NEWS Nov 2011:
Nick D'Virgillo leaves the Beards!!!
Nick D’Virgilio posted on his website that he has now officially left Spock’s Beard
It is very hard for me to write this, but as all good things come to an end at sometime or another, unfortunately I have to tell you all that my time with Spock’s Beard has come to a close.
As you may or may not know, for almost 2 years now I have been working for Cirque Du Soleil on the touring show TOTEM. Traveling a bit of the globe with my family on an adventure that has been great, but also very tough. Great because I am finally able to fully support my family with this very unstable life I chose as a musician, but also very tough because this job has made it hard to do other things and the main thing is Spock’s Beard.
the amazing vocalist/guitarist Ted Leonard (Enchant, Thought Chamber) and
Jimmy Keegan (Santana, John Waite), who’s been the Beards tour drummer for close to 10 years now.
Look for a new live Spock’s Beard DVD and extensive European tour in early 2012, followed by our 11th studio release sometime in the summer. We’re energized and excited, and will be posting updates and sound samples as we progress.
The new sensation of heavy-symfo-land in the year '97:
Neal Morse -guitar and vocals,
Alan Morse- guitar, cello,
Dave Meros- bass,
Kyo Okumoto- keyboards,
Nick D'Virgillo- drums,
Beware of Darkness ('97) is one of the best albums in that year in heavy-symfo-land.
Kindness of Strangers ('98) is the next album with roots of Yes, EL&P cq Genesis. The Beard is out There is a live recording from '95 ('98). From the Vault. is a live complication only released in the U.S..
The album Day for Night (spring '99) is an album wich i like most (not to heavy and a few bits of the Beatles). With another live-album Live at the Whiskey's and V (2000) new progressive steps are made.
The Offical Live Bootleg: The Official Live Bootleg album, which has been out of print for some time, is back on the shelves again (May 2002). The material on this album was taken from the Beard's performance at Progfest 1995, so this is some very early live Beard indeed.
The new studio-album is called Snow ('02) and is double ceedee, with the most beautifull ballads they've ever written and some other heavy parts i never heard before. Snow is an albums of extremes. If you can buy the limited edition box, 3 ceedees. The line-up didn't changed, they had some help from:
Jim Hoke - sax, Chris Carmichael - violins & cello, Neil Rosengarden - flugelhorn & trumpet, Molly Pasutti - background vocals.
Neal Morse, has announced his resignation from the band, effective immediately. Morse's resignation was announced by the band last thursday (101002):
At this time we are officially announcing that Neal Morse will no longer be touring or
recording with Spock's Beard. He has decided to put all his energy and focus on his spiritual
We love and support Neal and wish him well in whatever he decides to do. It has been a
privilege sharing the stage and studio with him all these years. We will miss him both
personally and professionally. We had a lot of great times together.
The Mighty Beard will go on! We must Rock! We love this music and will keep on writing,
recording, and performing it for you. We will be recording a new album in the next few
months with a worldwide tour to follow. We appreciate the love and support of our fans
over the years and hope you will continue to support us going forward. We will continue
to perform your favorite SB songs, as well as our new material, in our live shows.
See you all soon on the road!
A few mounths later:
In the meantime it has be announced that Nick will leave the drumkit and will do the vocals...
A new Phil Collins is born.
They are working on a new album. Following are excerpts from a studio update that recently
appeared on the band's website:
(...) Song contributions from NDV, Ryo and the new writing team of Alan Morse and
John Boegehold (more on him later) provided the raw material and a jumping off point
for the band as they wrote and arranged a new collection of songs in the studio.
Sounding edgier, and more fusion/hard rock oriented, they are defining a brand new
Beard sound and style.
At the board again for this project is Rich Mouser, the engineer who masterfully
crafted the ground breaking concept album SNOW. He is bringing his considerable
expertise to the project providing just the right amount of continuity with prior
Beard works, while helping them to invent a fresh new sound.
With principal songwriter Neal Morse gone, a fresh new sound seems to be the only way to go.
Any which way, the aforementioned progressive rock community waits with anticipation.
At the end of 2002, shortly after the departure of Neal Morse, Spock's Beard finally
released their long-awaited DVD, Don't Try This At Home + The Making Of V,
more than three years after its recording in Tilburg
during the "Day For Night" tour. The DVD can be seen as a farewell present of Neal Morse,
with an astounding package of not one, but two extras packed DVDs *and* a bonus CD, with a
total playing time of over five and a half hours.
The first disc is a registration of the entire gig at the 013 in Tilburg on September 28th,
1999, which was earlier released as two live CDs: Don't Try This At Home and
Don't Try This @ Home Either. This is the same venue as where IQ filmed their
The new Spock´s Beard album is entitled Feel Euphoria. Street date is the 30th June
and it will be the first statement of the band, since Neal Morse left. New vocalist is
drummer Nick D´Virgilio. "Feel Euphoria" will be also available as Special Edition.
Spock´s Beard are coming to Europe in Autumn.
Nick d’Virgilio : vocals, drums, percussion, loops, acoustic and electric guitars,
Ryo Okumoto : keyboards,
Alan Morse : electric and acoustic guitars, vocals,
Dave Meros : bass,
additional musicians; Claire Pasquale - trumpet/ picolo, Gina Ballina - french horn,
Steve Velez - cello, J'Anna Jacoby - volin, John Boegehold - add. synths / backward stuff & fellow
songwriting, Stan Ausmus - songwriting, Rich Mouser - engineer.
Feel Euphoria is a cup of
seventies prog and a saucer of good rock music. Nick singing is oké, Ryo's keyboardsolo's
makes the album interesting. They'll survive!
The story looks like as the story of Genesis, but i like Trick of a Trail more then Feel
Euphoria, the most people who know me will see that as a compliment ;-)
Octane (2005) (Release 31/01/2005).
Octane is the 8th and newest release from Spock's Beard.
It's a collection of 12 new songs. The first seven songs form an epic song-cycle
called "A Flash Before My Eyes". Then, there are five more great tracks.
The total running time is 55:55.
Tsunami Relief CDSpock Beard,
Started out as a simple "what if..." idea in an online community. And it will become big too:
Neal Morse and his band,
Randy George of Ajalon,
Mark McCrite from both Rocket Scientist and
Jimmy Keegan, tour drummer Spock Beards.
feel free to take this banner and place
it on your own site as a link to
Gluttons For Punishment - Live 05 (2005).
A double live album.
The band's ninth studio CD is simple called Spock's Beard.
An album with fantastic prog songs, like the instrumental track "Skeletons At The Feast",
but also an album with some rock songs like "Wherever You Stand". Oh and I don't mind rock songs but I don't know if
it was wise to put them on the disc. Maybe a shorter disc witht the more excellent proggy
songs would grab my attention from the first till the last tune. But nevertheless a fine album from some
Nick D'Virgilio - drums, timpani, percussion, vocals and some guitar,
Alan Morse - Guitar, backing and lead (on "Wherever you Stand") vocals,
Dave Meros - bass, bass synth, sitar and backing vocals,
Ryo Okumoto - keyboards and backing vocals, with;
John Boegehold - voices, additional guitar and synths,
Stan Ausmus - voices and additional guitar,
Rich Mouser - voice,
The Barnhart Chorus,
The Section Quartet.
X - Limited Edition (June, 2010).
Nick D'Virgilio - Drums, Vocals, Additional Guitar
Alan Morse - Guitars, Vocals
Ryo Okumoto - Keyboards
Dave Meros - Bass, Vocals, Additional Keyboards
John Boegehold - Additional Keyboards,
Jimmy Keegan - Backing Vocals
French Horn: Danielle Ondarza (2,6,7,8) Trombone: Dennis Jiron (2,6,7,8)
Strings performed by The Section Quartet (1,2,6,8) Violin: Eric Gorfain, Violin: Daphne Chen, Viola: Lauren Chapman, Cello: Richard Dodd
String and horn arrangements by: John Boegehold (1,6,8) and Alan Morse (2,7), copyist: Kaylene Peoples (2,7).
A new album will be released in fall 2012!
SB will be playing at the Night Of The Prog in St. Goarshausen, Germany on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
More info: tour dates.
Guitar, keyboards, organ, vocals, stage-animal in
. End '99 solo with college Nick D'Virgillo on drums, a little symfo, Crowded House and Tom Petty.
Together with Dave Meros he plays a few live gigs with Eric Burdon ('98-'99).
Al Stewart (Famous last Words; vocals),
Nick D'Virgillo (01) see a few lines futher.
Together with Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Pete Trewaras (Marillion) and Roine Stolt (Flower Kings) under the flag of Transatlantic. One studio-album and a double-live recording.
It's not to late (August 2001) is his second solo-album.
This he wrote on the website of Spock Beard, after his depature:
Dear fans and friends of Spock's Beard,
I'm sorry to say that the rumors are true, I am leaving Spock's Beard for parts unknown. I feel that God wants me to do something else, and I'm not sure why exactly, but it's a feeling I've had for a while. I've been hoping it would change, but it hasn't, and so I'm quitting.
I want you all to know that I've given it careful consideration, thought and prayer, and it's with great sadness that I make this announcement.
The band is going on and I fully love and support them and I hope you will too.
Thanks to you all for making our dreams come true. My family and I wish you all the best.
Testimony is his double album from 2003, with MIKE PORTNOY from Dream Theater
and KERRY LIVGREN of Kansas! A verry fine proggy album, a bit less heavier as we are
used from Spock's Beard.
Eric Benton - violin, viola, flute and microphone breaking,
Chris Carmichael - violin, viola, cello, string and facial contortions,
David Henry cello and no jokes about him,
Mike Portnoy - drums, vocals and the fang,
Pamela Ward & Gene Miller - vocals and they wailes a bit as wel,
Jim Hoke & Neil Rosengarden - Sax and trumpet respectivelly,
Katie Hagen - french horn, trumpet directly from the Nashville Symphonyfrench horn, trumpet directly from the Nashville Symphony,
Mark Leniger - sax solo and spiritual discernmentfrench horn, trumpet directly from the Nashville Symphony,
Byron House - string bass and mellowness,
Glenn Caruba - percussion and i bunch of stuff Neal can't spell,
Johnny Cox - pedal steel guitarf,
Jerry Guidroz - handclacp, flying in the tick-tocks in 10 minutes!french horn,
Kerry Livgren - guitar solo in Long Story,
Anything not mentioned here performed by Neal.
One ('04) is his new studio album with Mike Portnoy on drums, bassist Randy George
and guitarist Phil Keaggy.
Neal also took a more collaborative approach on One, writing with Portnoy and George.
On his new album Secret ('05) are playing:
Neal Morse (keyboard, guitar, vocals)
Mike Portnoy (drums)
Randy George (bass)
Paul Bielatowicz (2nd guitar)
Carl Groves (background vocals)
Jonathan Willis (strings)
Jim Hoke (saxophone)
Ivory Leonard & Danielle Spencer (background vocals).
Neal Morse - vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion
Mike Portnoy - drums
Randy George - bass
Steve Morse - Guitar Solo on Seeds of Gold
Paul Bielatowicz - Guitar solo on Overture No. 4 and It's For You
Matthew Ward - Background Vocals and soulful wailing
Debbie Bressee, April Zachary, Mark Pogue, Mita Pogue - Background Vocals
Jim Hoke - Saxophones
Mark Leniger - Solo Saxophone
Kenny Barnd - Violin on Jesus Bring Me Home
Chris Carmichael - Violin, Viola and Cello on all of Disc One
Eric Brenton - Electric Violin Solo on Time Changer
Nick D’Virgilio, Dave Meros, Alan Morse - Featured Vocals on Time Changer
Testimony 2 - Live in Los Angeles (3CD/2DVD, 2011).
Neal Morse - lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Mike Portnoy - drums
Randy George - bass
Eric Brenton - guitar, violin, flute
Nathan Brenton - cello, guitar, vocals
Nathan Girard - keyboards, vocals
Rick Altizer - keyboards, guitar, vocals
Mark Leniger - saxophone, percussion, vocals.
Momentum wil be the new album released in summer 2012, with:
Randy George - Bass (Fullerton, CA)
Eric Gillette - Keys, Guitar (Fort Worth, Texas)
Bill Hubauer - Keys, Guitar, Violin, Sax (Clarion, PA)
Neal - vocals and more believes
Paul Simmons - Drums (Nashville, TN)
Adson Sodre - Lead Guitar (Coconut Creek, FL)
Flying Colors/, the new band from:
And their cd is out (April 2012).
Steve Morse - guitars, (Dixy Dregs, Deep Purple),
Casey McPherson - guitars, vocals,
Neal Morse - vocals, keys,
Dave LaRue - bass, (Dixy Dregs, Deep Purple, Joe Satriani, John Petrucci, Jordan Rudess, Steve Vai, and the aforementioned
Mike Portnoy - drums, (ex-Dream Theater).
Please check out their tour dates.
Paul Kilkenny ('06)(with David Ragsdale ( formerly of Kansas, Salem Hill, solo ), Abe Laboriel Jr.
(currently on tour with Paul McCartney), bassist Mel Brown (currently on tour with Marc Anthony),
guitarist Tim Pierce (Christina Aguilera, Toy Matinee, Phil Collins, Don Henley),
David Walliman ( Glass Hammer, solo ) and many others.
Tears for Fears, (live '96 and on a new comming album of them),
Giraffe ('94, wit Kevin Gilbert, see below they performed The Lamb lies ... at ProgFest!),
Peter Gabriel, (Princes Diana Tribute),
John Cougar Mellencamp,
Genesis (Calling all Stations),
Kevin Gilbert (who died in '96) The Shaming Of The True ('02)(!),
The NY Underground,
Fates Warning: replacing Mark Zonder in Fates Warning during the band's June and July
summer tour, 2003, with Dream Theater and Queensryche,
Lana Lane ('03),
Steve Thorne ('03-'05-'09),
Tears For Fears new album ('04).
Martin Orford ('08).
Robert Svilpa ('09).
Frost* live in the US ('09 + '10).
Steve Thorne ('09).
The Bearde Project ('08)
Amaran's Plight ('08)
Bryan Beller ('08)
Big Big Train ('09)(with Jem Godfrey and It Bites gitarist Francis Dunnery).
The Power of Two, A Flower Kings Side Project.
NDV will be playing drums and singing for Cirque Du Soleil (2010).
Big Big Train ('08 - '10).
Kevin Gilbert ('09).
Steve Thorne - Into the Ether ('09).
Cirque Du Soleil ('10).
Frost - The Philadelphia ('10).
Mystery, with Benoit David, yes he sings in Yes nowadays ('12).
He toured with: Tears for Fears, Mike Keneally, Jonatha Brooke, Eric Burdon, Spock's
Beard, Kevin Gilbert, DeBarge, The Legends of Classic Rock w/ Spencer Davis-Glenn Hughes-
John Cafferty-Mike Reno-Bobby Kimbal, Fates Warning!
Solo with the album Karma under the name NDV. On the album, Nick handles guitar, keyboards, bass and drum duties as well as providing an astonishing array of confident vocal directives. Along the way Nick is helped out by various colleagues including:
Mike Keneally - guitar, piano,
Rick Mussallam - guitar,
Bryan Bellar, Dave Carpenter - bass,
Alan Morse - cello, guitar,
Mike Johnson - wurlitzer,
Ryo Okumoto - piano,
Kevin Gilbert - piano, 12 string guitar,
Peter Plumeri - backing vocals,
Karma takes the listener through a journey reminiscent at times of The Beatles,
Dave Matthews, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and much more. Nick: "The idea of Karma works
its way into many of the songs, and that word describes where I'm at with my life anyway,
with my family growing, new house, the band. The hook line in "Karma" is 'You can't hide
when your karma follows you.' Good or bad karma can follow you anywhere."
Spock's Beard drummer and now also their singer Nick D'Virgilio has become full
member of the post-punk formation The Rubinoos. Recently, Nick was with the band in Spain
and Japan to perform a lot of gigs. You can also hear Nick on their newest album "Crimes
against music" on which the band bring you 13 covers in their own “bubblebum” way. Songs
from amongst others, Eurythmics, Elvis Costello, American Breed, Sweet, Del Shannon,
Beach Boys and Todd Rundgren's Utopia are given a specific Rubinoos arrangement.
Certainly a very busy boy, our Nick!!!
LIVE & ACOUSTIC, a cd and dvd ('04).
Nick did first session for Big Big Train
but he became full member of this exceptional good Genesis stylish band.
www.ndvmusic.com official site with more info.
Spock's Beard keyboard player (and general madman) Ryo Okumoto is
in the early stages of pre-production on his new solo album. It is reported that the album
will feature many guest appearances by musician friends of Okumoto, including Simon Philips,
Steve Lukather and Bobby Kimball from Toto. Spock's Beard bandmates Dave Meros and
Nick D'Virgilio will be part of the core band. The album is called "Coming Through".
He plays in K² ('05). K² is the brainchild of Atlantis bass player Ken Jaquess, with guitar maestro
Allan Holdsworth, Shaun Guerin takes on the vocal duties, Doug Sanborn on drums
and on violin; Yvette Devereaux. Additional guitar parts come from John Miner and Ken Jaquess.
John Payne, Guthrie Govan, and Jay Schellen from Asia as well as our Spock's Beard keyboard player
Ryo Okumoto - are behind GPS. A band teamed up in 2006.
Ryo i involved with K2 aswell. They follow up their well received debut Book Of The Dead with Black Garden.
Josh Gleason – Vocals,
Ken Jaquess – Bass/Keyboards,
Karl Johnson – Guitar,
Ryo Okumoto – Piano/Moog/Hammond/Synths,
Doug Sanborn – Drums/Percussion.
Updated May - 2012 by Nick.