Episode #199 – Before They Were Purple – Steve Morse

Link to video episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZuwWILblNc

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  • Morse was born in Hamilton, Ohio in 1954. His family moved to Tennessee and then Michigan while he was young.
  • Morse started playing guitar around 11 years old.
  • One of his first bands was with his brother Dave called The Plague with Dave on drums.
  • He formed a band called Three with his older brother and a friend, Jerry Wooten on keyboards.
  • Around 1970 he formed a band called The Dixie Grit with a school friend Andy West.  They formed while Morse was attending Richmond Military Academy.
  • The duo played a lot of cover material from Led Zeppelin and Cream.
  • They eventually had to break up when Steve was expelled from school for refusing to cut his hair in the 10th grade.
  • Later they formed a new band called Dixie Dregs featuring Andy West on bass. Morse was the bandleader for this new band.
  • Steve would complete 11th grade and was eligible for early college enrollment where he would attend The Univeristy of Miami and study music.
  • Dixie Dregs would form while Morse was attending school in Miami where he graduated in 1975.

Track History:

  1. Dixie Dregs
  1. Liza Minelli
  1. Rob Cassels
  1. Steve Walsh
  • In 1983 The Dixie Dregs (who had renamed themselves The Dregs) dissolved and Morse formed a new band called Morse Code. They later changed their name to The Steve Morse Band.
  • Shortly after forming Morse also went on a word tour as a solo acoustic act opening for Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, and Paco DeLucia.
  • He also had a project called Biff Baby’s All-Stars which was put together specifically to promote Music Man guitars. They would perform shows from 1983 through at least 1991. It was a loose group of top guitar players including Steve Morse, Eddie Van Halen, Steve Lukather, and Albert Lee.
  • All of these combined projects are what really started to earn Steve some serious name recognition among guitar players and he soon started coming in as a top pick on many reader polls in various magazines.
  • Steve Morse would win the Best Guitarist in Guitar Player’s reader poll for five consecutive years.
  1. Steve Morse Band
  1. Kansas
  • It was after this time that it’s said Steve Morse became disillusioned with the music business and became a commercial airline pilot. This gig lasted from late 1987 through early 1988.
  • Despite being out of the business he still had time for sessions and some live performances with other acts.
  1. Triumph

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  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • In 1988 The Dixie Dregs reformed with their original lineup.
  • In 1989 Morse formed a new lineup of the Steve Morse Band this time featuring Dave La Rue on bass who would go on to join Dixie Dreg from 1989 through 2017 before original bassist Andy West would rejoin.
  1. Metal Guitars
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Biff Baby’s All Stars

Eddie Van Halen,Steve Morse & Albert Lee – Fire ( Jimi Hendrix Cover) 1991

  • Albert Lee: Guitar 
  • Steve Morse: Guitar
  • Eddie Van Halen: Guitar
  • Sherwood Ball : Voc 
  • Sterling Ball: Bass 
  • John Ferraro: Drums
  • Jim Cox: Keyboards
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  1. Carmine Appice’s Guitar Zeus
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