Gary's Remembrance Guestbook
Below are the comments left by Gary's fans, friends and relatives. Thanks for your continued support of Gary's family and Starcastle.


Name:
John Pells
Email:
jppells@hotmail.com
Date:
18 Sep 2005

Comments

I was a big fan WAYYYY back in high school, and at the onset of the computer age, was finally able to track down your tunes; I was rendered heartstruck when I read here on your website that Gary had died, and felt such a need to communicate what an impact he had made on my life, as a bass player. As a semi-professional bass player, I've taken what Gary had brought, even from those early years, to my day to day performance onstage....the harmonic magic he played, and the writing of the songs, and grooved in the licks he so delighted me and enlightened IN me even from as far back as "To The Firewind" was released. I'm very sorry to learn that he has passed. What a loss you all must have felt. All I can say is, his playing lives on, as I will never forget what his (your) songs have brought to me.


Name:
Ken Strater
Email:
waywardcat@hotmail.com
Date:
16 Sep 2005

Comments

A long sad weekend ahead for me........Gary's passing is still a very hard thing to deal with. Then to come to the Starcastle site and see the mess it's in....... It saddens me even more. Miss you man.......Watch over us man........


Name:
A Student
Email:
Date:
15 Sep 2005

Comments

Gary, You were an excellent instructor in your craft. Your technique was solid and your guidance was steady. Your talent, skill and spirit had an indelible effect on my playing. I feel ashamed that I didn't always work as hard as I could have. You had such high standards for yourself and, in the habit of youth, I was prone to squander my time. I didn't always study as diligently as would have made you proud. In the last year, I have grown as a musician and yet, I have missed your confidence and your challenging lessons. But every time I surprise myself with what I can play or understand or tab from some song that I know you'd hate, I know that you helped me. I owe you a debt, Gary. I hope that I can repay by showing others the patience you showed me in your thoughtful and intelligent lessons. I miss you, Maestro.


Name:
James
Email:
redsea1013@yahoo.com
Date:
15 Sep 2005

Comments

I just learned of Starcastle's existance; I am 26 years old. I was in awe when I heard the first cd here in a local record store. I live in Minnesota: Land Of The Cold! I am thankful that Gary was a part of one of the best prog rock bands around! He was an awesome bassist! Even though I am posting this quite some time after Gary's passing, my prayers and thoughts continue to go out to his family and friends.


Name:
Tim Rockstad
Email:
timrockstad@rocketmail.com
Date:
13 Sep 2005

Comments

I have been a Starcastle fan since high school in the late '70's and just found this site and am saddened to hear of Gary's death. I truly believe that his legacy will continue for many years to come. I for one will listen 'til I as well move on to the great Starcastle in the sky. I'll see you there, Gary.


Name:
debbie neumayer
Email:
Date:
12 Sep 2005

Comments

hard to believe its been a year since I said goodbye to my brother. Seems like yesterday and still hurts. I have heard his last song, "Song of Time" and it is amazing. I can feel the pain in his voice but the words and music are beautiful. I miss you Gary, every day. Till we meet again. Your sis and biggest fan.


Name:
patrick c. smith
Email:
pcsmithlm @aol.com
Date:
18 Aug 2005

Comments

I have been mystified and amazed by the wonder works of starcastle since the inception of thier first album. To this day the sound of starcastle is as unique as the next sunrise. As a singer i have been influenced by few vocalist (jon anderson,dennis deyoung,robert plant, and terry latrell). If I could work with any bass player of my choice it would have been Gary ! I am and always be a devoted fan to gary and thou we have never met I believe I have always been there with you inside the music. God bless and keep you.


Name:
Chris Hamilton
Email:
carckle57@yahoo.com
Date:
18 Aug 2005

Comments

I first heard Starcastle While living in Wichita Ks. in the spring of 1976. I won a demo album from the local college radio station. It was stamped in gold letters "FOR RADIO DEMO ONLY". I played it for my friends back home in N.Y. state and we all fell in love with it . We never heard much from them on the east coast. I was the only one with their album. Eventually one of my past girlfriends stole it when she moved out. May she rot in hell for that. I've remained a fan for 30 years. God bless and keep Gary.


Name:
Fernando Balderas
Email:
fervezatkt@hotmail.com
Date:
04 Aug 2005

Comments

A great bass player....I heard Starcastle since their first LP...I didn´t know that Gary is not with us....but I´m gonna play all starcastle music I have immediately.....to his family..my respects and Gary will play bass forever...


Name:
Mark Sechrist
Email:
sechristm@bellsouth.net
Date:
22 Jul 2005

Comments

I was a big Starcastle fan in the 70s. Really miss them and now am saddened to find one of them is no longer with us.


Name:
PETER JOHNSON
Email:
PETER@AESTUCSON.COM
Date:
07 Jul 2005

Comments

My wife and I listen to Starcastle for inspiration to this day.True to the light we stand in endless wonder.


Name:
Trevor Howard
Email:
dr.wart.hoover@newark0.demon.co.uk
Date:
29 Jun 2005

Comments

I followed Starcastle through their record releases. The CD's now have pride of place in my collection. Gary's contribution to the band's sound was always appreciated. A sad loss to music, to Starcastle and to friends & family.


Name:
DaveB
Email:
ballsofun1@aol.com
Date:
23 Jun 2005

Comments

I am truely saddened on the news of the passing of Gary. He was a god of bass guitarists. I am also a Rick bass player and we will miss you my friend. RIP Gary


Name:
Yves Lavigne
Email:
yves.lavigne@dec-ced.gc.ca
Date:
22 Jun 2005

Comments

I just learn with a lot of sadness that Gary is no more with us on this planet! May his soul stay alive forever, evolving in such fantastic universe as the ones he and Starcastle opened to me with their music!


Name:
Kevin D. Farmer
Email:
kdfproductions@yahoo.com
Date:
05 Jun 2005

Comments

My sincerest condolences to the friends and family of a fellow musician.


Name:
Duane Moore
Email:
dmoore94531@yahoo.com
Date:
01 Jun 2005

Comments

I saw your band back in 1976(?)when you opened up for Boston in San Francisco. Great preformance guys! I was instantly hooked and ran out and bought your album. I have never forgotten about you. I'm not sure if you guys tour any more, but it would be great to see you all again. Duane


Name:
Harry G
Email:
CykeRun@Yahoo.com
Date:
31 May 2005

Comments

He was a great Bassist. Cancer sure robbed us of a great one.


Name:
John Blanco
Email:
spysinger@aol.com
Date:
26 May 2005

Comments

I guess it's true, only the good die young. I grew up with the music of bands like Yes, ELP, Crimson and Starcastle. They were always my greatest inspiration as an artist. And I always marveled those who were able to marry great melodic invention with virtuoso musicianship. Starcastle did that for me. Not long after when I sang with SPYS, the legacy of true prog-rock artistry always followed me. Gary, you have become a new legend...you were a bass monster! And you will never be forgotten by your family, friends and fans. My prayers and love to the Strater family.


Name:
Ben M. Mullen
Email:
iamvalvicus@yahoo.com
Date:
20 May 2005

Comments

I heard Starcastle live only once, on 2/13/77 @ Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., with Boston; it was a beautiful concert, their amps and other gear strung with tiny lights, and the dynamic music full of light and colour as well. The rich tone of Gary's Rick still stands out in my recollection! Baraka Bashad (May the Blessings Be)!


Name:
Brook Hansen
Email:
Hunterx969@hotmail.com
Date:
18 May 2005

Comments

GOD BLESS THE PROG YOU BROUGHT TO OUR UNIVERSE LIVE ON IN BASS HEAVEN FOREVER.( A FRIEND OF THE CURRENT VOCALIST AL LEWIS)


Name:
Colie Brice
Email:
colie.brice@aeriarecords.com
Date:
12 May 2005

Comments

I spoke to Gary a few times on the phone. He was a really nice guy. I regret not having had the chance to work with him.


Name:
kevin lang
Email:
kevinlang@ukonline.co.uk
Date:
09 May 2005

Comments

My first introduction to Gary Strater was via e-Bay. Some time ago there was a magnificently custom painted Rickenbacker 4003 "Black Shadow" for sale...part of a limited edition of 42 made by Ric's ...and custom painted by Gary's long time pal Nicholas in Florida....The front looks like marble with a beautifully airbrushed scarab on it that you would swear is standing two inches above the marble. There is also some ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics airbrushed into the marble which when translated says "you have not died, your spirit will dwell with you forever" The back contains a misty picture of the Starcastle from their album. Gary's spirit is represented by a comet speeding towards an open drawbridge. It is beautiful. And as luck would have it I was the highest bidder and won the auction. At first I thought that I was buying an interesting bass guitar. Then this lovely and sad story unravelled about this magic bass player guy who has passed on. I cannot believe it...I have only bought the bass of one of the top USA's bass players...it was his favourite bass!!! Since then I have been e-mailed from all over the States and the UK wishing me good luck and good fortune at being the new keeper of Gary's bass. Now known as "The Scarab" Also there is a guy in the States who wants to include "The Scarab" in a new book that he is wring about Ric's. I consider myself privileged and lucky to have this bass and I am astonished by the popularity and love folk have for Gary. A fan in the States named "Jimles" has very kindly sent me numerous Starcastle tracks to listen to and I think they a great..very "Eagles"...I love them and will endevour to track down all Gary's recordings and keep them with his bass. I have spoken many times now to his widow Sascha and all being well we are all going to meet up in Florida in September which will be marvellous. I have been a bass player since the 60's and still play in a band called The Zig Zag Band www.thezigzagband.co.uk Keep watching this web site and you will eventually see Gary's guitar again. I promise all those devoted fans of Gary's that I will play his guitar and do what would have wanted....make music. And I'll tell his story and make everyone aware of what he meant to you and what this guitar means to me. I am eternaly grateful to all Gary's friends who supported and encouraged Sascha though those tough times and to have had the strength and determination to see this customising project through to the end. Thank you Sascha and rest assured Gary's bass is in safe hands now and never to roam. To Gary if you are listening, "sorry I missed you the first time around mate....catch you next time....but not too soon hey....say hello to Noel for me"!!!! Sacsha, we will all look forward to meeting you in in September. Our very best wishes. Kevin


Name:
Morgan Montalvo
Email:
caf_ffi@yahoo.com
Date:
05 May 2005

Comments

As a teenager growing up in San Antonio, we heard and saw more than our share of the best groups -- and Starcastle was right there at the top. Nearly three decades later, the words and melodies still ring true and, at every opportunity, I spin my Starcastle wax for friends and students, creating another generation of fans. Other times, it's to my bass and kepboards and I play along, just as I did in HS & college. God bless you, Gary. Your imaginative instrumentation continues to excite and inspire others fortunate enough to hear Starcastle.


Name:
Ed Arnold
Email:
eddie@ccil.org
Date:
02 May 2005

Comments

I saw a beautiful presentation over the weekend for Gary at The Rights Of Spring Festival in Phoenixville, Pennsylavania. It was a touching tribute that left me bawling like a baby. Gary, you are missed.


Name:
Eric Vander Velde
Email:
Eric.Vandervelde@mwhglobal.com
Date:
02 May 2005

Comments

A friend of mine and I met Gary at one of their shows in Lawrence, Kansas in 1980. Gary took time after the show to sit down with us and talk about music and whatever. The impression was really great. A true midwesterner with musical vision and wonderful talent. He will be remembered through his melodic bass lines.


Name:
Aximili
Email:
aximili@web.de
Date:
27 Apr 2005

Comments

It´s now a long time since I last heard my favorite Band of the seventies but it made me very sad to read those bad news. But Gary will be in my remembrance for ever


Name:
Rick
Email:
pinnacle@surewest.net
Date:
23 Apr 2005

Comments

Your music had a profound impact on my quality of life. Music is what I live for. Thank you !!


Name:
Tom Carden
Email:
tomdcarden@yahoo.com
Date:
13 Apr 2005

Comments

when you remember where you were when you first heard a song or piece of music, is very significant and it doesn't happen often in one's lifetime. but i remember the first time i heard Starcastle. it was Lady of the Lake and it was on a (then) pioneering FM radio station in my hometown. i was just so knocked out by it. it had such an incredibly new sound. i bought the record and listened to it over and over and over again. Peace by with you Gary, see ya (and hear ya) in the next lifetime for sure.


Name:
richard
Email:
yessongs1238@aol.com
Date:
11 Apr 2005

Comments

gary ROCKS on earth as well as heaven....gary will live on as the greatest bass player to walk the earth...it's only the beginning...GOD BLESS!!!!


Name:
Chuck
Email:
ittoogami1975@aol.com
Date:
11 Apr 2005

Comments

Having only discovered Starcastle's music literally last week. I will say the world has lost another phenomenal bass player. His playing was in league with Geddy Lee and Chris Squire. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. -Chuck


Name:
Mike Grado
Email:
magr80@msn.com
Date:
31 Mar 2005

Comments

Terribly saddened by the news of Garys passing. I happened to pull out my Starcastle CD's (which replaced my vinyl) to take to work today and decided to check the website for current news. I was shocked!! Gary was an incredible musician. I discovered Starcastle in the mid 70's playing at the now demolished Capital Centre, Washington, DC, opening for Humble Pie and Johnny Winter. Terrible loss. God Bless Gary and his family.


Name:
Blake Gubeli
Email:
gubeli59@comcast.net
Date:
30 Mar 2005

Comments

My first concert was Jethro Tull. You guys opened the show. I was blown away. I have been an avid fan ever since. I am very sorry to hear about Gary's death. He'll be missed.


Name:
Jim Ward
Email:
gcserv@earthlink.net
Date:
28 Mar 2005

Comments

I had recently dug out my old StarCastle music and had been listening to it on and off. I listened to "True to the light" this evening and afterwards was prompted in my heart to look the band up on the internet. I was sad to learn of Gary's passing. He was an awesome base player. I can tell he was a man who was "True to the Light". I'll miss him.


Name:
Michael
Email:
starb1rd@verizon.net
Date:
27 Mar 2005

Comments

Saw you guys with Gary Wright and Head East in Dallas Tx. Thought you were the real headliners. Keep making the music of the heart. Thanks and God Bless to you all.


Name:
Bob Bankard
Email:
bbankard@phillyburbs.com
Date:
27 Mar 2005

Comments

Holy Mackerel. I just thought of the band again this week; picked up all three of the originals on CD. You guys were a big part of my teen years - Thanks, Gary.


Name:
Brendan Gamble
Email:
heartlessmoon2000@@yahoo.com
Date:
13 Mar 2005

Comments

whoa......miss u brother!


Name:
james angel
Email:
jamesangel@mchsi.com
Date:
13 Mar 2005

Comments

He was a great guy,and agreat guitar player.You will be missed,and thought of often.UNFINISHED BUSINESS BAND


Name:
Ross Wright
Email:
rwright@adnetsol.com
Date:
12 Mar 2005

Comments

Sorry to learn of Gary's passing, my best to his family and friends.


Name:
Lee Joseph DaVito
Email:
ljdavito1@yahoo.com
Date:
09 Mar 2005

Comments

Gary was an incredibly gifted musician..a virtual bass acrobat..I had the opportunity to meet him a few times..very softspoken and down to earth. also saw him perform...effortless display of talent...he's the kind of musician we all aspire to be...to say he will be missed is a great understatement..


Name:
Jerry Coffman
Email:
maynardgc@hotmail.com
Date:
05 Mar 2005

Comments

Now that Gary has gone to his Castle in the sky He will remain in are hearts here on this earth. In my teen years growing up in the early 70's starcastle has given me hope and happiness with their music and words. God bles Gary and his family. Maynard Peoria,IL


Name:
Barb C.
Email:
barbcrozier@yahoo.com
Date:
02 Mar 2005

Comments

The Break in the Castle Wall I'm losing a friend named Gary A friend I barely know I'm losing a friend named Gary Something I wish weren't so He shares his talents with the world He produces, sings and plays I'm losing a friend named Gary a little more each day With friends he created music Each adding from their heart Every song painted a picture Each member played their part Terry's voice would soar and Herb's keyboards roar Matt and Steve traded licks on guitar I'm losing a friend named Gary Champaign's shooting star With Tass he created the heartbeat for ladies and creatures of lore The entropy of a nova Thunder on a tranquil shore The rhythm of a fountain Shining spirits that would soar I'm losing a friend named Gary Too soon he'll be no more He was working on the new album He wanted it just so While deep inside his body something ugly began to grow When he told us of his illness We wanted him to know That he had our love and support And we found ways to let it show I'm losing a friend named Gary And that has me feeling low I'll miss my friend named Gary after he has gone Even though I know that in my heart his spirit will live on I also can take comfort that on another day In another place a different time again I'll hear him play I've lost my friend named Gary He went to the light today September 19, 2004 Peace to all who knew and loved Gary. Barb


Name:
Keith L. Dick
Email:
keith.dick@gmail.comt
Date:
01 Mar 2005

Comments

Gary you are Missed!! & you were an influence to me & my Bass Playing..... Rock on!!!!!!!!!!!!!.. Keith


Name:
Ray Taylor (England)
Email:
himher4537@aol.com
Date:
28 Feb 2005

Comments

That Sun will always Shine for you at Midnight


Name:
Ed Tarzia
Email:
ejtaace@comcast.net
Date:
27 Feb 2005

Comments

I'm remembering seeing Starcastle open for Styx and the Blue Oyster Cult in Pittsburgh in 1976 shortly after their first LP was released. A fine memory, and I'm sure sorry Gary had to go so soon. I still have the albums though....


Name:
Louie
Email:
Date:
26 Feb 2005

Comments

Saw you on 7/1/76 In Louisville Ky. You guys opened for Jeff Beck Really sorry to hear this about Gary God Bless him and his family and friends and Thanks for the Great Tunes! Rock On Gary I know you will..


Name:
DOUG SHIELDS
Email:
LAURA SHIEYAHOO
Date:
23 Feb 2005

Comments

SAW YOU IN 76 MASONIC GREAT SHOW OPENED FOR RUSH DETROIT


Name:
Michael
Email:
snerzle@aol.com
Date:
23 Feb 2005

Comments

I just found the Starcastle website and I'm so sorry to hear of Gary's passing. He certainly will live on in his music and the new music from the band! God Bless Gary and his family and friends! I'll never forget the concert I saw at the Nassau Coliseum with Starcastle/Southside Johnny and Boston. Wish Starcastle had played the entire evening! Love to All! Mike and Debbie


Name:
greg woodie
Email:
rickandroll1@juno.com
Date:
21 Feb 2005

Comments

Gary, still missing you! was listening to Citadel. i know why you've 'gone to look for tomorrow. the summer simply shall remain.' peace and love, greg


Name:
Eric Hilton
Email:
Sinchiladas@netzero.com
Date:
13 Feb 2005

Comments

I grew up catching your live shows in Wichita, Ks. The impact was substantial. In Peace, Taco Billy


Name:
Merlyn Elliott
Email:
kelliott65@earthlink.net
Date:
06 Feb 2005

Comments

Gary, REO was never the same without you.how can I get "Fountine Of Lights"?


Name:
Paul DuBay
Email:
PaulDuBay1@aol.com
Date:
03 Feb 2005

Comments

Dear Gary: Like all Star Castle fans,I thank you for being part of a unique musical legacy that obviously deeply touches our spirits. You and the band have given a gift to the Midwest US and the world with your music. You have blessed my life, the lives of many others, and you know your reward is also blessed. "Shine on Brightly!"


Name:
Sam Nicoloff
Email:
bassmansam@earthlink.net
Date:
01 Feb 2005

Comments

I am saddened to hear about Gary's passing. I am a bass player who was influenced by Gary's playing. The last time i saw the band was soon after Terry left and they played a job in southern Illinois with just the 5 remaining members and it was wonderful. what an awesome band.


Name:
Brent Riehl
Email:
audiomachineanddesign@juno.com
Date:
30 Jan 2005

Comments

I had not checked in for a while on SC. I was shocked to hear of Gary's passing (fortunately, his departure is only temporary). Your music gave me alot of inspiration! Yes we will meet at the Father's banquet. I will keep your family in prayer. Thanks so much for the blessing of your music!


Name:
Robert McMillan
Email:
robert.mcmillan@thomson.net
Date:
26 Jan 2005

Comments

My prayers go out to Gary's friends and family. I am a long time fan of Starcastle music, and I wish you all nothing but the best. God Bless You


Name:
"Gary"
Email:
Date:
20 Jan 2005

Comments

STARCASTLE Gary will be missed. PLEASE have this Band live again. For pure Classical Rock that and Maybe ? I like to see tour in the Philadelphia South Jersey area. NOW!! In tune true to the light hope Gary here wish Gary up-there be one with the Angels of Love.


Name:
Alber Natale Jr
Email:
anatale1@optonline.com
Date:
20 Jan 2005

Comments

One of a few of influences in my bass (music) playing career. Music has lost a great musician and from what I've heard, person. He will be greatly missed... A HUGE fan


Name:
Daniel Kruse
Email:
huxleyhouse@hotmail.com
Date:
15 Jan 2005

Comments

I met Gary several times when I worked for a concert promoter. He was a gentleman and a great musician. Most importantly, he was passionate about his art. He left us with a fine body of work, and carved his own little niche. That's really what all artists, musicians, and writers try to do: Leave us this one little thing or things that says "This was me...I created this...a place...a time...this was me." Not only did he leave us the music, he left many people dear and beloved memories, and the human imprint in addition to the music is really the pinnacle of his legacy and achievement. There's nothing greater than that, other than the Creator himself/herself. It is for those two contributions alone, that I must say "thank you and rest in peace." You are not forgotten my friend.


Name:
mr V
Email:
Date:
13 Jan 2005

Comments

I started to explore Starcastle just a year ago, as I read in the past that SC was supposed to just be a YES-clone...but i was curious about it still after all these years, and now SC is mu favorite band, far beyond YES in my book. The nimble bass performance is just stellar, I just sorry that Gary is gone physically, still his work, spirit and impact will live on! mr V


Name:
greg woodie
Email:
rickandroll1@juno.com
Date:
12 Jan 2005

Comments

i only just learned of Gary's passing and am deeply saddened. i was aware months ago of his illness, but was hoping so very much that he would get better. well, i'm sure he is better now and in a better place. may God bless him! He, along with people like Geddy Lee and Chris Squire have been a major influence on me as a person and a musician and i am extremely grateful for that. as you probably noticed by my email address, i'm a big fan of the Rickenbacker sound and Gary always made the bass sing beautifully. i can still remember the day back in 1987 when i was first introduced to Starcastle's music through a musician friend. the first song i heard was Lady Of The Lake and the music has had an impact on my life ever since. was very happy to get a copy of Gary's instructional video a few years ago. also got Chronos I. i know i will treasure the memories and music for the rest of my life. my thoughts and prayers go out to all his family and friends. i am thankful for people like Gary who are such an inspiration. thanks again from a fellow bass player in Virginia! Greg


Name:
Galen Kogut
Email:
facerehley@verizon.net
Date:
08 Jan 2005

Comments

the first concert i ever saw was starcastle opening for utopia back in '78, and they've been one of my favorite bands since. God bless you, Gary...


Name:
Andrew Robinson,from the band Magus
Email:
atmospheric@hotmail .com
Date:
26 Dec 2004

Comments

Gary was a great man and an extraordinary bassist. I'm honored that he played on a track on the last Magus CD. I met Gary at NearFest 2001 when we shared a merchandising table. I felt an instant connection with him and got to hang out and have dinner with him at an Indian restaurant. I'm sure Gary is in a good place now and we'll always have his music to help make the world a little more beautiful.


Name:
MIKE DONSI
Email:
DONSITUNES@AOL.COM
Date:
24 Dec 2004

Comments

JUST BY CHANCE SURFING THE WEBB TONIGHT FOR MY FAVORITE BANDS OF MY YOUTH, I 1ST DISCOVERED THAT THE BAND-THE SWEET , HAS LOST 2 OF ITS FOUNDING MEMBERS, AND HERE I FIND OUT ABOUT GARY. A 30 YEAR MUSICIAN MYSELF, HIS PLAYING WAS ASTONISHING. EVERY NOTE HE PLAYED RESONATED WITH BRILLIANCE. BETTER THAN YES, OFTEN TAGGED WITH BEING THEIR CLONE, AND AMERICAN TOO, STARCASTLE SHINES ON BRIGHTLY. A TRAGIC LOSS...


Name:
Joe
Email:
Watford
Date:
23 Dec 2004

Comments

Gary was one of my very favorite bass players of all time, not to mention a huge influence on my playing. He had such a style and grace in his playing and music, that it could lift me from the worst of moods in minuets. I have just learned about this, and it is a horrible shock. I'm saddened beyond words. He will be deeply and profoundly missed.


Name:
Darel
Email:
vande1dd@cmich.edu
Date:
22 Dec 2004

Comments

I have really enjoyed Starcastle music, and I know Gary put his heart into it. He helped make my life a brighter place. I believe his music will endure, and that we are all too precious to just fade away, but endure also. We will get to hear him play again.


Name:
David Rose
Email:
davidrose1962@comcast.net
Date:
22 Dec 2004

Comments

He will be missed and the music you guys created back then was great to my ears when I was high school. A lot of great fond memories of hearing music from a radio station in Memphis, Tenn. I wish I could relive those days again. Long live Star castle!!!


Name:
Layne
Email:
designlsd@comcast.net
Date:
21 Dec 2004

Comments

I just listened to the first Starcastle CD this morning. It brought back so many memories. The music and Gary will go on forever. God Bless.


Name:
Kevin Armstrong
Email:
sassenach99_1999@yahoo.com
Date:
11 Dec 2004

Comments

From the self titled and Fountains of Light albums, Starcastle shone out as an outstanding example of what American Progressive could be. I still remember hearing DC 101 play the first Starcastle "in it's entirety" and then running out the next day to buy it. And cutting through the mix was the most phenomenal bass work... I only met him through his music, but I miss him greatly. Go easy, fellow traveller... Fair winds and following seas!


Name:
Don J. Long
Email:
djlprojects@usa.net
Date:
09 Dec 2004

Comments

Well, I hardly know what to say, it is such a shock to know Gary's gone. However it is a real comfort to know that when he departed this life, he awakened in Paradise, where he has his very own Star Castle. We shared our Christian faith, Gary and I, on the phone and by e-mails since I first got in touch with him in 2001 when they were about to release the new album of outtakes and alternate tracks. Gary also contributed to a recording project I was working on, and was always helpful. He was a fine band-mate, from what I understand, an excellent bass guitarist, encouraging me to take it up again, and a shining light in a darkened world. Gary, I look forward to the time when I shall see you on the other side, dear brother. As knights of the quest for the cause of Christ, we have shared much in a little time. I am so sad as I mourn for Gary's passing, I will miss him, and I ask for a prayer of comfort for his dear wife Sasha and his family, and his extended Starcastle family as well. Gary - Shine On Brightly!!!


Name:
Chuck Stack
Email:
c.stack@sbcglobal.net
Date:
04 Dec 2004

Comments

To Gary & the Starcastle family...We loved you, and know you are in a better place. How we shall miss that distinctive rock-star pose & amazing bass, BEST in Champaign and everywhere else!! Take care one & all, we'll all catch a big Starcastle gig someday...Up high, on a cloud!! Cheers & Good Health to one & all, Chuck Stack (& Denny, Bruce & John at 2nd & Chalmers, Champaign)


Name:
S. Witting
Email:
sjwitt@sigecom.net
Date:
30 Nov 2004

Comments

I started listening to Starcastle after I heard them in concert 1976. I went to see them live every chance I got. I was looking for the music in the 90's. I always thought it was the best. I was so happy when it started coming out on CD. Kind of like the beatles they can never be the same, but memories are forever, and the music will live on. At least for me. Thanks Gary. A job well done.


Name:
Kevin Pollison
Email:
kpollis@necaservices.com
Date:
29 Nov 2004

Comments

May you be at peace with God sitting on a cloud watching over us all with a song in your heart. Deep is the light.


Name:
John Baldridge
Email:
wrkrcoop@email.arizona.edu
Date:
25 Nov 2004

Comments

Ah, Gary . . . so soon ye go? I hardly knew ye. Thank you for what you gave.


Name:
Toine & Rita van Poorten
Email:
metalmaid@globalxs.nl
Date:
22 Nov 2004

Comments

You will be missed, Gary!!! Rest In Peace!!!!!


Name:
Michael Higgins
Email:
michaeljohnhiggins@hotmail.com
Date:
19 Nov 2004

Comments

Thanks, Gary for your role in Starcastle. I wish the band to continue and have all the music available. Rest in Peace


Name:
Asher Abrams
Email:
asher813@aol.com
Date:
19 Nov 2004

Comments

I was very sad to learn of Gary Strater's death. Gary, wherever you are, know that you have been a great blessing in our lives during your short stay in this world.


Name:
R.S.Tanner
Email:
n2hmndorgn@msn.com
Date:
17 Nov 2004

Comments

I was sad to hear of Gary's passing. His exceptional bass playing with Starcastle will inspire me always!!May God bless his soul.


Name:
R.S.Tanner
Email:
n2hmndorgn@msn.com
Date:
17 Nov 2004

Comments

I was sad to hear of Gary's passing. His exceptional bass playing with Starcastle will inspire me always!!May God bless his soul.


Name:
Annie Haslam
Email:
Date:
16 Nov 2004

Comments

Dear Gary We never met, but spoke several times on the phone. I could tell that you were a beautiful and gifted soul. One day we will meet, thats for sure! Love and Peace Annie Haslam


Name:
Mike Quatela
Email:
quatela@sbcglobal.net
Date:
14 Nov 2004

Comments

A great loss, I am very sad.


Name:
Dave O
Email:
Date:
12 Nov 2004

Comments

One of the great bass players of all time...will be greatly missed! Hope he's enjoying playing in a real Star Castle now! Dave O.


Name:
Geoff
Email:
Date:
11 Nov 2004

Comments

Gary, I never meet you but your music touched me more than you will ever know. R.I.P Geoff Oxford (UK)


Name:
Ric Stave
Email:
ricstave@aol.com
Date:
10 Nov 2004

Comments

So sad to hear about this - my best wishes go out to Gary's friends and family. ~ric (Buffalo NY)


Name:
Paul D.
Email:
Date:
08 Nov 2004

Comments

Very sad to hear gary's passing he was a great for sure.peace gary today i downloaded my starcastle cd to the m drive to all the computers in my school, i hope more people will listen to the great music of starcastle.


Name:
Don Edward Cook
Email:
mig25foxbatdude@yahoo.com
Date:
07 Nov 2004

Comments

I'm saddened to hear of Gary Strater's passing. Starcastle's sound was truly unique -- never to be duplicated. His soul is now among the stars -- the realm that often served as the inspiration for "Starcasle" and its music. Thank you, Gary, for your role with "Starcastle". Until the next life, may you happily dwell with the Divine ... whatever you conceive the Divine to be. Sincerely, Don Edward Cook London, Ontario, Canada


Name:
Bob Dubester
Email:
jazzguy1958@yahoo.com
Date:
07 Nov 2004

Comments

you gave the world great music-keep up the good work in heaven


Name:
Rocky Winterbottom
Email:
rwinterbottom@kirbyhospital.org
Date:
04 Nov 2004

Comments

I remember going to see them play at Chances R all the time, such a great band. They will surely be missed. Deepest sympathy


Name:
Michael A. Carr
Email:
michaelacarr@charter.net
Date:
04 Nov 2004

Comments

I spent my youth in the 70's listening to progressive rock bands like ELP, Yes and Starcastle. I now play that same music for my children. Thanks to Gary and Starcastle for giving my family something we can share. God Bless!


Name:
Tim Jones
Email:
timj@914fan.net
Date:
02 Nov 2004

Comments

Your (and Starcastle's) music filled my life in the '70's and drove me to think about the things around me in a different light. Before hearing your bass lines, I had always looked at the bassist as just someone to hold the rhythm section together. Your musicianship opened my ears to a new purpose for the bass.


Name:
Charles Ashby
Email:
CharlesAshbyII@netscape.net
Date:
01 Nov 2004

Comments

Be assured the music will never fade. The signal still travels through space and time. You will be missed. Rest well.


Name:
David Rose
Email:
davidrose1962@comcast.net
Date:
01 Nov 2004

Comments

You will be missed and the music will always be a part of my life.


Name:
Dave Cowman
Email:
basey57@hotmail.com
Date:
25 Oct 2004

Comments

To Gary's family and friends, I didn't know Gary except in passing, just enough to say hey. But I remember he was usually laughing and smiling when I'd see him in Corson or on stage. As a very amateur bass player I was very impressed with the way he played his bass like a lead guitar it just dazzled me! I lost my Brother-in-law a few years ago (my little pickin' buddy) and was very close to him so I can understand what your feelin. A line from one of Tom T. Hall's songs always brings a warm spot to my heart whenever I sing it and thought I'd share it here: "I know there’s a lot of big preachers, that know a lot more then I do. But it could be that the good Lord like’s a little pickin’ too." Put a smile on the Big Mans face Gary. Dave


Name:
Carl S
Email:
Date:
25 Oct 2004

Comments

Condolances. Maybe some day, somehow, the new album will see the light of day as a tribute. RIP


Name:
David Lowe
Email:
pittsburghdave@go.com
Date:
25 Oct 2004

Comments

Thank you for all your great music. You will be missed


Name:
Scott Doseck
Email:
Date:
23 Oct 2004

Comments

Gary will be missed, I saw him with Starcastle in Dayton Ohio, back in the late '70s I believe. Great player. What a shame.


Name:
ANDY C.
Email:
Date:
19 Oct 2004

Comments

I was horribley sad when i first found out that gary the great passed. bands come,bands go starcastle comes in, changes the day for the better, doesnt let the bad come in through a letter,starcastle makes the day seem shorter and less farther away, it makes it seem like your having a fun day at the beach but your just listening to eletrify music of starcastle and it would be just a boring old day without out them. gary comes gary goes but starcastle will never fade away the star only becomes brighter the longer its has been lit RIP gary you were great and still are i'll never stop listen to your music you made the star in starcaslte shine on shine on. Andy C.


Name:
John Luttrell
Email:
johnluttrell@ottersong.com
Date:
18 Oct 2004

Comments

To Gary's Family and Friends: Our hearts and thoughts go out to you. And, to Gary (I'm sure you're listening): You brought great music to this world and you will be remembered fondly. Peace and love... John Luttrell


Name:
John Jowitt
Email:
Date:
18 Oct 2004

Comments

Sorry to hear the news. I've known Starcastle for years, and I hope the gesture made at this year's RoSfest by everyone there brought a smile. No-one ever really dies as long as we remember them, and we'll all remember Gary.


Name:
John Jowitt
Email:
Date:
18 Oct 2004

Comments

Sorry to hear the news. I've known Starcastle for years, and I hope the gesture made at this year's RoSfest by everyone there brought a smile. No-one ever really dies as long as we remember them, and we'll all remember Gary.


Name:
Penny Douglas
Email:
douglasmanning2@aol.com
Date:
17 Oct 2004

Comments

Gary, it has been a long time since we last saw each other but your family is still a very real part of my life. We do not know or understand what God has in store for us, but hopefully we will understand some day. You will soar up there in the heavens with God and his angels and with my son Joey. Love, Penny


Name:
Rick
Email:
bastiat@sbcglobal.net
Date:
17 Oct 2004

Comments

My prayers and condolences go out to Gary's family and friends. I was saddened by the news today especially after the hopeful update posted here this summer. I have known Gary since we were kids, he touched us all in a special way. Always a friendly greeting, always a heartfelt comment. He always seemed to know before the rest of us that happiness comes from being comfortable in our own skin. Gary, I will miss you. Your spirit will be with us all, forever.


Name:
Bill D
Email:
Fishin76@aol.com
Date:
16 Oct 2004

Comments

I seen them in 78 they were the backup band for Journey, and they blew them away. Just found their cds and got them in the nail. Great band. A great loss


Name:
Bill
Email:
333
Date:
16 Oct 2004

Comments

i just checked the site out and found this very sad news. live on lady of the lake and live on starcastle.


Name:
Barry Ackling
Email:
ackinc@bigpond.com
Date:
15 Oct 2004

Comments

Peace be with you Gary, and with all your family and friends. Thank you for the great pleasure of the gift of your music in Starcastle; a beautiful gift that I and all Starcastle fans will treasure. It is a sad time for all of us that you have left behind, yet we have our memories, and your music, and the hope of seeing you in the world to come. Grace, Mercy and Peace, Barry


Name:
Terry Morse
Email:
mohometmorse@aol.com
Date:
13 Oct 2004

Comments

I was one of Gary's recent students. Its really a shock and an upset to see that he is gone. The bass community lost a great


Name:
scott
Email:
musicmakers6969@aol.com
Date:
11 Oct 2004

Comments

To all of garys family ,friends , and bandmates . you have my deepest sympathies . all i can really say is that the world has lost one of it's truely great bassists . god bless .


Name:
Roy Castaneda
Email:
roglion@yahoo.com
Date:
10 Oct 2004

Comments

I first learned about StarCastle while in a band in Rockford, back in the 70's. It wasn't till I relocated to Champaign that I learned I was working with Gary's Cuz, Ken Strater...What a shock, I eventually got to know Gary Personally as well, and like his studio work, he was Excellent !!!! Peace to you my friend, Say hello to all the other greats who have ventured to the StarCastle in the Sky... Roy Castaneda


Name:
Chris Deville
Email:
c_deville@comcast.net
Date:
09 Oct 2004

Comments

My uncle worked in a record store in my home town of Ville Platte, LA. He gave me a promotional copy of Starcastle when I was about 8 or 9. I listened to it for years never realizing anyone else knew about this band. Recently, I heard them played on a prog rock internet radio station called Delicious Agony and was shocked!!! So, I looked them up and wound up here, unfortunately to learn of the sad news...my condolences to Gary's family and friends. Thank you, Gary for the great music!! We'll miss you, but never forget you!

Chris


Name:
Danilo Moreira
Email:
danilomoreira@hotmail.com
Date:
09 Oct 2004

Comments

I want to say that I feel very sorry for the passing of Mr. Gary Strater becuase I'm sure he had a lot of good things to offer to his family, friends and fans. Starcastle was a rather new addition to my music collection, but, I've been listening to them almost non stop eversince I bought their "Starcastle cd" a few years ago, As you can guess by my name, I'm from South America, and the only references I had about this group came from Terry's previous band REO Speedwagon and the Yes connection. I decided to try them and I most tell you, I was lucky. Someone in Ecuador also enjoys Starcastle music!!


Name:
Michael Moushon
Email:
michaelmoushon@hotmail.com
Date:
07 Oct 2004

Comments

I just wanted to say how very sorry i am to hear of this news...i considered gary a friend of mine and will miss him greatly...i wanted to thank him again for helping me so much with my records...he was such a talented guy with such a positive attitude all the time...i learned so much from him..professionally and personally...i feel blessed to have been able to have him on my projects and to have played with him...if anyone knows how i can contact his family i would love to send them some things...various pictures and such....god bless you gary...i will think of you often


Name:
Neil Hunter
Email:
transend@earthlink.net
Date:
07 Oct 2004

Comments

Thank you, thats all I can say..wonderful music you helped create. I hope you are finally at peace and that wherever you are, Gary, you can still hear that music!


Name:
John D Nelthorpe
Email:
Jon_ami@hotmail.com
Date:
06 Oct 2004

Comments

I'm devastated, I've just found out! I live in Western Australia and I just decided to view the website and...damn it's just not fair. I loved Starcastle and had all their LP's as a teenager and Gary Strater was a rare talent amongst bass players. Terribly underrated and a totally beautiful musician, much like the late Gary Thain of Uriah Heep. God bless you Mr. Strater and God bless your family and friends, I am so sad........


Name:
Bob Lyman
Email:
lyman210@juno.com
Date:
05 Oct 2004

Comments

Your music gave me great joy. Thankyou.


Name:
Mark T. Anderson
Email:
gop1@fidnet.com
Date:
04 Oct 2004

Comments

I had the pleasure of knowing Gary off and on for the past 25 years. My wife and his sister, Debbie, were once room mates, and I will never forget how comfortable I was in his parent's home. We will all miss him.

There is a humorous story to tell, lest we become too maudlin. Once, I told Debbie Neumayer (nee Strater) that my brother was a better guitarist than the "guy in Starcastle" (who was of course, her brother) ... it was meant as a joke, but it surely did give me an insight into how powerful the bond was between these siblings ... just about cost me my head ... (grin)

The very first free product that I "won" by being the 9th caller or some such was a copy of "Fountains of Light." I still have that LP, preserved in shrink wrap, and have often wanted to find a phonograph needle just so I could play it ... sigh

Rest well, my friend.


Name:
Mark Stellman
Email:
rstellm1@rochester.rr.com
Date:
03 Oct 2004

Comments

I had the pleasure of seeing Starcastle touring with Boston in Rochester, NY back in Feb 1977. What a show Starcastle put on and their signature sound, which Gary had a big part of, passes the test of time with flying colors !! Rest in peace, Gary.


Name:
Gary Wolf
Email:
stonewolf1965@yahoo.com
Date:
02 Oct 2004

Comments

Oh man, I had no idea what transpired. A shock after reading about his positive statement of recovery. I really wanted to attend the benefit concert but could not get off from work, etc.I don't know what else to say except that over the past few years it has been enlightening to 'talk' to other fans on the old yahoo forum and others. Gary even sent me an email once when I ordered his instructional tape. He did seem to be very knowledgeable and interested in others. Will definately be checking the SC site for that cd release...


Name:
Progbob Mason
Email:
progbob@yahoo.co.uk
Date:
02 Oct 2004

Comments

When the sun shines at midnite in Heaven, Gary will shine like a star in his golden pavillion close to Our Father. Bless You for blessing me. Progbob Mason


Name:
Andrew Woodard
Email:
miteysix@bellsouth.net
Date:
01 Oct 2004

Comments

I've only ever been a fan, but I've certainly been THAT and will continue to be so long as I've the ability.

I've still got the Rickenbacker I bought so long ago due to Gary's influence, and it STILL gives me pause to play parts of Starcastle tunes on it, not to mention when I'm listening to their original recordings.

I never met Gary, although I was fortunate enough to swap email with him for a time. He came across as just a darn nice guy and I'm sure he was a s fine a friend as he was a bassist.

My condolences to his family, colleagues and friends. What a wonderful legacy he leaves in his music and the influence on those who knew him.

Andrew Woodard, Bassist Charlotte, NC


Name:
Raven Slaughter
Email:
Date:
30 Sep 2004

Comments

Life is but a song.. Some are long and drawn, some are short and sweet, but the song never dies... Did you hear Garys song? Rock on Gary


Name:
Keri Boyce
Email:
musicwriter510@hotmail.com
Date:
29 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary, I will miss joking aroung with you at Corson's! It was awesome knowing you and I'll miss your twisted sense of humor and John Lennon glasses.


Name:
Mike
Email:
mikewyatt@sc.rr.com
Date:
29 Sep 2004

Comments

I've loved StarCastle's music ever since i was a kid back in the 70's. I will always cherish these recordings, even more now.

God Bless.


Name:
Terrie Lee Matthews
Email:
rebel_lee13@yahoo.com
Date:
29 Sep 2004

Comments

I have really enjoyed listening to your music and will continue to do so.


Name:
Barney Brenneman
Email:
lbrenneman@yahoo.com
Date:
29 Sep 2004

Comments

Hey, Strater, Barney here. Remember, we worked (worked?) together @ C.V.Lloyde c.'92-'95? We made NO money, but had a lot of fun, quoting old Monty Python skits, Beatles movies, etc. I recall those days fondly and frequently. Lost touch w/ the boys from Illinois whilst traipsing across this great land of ours for the last ten or so years.... I'll miss you, you old bass player, you. Catch up with you whenever, Love, Barney


Name:
RobertA. Wolf
Email:
WolfMusic@insightbb.com
Date:
29 Sep 2004

Comments

I knew Gary was feeling ill, but as I checked this site today I am shocked, and saddened. I remember a one hour phone conversation with Gary back in 2002. He called me to come try out for a position in Starcastle. Needless to say I was flattered, I really felt at the time I wasn't up to Starcastle standards. But we talked about everything, and I let him know how big a fan I was and I still to this day won't take my Starcastle CD's out of my cars player. He was very nice to me, and knowledgeable on many subjects. I'm so sorry I didn't get to Champaign or the rehearsals in Cincinnati to meet him. Gary and his positive outlook on life has always showed in his music, and will always be remembered. Sorry we didn't get to jam together here on earth Gary, but maybe someday we will yet.

God Bless you and your family.

Robert A. Wolf Keyboardist/Composer Evansville IN


Name:
Tom
Email:
twachter@adelphia.net
Date:
28 Sep 2004

Comments

It has been a while since I have visited here.I knew Gary was sick.You can imagine the heart sinking feeling I have. On the other hand,Gary has left a body of wonderful music that I can enjoy. When I hear those shimmering,melodic bass lines that could only come from Gary then I will always remember his legacy.God rest the soul of a one of a kind person and talent. PEACE


Name:
Chris from Long Island
Email:
ebnozntd@yahoo.com
Date:
27 Sep 2004

Comments

Sitting here in my music room, got Portraits on my cd, and am thinking on what a great musical legacy Gary has left with us. There was something EXTRA special in those songs. Im honored to be of the many who call this music our own, and am sad that a such a loved and respected fellow human being has gone away. For years I have wondered what some of the groups lyrics meant...... Scatter the ties that bind the array............Blinding stars will live again......Pure white light, a passion of energy, Flooding my eyes, refreshing and clean..

Today, and from this day on, I think I know what these songs mean.......God Bless Gary, and welcome to the dawning of your new day!


Name:
Tony
Email:
Date:
27 Sep 2004

Comments

I still recall the time I walked into CV Lloydes, having just moved to Champaign, and there was "THE" Gary Strater! I got over being starstruck, and really enjoyed spending parts of my lunch hour "trying out" guitars, and seeing that smile, hearing that laugh. It was my pleasure to have known Gary. If I had that talent, I'm positive I'd be an egomaniac. Gary was just the opposite. We're not just missing a super musician, we've lost a genuinely good person. Godspeed on your new journey, friend.


Name:
Dynokrom
Email:
Dynokrom@aol.com
Date:
27 Sep 2004

Comments

Devastated. The finest progressive-rock bassist the world has ever known. G-d rest you, Gary Strater, and peace to your family.


Name:
Don MacGillivray
Email:
damcgill@shaw.ca
Date:
27 Sep 2004

Comments

My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Gary. I've spent the better part of the weekend listening to Gary's work and remembering the joy he brought to many. May he be hearing truly celestial music as he looks down on us. God Bless.


Name:
Albie Landwehr
Email:
alandwehr@magnatrax.com
Date:
26 Sep 2004

Comments

So sad to hear the news, especially since the last post in july indicated he was doing better, but I know he's in a better place.

Always joked that Starcastle made the greatest Yes song ever - Lady of the Lake.

It was my pleasure to see the band on tour with Boston. A few years later, it was my pleasure as a graduate student to buy Gary and the other members of the band drinks at the Peanut Barrel, a little club in Bloomington, In.

Wish the new album would have been out so he could have gone out on top.


Name:
david kahler
Email:
www.nuserycryme@aol.com
Date:
26 Sep 2004

Comments

my prayers to garys family and friends.like alot of folks i saw starcastle only once.memorial hall,kansas city 1977.incredible show.i introduced the debut album, to my son who was 14 or 15 {now almost 19}at the time,along with ELP,NEKTAR,KING CRIMSON,GENESIS and YES.he loves all of them.but he told me,long ago, starcastle stood out as his favorite. hey, there is hope for his generation.THANK YOU GARY AND THE STARCASTLE FAMILY for creating a masterpiece he and i can enjoy together.


Name:
Randy Hawkins
Email:
moonhawk21@wowway.com
Date:
26 Sep 2004

Comments

I just heard of Gary's passing this morning. I saw Starcastle a couple of times in the 70's in Columbus, Ohio. Gary made a very big impression on me. Bass players like him were the ones who influenced me to take up the instrument. My sympathies to Gary's family and friends.


Name:
Dave Leahy
Email:
r.p@zoomtown.com
Date:
26 Sep 2004

Comments

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I saw Starcastle on 1/28/1977 (I looked up the date you your site) with Rush and Max Webster. All these years later I still hum the melodies from those great songs. A part of Gary's spirit lives on in every one of us who were lucky enough to see him and I hope he smiles down on me when I catch myself singing the chorus to Lady of the Lake without even realizing it. Dave Leahy


Name:
Daniel Mayfield
Email:
dtgtryes@hotmail.com
Date:
25 Sep 2004

Comments

My heart and prayers go out to the friends and family of Gary's. I remember the first time I heard "Lady of the Lake" on the radio back in '77, I was all excited that YES came out with another album and was shocked to find out it was a band from America. He was an influence to my bass playing style that carries with me, even to this day. I live in Cincinnati, Oh, it's not a progressive rock town, but I keep plucking the strings. He raised the bar for American bass players and proved that even we can play melodic basslines. I didn't know him personally, but I will miss him.


Name:
debbie stewart
Email:
debastewart@ameritech.net
Date:
25 Sep 2004

Comments

gary was , literally, my oldest friend. we met at age 14, and he, my brother matt, and i became great friends. i had the pleasure of being a member of the starcastle family for many years. gary and i shared many laughs, tears, and an abiding interest in magick. i miss him everyday. " merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again." blessed be, Gaz. love, debs.


Name:
Steve Hagler
Email:
schagler@epconline.com
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

The Second Gift

A child arrives The gift glows warm in the sunrise The tides come in The breezes blow We scatter the ties that bind the array Until the gift is splintered Like knives of glass upon this green land And the loss runs deep in unknown realms But like a lady Born of a blue depth Wrapped in the golden robes of sunlight With the brilliant summer held close in smooth hands We feel we are eternal That the leaves will not turn and fall That the echoes of life will not fade to silence And surely that life will shine on But not in this world, good people That door waits for each of us And through it we must pass Through it we must pass And yet, deeper still In the ancient keep of creation itself A Light waits for our return The word was made flesh The flesh became Light The Light stands waiting at another door For our return Embrace the Light, good people Embrace the Light Summon the courage Sacrifice the self Let the tears flow Let the hearts glow Embrace the Light Receive the second gift He waits for each of us This Jesus who became flesh Who became Light Waits for each of us... Farewell good friend Through all the vanities The blind endeavors The thoughtless mistakes Still in the depth of silent canyons The love runs on inexorably to the sea May God in His great mercy grant the second gift As each, in our turn, reach to that Light May God's face shine upon you And give you... Peace.

Steve Hagler


Name:
BAD RONBO, KiLLeR DWaRfS
Email:
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

I WAS SHOCKED TODAY TO HEAR OF GARY'S PASSING. I'VE BEEN A RABID FAN SINCE SEEING STARCASTLE WITH GENTLE GIANT IN '76. HE HAD THAT RICKY SOUND EVERYONE DROOLED FOR. I WAS HAPPY TO SEE HE GOT A FINAL CHANCE IN THIS WORLD TO PLAY WITH THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP ONCE AGAIN. HIS MUSIC WITH STARCASTLE WILL LIVE ON THRU ALL OF US. YOU'RE THE BEST !


Name:
Dane Strassman
Email:
DaneMarkSt@netscape.net
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary's been a positive force for many people for many years and a force of good in MINE since 1977. That's a long time and a lot of good. We sould all aspire to that kind of impact. I know I'm a better person for his effort. Thank you to the Strater family, Dane Strassman Philadelphia


Name:
Mike Terwilliger
Email:
Mr.Terwilliger@HouseofWeird.com
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

I was truly saddened to hear of Gary's passing this week. Our lives had followed two different paths since we met in high school, yet those paths seems to cross every few years and it was always an enjoyable time. Our discussions were never about reliving the past, but about the joys of the here and now, and of the wonders of what the future held in store for us.

I am sorry I live too far away to share these sentiments in person, but it is obvious Gary impacted many people in a wonderful way in his life, and I hope I can have such an impact on others before my path crosses Gary's once more.


Name:
Joel Craig
Email:
joelcraig23<at>gmail<dot>com
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

Chris and I would like to extend our condolensces to Gary's friends and family. May God bless Gary.


Name:
Holly Tracy
Email:
hollyt@uiuc.edu
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

Will miss you, your sweet demeanor, and your awesome bass playing!


Name:
Ben Phelps Jr
Email:
sunking@radiofrontiers.com
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

I know Gary is looking down on us from that Starcastle in the Heavens. My best to all his family and friends everywhere.


Name:
Ben Phelps Jr
Email:
sunking@radiofrontiers.com
Date:
24 Sep 2004

Comments

I know Gary is looking down on us from that Starcastle in the Heavens. My best to all his family and friends everywhere.


Name:
TM
Email:
fivecentforsomething@yahoo.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

I am deeply saddened by your loss, and I will pray for the comfort of his family.


Name:
Tom Tantillo
Email:
Tantillize@cox.net
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary's Family and Friends are in my prayers. I extend my deepest condolences to all of you. I saw Starcastle in early 1978 at a Recording Studio in Wallingford, Connecticut. I got to sit on the floor directly in front of Gary as they recorded a session for a group of us that won this opportunity from WPLR New Haven. It was recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. This was truly a highlight in my life. I will always remember it, and I will always remember how tremendously gifted Gary was. He will be missed.


Name:
shirley field
Email:
fieldnonie@aol.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

just remembering the good times you and Mike had in your friendship those were fun years my condolences to your family


Name:
Tom
Email:
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

I hope that Garys family will find comfort, peace and healing in your lives. I hope that this website and musicians who contribute to the band and its music will continue in Garys memory., After reading how hard he tried to complete the latest project it would be a shame to let this go. I am glad that he got to play with his old bandmates again....I hope that the five members left of the recording band know how special we all thought that band was, and how much we will miss Gary!


Name:
Lynne
Email:
n/a
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

My deepest sympathy to the family.

I only knew Gary for a short time before moving out of the midwest. He was a very talented person and made an impact and all that crossed his path.


Name:
John & Teri Gray
Email:
fdlfxr@yahoo.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

A Wonderful Person and Musician will be missed by all!


Name:
Jeff Waluch
Email:
jeff.waluch@gmail.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

The world has lost a great human and musical statesman, my sincere condolences to the Strater Family.


Name:
Mike Field
Email:
amisun@tampabay.rr.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

A lifetime ago, Gary and I were best friends. We grew up just blocks from each other in Champaign - Gary on Edwin Street, me on Columbia -- but didn't become close until we went to Franklin Junior High together. For most of those years, the Straters were like my second family. Gary was the brother I never had.

We did all the goofy stuff that kids of that age did. Went fishing at Kauffman's lake, snuck unto Nelson's Concrete Company, played wiffle ball. We also shared a keen interest in astronomy. One time, for science class, we used glow-in-the-dark paint and painted stars and constellations on a round piece of cardboard. We got an A and I remember Gary got pissed at me because I selfishly kept the project. I always meant to give it back, buddy. When Gary got his first bass guitar, he set it up in his family's rec room and showed me how to plunk away on it. I was clueless. He already knew what he was doing.

It's been years since we spoke. My mom just told me this morning of Gary's passing. My heart is so heavy. It goes out to your family. Goodbye old friend. I will miss your smiling face forever.


Name:
Joe
Email:
joepom60@hotmail.com
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

Rest in Peace. Saw Starcastle in Evansville open for Boston.


Name:
Jerry Brown
Email:
glbski@comcast.net
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

So sorry to hear of Gary's passing. My prayers are with his family and friends.


Name:
Email:
Date:
23 Sep 2004

Comments

No words are comforting to hear at a time like this. So, all there is to say is that he was a great man and musician. His memory will live on in all our hearts. He touched the lives of so many (as can be seen in this guestbook). Rawk on Gary!


Name:
Brett Gilliam
Email:
rbrettg@att.net
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My sincerest sympathy to the Strater family during your time of loss. My prayers are with you.

Gary will always live on through his music and continue to bring much happiness to many others. Gary you were a truly gifted musician.


Name:
Paul Ellis
Email:
liquidunknown@aol.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Gary.

The world is a little less home today.

Shine on brightly, Gary.

Peace Paul Ellis


Name:
Michael
Email:
mike36fan@aol.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Tremendous loss for the prog community. My thoughts and prayers go out to Gary's family, friends and bandmates.


Name:
Jon Kirkman
Email:
jon@rockahead.net
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

A Brave man to the end. God Bless and Rest In Peace your talent will always be remembered.


Name:
Jena Setters
Email:
bunnyrx@hotmail.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

I was amazed with the compassion and love between Gary and his wife. We will all miss him.


Name:
Rachel Farris
Email:
rachel_farris2002@hotmail.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences to gary's family and friends.He will be missed.


Name:
Mark McGee
Email:
mark@luvplanet.net
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

To Sasha and the entire Strater Family, my deepest condolences to you during this time. I had the pleasure of sharing with Gary much joy, music and deep friendship through the years while we were in the California version of Starcastle in the mid 80's. Such a brilliant mind and pure musical talent. Truly irreplaceable! I loved him dearly and will miss him. He will live on forever in all the hearts he has touched. God Bless you all.

Forever, Mark


Name:
Nick Clarkson
Email:
firstdown@ntlworld.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences to family and friends. It is sad sad news and my heart goes out to you.


Name:
Dário Axelrud
Email:
dario@ficrisa.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences to the family.


Name:
Jeff Markland
Email:
krushrawks@sbcglobal.net
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences go out to Gary's wife and the rest of his family. I had the pleasure of jamming with Gary in ESP as well as sharing the stage with him when I was in Third Stone and he played in Joyhammer. Small potatoes compared to what Gary has done with Starcastle I know. But for me, I was jamming with a guy who had done the things I had only dreamed about...and that was pretty cool:) Gary, thanks for being a friend and thanks for the music!!


Name:
César Inca Mendoza Loyola
Email:
cesarinca68@hotmail.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Hi, people of Starcastle, fans & friends.

From Lima (Peru), my condolences to Gary's family and friends.

His body is gone, but his musical legacy and artistic talent will last forever.


Name:
Kris
Email:
bada55@hotmail.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary helped us record our first record, and has really influenced us with his Starcastle stories. We will always have a part of him with us. Nadafinga will miss you.


Name:
R Maxon
Email:
benbland2000@yahoo.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences to the family. His music impacted my life positively. May he rest in peace


Name:
Dru Vaughn
Email:
Dru2250@aol.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary's Legacy will live on in the hearts of all of those that have loved him and his music. It is because of the love and support that you gave him that he fought even harder to complete his latest project. For that I thank you all. Let Gary be an example for all of us to try and live up to. As Mark Ruble said; "Gary is a true Warrior" God bless him and keep him safe till we meet again and give his family the peace of knowing how greatly he is loved. Dru


Name:
Karen
Email:
barneskaren927@hotmail.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Thanks for the bass lessons Gary.


Name:
Jan
Email:
samandjan@fairburn.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

My dear, dear nephew - how hard it is to say goodbye for now, but the memories with so much laughter will live with me forever. God speed, until we see each other again... Your Aunt Jan


Name:
Jeff Elbel
Email:
sunnyroses@aol.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Grace and peace to Gary's family and dear friends at such a sad time. It's definitely an encouragement to read and hear story after story of the positive impact Gary had on the lives of everyone around him. He built a life to remember, and left happy lessons to follow.


Name:
Eric Abrahamsen
Email:
mrownd@worldnet.att.net
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

‘Hey Daddi-o!’ This was the way Gary answered the phone whenever I called him. I knew he probably used this expression with a lot of people, but for me it was pure Strater.

One of the last times I saw Gary ‘healthy’ was the weekend George Harrison passed away. We both shared an admiration for the Beatles and discussed them often, but I remember that day driving somewhere in Champaign and Gary saying. ‘Man, I am really bumming George Harrison died. All the good one’s seem to go first’.

Amen.

I’ll miss ya G.

Eric www.starcastlemusic.com


Name:
Dorothy Martirano
Email:
esofea@ix.netcom.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

It was a pleasure to know Gary, and an honor to play with him, however briefly.

Rest in peace Gary.

Dorothy


Name:
Chris Richards
Email:
Kohntarkosz@yahoo.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

I just wanted to say hello, and give my condolences! I really only know the first Starcastle album, but I always thought it was a very fine record. There's lots of fine melodies and very good musicianship there.

Gary's playing was a big part of the group's sound, just as, say Entwistle was a big part of The Who's sound.

Though I really didn't know him personally, I did meet him once at NEARfest 2000, and he seemed like a very nice guy who spent the weekend intermingling with the fans who came up to the Starcastle table. He seemed happy to spend people who remembered and loved those fine records Starcastle made all those years ago.

I can only offer that is relieved of the pain that was brought about by his illness, and hopefully, right about now, he's jamming with some of the other greats who are in that other place.


Name:
Jordan Rudess
Email:
kuchin@aol.com
Date:
22 Sep 2004

Comments

Hello everyone, I am the keyboardist in the group Dream Theater. I am saddened to hear about losing Gary. Although I did not know him personally, his bands music had incredible spirit and was a big part of my musical life. My sympathys go out to his family and friends.

Jordan


Name:
Zach LeCrone
Email:
zlecrone@stu.parkland.edu
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I used to cut class to come and talk with Gary at Corsons in the afternoons when things slowed down. And those conversations i will carry with me for the rest of my life. i learned alot about music and guitars and matters of the spirit. Haveing lost two cousins this year to who i was close with, i know what the family feels right now. you are all in my prayers and i thank God for the opportunity and privaledge i had of knowing Gary. "Im on my way to that fair land/ Where the soul of man never dies/ Where there will be no parting hand/ Where the soul of man never dies" God Bless


Name:
Walter Parmantie
Email:
Parmantie_Walter1@msn.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My sincerest sympathy to the Strater family, and to Gary's bandmates in Starcastle. I've enjoyed the music so much over the last 30 years that I feel as if I lost a member of my own family.


Name:
Paul Ellis
Email:
liquidunknown@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I began listening to Gary's work with Starcastle in '77 and have listened ever since... I had the chance to speak to him several times over the last couple of years and he was never anything less than kind, gracious and sincere. There are few people in this world with such a big heart and I will miss him very much. God bless you, Gary... May you rest in peace Paul Ellis


Name:
JohnEckel
Email:
jeckel@boronlepore.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

God Bless you Gary and thanks for being a major part of my life. To his family and friends I wish you all well and time will pass and you will enjoy his presense once again


Name:
Mark Dahm
Email:
OHIOMARK@SBCGLOBAL.NET
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Thanks for the wonderful music Gary. May God bless your entire family during these trying times.


Name:
Barb Crozier
Email:
babscrozier@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

To Gary's family, Matt, Steve, Herb, Terry, Tass, Jeff, Bruce, Eric and the rest of the Starcastle Family,

You have my deepest sympathy on you loss. Although I have never met Gary, his music did help me through some hard times. Take comfort knowing that Gary is at peace and no longer in pain and that we will one day all meet again. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Peace,

Barb C.


Name:
Barb Crozier
Email:
babscrozier@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

To Gary's family, Steve, Matt, Herb, Terry, Tass, Eric, Jeff, Bruce and all the rest of the Starcastle Family,

You have my deepest sympathy on your loss. While I never got a chance to meet Gary, his music helped me through some very hard times. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Rejoice in the knowledge that Gary is at peace and out of pain and that we will all meet again one day.

Barb C


Name:
Brenda Ennen
Email:
bsennen@msn.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My heartfelt sympathy to Gary's family. I am very good frineds with his sister "Debbie" and even though it is so sad to lose a loved one, you know you will meet with him later in life in the castle in the sky. My heart also goes out to his Mom and Dad "Norma & Jiggs" and wife Sasha. May all the loving memories you ahve, comfort you.


Name:
JIMMY LARIVIERE
Email:
LASTMANSTANDINGBAND.COM
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My condolences to the entire Strater family.....Rest in Peace Gary, we will not forget Thanks for the music


Name:
Nathan Freeman
Email:
saddevice@prodigy.net
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Our deepest sympathies to the Strater family, thanks for the great memories Gary.

Nathan, Kristina and Justin Freeman


Name:
Don
Email:
Blindeye72@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I just found out about Gary's passing. I am truly sad for his family. I never met Gary personally,but have a friend who knew Gary, and that Gary was always gracious and friendly towards my friend. I saw Starcastle on the Citadel tour and became a fan that night. Once again, my condolences to Garys family.


Name:
Robin
Email:
wild651@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

my sincere condolences to Gary's family. Although a second cousin, I only really started to get to know Gary in the last 2 years. I only wish I would've gotten to know him sooner, he was a great guy, and alot of fun. May God bless and comfort the family.


Name:
Bill Proulx
Email:
buyer@metrocityrecords.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Myself & all the staff here at Metro City Records send our sincere condolences to all of his friends and family.

There are not too many people left in this business that are like Gary. To me, he was a very insightful and caring person.

Maybe he can help all of us music lovers from up there.


Name:
Mark
Email:
buickallstars@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I'm going to miss Gary. Sincere condolences to his family, friends, band mates, and other associates.

I enjoyed Gary very much. He always had something interesting to say, or had a good story to tell. It was fun talking with him about life and music.

I second those who mention that he was caring and suportive of others. He always wanted the best for those people he knew and worked with.

Relating just one of his acts of kindness sounds slightly trite given the enormity of the events this week, but here goes.

When Gary first learned that I was the leader of a local blues band, his immediate reaction was, "If there is any way you could encourage Matt Stewart to play blues in public again... He's such a tremendous blues player and I wish he would do it more." He went on to say more about Matt's playing. He said it with such spontaneous wistfulness that I didn't have the heart to tell him we already had Matt booked as our special guest at a gig. I let some time go by before letting him know about it so he could feel he had a part in it. His sentiment was so sincere and open...


Name:
Debbie Neumayer
Email:
dneumayer1@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

How do you say goodbye to your big brother? Even though we knew the chances of survival were slim, we held on and we prayed, but God had other plans for you. I am so proud to be your sister. You are amazing. Till we meet again in that castle in the sky, I hope you are flying peacefully. Love always. Debbie


Name:
thomas blake
Email:
teblake@uiuc.edu
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

a good friend of your good friend, Kelly Hazel. hey - we all know it doesn't end here...


Name:
Juan
Email:
leteyer@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

1976 Balboa Stadium...What a good show you put-on that sweet summer day...God bless you and your family.


Name:
VAN EPPERSON
Email:
YESWOLF1@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Saw Gary and Starcastle live in 1977 in Atlanta at the Electric Ballroom. I'll never forget it. Thanks for the wonderful music. I hope the guys will carry on -- Terry included -- in honor of Gary. God bless.


Name:
George R.
Email:
grlr@comcast.net
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

The death of Gary Strater came as a shock to me. I was praying and hoping that he could beat the odds. One thing that is true, everyone is mindful of our own eventual destiny and Gary was well aware of his own. Gary gave us all something to think about during the last year. Through his own plight, he made us all realize how wonderful our prog community is by coming together and supporting one of our own.

My deepest sympathy go out to the Gary Strater family and friends.

Gary has left us, but his legacy and the music he created with Starcastle will be left ingrained in our memories.

Thank you for the great music. George

http://www.rosfest.com http://www.pprcmusic.com http://www.prog4you.com


Name:
Shawn Farbman
Email:
mesaboogie2@insightbb.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I had the pleasure of being Gary’s bandmate in Joyhammer in the Mid 90’s. Gary was a wonderful musician to play and work with. He was truly a beautiful person inside and out, and there will not be a day that goes by that he will not be in my thoughts.


Name:
Rob Bonstin
Email:
redrob@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I'm so sorry to hear about Gary's passing. He was a talented individual and a wonderful person.


Name:
Vance
Email:
juniperpac@earthlink.net
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I am saddened by the news. Gary has been an inspiration for me in my music - and will continue to be! Thanks, Gary


Name:
Martin Nike
Email:
nikemc@nildram.co.uk
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Sad news. My sympathies and best wishes to Gary's family, friends and colleagues in Starcastle. Martin (From the UK)


Name:
Chris Moore
Email:
moorefour@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary's spirt will live on forever in our ears, minds and hearts. My prayers go out to his family in this time of grief. God bless you all.


Name:
Wayne
Email:
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

RIP Gary! You'll live on through your music.


Name:
Larry Hayes
Email:
lhayes1070@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Pax Vobiscum, My Friend


Name:
Barry P. Saranchuk
Email:
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

May God Bless Gary's family and loved ones...he brought much joy through his music to us fans.


Name:
Alicia
Email:
adtrezise@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Hey, Gary! We heard about you leaving us this morning. Apple Dill and Nickel Pickle shared smiles and favorite memories. Thanks for being such a fun influence in our lives! I wish I could have told you sooner but Apple Dill wants to learn Bass! Sascha, our love and prayers are with you and your family.


Name:
mark
Email:
kingnoony@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

It's true what they say about the good ones going too soon; Godspeed Gary, and thanks for all the great music you gave us...


Name:
Steven Davies-Morris
Email:
sdavmor@systemstheory.net
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I recall seeing Starcastle in San Diego opening for Robin Trower IIRC. They were very good, touring in support of the s/t debut. Obviously they had the Yes-thing down pat, but I didn't mind at all, since Yes seemed to be more interested in doing solo albums at that time. I went into the La Mesa Music Machine and was told by one of the clerks "you have to hear this!". He was right. Then I had to go see them live, ASAP!

Only a handful of US bands ever "made it" to any degree playing prog -- there was no national prog scene, because of the vast distances between major cities -- so bands that put out albums on real labels (Kansas, Starcastle, Ethos, Fireballet, etc) were watched like hawks. If they can do it, we can do it, etc. Obviously that's not how it worked out...but they were inspiring to us, and that counts for a lot IMO.

I have a Gary Strater story, that illustrates a bit about him. I know that my pal Jeff Carney will be posting his own cool story about Gary Strater over at RMP (maybe later today), so I encourage those visiting here to speak up. If you have one of you own, post it, and it will help give substance to the man behind the name.

Eric Abrahams had placed a request (at RMP IIRC) for Starcastle songbooks, photos, etc., as they were putting together a web-site. Apparently none of the band members had a copy of the "Citadel" songbook. So I donated mine, gladly. I had given my other copy of it to Greg Amov, so I could always go borrow it if I wanted to study the compositions. Which we had done long ago as young men (aspiring proggers) in Ceberus.

I sent copies of the first Systems Theory demos set in the package for Eric to pass around the band. I don't know what most of them thought, but Gary Strater was very excited, supportive and encouraging, which is the point of this tale. He reached out to us in a positive manner. We exchanged emails, talked on the phone, and discussed him doing bass for Systems Theory, and maybe producing an album for us. You can imagine how high I was after hanging up from that first conversation with him, thinking "I just got a call from Gary Strater, who wanted to talk about what I was doing!". Which I came to learn was a hallmark of his character -- focusing on others, not himself.

I later sent him the 2nd demos set, around the time of ProgWest 2002, and in early 2003 a disc with many of the original Systems Theory demo tracks sans bass, so that he could pick any tunes that took his fancy and write his own bass parts. As the Starcastle reformation came about, those plans went onto the back burner. Later as his health deteriorated, we put them on hold indefinitely.

Gary Strater was not only an excellent musician, but an easy guy to talk to. Unpretentious and free with his knowledge. He will be missed not just for his musicality. He was a very bright flame and vibrant personality. His passing certainly has caused me to want to stop dawdling over getting the music out there. [nods] Here's a link to an online interview done for "Bass Inside":

http://www.bassinside.com/2003/february/strater.htm

NP: Gary Strater Eleven To The Fourth Twice


Name:
Carol Hawkins & Rex Partlow
Email:
kowala1@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

As a member of the family, it is very hard for me to think of Gary as being gone. Gary was such a talented and caring person, he will be missed by all. As his Mother and I discussed, you never think of your children going before you. To Norma and Jiggs, please know how much we feel your loss. Let us help you with your grief.

With all our Love Carol Hawkins (cousin) Rex Partlow


Name:
Rick Hoover
Email:
xomthood@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My sincere condolences to Gary's family. His music is woven deeply in the fabric of my life.


Name:
Rick Overton
Email:
thunderstorm77096@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I too, would like to offer my prayers and condolences to Gary's family & friends. His passing is truly a sad time for all Starcastle fans. I shall always be thankful for the music that has always been and will remain a very important part of my life. And in that regard, he will be remembered for his contributions to a tremendous musical experience. Thanks Gary


Name:
Steve Nicholas
Email:
snicholas@discovernet.net
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My heart goes out to Gary's friends & family...he left a very positive legacy for the world at least. Very sorry...


Name:
Ed Arnold
Email:
eddie@ccil.org
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I am so sorry to hear of Gary's death. Death always seems so sudden, and sudden it is. Yet the memory draws you to times of happiness and moments of chrystaline pleasures. Try to dwell on those moments and know that those will be what will be retained as time goes by. I learned of Gary's plight at RoSFest last year when a guitar was raffled off and then returned for another Raffle on ProgDay. I believe it will be raffled once again at RoSFest 2005. May all the love that you feel from your fans strengthen Gary's extended family through these difficult times.


Name:
Bruce
Email:
moebius17@insightbb.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Thank you Gary.


Name:
Mark Stephens
Email:
markstephens@progpositivity.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Rest in peace Gary. Thanks for the memories. I look forward to meeting you on the other side one day.


Name:
Peter "Befrost" Hellberg
Email:
htfonline@yahoo.se
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I just read that Gary has left us. I feel so sad...

Moderator of "Fans Of Light" (the Starcastle Forum)


Name:
Jos Heijmans
Email:
jos@symfozone.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary,

You will live on through your music. We'll never forget!

Jos Heijmans - SymfoZone StadsRadio Nijmegen, Holland


Name:
Jeff Hunnicutt
Email:
jeff@yesworld.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Our condolences from the YesWorld family. Peace, light and love.


Name:
Debbie Sears
Email:
progluvr@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Although this is sad news, Gary left a lasting impression on me. Through his music and his wonderful attitude. I met him for a short interview I did with him at Nearfest when he had a vending table there as he was just getting Starcastle back together. His memory and contributions to life will live on and I'm honored to have known him while he was on this planet.


Name:
Jason Ewing (J-Curve)
Email:
samhita_remove-this_@tpg.com.au
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

I was very sad indeed to hear of Gary's passing, and I send my sincere sympathy to his family, friends, and the other members of Starcastle. I come from half a world away, in Australia, and I remember well when I first heard Starcastle - an old second-hand LP of their debut that my friend had picked up. He played me side two first, and from the opening strains of "Sunfield" I was hooked! Starcastle's (and Gary's) music have always been about joy and celebration, and about coming into the presence of the trancendental. That is the true gift of music, to reach across the boundaries of space and time, person and place, and to bring us into joy. To be less lofty, when ever I play Starcastle, I feel happy! Thank you Gary for some truly beautiful, trancendantal, and HAPPY music. That's no small legacy to leave us with! Shine On Brightly...


Name:
Gordon Tanner
Email:
gordontanner@shaw.ca
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

This is very, very sad news. My heart goes out to Gary's family and friends. Gary was a great bassist and along with guys like Jon Camp, Geddy Lee, Dave Meros and Chris Squire, he had that distinctive Rickenbacker sound. Back in the mid '70's, I was right in front of the stage at a gig at the Ottawa Civic Centre that featured Starcastle opening for Gentle Giant. Both bands were incredible. That show was among the top 3 or 4 best live musical experiences I've ever had. Thanks, Gary, for contributing to an evening that I'll always remember with great joy.


Name:
Jeff Carney
Email:
CarneyJeff@aol.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

Met Gary at Spitzer Music in Oakland, CA when I was just a kid of 16 and an aspiring bassist. What a great conversation we had. A true loss. Rock on in heaven, Gary!


Name:
Thierry
Email:
acidrag@club-internet.fr
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

As we say in French : sincères condoléances. De tout coeur. Thierry (Acid Dragon magazine - France)


Name:
Thierry
Email:
acidrag@club-internet.fr
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

As we say in French : sincères condoléances. De tout coeur. Thierry (Acid Dragon magazine - France)


Name:
Sherry
Email:
sherryehrbright@hotmail.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My sister and I have gone and listened to ESP over the years. That seemed to be the only enjoyment we really got out of life. The four of them made it look so fun and easy. The joy that group brought into our life is unexplainable. In the last year I lost my father (just before Gary was diagnosed) and then this March I lossed my husband unexpectedly after a minor surgery. I can completely relate to many feelings that others are going through. He will be dearly missed by all and my prayers go out to his wife and family who will endure even more greater loss that any one person can imagine. Hold on to your memories, I know from watching him that you must have some great ones, I can tell you that is how you get through it all, and it is a moment by moment thing not even a day by day situation. May God Bless all who is enduring this great earthly loss, he is where we all want to be. God has a wonderful new member in his Heavenly band, can't you just see Gary now, smile and glasses!!


Name:
Rob Kallio
Email:
medallion_rocks@yahoo.com
Date:
21 Sep 2004

Comments

My sincere condolences to the family and friends of bass phenom Gary Strater. I received news of his passing from John and Teri. John did guitar repairs for Starcastle and has been friends with them for years. I have been a huge fan of Starcastle since hearing the Lady of the Lake album in the 80's. Gary's aggressive bass work knocked me out every time I listened. Thank you for inspiration, Gary Strater!


Name:
Dyke Corson
Email:
corson6@hotmail.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

We will miss Gary's enthusiasm at Corson Music, he made an impact on a lot of people with his wit and knowledge. Go in peace Gary, we will see you down the road...


Name:
Steve F
Email:
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Wow, what a sad day this is... I have been a fan for longer than I can remember. When the LP's wore out (literally) I got the CD's and they're always in rotation. The music he left behind will always touch me.

He's forming a new band right now, and hopefully we'll all get to hear the music when we join him.


Name:
Tom Pantaleo
Email:
tomdrum@optonline.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

You have burned your fingerprints into the souls of many, your fight is over, rest, and know that there are many people who are better to have known you and touched by your music. To Garys family, Love and Mercy for your broken hearts, for Garys friends, we will once again see him, but for now, your music and your spirit is what will keep you with us forever. Gary and family will be in my thooughts and prayers tonight.


Name:
April and Greg at The Prog Palace
Email:
webmaster@theprogpalace.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

There are never adequate words. Please accept our condolences and sadness for such a huge loss. May the prayers and sympathy of so many help to uplift you in the months to come. May Gary's music and memory live on.


Name:
12_String (Joe)
Email:
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Kels has informed us at the Warren Zevon Bulletin Board of Garys' passing. Please accept my condolences. Now he is at peace.

-Joe-


Name:
Kevin Feeley
Email:
Kevfeeley@yahoo.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Thanks for all the great music, part of the soundtrack of my life. R.I.P Kevin


Name:
Mark & Lisa
Email:
mfortman@uicalumni.org
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

So sad to hear the news, but we will remember you through the music. R.I.P.


Name:
Hank Rowe
Email:
wurensh@msn.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

God Speed Gary... Have enjoyed your music from the first time I was turned on to the first album when I was in HS... many years. Hopefully the rest of the guys will find it in their souls to carry on the enjoyment of music...

"Set sail a crystal ship and you will fly..."


Name:
Lee
Email:
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

I'm truly sorry to hear of Gary's passing. I can't even begin to imagine what his family and friends are going through - all of you are in my thoughts right now.

I wish you peace...


Name:
Don Cassidy
Email:
DCass21@optonline.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

The staff at Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio is very saddened to hear about Gary's passing. Our hearts and best wishes go out to his family.


Name:
Gerry Grossman
Email:
grossy@worldshare.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Godspeed Gary.


Name:
Diane PBW
Email:
dianebriaw7@hotmail.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

May all be well and know that material passes and spirit lives forever~Gary, thanks for sharing your high music art with us through StarCastle~ Diane Comfort and love goes out to the Family


Name:
George Thatcher
Email:
gdaze@glory-daze.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

A great loss to the prog community, and to Starcastle fans one and all. My high school years are happy memories of Starcastle's music.. indeed 'Citadel' remains a favorite, more than just a record; to me, it's like a photo album that reminds me of growing up in 1977. With Gary's departure from this plane, he takes a little bit of each of us, hopefully to a place where melodic music reigns supreme.

Condolences to Gary's family, and to the entire Starcastle team, members and crew..

George Editor, GLORY-DAZE ezine


Name:
Sharon Rudolph
Email:
srudolph@gte.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Thanks for your wonderful music Gary, and also the opportunity to give back to you. Rest in peace. God bless the Strater family.

Sharon


Name:
Travis
Email:
scimitar24@hotmail.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

As saddened as I am by this loss to the music world, I am gladdened that Gary left behind a legacy of music and performances to be forever proud of - and which will continue to shine on. I will probably play those Starcastle albums to the end of my days. And for giving us fans the gift of the Chronos I collection, I will always bless his name and spirit. The musical legacy of Gary Strater is a rich one. He'll not be forgotten by progressive rock.

God bless you, Gary, and may you know peace in His house.

In Loving Remembrance,

Travis


Name:
Jill Neumayer
Email:
jillzapill2@yahoo.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

To my Uncle Gary... May you soar with the angels and land among the stars. We will all miss you so much but will hold onto the memories. I will forever feel blessed that God gave me you as my uncle. We love you and we miss you.

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."


Name:
Rick
Email:
rmoser56@comcast.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

I'll never forget meeting Gary and having him sign The Fountains of Light record jacket. He never stopped smiling while he told me stories of the best days of his musical career and how much he loved the fans that enjoyed the music. He will be missed greatly. Thanks for the great music to remember you by.

Rick


Name:
Krista
Email:
Loucke@gmail.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

R.I.P. Mr. Strater. Your music and legacy will live on forever. I had been following the signed guitar's story through all of its fests and concerts, and was lucky enough to find Chronos 1 at a local store. Gary will never be forgotten.


Name:
Beth Folland
Email:
princesssalmacis@bellsouth.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

I'm so sorry to hear this news. May God bless Gary's family and friends. May peace be with them all. Rest in peace Gary.

Beth


Name:
Bill K
Email:
prjt2501@earthlink.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Rest well, rest sweetly. Thank you for the gift of your music. Gary will be remembered by those of us who cared about the music at the expense of all else.


Name:
Ken Stanley
Email:
renegade2004@sbcglobal.net
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

All i want to say is Thanks for the memories Gary.


Name:
Brian
Email:
VAXman@tmesis.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

A very sad bit of news.

I contributed to the guitar fund at ROSfest to help with Gary's medical needs. I hope that the gesture helped to extend his time here or ease his pain. RIP.


Name:
Brian
Email:
VAXman@tmesis.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

A very sad bit of news.

I contributed to the guitar fund at ROSfest to help with Gary's medical needs. I hope that the gesture helped to extend his time here or ease his pain. RIP.


Name:
Brian
Email:
VAXman@tmesis.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

A very sad bit of news.

I contributed to the guitar fund at ROSfest to help with Gary's medical needs. I hope that the gesture helped to extend his time here or ease his pain. RIP.


Name:
Steve
Email:
calyx12001@yahoo.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

i'm very sorry to hear this news. what can one say? my thoughts go out to all of his family, friends and fans.


Name:
Keith
Email:
KeithieW@aol.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

A sad day for all music fans. I remember hearing Starcastle on British radio and immediately buying their whole catalogue. Superb music brilliantly played. Rest in Peace Gary and thank you for what you bought into my life.


Name:
Kevin
Email:
kevin.armstrong1@navy.mil
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

And another of my musical heroes passes. Go easy, fellow traveler!


Name:
Mike Denbow
Email:
michael.denbow@yellowbook.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

I felt lead to check the site today to see how things were going for Gary. I am sorry to hear that he is gone, but happy to see he got baptized and will spend eternity serenading God with those melodic bass lines. My prayers are for his family left behind. God bless them.


Name:
Chad Hutchinson
Email:
chad@nearfest.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

I am very sad to hear of Gary's passing. We at NEARfest were very happy to have contributed to the guitar fund efforts and we hope that the proceeds go to good use in Gary's name. My heart goes out to his family and friends.


Name:
Doug Silver
Email:
DBSilver @ Silverdb.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Gary, your music with Starcastle has been with me from Vinyl to Cassette to CD as I grew from teenager to grandfather while migrating making my home in various places from from Minnesota to Crete to Brindisi Italy and back to Minnesota. Your art has been part of the soundtrack of my life and will continue to be so. For that I am grateful. My prayers go up for comfort and healing to your loved ones and friends.


Name:
Kris Cotterman
Email:
kristine@exodusdesign.com
Date:
20 Sep 2004

Comments

Even though we only knew Gary from working on the website, we were still impacted by his incredible life. Just a couple weeks ago, we talked on the phone. There was a sense of urgency, but I didn't know he was so close to leaving. He was excited about being baptized that Sunday.

Rick and I will miss him. We are glad that he is with our Lord. He didn't just die, we went on now to new life and we will see him again!

Our thoughts and prayers are with Gary's wife and family, that God will give them comfort and peace.