SPOCK'S BEARD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS LIST

Maintained by Miguel Farah
Version 4.40 - last updated 9 june 2002

This is the Frequently Asked Questions List about Spock's Beard.

The FAQL is in a permanent draft state, until the maintainer manages to correct/fill/update the half answered questions, the half done sections, the things that should look better and the outdated information. The FAQL maintainer is open to input, so you are more than welcome to point out whatever you think needs to be corrected.


CONTENTS

Click on any subject to jump directly to it:


WHERE TO GET THIS DOCUMENT

This document can be found on the Internet at the following locations:

If you would like to mirror the Spock's Beard FAQL, contact its maintainer through this contact form.


ABBREVIATIONS YOU SHOULD KNOW

The following are Spock's Beard related abbreviations you should know:

Here are other abbreviations you should know:


WHAT THE HELL IS SPOCK'S BEARD?

Spock's Beard is an american progressive rock band. Fill with a full blurb here.

Its members are:


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BAND

Spock's Beard was formed in Los Angeles in the spring of 1992, as Neal Morse tells us in an interview from "Wondrous Stories":

Well, at first it was just me and my brother Al recording for fun and doing whatever we felt like doing. Then in spite of our pasts, we thought it would be cool to put a band together. This was around the spring of 1992.

I met Nick at a musicians jam night thing. We both were called up to play some blues. I played horribly - he was great. Anyway, I sent him a cassette of the demos and he flipped out over it, which shocked the hell out of me. I mean, I didn't think you could get such great players for a project so clearly uncommercial. And it was pretty much the same deal with the other guys.

We had a different bass player originally and when it came time to find a new guy, Al and I both thought of Dave (we'd known him for a long time). And by God, he wanted to do it! Amazing. Not that we weren't good or anything, but I guess I had just gotten used to people not being into the same stuff as me.

The most incredible was Ryo, he came into the first rehearsal with everything written out and played out the entire first album almost perfectly! At the end we all laughed and said "Dude, I think you got the gig!".

In october 2001, Tiffany D'Virgilio (Nick's wife) was asked "How did Nick and Neal meet? What was your first reaction when you heard the Beard?" in Thoughts. This was her response:

OK-well it was about a million years ago. Seems like it, but I think it must have been 91 or so. Nick had been going to these musician jams in town. Sometimes I'd go, basically it's a ton of musicians in a room and they all take turns jamming on stage. One night Neal was there with Al and so was Nick-they all wound up on stage at the same time and hit it off. Neal told him about the demo he had and asked if Nick was interested in a prog thing. So Nick and I trekked out to this little house Neal was living in at the time, I think in Santa Monica. Nick ran in and picked up the tape and we got back on the freeway and he pops it in. The Light starts playing and by the time Senor Velasco hit, Nick and I looked at each other and said...You have to be in this band! Maybe one or two comments wavering between weird stuff, and this guys is a genius!
So Nick joined. They used to practice in Neal's little garage/studio and I would go hang and sit on the couch. (I was a very dedicated musician's girlfriend and would go to most of his gigs and some rehearsals. My dad had lugged me around to all of it as a kid, so I was used to it, and sometimes it was the only time we would get together with my school schedule) So the Beard was born. They named the band "One" which no one really liked and did a couple of gigs. I still remember most of them. Different bass player who always told raunchy stories. Much different than Dave!

Later, she added:

Really one of those memories I'll never forget. Driving along the 60 freeway tripping out on Neal. We could not believe anyone could write something so cool and amazing. If you all could have seen the looks on our faces. We were both so blown away and Nick was playing cover bands-so this was something so different and so like the kind of music we loved. Our mouths were kind of gaping open and we both just thought the same thing.
Very neat moment for both The Beard and for Nick and I. Who knew it would become a second family for us all those years ago. Sometimes I feel like we have been together forever. Being 20 feels like forever ago.

Spock's Beard had an offer from a small prog label, but -after months of negotiations- they chose to make the album themselves. In 1994, the band went into the studio and recorded their debut album "The Light", which many critics have called the best progressive album of the decade.

Then in 1996 the band recorded their second album "Beware Of Darkness", mixed in part by Kevin Gilbert. They then signed to JVC/Victor in Japan and GEP in Europe, and Warner/Chappell Music Publishing. The band then went on to form their own record company, RADIANT RECORDS, to handle all their releases in the U.S. - "The Official Live Bootleg", being their first, followed by "Beware Of Darkness".

In May 1997, the band made their second appearance at Progfest in Los Angeles, California, where they premiered "In the Mouth of Madness" and "June" (from their then-latest album, "The Kindness of Strangers"). Both songs were well received, especially "June" which drew a standing ovation from the Progfest crowd.

In October 1998, Spock's Beard released a rarities album titled "From The Vault".

In November 1998, Spock's Beard released a live album in Europe, titled "The Beard Is Out There". The track list is the same as their previously released "The Official Live Bootleg", with one additional track (Fire/Waste Away).

The fourth studio album is titled "Day For Night" and was released on March 23rd, 1999.

Spock's Beard then did a short Eastern U.S. tour, including headlining at NEARfest (North East Art Rock Festival), on Sunday June 27, 1999. They also toured Europe in September, 1999.

In 25 april 2000, another live album, called "Don't Try This At Home", was released.

During august 2000, the band performed as openers for Dream Theater in the second leg of their Metropolis 2000 US tour.

The fifth studio album, "V", was released on August 22, 2000. It premiered at The Troubadour, for the Pre-Progfest show in August 31. This gig is considered as one of the very best the band have delivered.

During november 2000, two more live albums were released: "Nick 'n Neal - Two Separate Gorillas" (acoustic shows by Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio) and "Don't Try This At Home Either!".

"All on A Sunday", a CD single with reworked versions of some of its songs, intended for European radios, was released in may 2001.

In 21 july 2001, yet another live album, called "There And Here", was released.

The latest studio album, "Snow", is slated for release in august.


WHERE DID THE NAME "SPOCK'S BEARD" COME FROM, ANYWAY?

In an interview Dave Meros did for a Dutch prog magazine in May, during Progfest '97, he said:
In the beginning, we had the name "One", but we were always looking for a good, serious name. We could never think of one. As a joke, the name "Spock's Beard" always came up. In the end we thought why not, it sounds funny. Besides, it doesn't matter that much what name you're using. Pink Floyd is actually also a very funny name.

Neal Morse's version:

As far as the name goes, our current story is that Nick had a really weird Dog named Spock who had some sort of facial hair problem...... but don't hold me to it.

Neal's comments from an interview with Martin Hudson, editor of 'Wondrous Stories':

As far as the name goes, I think it was pretty much Al's idea. It was/is a joke name, but when we were choosing a name, you know we all had these serious names and all, but we liked Spock's Beard the best.

Actually, the most plausible reason seems to be another one: in the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror", a transporter accident sends Kirk, Scott, McCoy and Uhura to a parallel universe, where the "local" Spock has a beard (it's a pretty good episode, by the way). Here are two images from that episode, so you can see for yourself:

[bearded Spock] [bearded Spock]

Some two weeks AFTER that last paragraph was written by the FAQL maintainer, Neal Morse spilled the beans in an interview for Detritus:

Actually, it was my brother Alan's idea. We were having a really weird night, up at a bar in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Just one of those weird nights with a lot of very strange people. Alan was like, "Man, it's like we're in a parallel universe--it's like Spock has a beard." There's that one episode in a parallel universe and Spock has a beard. It was one of those late night, "Oh, wouldn't that be a funny name for a band".

As you can see, the most obvious explanation turns out to be the right one!


DISCOGRAPHY

Spock's Beard has released thirteen albums (six studio, six live and one of rarities) and two singles to date. They are:
  1. The Light
  2. The Official Live Bootleg
  3. Beware of Darkness
  4. The Kindness of Strangers
  5. From The Vault
  6. Day For Night
  7. Skin [single]
  8. Live At The Whisky and NEARfest
  9. Don't Try This At Home
  10. V
  11. Nick 'n Neal - Two Separate Gorillas
  12. Don't Try This At Home Either!
  13. All On A Sunday [single]
  14. There And Here
  15. Snow

The band has also released three videos. They are:

  1. The Spock's Beard Home Movie
  2. Live At The Whisky
  3. The Making of V

Neal Morse has released three solo albums: Neal Morse, Merry Christmas From the Morse Family and It's Not Too Late.

Nick D'Virgilio has released a solo album, Karma.

Ryo Okumoto has released a single: Winners Of The Heart.

The band also appears in the Progfest '97 compilation album.


[cover] THE LIGHT

This is the first studio album, released in __ _________ 1995.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut in Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. The Light (13:53)
    1. the dream
    2. one man
    3. garden people
    4. looking straight into the light
    5. the man in the mountain
    6. senor [sic] velasco's mystic voodoo love dance
    7. the return of the horrible catfish man
    8. the dream
  2. Go The Way You Go (12:03)
  3. The Water (23:14)
    1. introduction/the water
    2. when it all goes to hell
    3. a thief in the night
    4. FU/i'm sorry
    5. the water (revisited)
    6. runnin' the race
    7. reach for the sky
  4. On The Edge (6:11)
The japanese release also contains a small (2:25) bonus track containing the acoustic interlude from the live version of "The Doorway". This bonus track was included by mistake in the american release, and subsequent editions of the albums include it anyway.

Band members are:

Where did the ideas for "The Light" come from?

Neal Morse:
Man this is a long one, OK, basically when I write this kind of music, I don't think about the lyrics much. It's all whatever feels good.....which is nice because you don't have to worry about making sense. But, given that, "The Light", I suppose, is loosely about human beings and all the different ways they can be, and the dream section, which opens and closes the thing is about some kind of criteria by which to judge things, which, of course, doesn't exist. Something like that. "Go The Way You Go" is about one guy having all kinds of questions and turmoil in his head and the other guy telling him to relax and let things flow. "The Water" is about being in the womb and thinking you're Godlike and then coming out into the world and being.... well.... rather disappointed. "On The Edge" I actually cut the track first and then improvised a lyric as it went down, so I can't even make up a meaning for that one!

Ryo Okumoto is mentioned in the liner notes of "The Light". Was he performing live with you back then?

Neal Morse:
It's sort of odd, what happened with Ryo, that's why I usually don't go into it, but, since you asked..... Ryo was in the band early on.....like say '93 or so.... and I was fronting the band at that time. We even did a gig at the Roxy in L. A. (with a different bass player). For a variety of reasons we decided to pare down, but then, in '95 we realized we needed another guy to play keyboards live. I just couldn't do it. So we hired Ryo at first, and we all enjoyed working with him so much that we made him a member.


[cover] THE OFFICIAL LIVE BOOTLEG

This is the first live album (recorded at Progfest 1995 by Kevin Gilbert), released in 1996.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in the USA.

The tracklist is:

  1. The Light (16:19)
  2. Go The Way You Go (12:40)
  3. Thoughts (7:05)
  4. The Water (23:12)
  5. On The Edge (7:01)

Band members are:

[cover] THE BEARD IS OUT THERE

This is the european version of The Official Live Bootleg, released in november 1998, and distributed by InsideOut. It's the same as its american counterpart, plus the bonus track "Fire/Waste Away".


[cover] BEWARE OF DARKNESS

This is the second studio album, released in 1996.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. Beware Of Darkness (5:41)
  2. Thoughts (7:10)
  3. The Doorway (11:27)
  4. Chatauqua (2:49)
  5. Walking on the Wind (9:06)
  6. Waste Away (5:26)
  7. Time Has Come (16:33)

The japanese release also contains a bonus track containing the live version of "On The Edge".

Band members are:

The credits for "Beware of Darkness" the song go to Mr. George Harrison. Is this THE George Harrison?

Yes, Beware of Darkness was written by George Harrison, the ex-Beatle. It is the first cut on the "All Things Must Pass" album.

Why did SB choose a song that wasn't composed by themselves as the title track of one of their albums?

Neal Morse:
We decided to open the album with it because of the fanfare beginning, and it's the title track 'cause it sounds cool; and works nicely with "The Light".

Has Beware of Darkness been covered by any other bands?

Neal Morse:
It's been covered by a lot of people including Leon Russell and Concrete Blond, and I had actually never heard the George Harrison version 'til we were mixing our album and the engineer brought it to the studio. I was/am really into the Leon Russell version off the "Shelter People" album.


[cover] THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS

This is the third studio album, released in __ ________ 1997.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. The Good Don't Last [Introduction - The Good Don't Last - The Radiant Is] (10:04)
  2. In The Mouth Of Madness (4:45)
  3. Cakewalk On Easy Street (5:01)
  4. June (5:29)
  5. Strange World (4:20)
  6. Harm's Way (11:05)
  7. Flow [True Believer - A Constant Flow Of Sound - Into The Source] (15:48)

The japanese release also contains a bonus track with the song "Into Fire", which is the result of JVC requesting a Heavy Metal tune from the band (!).

Band members are:

Here are some comments on The Kindness of Strangers, taken from the summer '97 issue of THE DOORWAY:

Comments from Dave Meros:

This CD will rule the earth massively. Neal must be channeling Mozart or something, he's been so prolific. We had to choose an albums worth of material out of almost two albums worth of music, and some really excellent tunes got shelved. Hopefully, they'll end up on the next CD. My favorite songs off this third CD will probably be "Cakewalk" and "Very Strange World", but it's always hard to predict what will wind up at the top of the heap after all the overdubs and mixing. Our May schedule was pretty hectic with the first part being rehearsals for the gig at Club Kaos up North, and then final overdubs at various studios, and cutting a bonus track for the JVC release. Then the middle of the month was spent on mixing the CD. Then a couple of more rehearsals, and Progfest!! We like to condense things into short panicky periods, then do nothing at all for a while. It keeps us slightly insane, which is good.

Comments from Neal Morse:

... we cut the basic tracks in three days, which is a testament to how great the rest of the band is. Me, I took two and a half weeks doing all my parts here in Nashville. It worked much better for me this time than the "Darkness" sessions because we didn't try and do it all at once, and I got to be home more, which is my great goal in life. It's funny for someone with that goal to be gone as much as I am but... so it goes. At the risk of repeating myself, I think this record is going to rule! (I know, I always say that, but it's true, in my unbiased opinion). If anything this one's more mainstream, but still plenty prog.

Comments from Alan Morse:

Hope you all like it. It's very wild, Nick ROCKS, Ryo ROCKS, Neal ROCKS, Dave ROCKS (they all basically ROCK), and I do okay too. Had some fun with guitar sounds, and there's some really beautiful & lyrical stuff there too. Plus some cool vocal stuff that those of you at Progfest got a preview of. We used a lot of vintage stuff on theis record too, did some stuff at Audities/Mellotron archives. Echoplex RULES. And the string quartet jamming is "guaranteed to blow your mind"! I have to play it back several times every time I listen to it.

Comments from Dave Mulloy, regarding the premier of "In the Mouth of Madness" and "June" at Progfest '97:

As one of the audience I can tell you that the two new ones were extremely well received, especially June. The general rule at Progfest (from what most say) is that the more technically intense the better, so, to see this song get a standing ovation really goes to show that it isn't all about the technical side of things, because generally speaking, June is a pretty straight forward ballad with Nick bringing in some wonderful vocals over the acoustic guitars.


[cover] FROM THE VAULT

This is a rarities album, released in 1998.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in the USA.

The tracklist is:

  1. Stratus (5:29)
  2. Into Fire (3:42)
  3. Fire/Waste Away (live) (6:01)
  4. The Light (home demo) (15:26)
  5. Excerpt from The Doorway (live) (2:25)
  6. The Doorway (home demo) (10:20)
  7. Waste Away (alternate mix) (5:23)
  8. Walking On The Wind (home demo) (10:40)
  9. Go The Way You Go (home demo) (12:03)

Track 2 is the bonus track for the japanese release of The Kindness of Strangers.
Track 3 is the bonus track for "The Beard Is Out There" (european release of The Official Live Bootleg).
Track 5 is the bonus track for the japanese release of The Light.


[cover] DAY FOR NIGHT

This is the fourth studio album, released in 23 march 1999.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. Day For Night (7:34)
  2. Gibberish (4:18)
  3. Skin (3:58)
  4. The Distance to the Sun (5:11)
  5. Crack the Big Sky (9:59)
  6. the Gypsy (7:28)
  7. Can't Get It Wrong (4:12)
    The Healing Colors of Sound
    1. The Healing Colors of Sound (part 1) (2:22)
    2. My Shoes (4:16)
    3. Mommy Comes Back (4:50)
    4. Lay It Down (3:18)
    5. The Healing Colors of Sound (3:17)
    6. My Shoes (revisited) (3:54)

The european release also contains the bonus track "Hurt", a cover tune originally by Code Blue.

Band members are:

Here are some comments on Day for Night, by Neal Morse:

  1. Day For Night - a 7 minute long dramatic rocker with some similarities to "Walking on the Wind". Groove wise anyway.
  2. Gibberish - a short Gentle Giantish thing with the counterpoint vocal extravaganza bit. Also a wild drum section at the end.
  3. The Distance to the Sun - A three part vocal song. I think people that enjoyed June will enjoy this.
  4. Crack the Big Sky - I don't know what this one's like, but it's very beardy. It starts with a drum beat which we've never done before. To start off with anyway.
  5. The Gypsy - "I am the Walrus" meets "Starless".
  6. The Healing Colors of Sound - A 20 minute long piece with about 6 songs strung together a la "The Water".

What the hell is that machine on the cover of the album? And those on the back cover? What do they do?

As far as it's been determined, those things do nothing useful except looking cool.


[cover] SKIN [SINGLE]

This is the first single (off the Day For Night album), released in 1999.

It's currently distributed by InsideOut In Europe.

The tracklist is:

  1. Skin (3:58)
  2. The Healing Colors Of Sound (edit, 3:08)
  3. Can't Get It Wrong (4:12)
  4. Lost Cause (5:02) [from Neal Morse's self-titled album]


[cover] LIVE AT THE WHISKY AND NEARFEST

This is the second live album (recorded at The Whisky in Los Angeles, 11 May 1999, and NEARfest 1999, June 27), released in 1999. This is a double album.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in the USA.

The tracklist is:

Band members are:

This album was recorded from the board, and no post-production was done on it, so it kinda feels like a bootleg (but it IS an official album!).


[cover] DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME

This is the third live album (recorded in Tilburg, Holland, 28 september 1999), released in 25 april 2000.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. Day For Night (8:03)
  2. Mouth of Madness (5:06)
  3. Skin (3:54)
  4. Gibberish (4:48)
  5. June (7:11)
  6. The Healing Colors of Sound (20:00)

Band members are:


[cover] V

This is the fifth studio album, released in 22 august 2000.

The title "V" is the roman numeral 5.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. At The End Of The Day (16:30)
  2. Revelation (6:04)
  3. Thoughts (Part II) (4:41)
  4. All On A Sunday (4:12)
  5. Goodbye To Yesterday (4:40)
  6. The Great Nothing (27:18)
    1. From Nowhere
    2. One Note
    3. Come Up Breathing
    4. Submerged
    5. Missed Your Calling
    6. The Great Nothing

Band members are:

[cover] V - LIMITED EDITION

There is also a limited edition version of this album, which includes a 32-page booklet and CD-ROM footage of the band in the studio.

Was there another "V" album?

Yes. In 9 october 2000, Symphony X released an album with the same name (actually, the full title is "V - The New Mythology Suite"). The cover artwork of both albums are uncannily similar, too. Here you will find both covers side by side.

What's with "Thoughts (Part II)"?

Neal Morse explains this in an interview for Detritus:
Actually, we just didn't have a title for it. Alan said, "Why don't you call it 'Thoughts II'?" I think he was sort of kidding... It's musically similar, very heavily Gentle Giant-influenced, like the original "Thoughts" was. I said, "You know, I think we should," because it's also in a way similar lyrically, because it's all about the destructive thoughts in your head. The original "Thoughts" isn't all destructive thoughts--it's just how your brain's just going and going all the time, randomly associating.

Is it "Vee" or "Five"?

The title is "V", meaning the roman number 5, so the right way to spell it is "five".


[cover] NICK 'N NEAL - TWO SEPARATE GORILLAS

The "From The Vaults" Series Volume 2

This is the fourth live album (a double one), featuring Neal Morse and Nick D'Virgilio.

"Recorded at various shows on their acoustic tours of Germany and Holland, this collection of Spock's Beard tunes and bizarre covers features an all-star jam with members of Dream Theater playing "Papa was a Rolling Stone" and "Baba O' Riley". The quality is a bit bootleg like hence the title "From the Vaults Series Volume 2", but the spirit of these gigs really comes across. You haven't lived 'til you've heard the bearded ones laugh their way through such classics as "Carpet Crawlers", "We Can Work It Out" and "Mein Kleine Gruner Kaktus" as well as Spock's favorites "The Water" and "June". A 'must have' for all Spock's fans."

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in the USA.

The tracklist is:

Band members are:

All tracks recorded live at the Slattery in Oldenburg, June 1999, except disc 2 tracks 1 & 3 from Irland's Own in Pforzheim, June 13, 2000, and disc 2 tracks 4, 5, 6 & 7 from Thomas Reid in Hamburg June 11, 2000.


[cover] DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME EITHER!

The "From The Vaults" Series Volume 3

This is the fifth live album, containing previously unreleased tracks recorded in Tilburg, Holland, 28 september 1999).

It was available at european shows during late 2000, and thru Radiant Records in the USA for a limited time, and currently is sold out.

The tracklist is:

  1. Go The Way You Go
  2. Ryo's solo
  3. The Doorway
  4. The Light
  5. Squonk / Waste Away

Band members are:


[cover] ALL ON A SUNDAY [SINGLE]

This is the second single (off the V album), released in may 2001.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in America and InsideOut In Europe.

The tracklist is:

  1. All On A Sunday (re-recorded, 3:22)
  2. The Truth (new track, 3:50)
  3. CD-ROM portion, containing the "All On A Sunday" video.


[cover] THERE AND HERE

The "From The Vaults" Series Volume 4

This is the sixth live album (recorded at several places in the "V" tours in Europe, as well as the august 2001 Troubador Show in Los Angeles), released in 21 july 2001. This is a double album.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records exclusively.

The tracklist is:

Band members are:


[cover] SNOW

This is the sixth studio album, slated for release in 27 august 2002.

More information about it when I get hold of a copy...



(this space for rent)



[cover] THE SPOCK'S BEARD HOME MOVIE

This is the first video, released in 1998.

It was recorded in january 1998 at Club Zeche in Bochum, Germany. Single camera shot, very good sound and picture. Total duration: 134 minutes.

The tracklist is:

  1. Beware of Darkness
  2. Thoughts
  3. In the Mouth of Madness
  4. Cakewalk on Easy Street
  5. Al's Guitar Solo
  6. Go the Way You Go
  7. June
  8. Flow
  9. Ryo's Keyboard Solo
  10. The Doorway
  11. Walking on the Wind
  12. The Light
  13. Fire/Waste Away


[cover] LIVE AT THE WHISKY

This is the second video, released in 1999.

It was recorded on May 11, 1999 at the Whisky a Go-Go, Los Angeles, California. Total duration: 123 minutes.

The tracklist is:

  1. In the Mouth of Madness
  2. Gibberish
  3. Skin
  4. Go the Way You Go
  5. The Distance to the Sun
  6. Crack the Big Sky
  7. Ryo's Solo
  8. The Doorway
  9. The Light/Drum Solo
  10. June/Waste Away
  11. Squonk
  12. Walking on the Wind


[cover] THE MAKING OF V

This is the third video, released in 28 may 2001.

It's an inside look at the recording process of the V album, recorded by (mostly) Neal Morse with a digital camcorder. Total duration: 106 minutes.


[cover] NEAL MORSE

This is Neal Morse's first solo album, released in 5 october 1999. It's actually a pop album, with seven "straight" songs (plus one long prog epic).

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records & Metal Blade in the USA, by InsideOut In Europe, and by ________________________ in Japan.

The tracklist is:

  1. Living Out Loud
  2. Lost Cause
  3. Land Slide
  4. That Which Doesn't Kill Me
  5. Everything is Wrong
  6. Nowhere Fast
  7. Emma
  8. A Whole 'Nother Trip
    1. Bomb That Can't Explode
    2. Mr. Upside Down
    3. The Man Who Would Be King
    4. It's Alright

The entire album was written, produced and performed by Neal Morse, except:


[cover] MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE MORSE FAMILY

This is Neal Morse's second solo album, released in november 2000. It is not a prog album! It is -as the name clearly implies- a Christmas album. Styles range from children's songs to jazz, pop, gospel and traditional. It even includes a Sinatra and Elvis parody.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records in the USA.

The tracklist is:

  1. Hallelujah - The King Is Born
  2. Christmas Keeps Calling
  3. Love Lay In Bethlehem
  4. The Laughing Christmas Song
  5. Sinatra Christmas (My 1st Christmas With You)
  6. How Peaceful Was The Night
  7. 'Tis The Season To Be Blue
  8. Elvis Christmas (Lovin' Christmas)
  9. A Special Kind Of Christmas
  10. Swingin' Holiday
  11. Kids Love Santa
  12. Missing You At Christmas Time
  13. Holy Christmas


[cover] IT'S NOT TOO LATE

This is Neal Morse's third solo album, released in 28 august 2001. It's another pop album.

It's currently distributed by Radiant Records exclusively.

The tracklist is:

  1. It's Not Too Late
  2. All The Young Girls Cry
  3. Leah
  4. The Angels Will Remember
  5. So Long Goodbye Blues
  6. The Change
  7. Broken Homes
  8. Oh Angie
  9. The Eyes Of The World (George's song)
  10. You Ain't Seen Nothin'
  11. I Am Your Father
  12. Something Blue
  13. The Wind And The Rain

Additional musicians:


[cover] KARMA

This is Nick D'Virgilio's first solo album, released in 18 september 2001 in America and in 27 august 2001 in Europe.

It's currently distributed by InsideOut America in the USA and by Ear Candy Records (a subsidiary of InsideOut) in Europe.

The tracklist is:

  1. The River Is Wide
  2. Dream In Red
  3. Forgiven
  4. Karma
  5. The Game
  6. The Water's Edge
  7. Come What May
  8. Untitled
  9. Will It Be Me
  10. Anything
  11. Paying The Price
    1. dysfunction
    2. paid the price
    3. unknowing

The album has the following guest musicians:

There is a "The Making of... Karma" chronicle, written by Jim Harrel, that describes a good deal of the recording process.

Nick D'Virgilio's official website, http://www.ndvmusic.com/, has a ton of information about this album and him.

What's with Kevin Gilbert appearing in the credits for "The Game"?

In the initial "Making Karma" Interview, Nick is asked "Are there any writing collaborations on this record?". This is his answer:
Yes. There is a song with Will Sexton called The Waters Edge that we wrote together when we were in David Barewalds "New Folk Underground" together. There is a song I wrote with Kevin Gilbert called "The Game". Kevin is actually going to be on my record. I kept all the old parts of him playing. It is really great because years after his life we are still making music together. There is one other song called "Come What May" written by David Barewald and Kevin Gilbert. The rest are by good old me!

Is the song "Come That Way" part of the Moulin Rouge soundtrack?

"Come That Way" is a David Baerwald song. The tracks appearing in Karma and in the soundtrack are totally independent covers (in fact, they are sung pretty differently). It's just a coincidence - Nick learned about it well after recording the track. For more details, read the interview excerpt above.

What's the hidden track at the end of the album?

This excerpt from The Making... of Karma will clarify the issue:
Somewhere in between songs, they broke out into this frenetic jam that was very tweaked. It sounded so cool that they ran the tape and recorded it. It runs about 30 seconds. I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up somewhere on the final record, perhaps as a hidden track. Remember to look for it.


[cover] WINNERS OF THE HEART [SINGLE]

This is Ryo Okumoto Project's single, released in 12 february 2001.

It's currently distributed by InsideOut In Europe.

The tracklist is:

  1. Winners Of The Heart (4:58)
  2. Free Fall (4:00)

"Winners Of The Heart" was the theme song for the European World Ski Jump Competition in Finland (taking place between 14 thru 26 february 2001). It was recorded by top LA musicians such as Abraham Laboriel, Michael Landou with a 50 piece choir and lead vocalist, Dake Macy.

"Free Fall" is a jammy instrumental, recorded by Spock's Beard without Neal Morse.


[cover] PROGFEST '97

This is a compilation album from the Progfest 1997 concert, where many prog artists performed.

The tracklist is:


IS THERE A LIVE DATES LISTING?

Yes, there is a comprehensive list of Spock's Beard's live dates at the band's official website.


WHAT SONGS HAS SPOCK'S BEARD NEVER PLAYED LIVE?

Almost every song of theirs has been played live, although some have been played many times ("The Light" being the canonical example) and some very occasionally.

As far as the FAQL maintainer knows, "Time Has Come" has never been played live, but he could be wrong. Also, "Hurt", "Goodbye To Yesterday" and "The Truth" haven't been played live (yet).

"Into Fire" has never been played live either - and don't expect it to be.


WHAT SONGS HAS SPOCK'S BEARD MADE VIDEOS FOR?

(we understand this means videoclips for broadcast in TV music shows)

Yes, there is one: the "All On A Sunday" video, which is available in the CD-ROM portion of the All On A Sunday single. This video has been aired, at least, in German music television.


WHAT IS THE BAND'S POSITION ABOUT TRADING OF LIVE RECORDINGS?

Neal Morse frowns upon the sales of SB bootlegs. Nick D'Virgilio considers that trading (no money being exchanged) is okay.


DO ANY SPOCK'S BEARD MEMBERS APPEAR ON ANY TRIBUTE ALBUMS?

Nick D'Virgilio appeared in "Supper's Ready" (a Genesis tribute made in 1995), playing drums in "Back in N.Y.C." and singing in "Many Too Many".

He also appeared in "Tales From Yesterday" (a Yes tribute album, also made in 1995), playing drums in "Siberian Khatru".


IS THERE A MAILING LIST FOR SPOCK'S BEARD?

There are three mailing lists: THOUGHTS, SBNEWS and THE GREAT NOTHING (formerly SPOCKS_BEARD).

The oldest (and the first one to exist at all) is THOUGHTS. Its purpose is to hold discussion of Spock's Beard (lyrics, show reviews, etcetera) and other related music. The list's rules -in a nutshell- are:

To subscribe, send a blank email to: thoughts2-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to: thoughts2-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

When you subscribe to the THOUGHTS mailing list you will receive an introductory document that details the rules governing the list and other related information.

Thoughts' current incarnation in Yahoogroups needs some explaining: back in march 2001, something happened at the then-host of the mailing list, and digest subscribers began receiving a a copy of a specific digest once every minute (i.e. sixty copies of the digest each hour). Tech support wasn't any help, and to make things worse, this happened when Lisa Palma, the list owner, was away on business. This went on for several days, until the only option left was to simply kill the list. Lisa then decided to set up a new Thoughts list at Yahoogroups, but the name was already taken, so "Thoughts2" had to be used.


SBNEWS is a newsletter (i.e.: announcements only mailing list) that posts Spock's Beard related news, tour dates, etcetera.

To subscribe, send a blank email to: sbnews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to: sbnews-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.


The THE GREAT NOTHING (formerly SPOCKS_BEARD) list is dedicated to prog and especially the band Spock's Beard. It is a forum to exchange ideas, information and insights into Spock's Beard as well as related bands and styles. Its rules are a bit more strict than Thoughts': only discussions directly related to music are acceptable.

To subscribe, send a blank email to: The-Great-Nothing-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to: The-Great-Nothing-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com.

When you subscribe to the THE GREAT NOTHING mailing list you will receive an introductory document that details the rules governing the list and other related information.


WHAT ABOUT A MESSAGE BOARD?

There's one, located at http://pub49.ezboard.com/bspocksbeard.


WHAT WWW SITES SHOULD I BE AWARE OF?

The following WWW sites are the ones:

These are SOME online stores where you can buy Spock's Beard's albums:


IS THERE A SPOCK'S BEARD FAN CLUB?

THIS SECTION NEEDS DESPERATE UPDATING. IS THE INFO CONTAINED HERE STILL VALID?

Yes, there is:

THE DOORWAY - The Official Spock's Beard Appreciation Society Newsletter.
The newsletter that keeps Spock's Beard fans informed!
Reviews, interviews, album news, and related progressive rock information & feedback.

Subscription Rates:

$4 per issue (US only), $6 per issue (outside US mailing address). Your subscription goes to the cost of printing future issues and promoting the band through magazines and other media.

The snail mail address is:

Spock's Beard Official Appreciation Society
2805 Jane St.
Riverside, CA 92506
USA


WHAT IS THE RELATION BETWEEN SPOCK'S BEARD AND TRANSATLANTIC?

Neal Morse is a member of the supergroup Transatlantic. The other members are Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater's drummer), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings' guitar player) and Pete Trevawas (Marillion's bassist).

For more information on Transatlantic, go to the official Transatlantic WWW site.


ARE NEAL AND ALAN MORSE RELATED?

Neal and Alan Morse are brothers. They have another brother, Richard, an entertainer who knows 2250 songs by heart (as of today).


WHO IS KEVIN GILBERT AND HOW DID HE DIE?

These are Dave Mulloy's words, and with his permission part of the article has been reprinted:

REMEMBER MY NAME

The Doorway takes a special look into the musical genius of Kevin Gilbert.

Kevin Matthew Gilbert age 29, composer, vocalist, producer and owner operator of The Lawnmower and Garden Supply Recording Studio in Pasadena, died on May 18, 1996 of accidental causes. Kevin will be remembered for his deep love, boundless creativity and immense talent. He is survived by his mother and father and two brothers.   -Los Angeles Times.

Kevin Gilbert was definitely a master musician and a huge talent in all aspects of the musical world. He not only wrote some of the most memorable lyrics, he was also an outstanding producer, engineer and composer. As I first started to gather information for this issue, I was constantly amazed by all of the outstanding achievements that Kevin has made. I was only familiar with his work to the point of "Toy Matinee" and "Giraffe", I had no idea how much he had accomplished. There are those out there that are familiar with almost everything that Kevin has done and at the same time those of us who only know of the most popular recordings and collaborations. [...]

Go to Kevin Gilbert's WWW site for more information on him and his work.

All this praise may sound like the typical "Oh, he was SO good and now he's not with us anymore!", but it's not. He REALLY was a great musician. You should check out some of his work -most notably "Thud" and "The Shaming of the True"- so you can see for yourself.

SO HOW DID HE DIE?

This question appears frequently on Thoughts, and -frankly- it's been debated more than enough times, so its subscribers don't really want to go there yet again. Please DO refrain from asking there.

If you want to know, follow this link. Be warned: it's ugly.


CREDITS

Thanks to Dave Mulloy, for publishing The Official Spock's Beard Newsletter The Doorway, from which part of the information contained in this document was taken.

Thanks to THOUGHTS subscribers for asking questions that help contribute to the FAQL.

Extra special thanks to Alan and Neal Morse, Dave Meros, Nick D'Virgilio, Ryo Okumoto, and all of their significant others, for taking the time to answer questions asked here.

Last but not least, extra extra thanks to Lisa Marie Palma for having created this FAQL in the first place, and having been the maintainer until she handed it over to Miguel Farah in june 2000.


ADDITIONS

Send questions, comments, complaints and suggestions for this FAQL through this contact form.