Long before the television series STARGATE SG-1, there was another STARGATE, a classic progressive rock band based in NW Ohio from 1971-77. The band had it's origins when Fostoria-based keyboard player Charles “Chuck” Thaxton joined a group from the Ottawa Ohio area called MAGG'S HOTEL in 1971. Charles had played in local Fostoria rock groups since 1969 with high school classmates Craig Heckathorn (guitar, vocal) and Glenn Roddy (drums and vocal). After playing a gigs with MAGG'S HOTEL, Charles and bassist Doug Amick from Ottawa left the group and put together the first STARGATE line-up, featuring Heckathorn, Roddy, and Fostoria guitarist Rick Carrel. The band was named by Charles from the “Star Gate” references in the film and novel 2001:A SPACE ODYSSEY. This lineup would perform locally at clubs and parties for some months before the departure of guitarist Rick Carrel. The band recruited a college student from New Jersey named Andy Moses as a replacement on guitar, and the new lineup would continue playing at area clubs and schools.
Difficulties soon arose with Moses who departed the group, to be replaced by Arlington Ohio guitarist/vocalist David Reddick, recruited from the hard rock group APPLE MARY, which had played with STARGATE a few times. This lineup was felt by many to be the “definitive” STARGATE, and the group then hit the road performing at clubs and concerts all over Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Indiana. The band played the classic rock hits of the day, along with many select progressive rock pieces (thanks to Charles' recently acquired Mellotron keyboard) by groups like KING CRIMSON, MOODY BLUES, STRAWBS, and GENESIS...along with several original compositions by guitarist Reddick. The group opened up in concerts for many national acts such as Bob Seger, Tommy James, Frijid Pink, and Bertha. One of the high points for the band was playing an employee party at Cedar Point Amusement Park Ballroom to a huge crowd. The schedule of the road took it's toll on lead vocalist/guitarist/synthesist Craig Heckathorn, who left the band to spend more time with his wife and new son. The four piece group carried on until the departure of drummer Glenn Roddy, who was replaced by Mansfield Ohio drummer Vic Restelli.
After some months, keyboardist Charles Thaxton left the band in 1975 and was replaced by Marion Ohio keyboard player Craig Markley. Thaxton went on to join Findlay/Bowling Green Ohio based MAGIK DAYZE in 1976. STARGATE continued on for a couple of more years, with drummer Vic Restelli being replaced at some point by Rick Powell before the band ended it's run around 1977. David Reddick and Craig Markley went on to join STARK RAVEN, a Celtic band based in Columbus Ohio, and released several CDs before David Reddick retired from the music business to spend time with his family. Bassist Doug Amick performed with various local NW Ohio music projects until his untimely death in a plane crash outside of Ottawa Ohio.
Thaxton moved to California with MAGIK DAYZE and played there for several years, then relocated to Arizona where he spent 8 years playing with groups including GALILEO, VOYAGER, and LYNN LYNTON. He returned to Ohio in 1989 and released 2 CDs of new age synthesizer instrumentals under the name CHAR-EL, and performed some of this material in concerts for several years.
Several STARGATE alumni reunited in 2000 for their high school class reunion party in a band eventually called DAYZ'D PAST. The band lineup saw the return of Craig Heckathorn (guitar, vocal), Glenn Roddy (drums, vocal), Rick Carrel (guitar), new member Gary White on bass (who had played with some of the members in high school line ups), and Thaxton returning on keyboards. Rick Carrel was replaced by Craig's brother Kirk Heckathorn on guitar/vocals for future gigs. Rick passed away soon after from illness. DAYZ'D PAST performed for several years in local clubs and at outdoor festivals. The group called it quits but just recently was asked to reform in Feb. 2009 for a Humane Society benefit concert in Bascom Ohio.
Thanks to Charles Thaxon