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 Thoughts about Talisman...

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Nath
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PostSubject: Thoughts about Talisman...   Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:47 am

This is from Behshad who asked me to post it here (originally posted on MelodicRock):

I’ve been a member here for almost a year and I enjoy this place greatly. I have learned a lot about Journey and many other things from all of you and for that I am grateful!
Just over the last few days I have started to feel these mixed feelings about the current situation of 2 great bands, Talisman & Journey, one of them going through its final chapter while the other one starting a new chapter freshly. Thought I would share my thoughts with you guys. Just keep in mind these are my opinions and I have no intention to offend anyone. Also sorry for the long post. I hope it don't bore all of you!


PROLOGUE
In early 80’s, Swedish Yngwie Malmsteen amazed the American west coast music industry with his amazing guitar skills. After playing with 2 American bands (Steeler and Alcatraz), Yngwie decided to create his Rising Force. After many auditions, he chose Jeff Scott Soto as his singer. He also insisted that Jeff should use his full name, because it has some kind of a “ring” to it. Yngwie released 2 albums with Jeff Scott Soto (“Rising Force “and “Marching Out”).
The bass player in Rising Force, Marcel Jacob, developed a close friendship with Jeff which played a major role in both their lives down the road.
Yngwie was not one to listen to ideas from other band member. Well he did listen to what they had to say, but he rarely agreed with them. This resulted in many conflicts between him and band members, which resulted in Soto and Jacob’s departure from Rising Force.
Even though this was a great loss for Rising Force, it gave Soto and Jacob a chance to develop their talents outside Yngwie’s “dictatorship”. They both got involved in different smaller projects until 1988.

THE BEGINNING
Jeff was involved in few projects including Kuni while Marcel was busy with songwriting and jamming with John Norum.
Marcel and Jeff kept in touch throughout mid 80’s and eventually got together in 1988 to start working on a project which would later become the Talisman we know today.
In 1990 Talisman released their self titled album in Scandinavia. They followed the release with a relatively successful tour. June 9th of 1990 is the first time I got the chance to meet both Jeff and Marcel in Enkoping, Sweden. I never forget when I shook Jeff’s hand when I met him and told him “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you” and he replied “The pleasure is all mine”. Right then and there I realized what kind of guy he is. So down to earth and so easy to talk to and get along with. During the summer of 1990 show I attended as many shows as I could. One major problem was the fact that Talisman was playing in small pubs and I was only 17. Jeff and Marcel helped me sneak in as “crew” member! During this tour I also got the pleasure to meet and hang out with Jason Bieler from Saigon Kick as he was the axe grinder for the Talisman tour until Fredrik Akesson was on board.
Talisman’s “Ill be waiting” became a hit in Scandinavia, but this band was hoping to become more than just a one hit wonder.
Their second release, “Genesis” wasn’t as successful as the first album, but it had many quality songs. In 1993, with Marcel Jacob and Christer Wedin, I started the first Talisman Fan Club and had over 500 members within few months. Talisman got more airplay on Swedish radio stations and also had few hits on the Swedish “Top Listan” on Swedish Television.
Between 1993-2003 Talisman released 3 studio albums and toured not only Scandinavia, but also Europe and Japan. They also released a live album recorded in Japan which included some of their best songs to date.
By now Talisman had managed to find their “sound” and had become a solid rock band with powerful songs.
During this time I kept in touch with Marcel and Jeff, mainly through email. (I also found out that just like myself, Marcel is a big fan of the Persian board game Backgammon. We played many games of backgammon online, while I learned more and more about Marcel.

CATS & DOGS
In June of 2003, Talisman’s “Cats& Dogs” was released. This is (in my personal opinion) their best release. The guitar/bass “battle” between Fredrik and Marcel through out this album is just phenomenal. It was also on this album where you could hear how strong and powerful Jeff’s voice has become since Yngwie times.
Following the success of the album and the European tour, a double DVD was released. If you have any kind of a music video collection and you don’t have this DVD, then you’re collection is a waste of space! Professionally edited and authored by DVD-Master Gary Schutt, this DVD contains 2 full shows (Club Mondo and Sweden Rock Festival 03) and tons of Talisman goodies!
At the 2004 NAMM show in LA, Jeff hooked up with Neal for the first time and they planned on doing a project together, called Soul SirkUS. I attended a show in Detroit and it was great to see Jeff after 10 years. Even though this band’s line up had nothing but talented musicians, I never thought it would be more than a one album project. Sure, they sounded great LIVE, but the songs weren’t just as great as you would expect from these gentlemen. What really stood out the most at that show was the energy Jeff brought to the stage, which made Neal smile ear to ear for most part of the show. Right then and there I had a feeling that the 2 of them may continue on a journey together, no pun intended!

THE JOURNEY BEGINS
July 3rd, 2006, our beautiful daughter is born. My wife wants us to come up with a name that starts with J, because our 3 year old son’s name is Julian. Without any connection to the band, I suggest the name Journey and she falls in love with the name and we decide to go with it.
3 days later I find out that Jeff has been asked to front Journey temporarily due to Augeri’s lip-synching Wink I email Jeff and get a quick confirmation back and wish him good luck on his 1st how, July 7th.
A week later when I send a message to check how things are going with Jeff and his “new band”, he offers me tickets for the show in Cincinnati. Due to work schedules I cant go but we plan on the Columbus show, Sept 10th.
I have to admit that until 2006, I had never been a FAN of Journey. Sure I liked they’re classic’s with Perry, but stopped listening to the band when Augeri took over.
I was very excited to see Jeff fronting one of the most classic bands in front of 20.000 people in Columbus Ohio.
Before the show I get to catch up with Jeff and got to meet the rest of Journey. Jeff also was kind enough to go back to the tour buss and burn me a copy of the new Talisman cd “7”.
The show was amazing. It was just great to see people enjoy Jeff’s energy (which by now had spread to the rest of Journey guys). After the show, I hooked up with Jeff and he even came out with us to check out Def Leppard for a bit. Upon our departure, I thanked Jeff for the tickets and told him that he sounded great, but I was disappointed that he didn’t sing any of the classic Journey ballads.
On m 3 hour drive home, I listened to the Talisman cd and as usual loved it. But something was missing. Don’t get me wrong I love this album, but it just wasn’t as solid as “Cats&Dogs”. It’s kind of like Jeff and Marcel KNEW that this would be Talisman’s last cd. Nevertheless I enjoyed the music as I always have when it comes to any projects involving Jeff and Marcel.

THE END (?)
As you all know, Jeff confirmed the end of Talisman, when our forum-dad Andrew interviewed the band in California end of 2006.
This was of course devastating news to me. After 16 years, my favorite band was no more. At the same time as I was happy to see Jeff finally get the publicity and the long over due recognition for his hard word the last 25 years, I was also unhappy that Talisman is nearing its end with their final farewell tour.
6 months later, with the final tour dates in Europe, the reality is finally hitting me.
Susie (jrnyrox) told me back when we found out about the Talisman farewell tour, that I really should make arrangements to go see Talisman one last time. I didn’t listen to her. Maybe it was because I wanted to live in denial and hoping this was not going to be their last tour?
Looking back now, I wish I would’ve listened to her and taken the chance to see Talisman one more time LIVE.
With all due respect to all Journey fans (and fans of other bands), Talisman live is like no other band. You can’t even come close to the energy, teamwork, brotherhood, friendship and TALENT, when you see these guys up on stage. It’s a must for any music fan to experience this at least once. I feel honored and lucky that I did get to see this band live many times 10-15 years ago.

FINAL THOUGHTS
As happy as I am for Jeff with his new band, I still think that he fits better in Talisman. I know that with Journey, Jeff will get more publicity and gains more fans, but is it worth it to lose your favorite band over it? How does one justify one band member’s great success vs. the entire band breaking up for good. Now I do realize that Jeff’s departure from Talisman is not the ONLY reason this band is calling it quits. After all we all know that Fredrik is way too busy with Arch Enemy and that Marcel can’t play too much bass because of the pain in his hands. But If I had to choose, I would still want Jeff back in Talisman, going on with more tours (here in the states too of course) and many more great songs to be produced by the magical duo, Jeff Scott Soto and Marcel Jacob. I dont think anyone can write songs for Jeff the way Marcel does.
Once again, with all due respect to the rest of Journey and all Journey fans out there, I think that last years tour shouldve have been the best time to finish this great legacy. But then again, I hope they prove me wrong!

God Bless,

Behshad

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PostSubject: Re: Thoughts about Talisman...   Sun Jun 10, 2007 6:54 am

WOW - what a read! Smile I understand a lot of your feelings Beshad and find myself struggling a bit too. I also have been a JSS supporter/fan since the very beginning of Talisman (and also EYES at the time) and sounds like we're close in age too! Very Happy I also lived overseas and still remember the first time I saw Jeff/Talisman on MTV Europe. I honestly don't know what I'd do w/out JSS's music - especially Talisman. I've kept in touch with Jeff off and on through the years and like yourself and SO MANY others have stated, he has ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS been a class act and a true gem in this world. When I learned of the Journey gig, my first reaction was immediately so damn proud of him because he'd finally get the recognition he so much deserved, but knew at the same time that it could be the end of some of the other "projects" he's been a part of. I truly hope it's not the end of Talisman or even any JSS solo albums, but if it is the end, the peace I have is if he's happy, then I'm happy and that's how I have to look at I guess....

I also have struggled with the Talisman shows and was trying to work so many angles to be able to attend at least one show. I came really close to going over but life events prevented me from going and it's tortured me ever since...I still think about it and my friends (Lisl, Nath, Stefy & Sam) know what I'm talking about. Luckily I got a few phone calls but I wanted to be there so desperately bad. Lisl started the idea of a Reunion Tour so maybe there's hope for us yet Beshad! Smile

So, just know that what you're feeling is normal as far as I'm concerned! Very Happy

I appreciate you taking the time to share this with us and I'm sure you'll have a lot of JSS fans/friends who feel the same way...

Hugs,
Heather I love you
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