Spock's Beard

Spock's Beard

Infobox musical artist
Name = Spock's Beard

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape = Yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genre = Progressive rock
Years_active = 1992–present
Label = InsideOut Music
Associated_acts = Big Big Train
URL = [http://www.spocksbeard.com/ Spock's Beard official site]
Current_members = Alan Morse
Ryo Okumoto
Nick D'Virgilio
Dave Meros
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 plays 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 (such as those found on certain Gentle Giant songs) and use of counterpoint on cuts such as "Gibberish," "Thoughts (Parts I and II)," "June," " A Guy Named Sid Pt.5: Sid's Boy Choir", and "Devil's Got My Throat."


Alan Morse came up with the name after a particularly wild party, where he remarked to his brother, Neal, "It's almost as if we were in an alternate universe, like that one episode of Star Trek where Spock had a beard. Wouldn't that be a cool name for a band? Spock's Beard." Then, when it came time to choose a name for the band, Alan made a list of over 100 names and threw Spock's Beard on the end as a joke, and the band chose it. fact|date=October 2007 The name refers to a slang expression used mostly by "Star Trek" fans to indicate a concept that's so outlandish as to belong to another, warped universe. The term originates with the episode "Mirror, Mirror" of the "" original series, where four "Enterprise" officers are exchanged with their counterparts in an alternate universe; the alternate version of Spock has a goatee.

In 2002, the band released the highly acclaimed double-cd concept album entitled "Snow", which tells a story of an albino psychic who acquires a messianic following, who spiritually falls and loses the direction of his calling, then to be rescued with new chance to live in harmony. 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. 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".

As posted on their website on November 8th: Their 9th studio album was released on Nov 21st, 2006, simply entitled "Spock's Beard"

According to their website, a live DVD as well as CD (of the same material)recorded live in Holland in 2007 will be released in June. Release dates are Germany, Austria & Switzerland on June 13, the remainder of Europe on June 16 and North America on June 24, 2008.


Current lineup

* Nick D'Virgilio - lead vocals, drums
* Alan Morse - guitar, vocals
* Ryo Okumoto - keyboards
* Dave Meros - bass guitar, vocals

Former members

* Neal Morse (1992 - 2002) - Lead Vocals, Synths, Acoustic Guitar

Additional musicians

* Jimmy Keegan - Tour drummer
* John Boegehold - Song co-writer
* Stan Ausmus - Song co-writer


tudio albums

* "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)
* "Spock's Beard" (2006)


*"Skin" (1999)
*"All On A Sunday" (2001)

Live albums and compilations

* "Official Live Bootleg/The Beard is Out There" (1996) (recorded 1995)
* "From the Vault" (1998) (rarities - From the Vaults, Series 1)
* "Live at the Whisky and NEARfest" (1999)
* "Don't Try This at Home" (April 2000) (recorded 1999) (live)
* "Nick 'n Neal live in Europe - Two Separate Gorillas" (October, 2000) (From the Vaults, Series 2)
* "Don't Try This @ Home Either" (2000) (recorded 1999) (live - From the Vaults, Series 3)
* "There and Here" (2000) (live - From the Vaults, Series 4)
* "Gluttons for Punishment" (2005) (live)
* "Live" (2008) (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)
* "Live" (DVD, 2008)

External links

* [http://www.spocksbeard.com/ Spock's Beard official site]
* [http://www.spocksbeard.org/ Spock's Beard Dot Org]
* [http://www.ryookumoto.com Ryo Okumoto official site]
* [http://www.ndvmusic.com Nick D'Virgilio official site]
* [http://www.nealmorse.com Neal Morse official site]

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