In 1981, Geoff Tate became the frontman of the band that would eventually be known as Queensryche. In their three decades together, Tate and the band became one of the most successful bands in hard rock history before a bitter parting in 2012. After a lengthy court battle for the rights to the Queensryche name, Tate and the band finally agreed to a settlement earlier this year, affording him the opportunity to perform under the legendary moniker for one final tour.
After more than three decades as the Queensryche frontman, Tate ended his Ryche reign on August 30th in Bolingbrook, IL. In a symbolic gesture, Tate removed the Tri-Ryche charm from his belt to acknowledge the end of an era. But perhaps the most important gesture of Tate’s farewell to Queensryche was the decision to auction off the backdrop that was featured on several of the band’s tours with all proceeds going to Bryan Stow, a dedicated fan who suffered a near-fatal beating on opening day of the 2011 Major League Baseball season at Dodger Stadium.
The end-result of a heated rivalry between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants (that makes the rivalry between Tate and his former bandmates pale by comparison), left Stow in a medically-induced coma after sustaining severe brain injuries from the beating that he received. The father of two, who sports a sizeable tattoo of the Queensryche logo on his left arm, was visited by the band during his two-year recovery period in the hospital.
“We were incredibly moved by his love for life, his love for family and his love for our music,” stated Tate. When asked about the backdrop being auctioned off, Tate replied “It’s a truly special part of our musical history and we’d like to raise some much-needed funds for Bryan so he can continue his progress.”
For all intents and purposes, the end of Tate’s reign as the Queensryche frontman was symbolic, given that his final tour using the Queensryche moniker was with the same band that he will continue on with under the name Operation: Mindcrime.
With his Queensryche days behind him, Tate is not wasting any time getting the next chapter of his life started. Operation: Mindcrime is heading into the studio to begin recording a trilogy project that Tate has been working on for the past two years.
“I tried to reduce the story and eventually got it down to 37 ideas that needed representing to complete the story,” stated Tate. “I knew that one record wouldn’t cover it, and that it would have to be a trilogy. It’s an exciting project and one that we’d like to release sometime next spring.”
During Tate’s Queensryche reign, the band sold over 20 million albums, the most successful being the critically acclaimed concept album, Operation: Mindcrime. Going forward, Tate plans on focusing on creating concept and story albums.
As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” While the acrimony that severed the ties between Tate and his former bandmates will probably be what many fans remember about his Farewell To Queensryche tour, the focus should be on Tate giving back to a fan in need as the final act of his illustrious Queensryche career.
With the Queensryche chapter of his life finally closed, I personally cannot wait to experience Operation: Mindcrime’s brand of “thinking man’s metal” when the first album of the trilogy is released next year.