Gary O'Toole quits STEVE HACKETT Band - who will fill the gap?


    Gary O'Toole has left Steve's band. I copied this from his Facebook page.

    Steve Hackett announcement
    It is with immense sadness I must announce my departure from The Steve Hackett band.
    It has been my privilege and pleasure for nearly 20 years to hold this chair.
    After a conversation with Steve it became clear we had come to a parting of the ways.
    It will I feel be for the good and benefit of all concerned.
    On this occasion I will stand and wave the guys off and hope they do well, I know they will.
    They have been my road family for so long I shall miss them but things need attending at home.
    Some of you are aware of the horrid year I have had personally.

    I shall devote more time to my school in developing the new environment and also my online school. While also finding a new studio and finally getting to grips with writing my own material.
    Thank you for all your support to the fans who have always treated me with respect. Love and Hope Gary

  • I thought Gary made a great contribution as both a drummer and a vocalist. I was sorry to learn he was leaving.

    Same here! He had such long experience with the band too. Hope they can get a worthy replacement up to speed in time for the next tour but it’ll be difficult :(

    • Official Post

    Big question is: Who will play drums in the future?

    Marco Minnemann seems to be in charge for the Cruise shows, but it's unlikely he will be a permanent solution.

    What do you think?

  • Christian

    Changed the title of the thread from “New Album & Band News” to “Gary O'Toole quits STEVE HACKETT Band - who will fill the gap?”.
  • I've long been an admirer of Minneman : check out his work (was stunning with Steven Wilson) and his style will add new dynamics to the band (if he plays in his usual style)

    Maybe it was time for a change....the band has been static for a while and a fresh injection might add new energy, if not to the set lists!!!

    Hope he fills the seat beyond 'the cruise' dates!!!

  • Big question is: Who will play drums in the future?

    Marco Minnemann seems to be in charge for the Cruise shows, but it's unlikely he will be a permanent solution.

    What do you think?

    I saw Marco early this month playing for his band In Continuum at the Progstock Festival in Rahway, NJ, USA. As always he was amazing, Eddie Jobson plays UK closed the festival but Marco did not play with him as he has done in the past.

    Marco's band In Continuum are also booked on the Cruise so it seems he will do double duty this time but we know for sure he does not sing. I think a permanent solution may come later maybe with drummer Nick D'Virgilio or Simon Phillips who are guest players on Steve's latest CD At The Edge of Light..I guess Gary's swan song shows were the ones on the orchestral tour.

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    Some might say that wouldn't suit Steve's stuff but I genuinely think he'll inject some energy....and I'm sure he'd 'reel it in' : I can imagine Steve saying "that's jolly clever, but maybe less is more?" before pouring him a cup of tea and asking "one lump or two, Marco?"

  • This is really bad news I think, Gary is a great drummer, a real presence on stage and his vocals also add something. His backing vocals on recent tours have been oustanding. I think the stage version the band does of Blood on the Rooftops is possibly unbeatable. I hope they don't drop this now and Nad takes it on as it is always a highlight. Good luck to Gary and I suppose we have to be positive and I'm sure Steve will get a first rate replacement.

  • However sad in Gary's leaving the band. I'm sure Steve will find a suitable replacement. So many great artists who have left good bands , have been replaced will equally good performers or in some cases better.

    I'm sure there will be no shortage of willing drummers knocking on Steve's door

  • Sad to hear he quits the band. I wasn't convinced in the beginning and also had my doubts when Steve started his Genesis Revisited tour - but Gary did a fabulous job. Hope there's an interesting replacement. Can't think of a specific name, they are make more or less sense, but also there are plenty of things which makes certain people unlikely. So either Steve will surprie us all or it will be someone we simply don't know yet.

  • Convinced at the beginning? Gary has been in Steve's band since June 2000... so its surprising to hear you were not convinced early in 2013!

    Gary is on the backing vocals of some of the songs on To Watch The Storms, a recent 5.1 remix gives more prominence to Gary's vocal in the mix, this is on the DVD disc on the new box set.

    Kind regards


  • Gary is on the backing vocals of some of the songs on To Watch The Storms

    On "Serpentine Song" (on the original release) the main voice I hear is Gary's. He also does all the lead vocals on the live tracks from the special edition of OUT OF THE TUNNEL'S MOUTH.

    “When the waitress asked if I wanted my pizza cut into four or eight slices, I said, ‘Four. I don’t think I can eat eight.’” -- Yogi Berra



    November 2018: "I'm excited to announce that Craig Blundell will be drumming for us throughout the 2019 Tour! Craig has won countless magazine polls around the world and is in very high demand. He played on 39 different projects in 2018 and is the current touring and recording drummer for Steven Wilson. Voted by modern drummer and rhythm magazine readers as one of the top progressive and forward thinking drummers in the world..."

  • Very sad to hear. When i saw Steve live in liverpool last year the highlight for me was Blood On The Rooftops which Gary sung superbly. He is also a wonderful drummer and will be very hard to replace, but I am sure Steve will :)

  • Rising Sun...

    No I don't believe it was that, Gary has found touring difficult with some troubles for his family over 2018. For example his landlord decided to terminate his rent agreement on his home in High Wycombe far earlier than expected, simply because the landlord wanted to sell it. That happened whilst Gary was on tour.

    Stuff like that has informed Gary's decision to take time out for family...


  • Thanks - sorry for over-analysing the situation!