demos as the Keep the Faith EP in 1985. The press response to the EP was positive and prompted the band to regroup in the United States. Baird had been playing with the Woodpeckers in North Carolina, while Richards remained in Atlanta with the Hell Hounds, who included both Mauro Magellan (drums) and Rick Price (bass, formerly of The Brains). With Baird essentially joining the Hell Hounds, the Georgia Satellites were reborn and American record labels started taking notice of the band.
By 1986 Elektra Records was willing to sign the band, who then reunited with Glixman to record their debut full-length album at Cheshire Sound Studios in Atlanta. The album, Georgia Satellites, was their most successful LP, featuring the track "Keep Your Hands to Yourself". The song reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, topped only by Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer". It went into extremely heavy MTV rotation. Other lesser hits included "Battleship Chains" (#86) written by Terry Anderson and "Can't Stand the Pain". That same year the first MTV awards came into being. Mary Deacon won for Best Art Director on the music video "Keep Your Hands to Yourself".
In 1988, the band recorded a cover of The Swinging Blue Jeans' 1964 hit "Hippy Hippy Shake" for the movie Cocktail. Released as a single, the song reached No. 45 on the Billboard chart. During that year the band released their second album, Open All Night, which included a cover of the Ringo Starr song "Don't Pass Me By", though the album didn't build on the success of the debut. A single, "Open All Night" backed with "Dunk 'n' Dine", failed to chart. A third studio album, In the Land of Salvation and Sin, was released in 1989, which included re-recordings of "Six Years Gone" and "Crazy" from the 1985 EP. Though the album received very positive reviews, it too failed to do well commercially, and Baird left the band in 1990 to pursue a solo career.
The band's 1993 compilation Let It Rock: The Best of the Georgia Satellites included a selection of the best tracks from the three studio albums and bonus material that had been released on the Another Chance EP (1989): "Saddle Up", "That Woman", and "I'm Waiting for the Man". Also included was a live version of Chuck Berry's "Let It Rock".
Current activity 
After a brief sabbatical following the departure of Baird, the Georgia Satellites returned in 1993. Led by original band members Rick Richards (lead guitar and vocals) and Rick Price (bass and vocals), with Kenny Head on keyboards and Todd Johnston on drums, they continue to perform. The 1997 album Shaken Not Stirred was a mix of re-recordings of their earlier material and eight new songs: "Running Out", "Let It Rock (Bye Bye Johnny)", "Deep in the Heart of Dixie", "Anna Lee", "My Fault", "Shaken Not Stirred", "She Fades Away", and "Rain".
Baird continues to perform with his band Homemade Sin, which features three former members of the Georgia Satellites. Mauro Magellan joined The Crashers after moving to Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Mauro played on both of Bairds solo albums and continues to tour with him, most recently as a member of Dan Baird and Homemade Sin, which also includes bassist Keith Christopher, formerly of Keith and the Satellites. In addition, Dan Baird performs as a member of the country groups Trent Summar & The New Row Mob and The Yayhoos.
Along with his commitment to the Georgia Satellites, Richards also plays with former Guns n' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin in his band, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds. They toured in the 1990s and have recorded seven albums, most of which can be found on iTunes. Richards also does recording sessions with like-minded players.
Studio Albums 
|Year||Album||US Top 200|
|1988||Open All Night||77|
|1989||In the Land of Salvation and Sin||130|
|1997||Shaken Not Stirred||-|
- Keep the Faith (1985)
- Let It Rock: The Best of the Georgia Satellites (1993)
|Year||Song||US Hot 100||Rock|
|1986||"Keep Your Hands to Yourself"||2||2|
|1988||"Open All Night"||—||6|
|"Hippy Hippy Shake"||45||13|
|"Don't Pass Me By"||—||33|
- Dan Baird – lead vocals, guitar
- Rick Richards – lead guitar, vocals
- Rick Price – bass, vocals
- Mauro Magellan – drums
- Todd Johnston - drums