CRYSTAL

CRYSTAL was a fantastic AOR Pomprockband that released 3 albums between 1985 and 1993. These 3 releases belong to the best independent AOR ever released. I would describe their music as a mixture between the first WHITE SISTER, the first two albums of PROPHET and the first DANGER DANGER record.

Unfortunately the band broke up some time after the release of the third album. But somehow I traced these guys on the internet a few weeks ago. They have a few websites available now and I got in touch with the band members to talk about the past, present and the future.

 

Gabor - Can you please introduce your band and tell us about any musical things you did before Crystal?

RICK: I'm Rick Williams the drummer and vocalist. When I was 10 years old, my cousins Richard and Lonnie Toliver, had started a band. As soon as I looked at the drum set, I knew I was going to be a drummer. I discovered right there that I had this natural ability to play. I'm completely self-taught. I played in several bands in junior and high school. Played all over Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, with the band "Barnstorm." While with them we had the pleasure of opening for Jim Croce and also had a jam session with Jeff (Skunk) Baxter, of the "Doobie Brothers" and "Steely Dan" and all the guys in "Nantucket." I was 20 at the time. In 1979 I moved to San Diego, California. After several failed attempts at getting a band off the ground, I answered an ad Crystal had put in the San Diego Reader, looking for a drummer who could sing. As soon as we did the first couple of songs I knew I was where I was supposed to be.

GRADY: I'm Grady McGrew the guitar player. I was born in Naples, Italy into a military family. Started playing guitar when I was about fourteen after seeing GI’s performing at a military function. I'm self-taught. My influences range from BB King to European rocker, Michael Schenker form UFO and the Scorpions. Starting playing professionally with a band named Jynx,
playing local colleges, and moved on to the Hit ‘n’ Run getting local radio airplay with the song "Boys Toys."

BILL: I'm Bill Cornish, the keyboard player. I also did a lot of vocals for the cover side of the band. I grew up listening mainly to jazz and classical and progressive rock like Styx and Yes and Kansas. I started playing organ and piano at an early age, and also spent four years playing the violin in high school orchestra, although keyboards were always my main passion. Also played with the high school jazz ensembles and marching band. If I had known I was going to spend so much of my adult life involved in music, I probably would have kept up on the violin. Played in several local bands. Actually, Crystal was the fourth band in a row that Andy and I had been in together.

ANDY: I'm Andy Nossal. I'm the bass player and lead vocalist. I started performing professionally at age eight with various local bands. Jazz, classical, and progressive music were my influences while learning guitar, drums, bass trombone, and bass guitar. I performed in high school music programs ranging from marching band, concert band, orchestra and drama.


Gabor: Please tell us everything about the beginning of Crystal.

RICK: (To Bill and Andy) You guys went to school together...

BILL: Junior high school

ANDY: Right. We've known each other since sixth or seventh grade ... for years. We'd been playing together off and on. We were in a band together called Vertical Horizon.

BILL: Which is not the one that's getting airplay here in the States right now. We never figured someone else would use that name.

ANDY: Later we formed a band called Black Pearl with a couple of other musicians that we knew including drummer Bill Anderson who was also one of Crystal's founding members. We found out about Grady McGrew through mutual friends. We had seen him play in Jynx before and thought he was a killer guitar player and said, "Boy, he would really be good in our band. Let's try to snag him." We had a mutual friend named Kevin Gross who did lighting that was acquaintances with all of us, and we had him approach Grady and the other original member of Crystal, Raymond Cameron, about joining the band or
forming a new band.

GRADY: Raymond, the glamour boy... (Laughs)

ANDY: How long did we spend in the rehearsal studio? About six months?

RICK: That was Sweetwater Studios down in Chula Vista, California.

BILL: Yeah. There was some sort of manufacturing place next door and the place always smelled like fiberglass. Actually we rented the studio for about six months, but we were out playing within a couple months. We got the rehearsal space in early January of '83 and we were out playing by March.

ANDY: So we spent a couple months in the studio getting the act together then we had our first club gig after that point. People responded to us from the first gig.

GRADY: That was at My Rich Uncle's, right?

BILL: My Rich Uncle's was the club we played at the most in the first few months, but we had also been at Mom's Saloon in Pacific Beach and the Bacchanal. We were also known for doing something that not too many people in town were doing at the time in that we always traveled with a big light show and a full sound system. Even if we were in a small club, we tried to
make it look like a full-blown concert.

ANDY: And we worked steadily for about twelve years after that without really any breaks.

RICK: And me, Rick...

(Band cracks up)

ANDY: Oh yeah. I'm so used to you being there, I forget you weren't there at the start.

GRADY: We'll we knew at Dance Machine, you were the right one. That's where you auditioned for us right?

ANDY: We had heard two or three drummers before Rick and they were all terrible.

RICK: You guys sounded all discouraged and stuff. Raymond sounded all discouraged.

ANDY: Rick walked in and played and sang on the dance floor below us while we were on the stage.... which probably felt really demeaning with all of us looking down on you. And we were like "This is the guy. He's a good drummer. He can keep a meter, he can sing." The decision was made immediately after the audition.

RICK: I had seen you guys at Flanningan's like a year before that.

GRADY: Why did Bill Anderson leave again?

ANDY: He decided he didn't want to tour any more. Every time we would get out on a two month road trip, he would want to go home after a week.

RICK:I had been semi-successful in Virginia, but just not enough. So I came out and floated around in San Diego for like five years. Tried all kinds of bands. Made a bunch of good musical friends. But, I saw Crystal like a year before you guys had your ad in the paper. I saw you guys at Flanningan's. And as soon as I saw the band I just went "Oh, my God." I just knew it right then. This is the band. No doubt in my mind. But I couldn't just come up to guys and say "Hey dump this other guy and hire me," because no one would perceive me as a sane person...

BILL: As opposed to how we perceive you now...

(Laughs)

RICK: But then when I saw the ad a year later I just had to get the try out. I was on the phone to Raymond and he was saying that you guys were probably going to fold the band and I was like "Get over yourself! Let's just do the audition."

ANDY: About three years after the first record project, Raymond decided to leave the band because he had differences in direction and whatever. Crystal went on to record two more EPs and get attention from the industry.labels like A&M Records, worked with John and Dino Elephante of Kansas. We basically progressed a lot further as a four-piece than we did with Raymond.

BILL: We worked out much better as a four piece. I remember the first time we rehearsed as a four-piece it was like - this is the sound. It was much more tight and solid.

GRADY: Yeah, we seemed to coalesce a lot better after that.

RICK: When I came into the band we rehearsed for like what... three days? Then we did three weeks at Mulvaney's and then we immediately took off on a two month road trip. That was great.

BILL: To Montana and Idaho. Back then we always did a circuit of the Northwestern states twice a year. We'd finish playing in San Diego at 2:00 A.M. Sunday morning, tear everything down, load up the equipment truck and have to be in Idaho to set up at noon on Monday. Right from the first year, we spent three or four months out of every year on the road.

RICK: That was killer. Just to go through five years in San Diego and nothing much going on then to be instantly out on the road... Just to come out of all that frustration and then to meet you guys and have everything just come together so quick and be gone on the road for two months... That was great. To just look at all the countryside of Montana and Idaho and all
the people we met. It was just too cool. Even with the equipment truck breaking down.

ANDY: That happened how many times?

RICK: Sherman, the equipment truck will be forever remembered. That was the happiest day of my life when we sold that truck.

GRADY: Every time I see a truck like that I think about driving it down 395.

BILL: Or waiting by the side of the road for someone to come back with parts for the truck. Or having to be towed down out of Donner Pass...

ANDY: I was afraid to drive that truck.

RICK: It got really good right at the end. Just when we got all the problems solved, we sold it. We completely rebuilt the thing from the ground up.


Gabor: So many interesting stories come up when interviewing you guys, but please do tell us about your first album release.

RICK: We recorded that out at Western Audio in Santee, California.

ANDY: Do you even remember who the engineer was on that?

BILL: Mike Harris

ANDY: Right. Basically, we self-produced it.

RICK: That was literally my first time in a real recording studio.

BILL: We saved money off of each gig toward financing the recording and manufacturing.

ANDY: The most killer thing I remember about that first project is that we actually took that master up to Capitol Records in Hollywood to have it mastered by Wally Traugott. I had driven by Capitol so many times thinking "Someday I'd love to be in that place" and here I was in the mastering lab. And Wally, as he was mastering, said "You know, this is really good stuff."
And he dubbed a copy and gave it to David Cole.

BILL: Which was before David Cole went on to form C + C Music Factory

ANDY: He was an A&R guy at that time. So Wally got him a copy to check out. Obviously, David Cole didn't take too much notice at the time, but at least we were getting listened to by the right kind of people.

RICK: It's just nice to get the encouragement from people in the industry. Because you've got too many people in the world telling you you're never going to make it.

ANDY: And I think that fueled our fires to progress even further.

RICK: And then we did the record release party.

BILL: At Mony Mony's. We rented one of those big search lights, had a huge turn out...

ANDY: Autographing the album covers and stuff. It was great. It was quite a big event. It looked like some sort of Hollywood premiere. And the place was packed. It was like standing room only.

Gabor: How many were pressed and how many were sold?

BILL: We pressed a thousand copies of the first album.

GRADY: Every one of them sold.

BILL: Except for the couple we kept for ourselves.

ANDY: I still have one of the original acetates. It's only been played like three times.

RICK: I going to have one of my copies framed, you know like a gold album.

BILL: In our case, a tin album. Or maybe aluminum...

RICK: I was pretty happy with the first release. Just for my own feelings....

BILL: We got good reviews too. Thomas K. Arnold from the Los Angeles Times gave us a real strong review.

GRADY: We just needed radio support.

BILL: Or even if we had had the Internet back then.

RICK: We did have one of the guys connected to The Monkees make an offer one of the songs.

BILL: Oh, yeah. I'd forgotten about that. For a while they were talking about doing a Monkees reunion and they were scouting for material.

RICK: We would have had to sign over all the rights to the song though.

Gabor: It took four years to do a follow-up. Why so long and are there songs that did not make the second album?

BILL: Well, originally we went back to Western Audio and started a second self-produced album. But we never finished it. We did a bunch of recording...

RICK: The original version of Always Be There with that keyboard solo you always used to do before it...

BILL: But then we hooked up with Paul Sabu who had been producing people like Joe Lynn Turner, Little America and Peter Wolf from the J. Giles Band. So we put that project on the back burner and went to work recording with him instead. But yeah, we had started recording Always Be There. We did Point of View. What else?

RICK: One of Raymond's songs...

(Groans from the band)

BILL: Don't Stand in the Rain. We also did one of Grady's - It Ain't Easy.

ANDY: I'd forgotten all about that session. We hooked up with Paul Sabu via Michael Brown who was an A&R for Polygram records. We had met through mutual friend and he turned us on to Paul Sabu.. We ended up recording a three song
project with him up in Woodland Hills at Preferred Sound.

BILL: We actually had some good interest from Polygram at the time...

RICK: We did. It was such an exciting time.

ANDY: Paul Sabu is the son of early movie actor Sabu. Sabu's got a star on the Walk of Fame, which is kind of cool. So that was an interesting experience. He was trying to shop a couple of the songs for some B-motion pictures soundtracks, but it didn't ever happen.

RICK: He was real hot and cold. He seemed like he cooled off really quick after we got done with the project.

ANDY: Which I don't understand because he was fairly enthusiastic about it at first.

BILL: We wouldn't have pursued it with him if he wasn't enthusiastic to start with. Especially since we already had another recording project going at the time.

RICK: Plus spending the extra money for starting a new project too.

BILL: He sound wasn't really our sound either. He was going for some eighties pop sound that wasn't really us.

ANDY: It was a little too pretty sounding for us.

BILL: But, we did actually use that as a demo to shop to the labels, although we never really released it to the public. So we were still actively recording and shopping our stuff, but we just weren't doing any public releases for a while. Also we were always having to save up for financing the recording projects.

ANDY: And keeping a business going at the time.


Gabor: Tell us about the second release

RICK: Well, when we did the first project, it was the least expensive way to do it and still be able to do a nice project. And it was as good as we could do for that kind of money. But when we started to do the second one, we decided we had to do a tape that we could put out and put right on the radio if we wanted to. And we hooked up with top-notch guys, a kick-ass
studio, and really got it for relatively inexpensive compared to the going rate at the time.

BILL: We started playing up in Alaska every once in a while and began using those trips to finance the studio projects. We'd make really good money for a couple months up there, put ourselves on a budget, save the extra and come home with enough money to be able to go into the studio.

ANDY: We hooked up with Mike McNulty here in San Diego who, in turn, hooked us up with John and Dino Elephante from Kansas. They came down and heard our material and decided they wanted to work with us, and that's how
we got our foot in the door at Pakaderm Studios.

RICK: Their reaction to our music was just so gratifying and encouraging.

BILL: They came from the same kind of background as far as music goes. They were going in more of the same direction as we were than Paul Sabu was.

ANDY: They obviously thought we were doing something right or they wouldn't have spent the time to help us out. John wouldn't have sang background vocals for free, Dino wouldn't have produced us for free...

RICK: Right. We only paid for studio time. That was a great experience. And the tape turned out really cool. To have that kind of production, and backup singers...

BILL: Especially having John Elephante singing backups.

ANDY: No kidding.

BILL: The first track he laid down his part on was the backup on Time Keeps Runnin. When I heard that voice singing on something I wrote, it gave me a chill. I grew up listening to Kansas.

RICK: And we ended up with a top-notch product. There was no record company anywhere putting out a higher quality cassette at the time. It was such a step up in quality from the first project. I think it turned out the way it was supposed to.

BILL: We initially pressed a thousand copies and sold all of them. Later, we repressed another thousand and went through about half of them before we called it quits


Gabor: A real shame, because also that second release is an instant AOR CLASSIC. Again, it took four years for a new release. Tell us more.

ANDY: A lot of it was finances again. Just saving up to be able to do it.

BILL: Also the Elephantes were really busy too. On the third project it was very hard just getting everyone's schedules to work out so we could finish it. Once we started it, it took a long time to finish it. Plus, we were recording in Los Alamitos during the day and hauling ass back to San Diego to play that night. And we were still traveling quite a bit.

GRADY: You know, that was also a tough emotional time for a lot of us.

RICK: I had just gone through a divorce at that point, Grady had gone through one. Andy and Bill had both gone through a couple of breakups. Real emotional stuff.

ANDY: But we had still managed to go in there and do some really good stuff. All things considered it was amazing. If we didn't have the recording projects going, I would have probably gone nuts.

RICK: Just having the band was like my great hope.

ANDY: And it was something that kept you sane.

RICK: Yeah, a reason to keep going.

Gabor: Then you released album number three, the final album. Tell us all about this release.

RICK: It was basically the same process with the same people, just new music. But really hard on the scheduling thing.

ANDY: Part of the motivation for getting that third project out too was that A&M Records had actually sat down and talked about us and considered doing something with us and said "Send us your next project as soon as possible." It was very promising. So that's why we opted to do three songs, to just get it done so we could get it to them.

BILL: Also, we were more concerned with using this tape to shop ourselves than we were with releasing it locally. Since it was going to primarily be a demo for us to shop to the labels...You frequently don't get A&R people to listen beyond three songs anyway. They're just too buried with demos from everybody to listen to that much. They have to hear something that grabs them very quickly.

ANDY: Simultaneously, when that release happened, the Seattle rock scene hit. The whole sound of rock music changed almost at the same time we were shopping this third tape.

RICK: By the time we got it out, we were already a little bit behind the curve. We could have changed production value on it and it probably would have still worked. Go more to a grunge sound, made it more raw.

GRADY: But what was big then was Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam, Nirvana...

ANDY: And the record companies were dropping all the eighties style rock bands and signing the Seattle sound.

GRADY: I was telling Bill, it's just amazing how it just switched overnight. It's like, who decided that?

ANDY: All of the "hair" bands disappeared immediately. It was weird. They all of a sudden went from being cool to being passť and made fun of.

RICK: During that time, we had a chance to go to Japan several times, so that was kind of cool too, the last couple years.


Gabor: What happened to Crystal after this release?

ANDY: Part of the reason we decided to go our separate ways was that we were losing some of our best gigs in town...

GRADY: The scene changed.

ANDY: The trend was going toward DJs and recorded music and away from the live bands. It wasn't a decision that we really wanted to make.

BILL: All of the big venues to play in town were gone. We had always been about doing a big show. Big sound system, big light show. There really wasn't anywhere to do that any more. It was getting down to little hole-in-the-wall clubs. We could have kept working, but it wouldn't have been the same. Or we would have been traveling even more than we already
were.

ANDY: I think one of the toughest nights, was that night in Japan, when we were on that last tour when we decided that maybe it's time to call it quits when we get back home. It was a tough time.

BILL: Very emotional.

RICK: I was really scared. I was scared to death. This was what I always wanted to do. What am I going to do now?

ANDY: I was too. I was in tears that night because I didn't want it to end like this. This is what we had strived for all our lives and we were having to split up because we couldn't afford to do it any more.

BILL: We did pick the right time to do it though. We went out while we were still doing well. Instead of going out because things just completely fizzled out on us.

GRADY: Just imagine if people had starting leaving one by one and it would have been just a hodge-podge of different members. Everything would have changed.

RICK: I didn't want to do that. I didn't want it to disintegrate into that kind of thing.

ANDY (to Grady): When Brian (Williams) took your spot after you quit, it just wasn't Crystal any more. It was good, but it wasn't the same. He got along great with us, but he wasn't part of the original family. It think we missed that a lot. And you could tell in the sound of the music too.

BILL: Sure. We'd been together for so long there was a lot of sub-conscious communication between us on stage and off. Everything was just more natural.

RICK: It think it was hard for Brian too at the time. I think he could tell that we all missed it and we were kind of constantly pressing him to sound more Grady. And at the same time he was having to buy his way into the band partnership. I think he did really well dealing with it. For all the pressure and everything on him.

BILL: Plus a lot of our old fans were telling him he didn't play like you. He had to deal with that a lot.

RICK: I think he could kind of sense a lot of times that we were thinking things were just not quite right. You know what I mean? It just that you get spoiled.

ANDY: We were so used to a way of doing it. We were so used to Grady that it was like putting a square peg in a round hole sometimes.

RICK: Yeah. And Brian is great in his own right. He's a great musician and a great guy. It just wasn't the same.

ANDY: There just wasn't that instinctual communication that we all had where you wouldn't have to think about it. Things would just fall together.

GRADY: We had so many nights together where we felt we could almost do anything.

BILL: After the decision to split up was made, we did it very quickly. We came back to the States in the summer of 1994, played a couple more weeks, then hung it up.

ANDY: A year and a half after we broke up, we were approached by one of our old venues, Gator Gardens in Coronado, about doing a reunion for a New Year's Eve thing and we said yes. We rehearsed for like four days, went back on stage after that amount of time and it sounded like we had never quit.

BILL: After the first set, it was like we had just been there the week before. And it was great having Grady back with us for that.

RICK: And it was neat that we did it somewhere where we had the light show and the big sound system.

BILL: It was like the old days. That was a stage where we could still put on our old show.

Gabor: Two days ago, I was crossing the mp3.com site and discovered Crystal. I was totally amazed, my favourite AOR band on the web. How did you find out about mp3.com and what is your opinion of it?

ANDY: Well, MP3.com is a San Diego based company. The whole music scene is changing because of the digital downloads from the web.

RICK: Anybody has access.

BILL: What was amazing to me was that our mp3.com site had been there barely two days and we heard from you in Holland. Our main web page as well as the ones on IUMA and Riffage are also really new. I think it's going to be the
greater leveler of the playing field. The artist can have their material accessible to the public without dealing with traditional labels and radio stations. You still have to fight your way through the crowd. There's something like 30,000 bands on mp3.com now. But the access is there.

ANDY: And the good ones are going to stick out. In the old days, if you didn't have label interest or label push, almost nobody would ever hear of you. And the labels are very selective...

BILL: And following whatever the trend of the day is...

ANDY: And if you didn't quite fit the slots they were trying to fill, you didn't have a chance. There are so many good musicians out there that never got a chance with the record companies and this is there opportunity to do it now. I'm sure labels are going to mp3.com looking for bands.

RICK: What a way to cherry-pick. What a great source.

BILL: The labels have been fighting it initially saying that the technology makes it too easy to pirate CDs. But if you want to pirate a CD, the better way to do it is with a CD burner in your computer and those are very inexpensive these days. And you'll get true CD quality which the mp3 format doesn't give you. Mp3 gives you very good quality for the amount of
compression that it has, but it's not CD quality yet. But there are certain kinds of music that don't translate into the mp3 format very well. You get al sort of artifacts, sometimes it sounds like you are running everything through a phase shifter. For rock though, it works pretty well. What is also cool about MP3.com in particular is that with their D.A.M format CDs you can upload your songs, have them available on CD for purchase from anywhere in the world, and you don't have to deal with manufacturing and distribution. The just make the CD when it's ordered. Very cool idea. And of course, there are always new compression formats on the way. It will continue to get better.

ANDY: If we would have had this opportunity back in the mid-eighties, we may have been signed by now.

BILL: I really believe that. We would have had access to a lot of powerful tools. We could have promoted ourselves overseas, which wasn't too easy or practical at the time for us. We could have got our music to a much larger audience. It was the frustration that we didn't have that opportunity that made me interested in putting up the websites. I had been watching IUMA and mp3.com for some time thinking "If only..."

ANDY: When Bill told me "Hey, I got a web site going for the band" and then gave me the address and I opened it up, I was just blown away.

BILL: It was just bumming me out that we never got a chance to take advantage of that technology. It was totally in its infancy when we were around. Plus I'd get occasional inquiries from collectors looking for the first album and/or the follow-up albums. I just wanted to see if maybe we could get a buzz going again.

RICK: And then to see the sites on mp3, and Riffage and IUMA... Very cool.

BILL: And now the tapes are actually available to the public again. They have them in stock now at both Riffage and IUMA.

Gabor: If it wasn't for the Internet, we would have never crossed lines.Your music is pure AOR. Which bands influenced you?
BILL: What doesn't influence you?

ANDY: Everything you listen to has to influence you.

BILL: I think you have to be open to listening to everything as a musician.

GRADY: Saga, Kansas, ..

ANDY: Night Ranger, Journey, classical music, jazz

BILL: I always listened to a lot of classical and jazz. And now I'm into a lot of World music.

RICK: Grand Funk Railroad, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears...

GRADY: UFO...

ANDY: A lot of the bands that were doing more of the intricate stuff rather than straight-forward pop.

GRADY: That stuff smoked. It had so much energy.

ANDY: What was so funny is that when people would hear of us locally they would think, "That's a heavy metal band." But when we were doing covers, we played everything. We'd go from playing Judas Priest to playing Was Not Was.

BILL: We'd do a club like Flannigan's and be doing total eighties dance stuff and then we'd go down south and we'd be playing hard rock. And people would think that whatever they heard that night was all that we did.

ANDY: We were very flexible. And we gained a lot of new fans because of that.


Gabor: What will happen now? A reunion, new songs, a new album? Tell us about it.

RICK: Anything's possible, man. Anything's possible.

ANDY: If something happens, I am more than willing to put this thing back together.

GRADY: It wouldn't take much.

RICK: We've talked about getting together once a month or whatever and just playing together again and seeing what happens.

BILL: Get the juices going again... I think we'd all be up for that.

ANDY: The future's wide open. I think that if any of us stopped playing something would be missing.

BILL: It's impossible to stop playing completely.

GRADY: You take breaks, but at some point you end up doing it again.

ANDY: We wouldn't have started playing in the first place if it was that big a part of our lives. I think I took the longest break out of all you guys and I finally starting playing again and I realized I really missed it.

BILL: I still don't play out live that often. Grady and I are in the band Life together, but we don't perform that much. I've just been doing a lot of recording at home with my own weird brand of music hoping to maybe put something out on the Internet early next year. But I miss performing regularly.

RICK: I took a serious break too. I jammed with all kinds of original projects, but at that point just don't think I was ready to play. Getting together with Serious Guise filled an empty space because I really enjoy playing out. It filled such a big hole. We're playing pretty much every weekend right now.

Gabor: Did you know there are a couple of AOR labels out here in Europe that would sign your band immediately if they hear you albums, because they are desperate for bands like yours. If some label indeed wants to sign your band, would you be interested?

RICK: We'd be totally up for that.

Gabor: What will happen then?

BILL: That would totally depend on the kind of deal offered. The easiest thing for a label to do with us would be to re-release the material from the previous albums and give it distribution in Europe and see what happens. The
recordings are already done and we have the masters.

ANDY: I'd love to support an album release on a European label. That would be killer. If we had a chance to sign a deal we'd be all for it. Grady would have to grow his hair long again.

BILL: We'll buy him a weave...


Gabor: Finally, do you have anything to add to our readers?

BILL: We were really lucky to be able to do this for a living all those years. To do something we really loved to do. All the travel and the people we got to meet, working with John and Dino, opening concerts for groups like Kansas.

RICK: Kansas, Steelheart, Firehouse, The Romantics, Pat Travers...

BILL: Steppenwolf, Foghat, Joan Jett. Lots of great experiences.

ANDY: We would love to come over and play for a new audience. We've been dying for a new audience for our music for years. I personally feel that we have some really good material and it's a shame we haven't been able to expose more people to it. Who knows, that whole untapped European market could go nuts over us.

BILL: We never got a chance to really go after the market overseas. It would be great to see what happened.

RICK: There was always talk of going over to Germany and Italy with the company that got us into Japan, but it never materialized. That would have been great.

BILL: We had a Scandinavian thing in the works at one point too, but it never came off either.

RICK: Just the places we've gone so far with this band have been a blast. I'd love to just go all over the world. I'm ready to do it.

BILL: One of the weirdest things for me after the band called it quits was being in the same city for so long. I was so used to having to leave every couple of months.

RICK: I'm going to Iwakuni, Japan for New Years with Serious Guise.

BILL: We'd also love to hear from anyone who still remembers us, or wants to find out more about us. We have the website up and running now at http://crystalmusic.home.att.net and there are links from there to the download sites and the ordering sites. Or they can email us at crystalmusic@excite.com

I dare everyone to check out this superb AOR band via above mentioned website address. Keep your fingers crossed, because it would not surprise me if any of the 4 labels would pick up the old material of CRYSTAL and release it on CD next year. In the meantime also do not forget to check the story of CRYSTAL on our website.


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