Sorcery (band)

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Sorcery
Sorcery in Concert.jpg
Sorcery in Concert
Background information
Origin Hollywood, California
Genres hard rock, heavy metal
Years active 1976–1987
Labels EMI Records,[1] Groovy (Holland),[2] Moving Image Entertainment Italy,[3] Lunaris records (2016)USA [4]
Associated acts Headmistress Band in Rocktober Blood movie
Past members Richard(Smokey)Taylor
Richie King
Perry Morris
Greg McGee
David Glen Eisley
Lon Cohen

The U.S. rock band Sorcery were from Hollywood and Los Angeles, California[5] circa 1976 to 1987.

Background[edit]

Sorcery was a musical theatrical group from Los Angeles CA. Known for their elaborate stage show consisting of a hard rock band and two master magicians who incorporated the use of magic illusions in the on-stage battle of "Good vs. Evil". The original band members consisted of Los Angeles based musicians, Richard (Smokey) Taylor lead guitarist, bass player Richie King, Greg MaGie Lead Vocals and L.A. studio drummer, Perry Morris. Paul Haynes played the part of "Merlin" and Curtis James Hyde played the part of the "Devil". Haynes and Hyde were also honorary members of the "Magic Castle" in Hollywood, California. Their live stage show was billed as "The King of the Wizards against the Prince of Darkness" and played only a small number of shows before they were signed in December 1977 for the movie Stunt Rock, and January 1978 with EMI Records. Taylor, King and Morris also worked outside the Sorcery band doing "TV Bumper and movie background music", and commercial jingles in the L.A. studios. This Sorcery band headlined every concert they ever played including concerts with Van Halen, and whose members were endorsed by major musical instrument manufacturers, such as the Ludwig Drums company, Hamer Guitars and the B.C. Rich Guitar company. In 1983 the groups musicians appeared in the film, "Rocktober Blood", and provided most of the films soundtrack music as well. They were members of S.A.G., (Screen Actors Guild,) AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), and the American Federation of Musicians, (AFM/AFofM) in Hollywood CA.

History[edit]

1976–1980[edit]

The band played at the Hollywood (Los Angeles) clubs Whisky a Go Go and the Starwood during 1976 and 1977. They headlined every one of those shows. They only played 6 to 8 shows between 1976–77. After a 1977 show at the Starwood club in Hollywood,they were approached by William Nelson, from "Orr Management", and presented with a management offer with his company. They signed with his company, Orr Management in June 1977.

In September 1977, Arnie Frank, from the Jon Peters agency in Beverly Hills CA., called Sorcery's manager, William Nelson, regarding a movie project he was working on, ultimately entitled Stunt Rock.[6] The executive producer for the film was Herman Ilmer, from the Bassart-Group in Holland, and it was produced by U.S. movie producer, Martin Fink. The deal was for the band to appear in the picture, and provided the movie's soundtrack. The film was being directed by Australian Director, Brian Trenchard-Smith, and it starred Australian Stuntman Grant Page and the Dutch actress Monique van de Ven. The band would have a co-starring role as well. The picture was shot in Los Angeles in early 1978. The soundtrack album was recorded at the Warner Bros. Burbank studio's in March 1978 and produced by Jimmy Haskell. The film was released in Europe in the Fall of 1978. For the U.S. and Canadian markets, Allied Artists bought the distribution rights. Three months prior to the release date, Allied filed Bankruptcy in New York. The distribution rights for the picture were then placed in 1980, with Film Ventures International who released the picture in the U.S. and Canadian markets.

1981[edit]

In 1981, Sorcery was signed to its second Management contract with Al Anthony. Anthony, immediately booked them in Las Vegas, with "Starwood Productions", owner Beryl Cohen, to headline at the "Aladdin Theater for the Performing Arts", in Las Vegas for an October 31, Halloween Concert. That show was also co-hosted by a local Rock Radio station, "KENO FM-92". With the help of FM-92 radio station promotion, and local television ads, that concert sold-out in a matter of hours. After selling out the first show, Sorcery was asked to headline a second show the following weekend.

1982[edit]

In 1982, Sorcery was contacted by the Dick Clark company's producer, Larry Klein, who signed Sorcery to appear on a Dick Clark 90 minute Halloween TV special, "A Rocking' Halloween".[7] Other artists on this show were Billy Joel, DEVO, Jermaine Jackson, Toni Basil, William Shatner, and host Fred Travalena.

1983[edit]

In 1983, Sorcery was asked back to do Dick Clark's second anniversary Halloween TV special, "A Magical Musical Halloween".[8] This show featured, Sorcery, INXS, Jeffrey Osborne, Sparks, Eddie Money, and Kim Carnes. Hosted by master magician, Harry Blackstone Jr.

In the summer of 1983, Sorcery band members, Richard Taylor, Richie King and Perry Morris signed with "Sebastian Productions", to do the motion picture, Rocktober Blood. They would play the part of the fictitious "Headmistress band" in the film. They also would provide the majority of the film's soundtrack album.[9] The Rocktober Blood movie soundtrack album was recorded in part at the "Baby-O" studios on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood CA.[10]

2009[edit]

Code Red release's New DVD of the film Stunt Rock. A two Disk set includes interviews with the films Producer Martin Fink, Director, Brian Trenchard-Smith and Sorcery band members,Richard Taylor and Perry Morris.[11]

2015-2016[edit]

  • October 2015 Sorcery music, "Talking to the Devil" from their 1978 "Stunt Rock" soundtrack album, is placed in Eli Roth's film "Knock Knock".[12]
  • September 2016 Rocktober Blood movie and soundtrack are re-released on Lunaris Records.[13]
  • January 2017 Stunt Rock Movie.[14]

Stunt Rock continues to play theatres around the world today. It has become a "mid-night movie cult classic" in many circles.[15] Although Sorcery is disbanded, their music continues to be used in films from Quentin Tarantino's 2007 film, Grindhouse, to Eli Roth's 2015 film "Knock Knock" starring Keanu Reeves.[12]

Band members[edit]

  • Richard Taylor - Guitar, Keyboards (1976-1987)
  • Richie King - Bass (1976-1987)
  • Perry (Pere') Morris - Drums (1976-1987)
  • Greg MaGie - Vocals (1976-1979,1984-1987)
  • David Glen Eisley - Vocals (1980-1983)

Guest Musicians[edit]

  • Joe Porcaro - Percussion (Stunt Rock LP 1978)
  • Doug Loch - Keyboards (1978)
  • Steve Hendren - Keyboards (1982)
  • Lon Cohen - Guitar (1983)

Magicians[edit]

  • Paul Haynes played Merlin
  • Curtis James Hyde played Satan

Discography[edit]

  • "STUNT ROCK" (Movie Soundtrack) 1978
  • "SORCERY 2" 1982
  • "Rocktober Blood" (Movie Soundtrack) 1984
  • "SORCERY Live" 1990
  • "SORCERY Retrospect" 2015
  • "Rocktober Blood" 2016 Lunaris Records

Movie Credits[edit]

  • Stunt Rock (1978) Starring Grant Page, Sorcery[6]
  • Rocktober Blood (1984) [16]

Band members History[edit]

Sorcery's drummer Perry (Pere') Morris, from Sherman Oaks CA. is a L.A. studio session drummer who played with many artists in the 1970s and 80s. He was an AFTRA, SAG, and Local 47 Musicians Union member in Hollywood California.[17] Perry was working as an "In-House" studio musician at Universal Studio's, in N.Hollywood Ca. when Sorcery members Richard Taylor, Richie King and Greg Magie asked him to join the band. Some of the artists Perry played with are Harry Nilsson, John Denver, the Coasters, Jimmy Webb, Joni Mitchell, Tim Bogert, Jay Williams just to name a few. Perry played on T.V. background (bumper) music, commercial jingles, movie soundtracks as well as music work at many L.A. studios such as; MGM Studios, Culver City CA. The Universal Studios in N. Hollywood CA. and the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank Ca. Many recording dates were at the original "Gold Star" studios (on Santa Monica & Vine St) in Hollywood, The Record Plant, the "Baby-O" studios on Sunset Blvd. Wally Heider's studio in Hollywood and "Sound City" in Van Nuys Ca, just to name a few. He was also sponsored by the Ludwig Drum company.

Sorcery's lead guitarist, Richard Taylor, was also a member of S.A.G. and AFTRA, and the Musicians Union Local 47 in Hollywood Ca. Richard also played keyboards and was the main songwriter for Sorcery. Richard Taylor played with the groups "Legs Diamond" and the Los Angeles-based band "BOA". Although he had a vast collection of guitars, he preferred playing his Gibson Les Paul for the first 2 years and then built a custom Stratocaster that he used for Sorcery's studio work. Richard used Marshall amps for guitar and Fender amps for keyboards.

The bass player for Sorcery was Richie King, from Sherman Oaks CA. A member of AFTRA, S.A.G. and the Musicians Union, "Local 47" in Hollywood Ca. Richie was an L.A. session bass player who was endorsed (sponsored) by B.C. Rich guitar company. The B.C. Rich guitar company made a custom bass guitar in Rickie King's honor as they were fans of Richie and the Sorcery band as well.

Over the years Sorcery had two lead singers. The first lead vocalist for Sorcery was Greg MaGie, who was in the band from 1976-1979. Greg Magie appears in the film Stunt Rock and on the movie soundtrack LP. The second lead vocalist for "Sorcery" was David Glen Eisley from 1980 to 1983. David is on the "SORCERY 2" LP/CD and the "Sorcery Live" LP/CD. Sorcery also did Dick Clark T.V. specials in 1982 and 1983 that David Eisley appears on. Lead vocalist, McGee rejoined Sorcery in 1984 and stayed with them for the remainder of their duration through 1987.

Sorcery band members Perry Morris, Richard Taylor, Richie King and Lon Cohen also appear in the 1984 film Rocktober Blood as the "Headmistress" Band. They also are the musicians that wrote and recorded the majority of that film's soundtrack LP in 1984.[1][18][19]

References[edit]

Stunt Rock Film at IMDB http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078335/?ref_=nv_sr_1

External links[edit]