Starcastle

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Starcastle
OriginChampaign, Illinois, United States
GenresProgressive Rock
Years active1969-1987
1997-2007
2018-Present
LabelsEpic Records
Websitestarcastlerocks.com
MembersGeorge Harp
Bruce Botts
Jim Questa
Matt Wiles
Tim Baker
Past membersGary Strater
Matt Stewart
Steve Hagler
Steve Tassler
Herb Schildt
Terry Luttrell
Ralph Goldhiem
Mauro Magellan
Scott McKenzie
Mark McGee

Starcastle is a progressive rock band from Champaign, Illinois. Formed in 1969, the group played many shows under the names Pegasus and Mad John Fever before eventually settling on Starcastle. They inked their first record deal with Epic Records and received extensive airplay and frequently played in the St. Louis area. The original lineup included former REO Speedwagon vocalist Terry Luttrell and computing author/programmer Herb Schildt, while the mid-1980s lineup would briefly include guitarist Mark McGee, who would go on to join Vicious Rumors. They released four albums on both the Epic and CBS labels. The band's eponymous debut album Starcastle sold well, garnering worldwide airplay.

Their later albums "Fountains of Light", "Citadel", and "Real to Reel" did not sell as well as the first and they were often criticized for sounding too musically similar to Yes. They were opening acts for such bands as Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, Fleetwood Mac, Kansas, Boston, Rush, Journey, and others.

In 2002, Gary Strater, Steve Tassler and Steve Hagler all released solo albums on the band's own Sunsinger label. This led to work on the band's final album Song of Times, before Gary Strater's untimely passing on September 19, 2004, from pancreatic cancer. Song of Times was released in 2007.[1]

As recently as June 2012, some surviving band members were working on a new archive release.[2]

Players[edit]

  • Gary Strater - Bass, Moog Taurus (1969–1987, 1997–2004; died 2004)
  • Matt Stewart - Guitar (1969–1981, 1997–2006)
  • Steve Hagler - Guitar (1969–1980, 2006)
  • Steve Tassler - Drums (1969–1980, 2006)
  • Herb Schildt - Keyboards (1969–1978, 1997–2006)
  • Terry Luttrell - Vocals (1973–1978, 2006)
  • Ralph Goldhiem - Vocals, Keyboards (1979–1981)
  • Mauro Magellan - Drums (1980–1981)
  • George Harp - Vocals (1982–1987, 2017-Present)
  • Scott McKenzie - Drums (1982–1987)
  • Bruce Botts- Guitar (1982–1985, 1997–Present)
  • Mark McGee - Guitar (1985–1986)
  • Jim Questa (2018-Present)
  • Matt Wiles (2018-Present)
  • Time Baker (2018-Present)

Players Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Year Title Notes Album Type
1976 Starcastle First studio album. Studio
1977 Fountains of Light Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
1977 Citadel Features cover art by the famous Brothers Hildebrandt. Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
1978 Real to Reel Re-issued on CD in 1998. Studio
2001 Chronos I Archive release featuring demos and unreleased tracks. Studio
2002 Eleven to the Fourth Twice Gary Strater. Synthesized electronic ambient music based on fractal equations. Solo
2002 Alive Beyond Recognition All compositions, performances, programming and production by Steve Tassler. Solo
2002 Echoes of Light Steve & Carol Hagler. Solo
2006 Alive In America: Live 1978 Also released as Shine On Brightly and Concert Classics Volume 5 Live
2007 Song of Times Starcastle's final album. Studio
2018 Alchemy A compilation of songs written while based in San Francisco, taken from demos, live shows and rehearsals. Multiple

External Links[edit]