Dave Stewart played in the progressive rock bands Uriel, Egg, Khan, Hatfield and the North, National Health and Bruford. Stewart is the author of two books on music theory and wrote a music column for Keyboard magazine (USA) for 13 years.
Stewart's musical career began in earnest at the age of 17 when he played organ in Uriel with Mont Campbell, Steve Hillage and Clive Brooks. After a summer residency on the Isle of Wight in the summer of 1968, Hillage left the group to go to university. Uriel continued as a trio, later changed their name to Egg and subsequently recorded two albums. In 1969 Hillage briefly rejoined his former bandmates to record a one-off psychedelic album under the pseudonym Arzachel. In 1972 Stewart guested on Hillage's new band Khan's album.
After the break-up of Egg in 1973, Stewart joined Hatfield and the North. While a member of Hatfield, Dave also took part in other musical ventures. One was the embryo of a later fertile musical relationship with fellow keyboard player Alan Gowen. Already acquainted with Phil Miller, Gowen wrote special arrangements for two double-quartet gigs by Hatfield and his own band Gilgamesh, which took place in November 1973 in Leeds and London. This was the precursor to National Health. Stewart was also offered the opportunity of reforming Egg for a final album, "The Civil Surface" . Also in 1974, he guested on Steve Hillage's debut solo album, "Fish Rising".
After Hatfield and the North split up in early June 1975, Stewart joined Gong for a brief spell, staying with the band in France for a tour later that month until Patrice Lemoine was recruited as new keyboard player.
In November 1978, he left and soon joined up with Bill Bruford. Stewart had already collaborated with Bruford (the original drummer in National Health, and the former drummer with Yes and King Crimson) on his debut solo album, "Feels Good To Me", and the other two main contributors to that album - Allan Holdsworth (guitar) and Jeff Berlin (bass) - were invited to join the new band.
For the follow-up, Stewart asked his longtime friend Barbara Gaskin to sing, in her typically English way, on a cover version of "It's My Party" which, with its eccentric and unusual arrangement, was another big hit, both in Great Britain (#1 in September 1981) and Germany (#1 in November 1981), and towards the end of 1981, work started on Stewart-Gaskin's first album.
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