2008: HELIX AT SOUTH TEXAS ROCK FESTIVAL
In July 2008 Helix played the South Texas Rock Festival in San Antonio, Texas. This was a pivotal gig for us as we had been out of the American marketplace for many years by that point.
There are many interesting things in this little video clip: First off, I don’t think bands even do record “in stores” anymore…LOL. Here we are being taken around by Tom Mathers of Perris Records to various stores. The other band at the in-store with us was Mad Maragarit, another one of Tom’s bands on the label.
I first met Tom when I started to re-issue Helix albums in the late 90’s and eventually I sang the lead vocals for his band Cherry Street on the album Buster Cherry. Tom played guitar. Today Tom & Perris have just put out a limited run of all the Helix CDs from over the years with the exception of the Capitol/E.M.I. years.
The day of the gig it was over a hundred degrees. The crowd was sparse but this was an important gig in the band’s career because it sent out a signal to our American fans that the band was still around. Tom Mathers walked through the crowd with a hand written sign over his head reading, “HELIX HAVING MEET AND GREET AFTER THE SHOW. COME MEET THE BAND BACK BY THE MERCH BOOTH!” Seeing Tom do that sold me on him-I knew he’d do anything he had to do to sell our music-and I liked that.
The line-up of the band at this time in the band’s career was: Rick Van Dyk/lead guitar, Jim Lawson/lead guitar, Paul Fonsenca/bass, Brent Niemi/drums, and myself on lead vocals (Brian Vollmer). Also in some of these shots are Gord Prior (he’s in the back seat when Tom is on the phone in his car). Gord and I, along with Steve Georgakopoulos had written THE POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL, so that’s why Gord was along for the trip. Gord and Rick got along like oil and water, and being together on this little trip did little to alleviate the tension. Eventually things came to a head between them and Rick, along with everyone else in the band except Jim Lawson quit. In retrospect it was a good thing because it led to the reformation of the original 80’s line-up.
Here is Rick’s guitar solo from that baking hot afteroon, followed by our band day out at “Riverwalk” in downtown San Antonio. In those clips you also catch a glimpse of Johnny Paterson, our soundman at the time.