Geoff Downs (up top with the literal workstation of keyboards) has more synths than I’ve had birthdays. He olds the Guinness Record for perfoming with the most keyboards on stage in a concert (it’s twenty-eight). Why does he need so many? Why not?! Ever think of that? Downs comes from the day when a staircase of synths was mandatory for a good rock concert. It doesn’t matter that he’s only got two hands, he’s got one great big mind that won’t be stifled by a lack of options.
Downes has keyboards in his blood, too. His father was a church organist and his mother was a pianist. Isn’t that cute? If his life were a cartoon, his mother would be a sedan and his father would be a sedan, his mother a stationwagon, and he would be a sportscar. Nobody steal that idea, I’m definitely going to make that movie.
Downes is quoted as saying he gets inspired by fellow key players Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and especially Caravan keyboardist Dave Sinclair. Starting out writing jingles for commercials, Downes met Trevor Horn at an audition for Tina Charles’ backing band. They hit it off and went to form The Buggles. The Buggles will forever be a known name due to their huge hit with “Video Killed The Radio Star”, offficially the first MTV music video in 1981. Later that year, Downes and Horn joined Yes for the “Drama” album and were part of the Yes roster until the band’s split the next year, after the Drama tour. After the split, Downes formed Asia with Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton. The rest is history.
Geoff and the rest of the original members of Asia will be at the Granada Theater Friday, November 16th.
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