When Marty Leggett from Reno Nevada replaced Bill Simms on keyboards in December of 1988, one of the first things we did is get new photos taken. Faced with little money and a need to get it done right away, we elected to hire a photographer and head towards downtown L.A. in hopes of finding some urban inspiration. From Hollywood, we headed East on Wilshire Blvd and came across the infamous MacArthur Park in the Westlake neighborhood.
Mac Arthur Park was made known world wide when Richard Harris recorded and released the song MacArthur Park in 1968 and it climbed to #2 as reported by the U.S. Billboard charts. The recording appeared on Harris’s album A Tramp Shining in 1968 and was released as a single.
It was an unusual choice, at its more than seven minute length and multi-part structure. “MacArthur Park’s” unusual metaphors and sentimentality have made it a frequent target of parody and ridicule over the years. The park’s psychedelic history and controversial image made it a perfect choice as a background for our new photos with Marty.
Marty was a great keyboardist. He could play anything we threw at him and he doubled as bassist on the keys and pedals.
It was very tough however to see Bill Simms leave the band. Bill drove out to Hollywood from Buffalo with the rest of the band and made it through the toughest times before we got on our feet and got the band up and running in L.A. and then started performing at some of the biggest night clubs in town like the Whisky in West Hollywood and the Palomino in North Hollywood.
That might have been part of the problem with Bill. There was enormous pressure associated with performing in these L.A. clubs. In December of 1988 Bill finally had it and walked out of rehearsal announcing that he was “sick of being a trained seal”. As sad as it was we couldn’t sit around and brood. We had just released “Turnaround,” our four song EP that was out an selling on both coasts with some of our songs featured on KROQ and KLOS.
We had shows lined up so we quickly put an ad in Bam Magazine and Music Connection magazine advertising the need for a keyboardist that could play progressive and alternative rock.
Marty was one of the first to respond and he had a good image and an awesome KORG keyboard set up. He impressed us with his demo tape and when we brought him to rehearsal he picked up the material really fast.
Marty was a lover of progressive rock; ELP in particular along with YES and STYX. He really liked our original material and it looked like a good match.
Marty continued to perform with Parousia for the next year and a half before leaving to join a group called “Pendulum” that featured the Bass player from Whitesnake and other heavy metal veterans.