The 70’s provided us with many faceless bands. REO Speedwagon, Journey, Foreigner, Kansas and many more. Because we didn’t associate faces with the band, it always came down to the music, and if it moved you. But the real engine was the vocalist. And if you look back at the guys selling the songs to us, the best of the bunch was the guy in Kansas. I could never remember any of their names, well, maybe Steve Perry, but I always loved the guy’s voice singing “Dust In the Wind” and the others. I knew his name was Walsh, because, well, I spent over a decade managing another Walsh…Joe. So then I hear about this book about THAT guy. Steve Walsh. And I read it. Wow, this guy was more than a singer, more than a front guy, more than a keyboard player. He is the real deal. Watching his life soar to upper rock star level, yet staying a humble and down to earth guy, is a story with intrigue, ups, downs and everything in between. I couldn’t put it down. More importantly, I’ll NEVER forget Steve Walsh’s name. He really put a face on one of those faceless bands. – David Spero (Executive at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, manager for Dickey Betts and more. Former clients include Joe Walsh, Michael Stanley, Ian Hunter, Harry Nilsson, Nicky Hopkins, Billy Bob Thornton, Eric Carmen, and more)
I managed to get myself an advance copy of the fabulous new book on Steve Walsh and Kansas from Laurie Larson last week, and I honestly couldn't put it down, I read it all in a day. There is so much great behind the scenes information here, I learned even more than what I knew from various documentaries and such. It really humanizes the band and gives you an insight to the major players that brought all this fabulous music to us. Kansas was one of the first rock bands I listened to as I got into rock back in the late 70's and they really colored my own music composition journey in later years as they revealed what was possible. I highly recommend this book. - Shawn Gordon (President and Founder of ProgRock Records)
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.
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!"- Bob Zorich, DJ and Operations Manager of Deep Nuggets Radio
Today I received yet another great book in the mail where i'm deeply honored to be featured.
Laurie Larson has captured the life and career of our incredible friend Steve Walsh perfectly in this new book.
As a huge fan of Steve and his work with Kansas, Streets and other projects it was an honor beyond words to co write and co produce what he says is his final album! The album "Black Butterfly" is one that I will hold very dearly among all the work I've done in my life.
Steve's amazing words about me in the book and the fact that I got to write my side of our work together makes it a very special book for me also.
I also talk a little about my latest Radioactive album where Steve and I started our journey together but also about working with my great friends Peter Yttergren, Brian Anthony, Steve Overland, Khalil Turk and more on Steve's album.
Don't miss this great book! - Tommy Denander, Steve Walsh songwriting partner and guitarist for Steve's Black Butterfly album
I just finished reading Laurie Larson’s book, When They Call Out Your Name...STEVE WALSH. What an insightful and informative read. First hand accounts, funny and tragic stories but most important is Steve’s thought process regarding his and other artist’s music. Well done Laurie! Added bonus: Many from our Wheathead community are quoted in the book! - Steven Allen Poe
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