Chapter II: 1982-1983: EP Era
By Brian Heaton
The Mob spent months rehearsing and working multiple jobs to save up enough money to record a four-song EP at Triad Studios in Redmond, Wash. The Mob still couldn't find a singer, but called up Tate and asked if he could lay down the vocal tracks. Tate agreed and the band scheduled five consecutive "graveyard shifts" at the studio, Monday through Friday.
At the time, Geoff was in the band MYTH (with guitarist Kelly Gray and keyboardist Randy "Random Damage" Gane, who would later play roles in Queensr˙che's history). Predictably, Tate's MYTH bandmates were apprehensive about their singer cutting a record with The Mob. Tate convinced them that in the long-run, having professional experience in a studio would be beneficial to all of them.
The Mob had three completed songs – "Queen of the Reich," "Nightrider," and "Blinded." They also had one song with all the music complete, but no lyrics. That tune would ultimately be called "The Lady Wore Black." Tate wrote the lyrics for it prior to recording the song.
Miller picks up the narrative here:
"I was in the studio the night that Jeff laid down the vocal tracks for 'The Lady Wore Black.' He needed to set the mood, so Jeff had the lights turned off and sang with a single candle burning in the studio. While waiting for his first verse to come up, he whistled along with the opening guitar not realizing they were taping him. He told them it was not meant for the recording, but everyone agreed it was good, so they kept it. What a cool thing to have seen!
About a week or two after they finished the recordings, Chris DeGarmo showed up at a party at Brett Umbedacht's house acting very suspiciously. He came over to me and quietly asked if I wanted to hear his new recording out in the car. I, of course, said yes and we went out to the Ford Pinto wagon he had recently bought from Scottie Duehn. Much like the soaring wail at the beginning of Deep Purple's 'Highway Star,' once I heard the opening chords of 'Queen of the Reich' and Tate's soaring opening note, my jaw dropped to the floorboard.
I couldn't believe how professional their recording was. How well thought out every part of it was down to the sequencing and segueing between songs. After the end of 'The Lady Wore Black,' I couldn't find the words to say to Chris, other than to say 'it was awesome.' None of the local bands in town had ever recorded anything that sounded this good out-of-the-box."
Once complete, the EP generated a lot of local buzz in the Seattle scene. The Mob spent almost a year shopping it to labels, but came up empty. Eventually, Kim and Diana Harris, the owners of Easy Street Records, convinced the four members to sign a management contract with them.
At that point, The Mob also changed its name to "Queensr˙che" due to another band having the rights to "The Mob." DeGarmo, Jackson, Rockenfield and Wilton chose the new name after a song DeGarmo had written called "Queen of the Reich," changing "reich" to "r˙che" in order to avoid any association with the Nazi Party.
Queensr˙che had the EP pressed on its own "206 Records" label. The EP sold thousands of copies through word of mouth and the underground, finally attracting the attention of magazines and major labels. Queensr˙che pressured Tate to leave MYTH, but he was reluctant out of loyalty to MYTH. However, after the Queensr˙che EP received a stellar review in KERRANG!, album sales shot through the roof, which convinced Tate to leave MYTH and join Queensr˙che.
The band secured an opening slot for Zebra for two shows in Portland and Seattle during late June 1983. EMI Records came calling quickly afterwards, signing the band to a seven-album record deal and launching Queensr˙che's major-label recording career, leading to opening slots for headliners Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, and Dio in the fall of 1983. They returned home for the holidays to start work on the band's first full-length album.
Title: Queensryche EP
|June 29, 1983||Portland, OR||Paramount Theater|
|June 30, 1983||Seattle, WA||Paramount Theater|
|September 14, 1983||Kansas City, Mo.||Memorial Hall|
|September 15, 1983||Little Rock, Ark.||Little Rock Convention Center|
|September 16, 1983||Dallas, Texas||Bronco Bowl|
|September 17, 1983||San Antonio, Texas||San Antonio Convention Center Arena|
|September 18, 1983||Corpus Christi, Texas||Memorial Coliseum|
|September 19, 1983||Houston, Texas||Sam Houston Coliseum|
|September 20, 1983||Austin, Texas||Austin Coliseum|
|September 23, 1983||Lubbock, Texas||Lubbock Municipal Coliseum|
|September 24, 1983||Norman, Okla.||Lloyd Noble Center|
|September 27, 1983||Burlington, Ia.||Memorial Auditorium|
|October 1, 1983||Seattle, WA||Paramount Theater|
|October 2, 1983||Portland, OR||Paramount Theater|
|October 4, 1983||Sacramento, CA||Memorial Auditorium|
|October 5, 1983||San Jose, CA||Civic Auditorium|
|October 9, 1983||Reseda, CA||The Country Club|
|October 12, 1983||Kansas City, Mo.||The Uptown Theatre|
|October 15, 1983||Chicago, IL||Haymakers|
|October 16, 1983||Milwaukee, WI||Eagle's Nest|
|October 17, 1983||Grand Rapids, Mich.||Top of the Rock|
|October 19, 1983||Detroit, MI||Harpo's|
|October 21, 1983||Cleveland, Ohio||Engineer's Auditorium|
|October 22, 1983||Buffalo, N.Y.||Roof Top Sky Room|
|October 24, 1983||Boston, Mass.||Paradise Theatre|
|October 26, 1983||Washington D.C.||Wax Museum|
|October 27, 1983||Pittsburgh, PA||Stanley Theater|
|October 28, 1983||Baltimore, Md.||Unknown|
|October 29, 1983||Poughkeepsie, N.Y.||The Chance|
|November 1, 1983||New York City, NY||Ritz Theater|
|November 4, 1983||Toronto, Ont., CANADA||Concert Hall|
|November 5, 1983||Montreal, Que., CANADA||The Spectrum|
EP Promo Ad
EP Promo Poster
Japan EP Ad
206 EP Ad