De Anza College Planeterium, Cupertino, California
One of the very creative outlets that we were able to grow and be involved in was the opportunity to play at De Anza college in the De Anza College Planetarium. We were always trying to think out-of-the-box and come up with venues that would be different and also unique for the whole vibe of the instrument. The stick was just so perfect for with the whole idea of futuristic or beyond this world type of instrument.
At the time, Star Trek was having a revival by moving from the television show to the big screen. Bob Cooper Bob Culbertson and myself were absolute Trekkies from the very beginning, and we would go see one of the shows and then come back and write a song that was a reflection in someway of the movie. We actually wrote a song called V’ger – if you’re a Trekkie you know that was reflected in the first of the Star Trek movies. Anyway light shows and Star Trek movies seemed to fit together somehow.
I knew about the De Anza College Eye See the Lightshow, so I researched who was in charge of running the light show and contacted him. I presented the idea to him and he was so positive and up for it that it even surprised me.
From the very beginning of playing at the lightshows we were totally successful. We were doing at least two shows a month and were playing to sold out crowds from the first performance to the last one we ever did there. The whole idea seemed to appeal to everybody, not just us. It was a unique experience that really caught on.
Also, it really allowed us a creative outlet for songwriting – it was like a combination of writing soundtracks for movies and thinking of themes that related to visuals that were projected up on the dome. Thinking back…wow! it was so much fun – our minds just went creatively crazy with all of the endless possibilities.
Bob was playing things on the stick and string parts with his left hand – with the synthesizer we were creating all kinds of incredible tambours and sounds. There was no band that was even close to doing what we were doing at the time – we were absolutely unique.