Georgia Satellites hit Ballroom tonight

By Damon Dranchak

The Georgia Satellites, the southern rockabilly band from Atlanta, is set on course for the Duke Ellington Ballroom tonight.

Only two of the original Georgia Satellites—Dan Baird and Rick Richards—still are with the band, which formed in 1980. The two guitarist/vocalists are the backbone of this down’n’dirty band which has gone through 12 changes since its start.

In 1984, the Satellites temporarily disbanded. The band members were frustrated because they got in a monotonous weekly routine in Atlanta. “Everyone in the group felt like we were all going to grow old and die there, playing the same roadhouses night after night,” Baird said.

They also were having bad luck finding a record company to accept what they thought was a good demo tape. While the Satellites were disbanded, their manager took the demo to England and a small record company, Making Waves, decided to take a chance and made a six-song EP, “Keep The Faith,” which also contained their hit single, “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.”

The move obviously paid off—the album was a hit. Baird and Richards decided to give it another go and teamed up with Rick Price and Mauro Magellan, members of the Hell Hounds. Richards was working with them while the Satellites were disbanded.

Elektra Records was impressed with the success of “Keep The Faith” and signed with the group in early 1986. Their self-titled debut album with Elektra is an even bigger hit than their EP.

The Elvis Brothers open for the Satellites at 8 p.m. MTV also will be there taping the performance.