and you can still call me
.....okay, this record got a few years on it's back now, like all the
others of this brilliant musician. But who actually is Lawrence Gowan,
who's name might have been heard by many of us before, but a few people
still don't know where to put it. Yes, of course, for die hard fans of
the melodic rock side, this man is truly not an unknown chap. Lawrence,
or Larry Gowan or just Gowan can look back to a longlasting
carrier as a professional musician, including more than half a dozen
albums and many credits on other people's records. The scottish born
found his home very soon in Toronto, Canada. And not many people know,
where his original roots have come from.
„my parents left Great Britain, when I was very young. And we moved to
Canada. But I can still speak the scotts accent a little".
Most of us over here in Europe have seen the entertainer live on stage
for the first time, when he was here with Styx
five years ago. On this occassion the skinny boy already convinced
us with his talent from one second to the other that he
belongs certainly to the best showmen in the Rock'n'Roll world. In
1998 two years before, he replaced Dennis DeYoung
First signing a contract for 53 concert dates, but as you can see, he is
still in the band and most probably he will be for a long time to come. He
became a true member of Styx. Five
years after this first european trip, they came back again last June 2005
to play German and other stages round the old continent. And both
times I've checked them out here in Munich, and I asked myself
afterwards whether this was a Styx show or a Lawrence
Gowan show featuring Styx.
The best description is: Styx
is the dynamite and Gowan is the nuclear
The guys in the group share the vocal parts, but Larry draws at least
99% of the attention to his person, caused by his individual torture
methods he practices with his keyboard, his acrobatic jumps and most of
all because of his
aura and the vibe you can honestly feel.
was most impressed after the first stint in Europe . And he
left a very personal note on his website to his fans in which he said,
that he thought it couldn't get any better than in the states. And that
he was pretty much surprised about Germany, the fans and everything else
. So he got a bit worried about the return to the states. He visited
Betthovens birthplace, went with a boat on the river Rhein, saw his
cousin Andrew etc. etc. And most of all he recognised some well known
faces from the US over here in Europe in the audiance. His German got
better and that his experience increased.
Larry Gowan Munich 2000
So, this next
time has just happened. And another time we've been promised by the
band. Once again Styx celebrate success over here. And Lawrence
said: "I've put my solo carrier on ice for now. I mean, I could
have put 50% of my energy in my stuff and 50% into Styx,
but I rather prefer giving a 100% into one project. And in this case
it's Styx. But
it doesn't mean, I will never do anything again on my own. In fact, I'll
do some dates with a symphony orchestra in 2006. But apart from
that, Styx has got absolute priority."
is very difficult to pull a retrospective about a man, who has done as
much in his musical life as Lawrence Gowan did
so far. But I try at least to put down here the most important stations
of his life. Music business keeps you young, that's for sure, most of all
on Gowan, who still looks 20 something but has surely a few years
more on his back. But having the right attitude makes you feel much
better, don't ya'?!
Having an education as a classical concert piano player, he played a lot
around the Toronto scene in the early seventies and was quickly known
for his love for progressive rock music. In 1976 Larry formed his
first band "Rhinegold". This
took their style from acts like Genesis, Supertramp and Queen or the
Beatles, who's songs had been taken into the liveset from time to time.
The threesome soon belonged to the most wellknown rockbands in Canada
next to Triumph and Rush. But the end of the Seventies brought the
Discomusic and Rhinegold died.
played with various artists made his first solo record 'till he
got a record deal with CBS Canada in 1982. He recorded several demotapes
but wasn't very successful with them. In 1984 Gowan met Jerry
Marotta, who opened some doors and
wider options. In Ringo Starr's house at the French rivera the roots for
his album "Strange Animals"
were laid. It came out in 1985 including the singles „Criminal Mind“, „Guerilla
Soldier“ and „Cosmetics“.
|In 1986 while Larry was
still touring with the Kinks, he got the chance to support
"Tears For Fears"for the first time under his own name.
The results were several awards and 300.000 sold units of the
album. 1987, one year later
"Great Dirty World" came
out with the hitsingle „Moonlight
Desires“, on which Jon Anderson
of Yes starred in a guest appearance. Even this record
didn't meet the sales figures of the one before, it gave Gowan
the possibillity to continue touring on his own. The following
years this exeptional musician spent time again finding
himself and developing further. And over all Bob Roper, who soon
became his manager, had an eye on him.
third album „Lost
Brotherhood“ was released in
1990 in cooperation with Jerry
Marotta. And it was produced by none other
than Eddie Schwartz,
who is a legend as well on the Canadian rock heaven. On this record you
could find a ballad for the very first time. And a rather saucy video
clip was shot to improve Larry's image as the everlasting bachelor.
And again, he pulled out of the scenery to find a new orientation. He
took an acoustic guitar instead of his keyboard to write the next songs
in Jerry Marrotta's house in Woodstock. The result was spectacular and
came out in 1992 named
„But You Can
The reason for the album title was the fact that this artist had changed
his name several times in the past - from Lawrence Gowan to just Gowan
and back again.The first single „When
There’s Time For Love“ got him back
into the charts and he went on tour only with a piano and an acoustic
guitar. First with the second single „Dancing
On My Own Ground“ Gowan put a
full band together to promote this long player.
Call Me Larry
In 1995 after
Larry had been a member of an allstar band together with Jerry Lewis and
Carl Perkins celebrating Ronnie Hawkins birthday
(Gowan toured with the Hawkins group in the past) - he released the next
Catches Up“. This piece of music
didn't fetch the stars from the sky,, but it was solid enough to get 3
singles outta it - the Titeltrack, „Guns And
God“ and „I’ll Be There In A Minute“.
And again he received several awards including some for his charity work.
The year 1995 saw the album „You Can Call Me Larry“
going gold after beeing rereleased
by Sony Canada. Gowan got a Socan awards for the songs „Soul’s Road“,
„Dancing On My Own Ground“, which belonged to the 10 most
played tracks on radio. But sales got less again, and Larry once again
showed his talent as a solo artist with a one man show and he supported
Burton Cummings on his 97 tour.While touring, he promoted 2 Live albums,
which were recorded at the Glenn Gould Theatre in Toronto
and in Quebec. Finally
in 200 the „Best
of Lawrence Gowan“ CD came out..
Track „Healing Water“
was a dedication to Princess Diana and was released in order by
the BBC at the same time as he toured in England shortly after the
princess died. He won a lot of popularity and another Best of...
was released in 1998.
Another studio album was planned in early 1999. Eleven songs were already
written and produced and were waiting to get released. But they didn't.
The fault was a phone call in May, which made him stop every solo
activity, to jump in for
Dennis DeYoung in
first signed this contract for the 53 gigs (mentioned above). But
'till the very day, he doesn't even know by himself how many
he's done with the band. And there's no end in sight. He took another
conclusion and put it on his website.Larry mentioned the great time he had
with Styx so far and hopefully will still have. The fun in his life he's
always receiving through the fans . He confessed to be a Hippie and
speaks like one.
"God bless you or Buddha or Muhammed, Bob Geldorf or whoever you
admire or not. It's your right in this pluralistic world, where the
gravity keeps you on the ground, or not when you once will watch the
whole scenery from a space station. Another year had passed and may the
next 12 months be your personal Rock'n'Roll odysee."
More of Larry Gowan's personal notes you can read