Was Chris DeGarmo Queensrÿche?

Tri-Ryche

I remember now…

This writing will probably piss off and alienate some of my friends and readers, but it is my thoughts and feelings and I will not apologize for that.

In the early 80’s a track caught my ear one day and wormed its way into my brain, “Queen of the Reich”. It was Iron Maiden meets Judas Priest and yet somehow…not. I didn’t catch the band name but a quick phone call to the DJ, yes I said DJ, and found it was a band named Queensrÿche and I was hooked.

Album after album came out and my love for the band and appreciation for their music grew and grew. In the midst of all of this I met and married my wife and she, in turn, grew to like  Queensrÿche as well.

The years gave us great albums and music to share. We were fortunate to catch them on the Hear in the Now Frontier tour and then Chris DeGarmo left the band.

I thought to myself surely the departure of Chris wouldn’t be the end of  Queensrÿche and I stood by patiently to see the results. Q2K was released and it was ok, but something seemed lacking in the song structure. I then heard some rumors that Chris was working with  Queensrÿche again on a new record. Tribe was released in 2003 and it gave me the magic I felt before from open to close. The “reunion”, however, was short-lived. Chris faded away again.

2006 to 2011 brought us Operation: Mindcrime II, Take Cover, American Soldier, and Dedicated to Chaos, all decent efforts but still lacking that je ne sais quoi. Then, the Taterÿche Wars (as I like to refer to them) began.

While I refuse to take sides in the whole fiasco (I am not nor will I ever be a part of their internal business matters, and was not included in any discussions so everything we read or hear is hearsay.) I kept an open mind as to the outcome.

I then heard that Geoff Tate and the band had split. Rumors of a new band called Rising West featuring Todd La Torre surfaced and I was impressed and glad they had decided to move on. As for Geoff I was hoping that he would pursue a solo career and Queensrÿche would be put to rest in an honorable way.

Needless to say that did not happen. Like a bad political campaign there was name calling and mudslinging galore. Eventually it settled, Geoff gave up the name Queensrÿche and named his new endeavor Operation: Mindcrime.

Both camps have continued to make new music and yet have failed to reach me on the level that Queensrÿche once did. Don’t get me wrong, Michael Wilton, Scott Rockenfield, and Eddie Jackson, are all stellar musicians and were critical to the Queensrÿche sound. Parker Lundgren and Todd La Torre are great additions as well, I just wish they would have stuck to the Rising West name and let Queensrÿche die an honorable death. Todd is a phenomenal vocalist and front man but he’s no Geoff Tate and neither should he be.   Was Chris DeGarmo Queensrÿche? Maybe not but he certainly was a big part to me.

-the Hellion

 

 

A tale of two Queensrÿches

TriRyche

A long time ago on a radio station far away…

I heard a song that caught my attention and drew me in. It was 1983, the song was “Queen Of The Reich”,  and Queensrÿche was the band. Over the years I grew to love the music and eagerly snapped up each and every release. In my humble opinion their music evolved, growing better and better which each new album.

The elements of  Queensrÿche were Geoff Tate on vocals, Chris DeGarmo on guitars, Michael Wilton on guitars, Scott Rockenfield on drums, and Eddie Jackson on bass. This lineup wrote some great, long lasting music that will forever remain in my heart.

Things were great for them until 1998 when Chris DeGarmo left the band. The salad days were over…

Various guitarists came and went in the following years, and then in 2012, the band parted ways with Geoff Tate and Todd La Torre was his replacement.

This is where the trouble started. I tried to stay out of making any statement on the whole mess but I recently read some articles on it and decided to finally weigh in on the subject.

When a band loses someone readily identifiable as their lead vocalist it is quite apparent. Some bands have managed to pull it off successfully (Van Halen, AC/DC for example). While I am familiar with Todd and his voice, he is no Geoff Tate and I feel he has been pushed into a situation where he is trying to live up to Geoff and not develop his own style. While Geoff has had to gather musicians around him to recreate the Queensrÿche sound. What are we left with? In my opinion, watered down versions.

Queensryche_with_Geoff_Tate_-_Frequency_UnknownQueensryche_with_Todd_La_Torre_-_Queensrÿche_2013

2013 brought us two Queensrÿche records Frequency Unknown from the Geoff Tate version, and the self titled Queensrÿche from the Todd La Torre version. Here’s where I start pissing some people off. I feel that these two records are mediocre at best, there I said it. Each record has its good points but ultimately both fall short of the mark for the Queensrÿche legacy. I also feel that the inclusion of rerecorded classic Queensrÿche songs on each record were a feeble attempt by each lineup to try and show each other up.

What to do, what to do? I think both Queensrÿches need to take note of what the current lineup of Thin Lizzy has done. The band took stock of what had been and what was to be and made the decision to rebrand themselves as Black Star Riders. This allowed the freedom to create new music under the new name and play the classic Thin Lizzy songs keeping the legacy intact. The guys in Velvet Revolver moved on and still payed tribute to their previous bands as well.

While the Todd La Torre version did briefly appear as Rising West they dropped that and returned to performing under the Queensrÿche moniker. I think that they should have stayed n that path and become a new band and moved forward with it and still honored the Queensrÿche history in their live performances.

The Geoff Tate version should have done the same thing. Geoff and his new crew should have found a new identity under a new name and moved forward as well and honored Queensrÿche in their live performances as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for all of the musicians involved and the Queensrÿche legacy,  in fact I have the Tri-Rÿche logo tattooed on my arm, but I feel all parties involved need to let it go and move forward. 20140404_062220_1

 

    ” Your heads in overload.
You’ve reached your threshold
and you’re about to explode.

Open your eyes. Just say what you want to say?
Open your eyes, you see yours isn’t the only way .
Open your eyes. To you everyone is blind.
Open your eyes and your mind.”

     Rest In Peace Queensrÿche – the Hellion