Nektar 1978: The Reunion Year
An End To An Era
1978 was a confusing year for Nektar fans. During January 1978, Nektar performed a few concerts on the East coast of the States
with Mo Moore, Ron Howden, Taff Freeman, and Dave Nelson who was still with the band. However, by this time, Mick Brockett moved
on to work with "Sam The Band". When the Magic Is A Child tour was completed, Nektar went back to Mo's basement
and began writing new songs. The new songs reverted back to Nektar's progressive roots and included some long jams and improvs
with an occasional love song. Dave Nelson was there at the beginning of these writings and Ryche was there at the end and both
contributed ideas, style, concepts, and lyrics.
During 1978, Nektar returned to the small club circuit playing to smaller audiences (around 300) except this time around, that
circuit was in the USA and no where else.
May 1978 saw Nektar back in action again with a concert at Great Gildersleeves, New York City (A club that Mick also played regularly
with Sam the Band.) This reunion concert was unique. It featured Dave Nelson and Ryche Chandra on lead guitars at the same time
and it was the only time Nektar used two guitarists and two keyboardists (Taff and Larry) at the same time. RTF (part 2) was
stunning. The band's official stance on the Ryche and Dave concerts is "rehearsals" however, tickets were sold,
posters were made and there were some advertisements. Therefore, we are counting them as concert performances and not rehearsals!
As of today, we have never come across any memorabilia to confirm any of this, we only have our recordings of the show.
Some of the songs played that day were:
- I'm On Fire
- Why Can't I Be More Like You?
- How Long?
- Midnight Maker
- Love Is
- Sky Pilot
By May 31, 1978 Dave Nelson departed Nektar for good, leaving only Ryche Chandra on lead guitar. For more information on this
check out the Nektar Timeline. Nektar begins playing songs from their older (pre–Magic
Is A Child) albums with Ryche as well as the new songs that came to life during the Dave and Ryche rehearsals in Mo's basement.
All the "Magic Is A Child" songs were dropped from the set list at this point in time.
On July 1, 1978, Roye rejoins Nektar. Throughout the concert Roye played with his back to the crowds while Ryche was on–stage.
There is a bootleg concert that can confirm this historical event circulating around the Net. One can actually hear the audience
shouting "turn around Roye." Ryche does not join Nektar on stage during the late 2nd show that night due to Roye's
charismatic personality and stage presence. Thus the first concert that night was Ryche's last. The first concert (early
show) was also the last time any of the new songs written by everyone but Roye was played. Two songs of note from this historical
concert are: "Only Today" and "Welcome Back Old Rockers". Both are fine songs and are worthy of being on
their next album.
Pictures taken from this July 15, 1978 reunion concert performed at Giulio's South, Asbury Park, New Jersey can be
viewed over on our 1978 Concert Photos page.
On July 16, 1978: while playing at My Father's Place, Roslyn, New York, Nektar performs another new song called "Nektar
79." Again this is another fine song that was worthy of being on their next album. During this concert there was an announcement
by the band that Nektar was going to take some time off to work on a new album and tour Germany.
According to Mo, Nektar's last reunion concert may have been November 22, 1978 at the Star's Club, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Once again several new songs were introduced and all were announced to be on the next album that was going to be recorded over
in Germany. "Man in the Moon" was played to a live audience for the very first time as well as some other songs that
eventually made up the "Man in the Moon" album that was released in 1980 only in Germany. However, several of the other
new songs from this show never make it on to any album nor were they were ever heard again.
It's been nine long years since the formation of Nektar and Mo calls it a day. Instead of working on the next album over
in Germany, Mo, starts managing a plumbing business. Mick started a classic car restoration business by now and was touring around
the New York / New Jersey area with Sam The Band. Taff, Ron, and Roye stay in the music business. Larry is very busy touring
with Peter Gabriel at this point in time. Dave and Ryche moved on to other bands.
And so came an "End To An Era"
To Be Continued… One Day