The Georgia Satellites were one of the most ferocious bands of the 80’s. What set them apart from the other 100,000 bands who cranked their amps up to eleven was that their wild riffs and tanked up cries came from a band who, from the start, understood it’s place in the rock tradition and fought hard to solidify it with each recording.
The story starts in the early 80’s at Hedgen’s, a “country club for the spiritually impoverished and emotionally destitute” as chief songwriter Dan Baird would later identify it. Bassist Keith Christopher, drummer Mauro Magellan and guitarists Dan Baird and Rick Richards were all playing on the Atlanta circuit in various bar bands such as The Hellhounds, The Brains and The Woodpeckers. These bands would gradually morph into the original Georgia Satellites, who signed to same the same management company as country-rock pioneers, Jason & The Scorchers, more of whom later.
#1 fan and road manager Kevin Jennings, sold an EP of early Satellites records to an independent UK record label, Making Waves, who released them as the Keep The Faith ep. The ep provoked an extraordinary response from the UK music press, which, in turn, woke up the previously indifferent US music industry. Elektra records quickly signed them and their first single, Keep Your Hands To Yourself, became a runaway hit. It reached #2 on the singles chart and their eponymous debut album reached the same position on the album charts. Both album and single only being kept off their respective #1 slots by Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and Livin’ On A Prayer. A second hit single, Battleship Chains consolidated their success.
Where the Satellites really earned their reputation though, was with their live club shows. Whether as headliners, or special guests to everyone from Tom Petty, Bob Seeger, David Bowie, Johnny Diesel and The Injectors. All those years of three sets a night, paid dividends laid waste to audiences across the States and particular, Europe, which took the band to it’s collective heart, a love affair that continues to this day. Breakthrough appearances at the legendary UK Reading Festival and Denmark’s Roskilde established the band as European favourites in 1986.
2017 is due to get off to a great start, with the band’s fourth studio album scheduled to be released to coincide with a second tour of the US, plus their first tour of Australia. They will be appearing at festivals across Europe and Scandinavia during the Summer and finish the year with their biggest European tour to date.