Bob Dreher
Bob and I at Heepvention 97, St. Louis Missouri. 
My Fav shot of Bpb :-)
Another of Bob at
  HV '97
A promo shot of Bob from his Band 
"Blind Date"
Another promo shot of Bob from his Band
 "Blind Date"

Bob hails from Illinois, and was totally instrumental (no pun intended :-), in shaping the course of the music direction we as a group of wide-eyed, and naive recording experimenters took as the years progressed.

Visit Bob's website here.

I will never forget when Bob said, rather "as a matter of fact", "Yeah, I usually get about 20 tracks on it (his old 4 track  Fostex)  before the sound really starts to degrade"..

What an eye-opener THAT was !

Bob and I recorded our version of Uriah Heep's "Circle Of Hands" as one of the very 1st things we did, along with "I Wanna Be Free" Bob tells about it in the following article...

I thought Circle of Hands really cam out nice, and it was the 1st time I had used my new (back them) drum machine, and with Bob as another lead guitarist, it came out really nice. Stereo harmony guitars, and Bob added his drum machine tracks as's a long song...but hey..we're talking about Uriah Heep here !

Here's Bob !

My Life As A Heepster....So Far      

Back in about 94-95 I started getting serious about getting a computer. I had heard about this "going online" phenomena and was very interested. I really didn't understand much about it all, but the thought of e-mailing people ( I don't believe there was instant messaging at the time, or at least I hadn't heard about it yet) just amazed me. I might actually be lucky enough to talk to someone from another part of the country...or even the WORLD!

Well, tightwad that I wasn't until February of 97 that I actually broke down and bought a computer, same one I am using to write this....5 years later. It's a complete dinosaur in computers these days. Well, I bought the thing at a Sams Club in Champaign, Illinois (home of the Fighting Illini) and drove like a madman the 35 miles home because I was sooooooo anxious to get home, get this beast hooked up and talk to people from all over the world. Duh, I didn't realize that I had to get hooked up through an online provider, so it was another two days before I actually got hooked up.

Once my kids showed me how to turn the thing on and get online (another complete story in itself), I did my first search...maybe on Yahoo (?)...can't remember exactly. But anyone reading this knows what the first thing I did once I got online was... to do a search on URIAH HEEP, of course! I completely and fully expected to get zero results, as I didn't think anybody else in the world liked them. I had constantly told friends and buddies about this great band, but the reaction was always "yeah, I heard of 'em", and thats about as far as it ever went. So I do this search and I see "Englands Own Uriah Heep" website. DAMN!! I don't even F-----G believe it! I read every single word on that site and finally figured out I can contact the guy who makes the site. He must be either rich, famous, or a genius to be able to make all of this cool stuff pop up on my computer screen. Well, I got the genius part of it right anyway ( I still think that too). I wrote to this Dave White guy and asked him...geez, I don't even remember what I asked him. I was just so thrilled to be in communication with somebody else who liked Heep!

We exchanged a few e-mails (this was WAYYYYY TOO COOL) and realized that each of us were musicians.
He suggested that we do a tune together by sending tapes back and forth to each other until it was complete. Luckily our equipment was compatible (more on compatibility later) and we got started on I Wanna Be Free. My memory cells only have a short lifespan so I will recall what I can, make up what I can't ;-)

I believe I did the drums on an old Yamaha drum machine left at my house by the drummer from the band I was currently in at the time, Blind Date. Since I have no idea to this day how to program the damn things, I just played it all out right there on the little pads on the front of the machine. Lots of timing glitches, but the idea was there anyway. I can't remember if I did bass next, maybe Dave did.  Dave did the guitar solo with me in harmony, plus keys. I did the vocals, and surprised myself by hitting the high notes towards the end that David and Ken had done quite more professionally in the original version of the tune.

NOTE In no way would I ever compare myself to David Byron or any other real lead vocalist.
 I just do it for fun, so this is my disclaimer for the rest of this article ;-)

I think Dave put the keyboards on last, so he had the final mix of the tune. All in all, for a first try at long distance recording, it didn't turn out all that bad. We had some serious tape hiss going on, but it went much
better than I had anticipated. I listened to it ust a couple of months ago for the first time in probably 4 years, and I thought it still sounded good. It actually had more energy than the version we would record later on in St. Louis.

More to come...

Bob Dreher

Bob at The Studio in 98...