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|Origin||Hollywood, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Labels||EMI Records, Groovy (Holland), Moving Image Entertainment Italy, Lunaris records (2016)USA Sebastion Int'l Records|
|Associated acts||Headmistress Band in Rocktober Blood movie|
|Past members||Richard (Smokey) Taylor (guitarist)|
Richie King (bassist)
Perry Morris (drummer)
Greg MaGee (lead vocals)
David Glen Eisley (lead vocals)
Sorcery was a musical theatrical group from Los Angeles formed in 1975 by Taylor. Known for their music and 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 where Merlin takes on Satan. Band members were Los Angeles-based musicians guitarist Richard (Smokey) Taylor, bassist Richie King, lead vocalist Greg MaGee and studio drummer Perry Morris.
Magicians Paul Haynes played the part of "Merlin" and Curtis James Hyde played the part of the Devil in the show. 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. They were later signed by EMI Records in January 1978.
Sorcery also appeared on Dick Clark TV specials. In 1982, they appeared on Dick Clark's 90-minute TV special, A Rockin Halloween. Other artists on this show, Devo, Eddie Money, Jermaine Jackson, and Tony Basil and hosted by Fred Travalena. In 1983 they again appeared on Dick Clark's Halloween TV special, "A Magical Musical Halloween" along with Kim Carnes, INXS, Sparks, Billy Joel, and Jeffrey Osborne. Hosted by master magician Harry Blackstone Jr. They also provided the bumper music for both those TV shows.
In the summer of 1983 while they were recording and filming the Dick Clark special, Morris, Taylor, and King were signed to do the "Rocktober Blood" movie project with filming and recording to start in September 1983. They would have on-screen parts playing the part of the fictitious "Headmistress" band and also provide the "A" side of the film's soundtrack album. 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, California.
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. 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.
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.
In 1982, Sorcery releases the "Sorcery2" album. Perry is contacted by the Dick Clark company's producer, Larry Klein, who signs Sorcery to appear on a 90-minute Dick Clark Halloween TV special, A Rocking Halloween. Other artists on this show were Billy Joel, DEVO, Jermaine Jackson, Toni Basil, William Shatner, and host Fred Travalena.
In 1983, Sorcery was asked back to do Dick Clark's second-anniversary Halloween TV special, A Magical Musical Halloween. 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, Perry meets with Rocktober Blood movie producers, Ferd and Beverly Sabastian. The results of that meeting, Sorcery band members, Richard Taylor, Richie King and Perry Morris sign 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 "A" side of the film's soundtrack album. The Rocktober Blood movie soundtrack album was recorded in part at the "Baby-O" studios on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California.
Sorcery Live album is released.
Code Red releases new DVD of the film Stunt Rock. A two-disc set includes interviews with the film's producer Martin Fink, Director, Brian Trenchard-Smith and Sorcery band members, Richard Taylor and Perry Morris.
- October 2015 Sorcery music, "Talking to the Devil" from their 1978 Stunt Rock soundtrack album, is placed in Eli Roth's film Knock Knock.
- September 2016 Rocktober Blood movie and soundtrack are re-released on Lunaris Records.
- January 2017 Stunt Rock movie.
- March 2018. Movie Death Wish. Sorcery's track, "Sacrifice" (From their 1978/Stunt Rock movie soundtrack LP) is placed in film's garage scene.
- Richard "Smokey" Taylor – Guitar, Keyboards (1975–1987)
- Perry (Pere') Morris – Drums (1976–1987)
- Richie King – Bass (1975–1987)
- Greg MaGee – Vocals (1975–1979, 1984–1987)
- David Glen Eisley – Vocals (1980–1983)
- Joe Porcaro – Percussion (Stunt Rock LP 1978)
- Doug Loch – Keyboards (1978)
- Steve Hendren – Keyboards (1982)
- Lon Cohen – Guitar (1983)
- Paul Haynes played Merlin
- Curtis James Hyde played Satan
- Stunt Rock: Movie Soundtrack (1978)
- Sorcery 2 (1982)
- Rocktober Blood (Band appears in film and on the soundtrack) (1984)
- Sorcery Live (2000)
- Retrospect (2015)
- Stunt Rock (1978) Starring Grant Page, Sorcery
- Rocktober Blood (1984)
- Knock Knock (2015)
- Death Wish (2018)
Band members history
Sorcery's guitarist, Smokey Huff, (AKA Richard "Smokey" Taylor) is from Dallas, Texas. Huff relocated to Los Angeles in his early twenties to pursue his career in music. He played with members of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Rare Earth, Vanilla Fudge, Legs Diamond, Nazz and many others before starting Sorcery. Besides playing guitar for the band, he also played keyboards on their albums. He and lead singer Greg MaGee were the primary songwriters for the band. Although he had a vast collection of guitars, Huff preferred playing his Gibson Les Paul for the first two years with the band, and then built a custom Stratocaster that he used for Sorcery's studio work. Huff was endorsed by Hamer Guitars, Mosrite Guitars, Ampeg Amps, Travis Bean Guitars and B.C.Rich Guitars. He is now retired in Arizona. He still actively records and has current music and videos online.
Sorcery's drummer Perry (Pere') Morris, was from Sherman Oaks, California. He was a Los Angeles studio session drummer who played with many artists in the 1970s and 1980s, including the group Sorcery. He plays on all of Sorcery's albums. He was an AFTRA, SAG, and Local 47 Musicians Union member in Hollywood California. Morris was working as an "In-House" studio musician at Universal Studio's, when Sorcery members Taylor, King and Magee asked him to join the band. Some of the artists Morris played with are Harry Nilsson, John Denver, the Coasters, Jimmy Webb, Joni Mitchell, Tim Bogert, and Jay Williams. Morris also played on T.V. background (bumper) music, commercial jingles, movie soundtracks as well at many Los Angeles studios such as MGM Studios, Culver City. The Universal Studios in North Hollywood. and the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank. 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, California. He was also sponsored by the Ludwig Drum company. Morris also handled the business for the band. Utilizing his business background and industry contacts, he booked all the Hollywood "Whiskey", "Roxy" and "Starwood" shows for the band. Morris then secured a Management Company for the Sorcery group, with William Nelson, owner of "ORR" management, in Beverly Hills. William Nelson obtained the Stunt Rock movie and record deal for the band. Morris booked the band for the two Dick Clark TV special shows (1982 and 1983) for Sorcery, and in 1983 he made the Rocktober Blood movie deal for the band. Taking a break from the music business, in 1984 he became a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley. Morris died in March 2020.
Sorcery's bass player Richie King, is from Sherman Oaks. An original member of the band, King played on all the Sorcery albums and movie sound tracks. In early 1970s, he was playing in two local bands and doing session work with drummer Perry Morris. In mid 1975, King connected with both Huff and MaGee to create the Sorcery in August 1975. After playing several gigs it was clear Sorcery needed a new drummer. That was when King suggested Morris to Huff and MaGee and, by the end of 1975, Morris was in the band. Starting fresh in 1976 Sorcery was now complete. King played early Pre CBS Fender Precision bass guitar in the studio and on stage. King's stage amp set up was two Early Ampeg SVT amps, with 16X10" speakers, 2X15" speakers and 2X18" speakers. He was later endorsed by B.C. Rich guitar company. The B.C. Rich guitar company made the first custom built Stealth bass guitar (featured on the cover of Vintage Guitar magazine, see November 2008) in King's honor, as they were fans of his bass playing and Sorcery. King left the music business and pursued a career in financial services industry as a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley for 15 years. Then moving to Union Bank of Switzerland "UBS" for nine years.
Over the years Sorcery had two lead singers. The first lead vocalist for Sorcery was Greg MaGee, who was in the band from 1975 until 1979. Magee 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. Eisley is on the SORCERY 2 LP/CD and Sorcery Live. Sorcery also did Dick Clark T.V. specials in 1982 and 1983 that Eisley appeared on. Lead vocalist, MaGee rejoined Sorcery in 1984 and stayed with them for the remainder of their duration through 1987.
Sorcery band members Morris, Taylor and King 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.
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