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Out of a jam session in 1971 this Swiss supergroup was born. The three founders were Turo Pashayan (Ex-Sauterelles) on bass and vocals, Roli Eggli (Ex-Fact, Ex-Alaska Range) on drums and Armand Volker (Ex-New Hue, Ex-Tusk) on guitar. Taking the first initial of each of the founders' names, they named their band TEA. They toured Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands and started to establish a name for themselves.
In 1973, it was rare for Swiss rock bands to get exposure on television, however TEA showcased their talent on the Swiss TV Show "Hits-A-Gogo". In the summer of 1973 the band toured Italy extensively including five concerts in Florence at the "Space Electronic" Club. The highlight of the tour was headlining an 8,000 capacity festival in Naples. Later that year, a new member joins TEA to complete the line-up. Philippe Kienholz (Ex-New Hue, Ex-Tusk) joined on keyboards and shortly thereafter, the band signed a contract with Phonogram's progressive imprint, Vertigo. Towards the end of 1973, the band recorded their first album in Dieter Dierks' (Scorpions) recording studios in Stommeln, Germany.
In 1974 they released their first single "Good Times" b/w "Judy". Neither track was on the album, and only appeared on an album with the 2009 release of "Reloaded". The album, titled "TEA" was released in 1974. In support of the new album, TEA joined Queen on their first European tour as "special guests" and concerts all over Europe followed. Swiss music magazine "POP" and their readers voted TEA that year's "Best Group" and individually voted each member of the band as the best in their instrumental or vocal category. The album was voted "Best Album Of The Year".
In 1975 their second album, "The Ship", was released along with the single "Summer In The City" (a cover of the Lovin' Spoonful song). The band also signed a distribution contract in the USA, however, before this materialized, the label went out of business. TEA continued touring Europe including Germany where they toured with Nazareth as their "special guests" and as the first Swiss rock band to embark on an UK tour; this as "special guests" of the Baker Gurvitz Army playing 23 dates in front of a total audience of 45,000. Leading music magazine "Melody Maker" wrote in their November 8, 1975 edition: "...fans surprised by the power and energy of TEA, first band from Switzerland to tour Britain. Reports MM's Bob Ellis from London:"I got the same buzz from them I had when I first saw Led Zeppelin. They came on to boos and shouts of 'Get back to Switzerland' and after the second number nobody could believe how good they were." Consequently, "POP" and their readers voted TEA "Best Group" for a second consecutive year and each musician in their respective instrument category also #1 with the exception of keyboardist Philippe Kienholz, who earned #2 place. "The Ship" was also voted as "Best Album Of The Year 1975".
In 1976, Swiss TV invited TEA to play as part of their "Rock Over Switzerland" broadcast. TEA played "Through Scarlet", from their 1975 release "The Ship". There were hardly any TV show opportunities for Swiss rock artists, however TEA clearly established themselves as #1 Swiss rock band. After the previous year's UK tour, TEA returned to Britain, this time headlining over 24 shows, including the legendary "Marquee Club" in London. In 1976, the third TEA album "Tax Exile" was released along with the single "Alexandra". Tours in support of the new album followed through Switzerland, Germany and Italy and at the end of the year, TEA played four concerts in Malta, Storace's country of origin.
In 1977, TEA played their last concert in Switzerland. Volker became a successful producer and owned a recording studio near Munich. Kienlholz and Pashayan worked on solo projects, Eggli founded his own company and Storace moved to London to form a band called "Eazy Money". They recorded a couple of songs, one of them was released on a "metal rock" cd sampler. In 1980 he joined Krokus.
Although TEA did not tour anymore, a "Best Of..." album was released in 1978. The album included a new, never before released songs called "Queen" and the flip side of the "Summer In The City" single release of 1975 called "Hold Me, Save Me". With the release of this album the musical legacy of TEA had turned full circle. Spanning over a period of 7 years, totaling 250 concerts, 150 of them abroad, TEA became part of Swiss rock history and the first Swiss band to conquer Europe. In 2009 TEA were mentioned in the report "Rockumentation - 50 years rock in Switzerland"
Sometime in 2007, Eggli, Volker and Storace started entertaining the thought of a possible continuation of TEA. This all happened before Krokus decided to reunite in its original formation. With Krokus touring less but playing larger venues, Storace felt he could handle his involvement in both bands. Rehearsals started with this trio; Kienholz was invited to join but declined the offer to continue working on his own musical projects. Bassist Pashayan was nowhere to be found, despite the band's persistent search. This might be a result of the fact that Turo Pashayan was detained in Switzerland on the basis of false pretences as investigations have unveiled and he will be indemnified.
32 years after they played their last concert and 31 years after the "Best Of..." album release, TEA re-introduced themselves again with a CD release on November 4, 2009. TEA released their new cd "Reloaded", a retrospective of their previous work in the 70's.
On December 1, 2009, TEA played their first showcase concert since 1977 at the "Mascotte Club" in Zurich to a crowd of music lovers and press. They were well received and many were amazed, how good the band sounded after all these years. The TEA originals Volker, Eggli and Storace were joined by Chris Egger, who replaced Kienholz and Dan Allenspach on bass.