Sunday, February 3, 2019

GTR (with Steve Hackett and Steve Howe opening acoustic sets) - 1986-07-21 - California Theatre, San Diego, CA

(With Steve Hackett and Steve Howe opening solo acoustic sets)
July 21, 1986 (1986-07-21)
California Theatre,
San Diego, California, USA

 Audience recording, good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Back to my ongoing Progressive Rock feature, and continuing with the career of guitarist Steve Hackett. We last left Steve in the early 1980's. Following the Cured tour (1981), Steve went back to the studio to create Highly Strung (1983), which was his last album for Charisma (record label), was more "Prog" than the previous album, but still with a sort of prog-pop blend. Steve left Charisma do to his desire to do more varied and a wider range of styles (and less mainstream) of music. For his first album on his new label (Lamborghini Records), Steve released Bay of Kings (1983), which was a full album of acoustic instrumental classical guitar compositions, and the type of album Charisma refused to release. But Steve was back to rock (as well as Brazilian and world music influences) for his next album, Til We Have Faces (1984).
Then, in 1985, Steve teamed up with another renowned prog guitarist also named Steve, Steve Howe, formerly of Yes and Asia, to form the new Supergroup GTR. Hackett has said that the idea for the band came one day when the two Steve's had lunch and began lamenting the fact that the guitar had been largely replaced in eighties rock music by synthesizers, drum machines, and sequencers, and that they should work together try to bring the guitar back into the spotlight. The announcement of this coming together of these two legendary virtuoso guitarists to form a new band was greeted with much excitement and enthusiasm among progressive rock fans. In addition to Hackett and Howe the band consisted of Max Bacon on vocals, Phil Spalding on bass, and Jonathan Mover on drums. The album, GTR, was released in 1986, sold very well, going gold and producing a top 20 single, 'When The Heart Rules the Mind'. However, although it is a solid album and contains much guitar virtuosity, many fans (particularly progressive rock fans) were disappointed with the album, its slick, more mainstream rock production, and the feeling that the songs were just not up with the best by either of the two dynamic stars. They wanted and expected more from this collaboration. And yes, the style is certainly more in line with Asia and other '80's rock than the classic progressive rock of their earlier days. But the tour of the band featuring these superstars performing together was something else. Both Howe and Hackett were able to fulfill a long-held dream of theirs to open their show with an acoustic guitar set, which they did every night, Hackett, then Howe, and then a new acoustic duo with the two of them together, before each GTR show. The band setlist consisted of the entire GTR album with the addition of a couple Genesis/Hackett and Yes tracks to rile up the crowd. I saw them on their only tour in 1986, and it was a great show, but the highlight for me (and many others) was the opportunity to see each of them play their opening acoustic sets and their acoustic duo, just shear joy watching them play. However, by the end of the tour, Hackett was ready to move on to other things, and promptly quit the band. Howe began work on recording a second album without Hackett, but abandoned the project (and the band) after several tracks were finished, but never released (Tracks from the aborted second album, titled Nerotrend, is available as a bootleg). Thus, GTR was another one and done band. Once again, Hackett left in order to pursue more varied and less mainstream forms of music.  Here is a full (including opening sets) show from the U.S. leg of the GTR tour. It's not a great recording, but it is the best (unreleased) one that I have from this tour. In 2015, a deluxe edition of the GTR album was released that included a full live show (GTR songs only, not opening acoustic sets) as a second disc. They also released a live disc from their King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast show. Those are probably the best quality live recordings available, but there are numerous audience recordings of several other shows available as bootlegs.

Steve Hackett solo acoustic set
01.[01:15] Steve Hackett Introduction
02.[04:24] Traditional Exercise/Blood on the Rooftops
03.[03:27] Calmaria
04.[04:14] Cuckoo Cocoon/Caval Canti
05.[02:50] Bouree/Horizons - Steve Howe Introduction
Steve Howe solo acoustic set
06.[03:09] Surface Tension
07.[03:16] Mood For a Day
08.[02:39] Ram
09.[02:56] Second Initial
10.[03:39] Georgia's Theme
11.[03:40] Clap
12.[00:43] Hackett Introduction
Hackett and Howe Duet
13.[03:55] From a Place Where Time Runs Slow
14.[06:07] Jekyll and Hyde
15.[05:48] Here I Wait
16.[05:26] Prizefighters
17.[07:16] Imagining
18.[02:30] Hackett To Bits
19.[10:09] Spectral Mornings/After The Ordeal/In That Quiet Earth/I Know What I Like
20.[04:52] Toe the Line
21.[02:57] Sketches in the Sun
22.[05:00] Pennants
23.[09:06] Roundabout
24.[07:00] The Hunter
25.[07:45] You Can Still Get Through
26.[06:15] Reach Out (Never Say No)
27.[06:46] When a Heart Rules the Mind
Total 2:07:04

Steve Hackett : Lead Guitars, Acoustic Guitar and Backing Vocals
Steve Howe : Lead Guitars, Steel Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and Backing Vocals
Max Bacon : Lead Vocals
Jonathan Mover : Drums & Percussion
Phil Spalding : Bass Guitar
Special Guest:
Matt Clifford : Keyboards

FLAC - GTR_1986-07-21_San Diego_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - GTR_1986-07-21_San Diego_mp3.rar

1 comment:

rev.b said...

Looks like a dream come true. Thanks BB!