Sparky confused a bit by the Guru getting het up over Ryo — not as if he's an Asian hottie like the girl below ...
The good stuff on this prog rocker seems to be in Japanese or German. Not my strengths ...
Ryo Okumoto (born in Osaka, Japan) is a keyboardist, best known for his work with progressive rock group Spock's Beard. He has performed and recorded with numerous artists and has released many solo albums. In 1997, Ryo Okumoto became part of Spock's Beard, and has been a member of the band since.
Ryo Okumoto website © 2005 Ryo Okumoto - English and Japanese website by gonewest.
|Country||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Genre(s)||Rock, Progressive Rock|
|Members||Alan Morse |
|Past members||Neal Morse|
Spock's Beard is a progressive rock band formed in 1992 in Los Angeles by brothers Neal and Alan Morse. Neal played keyboards and was the lead vocalist, as well as being the primary songwriter; Alan plays electric guitar. The pair teamed with fellow musicians Nick D'Virgilio (drums) and Dave Meros (bass) and released their debut album, The Light, in 1995. The quartet were later joined by veteran keyboardist Ryo Okumoto.
The band played a brand of progressive rock with pop music leanings (drawing much influence from Genesis), as opposed to the hard rock approach of The Flower Kings or the metal feel of Dream Theater. The band is also well known for their intricate multi-part vocal harmonies and use of counterpoint on cuts such as "Gibberish," "Thoughts (Parts I and II)," "June," and "Devil's Got My Throat."
In 2002, the band released a concept album entitled Snow, which tells a story of an albino psychic who achieves a messianic following. Many listeners and critics have noted the parallels between the storyline of Snow and Neal Morse's own highly-publicized conversion to Christianity.
Following the release of Snow, Neal Morse left the band for a solo career as a Christian artist. Drummer Nick D'Virgilio took over the lead singing and songwriting role, in a move reminiscent of Genesis's drummer Phil Collins taking over from Peter Gabriel. Their first album, Feel Euphoria, has a harder-rocking and more experimental sound than the Neal Morse-led band, relying on Alan Morse's guitar to a greater extent.
In early 2005, after a long writing and recording process, Spock's Beard released Octane, their second album after the departure of Neal Morse. This was seen by many fans as a return to a more bright and epic sound after the previous songwriting differences in Feel Euphoria.
On May 17th, 2006, Dave Meros updated on the band's webpage that they will be in the studio this summer to work on their next album. Demos have already been passed around, and they expect an early fall 2006 release for their 9th studio album.
The band was named for the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror," where the crew enters a parallel universe in which the parallel Mr. Spock is differentiated by his beard. Those of you too young to remember or too cheap for G4 's remix - think of the 'good' Cartman in South Park.
- Nick D'Virgilio - Lead Vocals, Drums
- Alan Morse - Guitar, Vocals
- Ryo Okumoto - Keyboards, Vocals
- Dave Meros - Bass, Vocals
Former members and additional musicians
- Neal Morse (1992 - 2002) - Lead Vocals, Synths, Acoustic Guitar
- Jimmy Keegan - Tour drummer
- John Boegehold - Song co-writer
- Stan Ausmus - Song co-writer
- The Light (1995)
- Beware of Darkness (1996)
- The Kindness of Strangers (1998)
- Day For Night (1999)
- V (2000)
- Snow (2002)
- Feel Euphoria (2003)
- Octane (2005)
Live albums and compilations
- Official Live Bootleg/The Beard is Out There (1996) (recorded 1995)
- From the Vault - Rarities (1998)
- Live at the Whisky and NEARfest (1999)
- Don't Try This At Home - Live (April 2000) (recorded 1999)
- Nick 'n Neal live in Europe - Two Separate Gorillas - From The Vaults, Series 2 (October, 2000)
- Don't Try This @ Home Either - Live - From The Vaults, Series 3 (2000) (recorded 1999)
- There and Here (2000) (live)
- Gluttons for Punishment (2005) (live)
- Spock's Beard Home Movie (Video, 1998)
- Live At The Whisky (Video, (1999)
- The Making of V (Video, May 2001)
- Don't Try This At Home (2 DVD Set, November, 2002)
- The Making Of Snow (DVD, 2004)
And while South Park is fresh in our minds -
Tom Cruise, as depicted in "Trapped in the Closet".
OriginsIn January 2006, Comedy Central's United Kingdom affiliate (Paramount Comedy 1) removed the episode "Trapped in the Closet" from its broadcast schedule, reportedly in order to avoid legal action by actor Tom Cruise, as Comedy Central is owned by Viacom, which also owns Paramount, the distributors of Cruise's new film, Mission: Impossible III. That episode was screened on February 20 on SBS in Australia.
In November 2005, South Park satirized the Church of Scientology and its celebrity followers, including actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, in a top-rated episode called "Trapped in the Closet." In the episode, Stan is hailed as a reluctant savior by Scientology leaders, while a cartoon Cruise locks himself in a closet and won't come out. Dubbed 'Closetgate' by the Los Angeles Times, the controversy continued as Comedy Central pulled the "Trapped in the Closet" episode at the last minute from a scheduled repeat on March 15, 2006. It was alleged that Tom Cruise threatened Paramount with withdrawal from promotion of his latest film Mission: Impossible III if the episode was broadcast. Though Paramount and Cruise's representatives deny any threats, The Independent reports that "no one believes a word of it". In typical satirical form, Parker and Stone issued the following statement: "So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!" The Los Angeles Times reported that, "For Stone and Parker, Closetgate will be the gift that keeps on giving."   While the episode has yet to be re-broadcast on Comedy Central, it has been shown as recently as May 12th in Canada on The Comedy Network.
- Main article: The Return of Chef
In very South Park-like fashion, Stone and Parker place extremely current events into the show with little mercy. In response to Isaac Hayes quitting the show, South Park used its 10th season premiere to lambaste Scientology again, as well as kill off Isaac's character, yet still remind the audience to overlook the current problems and remember the joy that Chef brought to the show. In the episode, entitled "The Return of Chef", Chef returns from a three month long stay with the Super Adventure Club (SAC), an organization full of Colonel Mustard-type adventurers that seemingly scour the world for excitement and danger. The club is also a clear parody of Scientology. Though Chef returns, his dialogue is blatantly patched together from recordings of past episodes, obviously intended as part of the joke. Eventually, all Chef begins to talk about is child molestation. For example, he puts together two of his favourite sayings: the song "I'm gonna make love to ya woman" and the phrase "Hello there, Children". He says, in a clearly edited way:
"I'm gonna make love to you......Children!"
There are other similar examples of Chef's new strangeness later in the episode: the boys then visit the Super Adventure Club in an effort to learn what is wrong with Chef, and they learn the true nature of the club. Chef dies later in the episode - already on fire, he falls down a cliff and onto a jagged rock and is eventually eaten by a cougar and a bear - but Kyle delivers a eulogy at Chef's funeral, urging the town to remember the good times with Chef and to forgive him for his recent defection. After this, Chef is resurrected in a "Darth Vader" style, and the "lightsaber" he holds at the end is a glowing red spatula.
- Note: It has been reported that Isaac Hayes quit the show not because of the Scientology episode, but because he suffered a stroke before the season. The scientology reports came from the head of the church and not from Isaac Hayes himself. This also reportedly has damaged Hayes' relation with the Church of Scientology.
That's enough - Sparks