You Say It's Your Birthday: Queensryche's Eddie Jackson

What's really important is that today is also the birthday of original Ramones' drummer Tommy Ramone today.

Today is the birthday of Queensryche bassist Eddie

Jackson, who was born in 1961 in Robstown, Texas. Queensryche's 1980s metal

sound was graced with an ambitious progressive slant which at times earned them

some respect, at other times earned them a reputation for taking themselves a

little too seriously. The band formed in Seattle in 1981, when guitarists Chris

DeGarmo and Michael Wilton decided to quit playing cover bands and come up with

something of their own. They recruited clean-voiced Geoff Tate and bassist

Eddie Jackson to round out the lineup, avoiding club gigs in favor of long

rehearsals and work on an EP, Queen of the Reich, which was released in

1983.

Queensryche's full-length debut came later that year, featuring work

from the EP plus several new songs. Over the next five years the band released

two more records, The Warning and Rage For Order, touring in

support of big names like KISS and Metallica, before recording their

breakthrough hit with Operation: Mindcrime.

Mindcrime was a

"concept album," something few metal bands had dared attempt, and included

low-key hits like "Eyes of a Stranger"and "I Don't Believe In Love." Their

followup, Empire, made waves with the lullaby "Silent Lucidity," a kind

of counterpart to Metallica's "Enter Sandman," which pushed the album to

double-platimun status and earned itself the honor of being Billboard's

most popular rock song in 1991.

The band spent the next three years touring

extensively, but by the time they released The Promised Land in 1994, it

seemed they'd worn out their welcome. Although it debuted at #3, the record

failed to launch any big hits and the band has barely been heard from since.

Other birthdays: David Byron (Uriah Heep), Marcus Verne (Living In A Box),

Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera), Tommy Ramone (Ramones) and talk-show host Oprah

Winfrey. -- Beth Winegarner