©2018 by Steve Walsh / Webmaster: Laurie Larson

Hey Pilgrim...

October 6, 2018

 

Growing up in Montana and Northern Idaho, my parents only listened to both kinds of music ... Country and Western... so I was not really into music as a little kid... I just didn't get it. My dad wanted me to learn violin but then didn't want me to practice, which was FINE with me cause I didn't like it. When I got into 6th grade I finally got my own radio and would listen in my room and I discovered a whole new world... a love of music and radio. So much so I wanted to play my violin now, I also learned guitar, bass and keyboards whatever I could get my hands on... now I still didn't like most of the stuff that I found on the radio but the 1st station I happened upon that I loved was in Moscow, Idaho. KUOI had a freeform format with a DJ named Billy Pilgrim. I first heard all my favorites on this station, including Kansas. But almost as soon as I discovered it we were moving as my dad took a job in the Black Hills of South Dakota luckily I found another station there KKLS in Rapid City... I was off to the races. So as life always has these interesting "coincidences" last year I was trying to help get airplay for Steve Walsh's latest solo album Black Butterfly. I contacted all the DJs I knew, didn't know and sort of knew. One DJ I "sort of knew" barely through Facebook I thought I would write a note and introduce myself and send him a copy of Steve's CD. Well a few exchanges back and forth, later I found out HE was Billy Pilgrim ... I was stunned ...here I am trying to help promote my favorite musician, who I 1st heard on Billy Pilgrim's show... When I wrote the book about Steve Walsh I just had to get a quote from Bob uh... "Billy" ha ha so happy to have him in the book, it means a lot to me! But now, Mr. Zorich has also written a review and I am floored again! Thank you Bob Zorich , "Billy Pilgrim" ! Here's his review:

 

"I first discovered Kansas in the mid-70s, somewhere around the Masque album, just as I was off to college. I was already into Yes and the usual rock scene of the time. What grabbed me immediately were the lyrics and, of course, the sound! Violins, keyboards, guitars, great singing of meaningful lyrics! What’s not to love? So, Kansas almost immediately became one of my favorite bands. At the time, however, I had moved to Moscow, Idaho, where I eventually went on the air as a DJ at KUOI-FM “Radio Free Moscow”. I played a mix of new and old, along with plenty of Kansas. As a side note, what I didn’t know at the time, and only learned recently, was that elementary school kids were listening to my, not-really-family-entertainment (ha!) show and that one of them was Laurie Larson, later to become the author of this book!! What goes around, comes around, I guess. 
Anyway, out on the Palouse, we only got a few concerts and I was unable to see them until I went home to Tucson for a Christmas vacation. On Dec 29, 1977, I got to see them for the first time, on the tour that would later become the basis for the Two For The Show tour. What a spectacular show! Everything I had hoped for them to be. It was amazing seeing them perform their material live, and with such passion. And while I marveled at Kerry, Rich, Robbie, and of course, Dave and Phil, there was a dynamo that was doing some of the wildest stuff I had seen – Steve Walsh. He provided an enormous wealth of energy and excitement to the show, and is part of an evening I will never forget. It was certainly then, and remains now, one of the very best of the many hundreds of shows I’ve experienced. That it was later released on the live album was an extra bonus. They may not have used the performances from Tucson, but I’m sure that one and all of the rest were worthy, as the band, and Steve, clearly put their life energy fully into the performances.
Since then, I’ve seen Kansas quite a number of times, in various configurations and setups, even several times as part of my dream concert lineup, touring with Yes (although the shorter time allowance was a drag). Steve always brought it. Every performance, it seemed he gave his all, and the band always felt strong, even in the not-so-good times. Ironically, I’m writing this shortly after seeing Kansas perform the opening night of the Point of Know Return Anniversary tour, and while Kansas remains a powerhouse band, with an excellent, deep and continuing to grow catalog, it just wasn’t the same without Steve. The band suffered a huge loss with the departure of Kerry so long ago, but Steve’s leaving produces a more noticeable gap in the lineup, notwithstanding excellent performances by Ronnie. Steve’s shoes are pretty much impossible to fill.
Laurie’s book “When They Call Out Your Name”, provides an excellent reference to Kansas’ and Steve's catalog and history, and reading his bio in his own words offers a rare and interesting insight into the man. She also managed to track down a huge number of excellent, often not-seen-before photos, provided by Neal Preston, who also writes a forward for the book. Of course, Laurie is an excellent photographer herself and has provided a number of photos from her personal collections. The format is easy to read, in depth without going into the weeds, and is very well produced. Bottom line, if you are interested in Kansas and the history of the band and Steve Walsh’s role and life outside of Kansas, get this book. You will not regret it!"

 

 

https://www.stevewalshrocks.com/product-page/when-they-call-out-your-name-steve-walsh

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