Peter Alan Silberg, Founder & Lead Guitar
Troy Raglin, Founder & Vocals / Rhythm Guitar
Bryan Skip Reed, Vocals / Percussion
Reggie Austin, Bass
Russell Greene, Keyboards
Mahlon Hawk, 2nd Bass, Alan Kenny Chavis, 3rd Bass, Jared Stewart, Keyboards;
and Dolores Hardy, Vocals
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A SpaceArk photo slideshow is available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201081497943977&l=7620446419698531718
and Youtube at http://youtu.be/GeNx
For licensing or general inquries:
SpaceArk's albums were digitally remastered for limited release in CD format in Japan by Creole Stream Records in 2011.
In 2018, Mr. Bongo Records UK was granted world-wide rights to release SpaceArk's albums in vinyl and CD format.
SpaceArk music is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other streaming websites around the world.
SpaceArk I http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spaceark-i/id428998362
SpaceArk IS http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/spaceark-is/id431720913
SpaceArk was a pioneering 1970s Los Angeles-based Soul/Rock group formed in 1973 and dissolved in 1979. The band's current status is inactive.
This website exists so original and new fans can discover SpaceArk's music, and learn about the group's history.
This website is maintained by Peter Alan Silberg, founding member and lead guitarist.
Your comments and messages are welcome on Facebook, or you can send email to email@example.com.
"Welcome to My Door"
Peter Alan Silberg was born in London, England and emigrated to California at age 6. His parents settled in Los Angeles, and he grew up in the beach city of Santa Monica. Peter took up guitar after seeing Dick Dale "King of the Surf Guitar" perform live at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1961. He had played the viola in the school orchestra, which won first place in a state-wide competition, but once he was exposed to the power of the electric guitar in the hands of Dick Dale, the viola was quickly discarded and guitar became Peter's passion.
During his high school years, Peter was a lead guitarist for a local surf band "The Intoxicators" (1963-65). They were in demand at school dances and local clubs, playing instrumental surf rock and 1950s R&B songs. The Intoxicators won numerous battle of the band competitions, and obtained a small recording contract with TJ Records, an independent label in 1963. They accompanied solo artist, Mel Thompson, whose single release was "Goin' Down That Lonesome Road" and "I Never Look For Trouble", both catchy pop songs which did not chart.
Peter joined Epic recording artists, "The Bad Boys" (1965), as lead guitarist. Their first single was a rock version of "River Deep Mountain High" - later made famous by Dick & DeeDee and Tina Turner.
Peter joined "The Black Watch" (1966-71), a local band, comprised of former members of The Intoxicators and other groups. One of the musicians was keyboard player, Mark Weitz, who went on to fame as a member of the Strawberry Alarm Clock whose classic hit was "Incense & Peppermints."
The Black Watch appeared in shows with The Challengers, Bobby Fuller 4, Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs, The Coasters, Standells, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Ben E. King, and other groups.
He joined The Glass Menagerie, a group of local musicians who performed at many high school, college parties, and clubs. The musical focus was the Beatles and British Invasion groups which had taken over AM radio. The group performed hits by The Byrds, Arthur Lee & Love, The Grassroots, The Leaves, The Doors, Yardbirds, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Animals, Searchers, and the Hollies.
Peter was influenced by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Jeff Beck, and formed a guitar power trio with a female lead singer, performing at local clubs, colleges, and US military base clubs.
However, after not really advancing career-wise in Los Angeles, Peter decided it might be advantageous to go back to England and check out the music scene in London.
Two weeks before Peter was to leave Los Angeles, the phone rang early one morning and songwriter/singer Troy Raglin introduced himself, and explained he was seeking a guitarist and collaborator for a songwriting partnership. When the two met Troy played his song demos which had been recorded professionally at Capital Records in San Francisco. Troy had come to Los Angeles to seek a recording contract, and had some well known industry contacts. This appeared to be a promising opportunity to explore, so Peter stayed in Los Angeles.
They worked on original songs and started with Troy's compositions. It was apparent something special was happening music-wise. Troy had a natural gift of melody, could compose lyrics off the top of his head, and had a strong vocal style. Along with Peter's guitar expertise, they became a songwriting team.
Peter and Troy spent the summer of 1973 composing original songs, and recorded demos on a 2-track reel-to-reel tape machine. They shopped their tapes to Troy's industry contacts, hoping to be signed to a songwriting contract. When this didn't happen, the next step was to form a group to play their musical compositions live. Numerous musicians were auditioned and after a few months, they found the players with the talent and personalities that jelled together and the group SpaceArk was born.
SpaceArk's songs were arranged with all of the band members' input, though the initial song ideas might come from a single band member, or from songs co-written by Troy or Peter. After a series of live performances the musicians became a crack performance and recording group.
During the 1970s opportunities to play original music did not exist in Los Angeles (unless you were a successful recording group and on the radio). So bands played the "hits of the day," to get club bookings. SpaceArk learned the way to success was to play music the audiences liked and then inserted their own compositions into live sets.
SpaceArk's sets consisted of popular hits by Marvin Gaye, the OJay's, Commodores, Earth, Wind & Fire, among many other contemporary R&B acts of the time. When they played originals, they closely watched audience reaction, and discovered which songs worked and which did not.
SpaceArk performed extensively at numerous Southern California music clubs in the Los Angeles area. They also performed at military service bases (Army, Marines, Air Force and Navy) in Southern California, and played for service members that came from all over the USA.
At live performances, SpaceArk gave away 45rpm singles, 8-track tapes, and LP albums as a promotional tool. The records eventually made their way around the world -- much like "messages in a bottle." Interestingly, years later, SpaceArk vinyl albums became highly sought-after collectibles in England, Europe, and the Far East, and were classified as "Northern Soul." The vinyl records sold for hundreds of dollars on Ebay and other record/vinyl collector websites around the globe.
SpaceArk was ahead of the times, both in musical ideas, and were self-produced, promoted, and owned the rights to their songs. Unfortunately, SpaceArk was not ultimately successful in bringing their music to a wider audience beyond Southern California as they were not signed and promoted by a major record label.
Record companies did not know how to market SpaceArk. The group's music could not be classified as soul, rock, disco, or pop, and contained many styles, as represented by the individual songs. Record company personnel agreed the group was talented but SpaceArk's music didn't fall into a comfortable marketing category. This uniqueness was the major factor that caused record company executives to pass over signing the group even though they liked SpaceArk's music and performance strengths.
As a result, SpaceArk went forward and created their own self-financed record and promotion company. For 5 years, SpaceArk worked diligently, rehearsing, recording and playing live. They self-produced 2 full length albums and released 45rpm singles. Troy also managed other artists signed to Colorworld, SpaceArk's independent record label.
Unfortunately, the times were not favorable, and after years of dedicated effort (and with some personnel changes along the way), in early 1979 Peter Alan Silberg left SpaceArk and the group ceased to exist.
For a short time Troy assembled other musicians who performed his own solo compositions, but they sounded nothing like the original SpaceArk ensemble, no recordings were released, and the group didn't last long.
Factors which led to some of the original group members leaving SpaceArk were Troy's sometime hard edged management style (well known to all), his efforts to market other artists at the same time as SpaceArk, and a lack of monetary success. In 1979, after a lengthy period of the group not performing live Peter left and dissolved his partnership with Troy. SpaceArk's dream was over...
SpaceArk's founding members were Peter Alan Silberg (lead guitar) and Troy "Troiel" Raglin (lead vocals). Original band members were Reggie Austin (bass), Bryan "Skip" Reed (drums), and Russell Greene (keyboards).
Subsequent band members were Mahlon Hawk (bass2), Allen "Kenny" Chavis (bass3), and Jared Stewart (keyboards2). During the late 1970s, SpaceArk added 2 female singers, Dolores Hardy (vocal lead on "Don't Stop"), and another singer whose name Peter has unfortunately forgotten.
The musicians of SpaceArk came from different backgrounds and each brought a unique playing style and ideas to the group. Peter contributed lead guitar and melodic chording, and Troy had a strong interest in melodic pop songs, R& B classics, and had an engaging performance style. Brian Skip Reed was a classic Pittsburgh soul drummer with jazz leanings, Russell Greene was classically trained and loved playing barrelhouse piano, and Reggie Austin anchored the group with his distinctive bass parts. SpaceArk collectively created danceable, melodic compositions with meaningful lyrics. To this day SpaceArk's sound and unique vision have not been duplicated.
The band members' musicianship and dedication was of the highest level, each person was passionate and brought skill and vision to the group. They enjoyed playing and hanging out together through good times, and the hard times all musicians go through. SpaceArk was a high-energy live act, and achieved enthusiastic audience response to their music. They were full-time musicians, believed in themselves, and did everything they could to be successful.
During the mid-1970s, SpaceArk released 2 independently produced and promoted albums, along with some 45rpm singles released on their Colorworld record label. SpaceArk recorded at the legendary Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, and at Ocean Way Studios in Santa Monica and Hermosa Beach, California.
They financed recordings through individual investors (similar to crowd-sourcing), supplemented by earnings from live performances - a novel approach some 30 years ago. It should be mentioned none of the group members earned any money from SpaceArk recordings.
SpaceArk records were stocked at Tower Records (the largest record store chain in Southern California at the time) and other small record chains and stores. Troy Raglin assembled a small team of dedicated assistants to promote the group and create publicity.
SpaceArk's first album was released in Brazil by Pirate Records. SpaceArk's album tracks and singles were played on AM and FM radio in Los Angeles, including the 2 biggest stations at the time, KRLA-AM and KMET-FM, and helped the band get bookings and build a fan base.
In 2011, SpaceArk albums were re-released in digital and CD format for the Far East market by Creole Stream Records Japan.
In 2018, Mr. Bongo Records UK released the first SpaceArk album in CD and vinyl format, for the European market and world-wide distribution. The 2nd SpaceArk Is album is scheduled to be released February, 2019.
There were over 100 songs SpaceArk wrote and performed over a 6 year span. Unfortunately, most of the songs were not professionally recorded, with the exception of the 2 LPs, and a few singles.
Primitive demos of songwriting sessions from the beginning of the Raglin/Silberg duo survive, and there are recordings of other songs composed by Peter and Troy independently which may be released at some point in the future.
Over the years, Peter attempted to locate live recordings of the group but it was not until 2008 that a musician contacted Peter and provided a treasure-trove of photos, cassette and tape reels, documenting SpaceArk's history, rescued from being discarded after Troy Raglin passed on. A special thank you is given to Randy & Lisa for that generous effort and saving them from oblivion. Lastly, memory can recall a handful of unrecorded song ideas, but some of the old cassette tapes contained song fragments of rehearsal recordings.
Fortunately, SpaceArk's studio recordings survived along with a collection of photographs taken by Michael McAllister, our second roadie and professional photographer.
SpaceArk I - Recording Notes
SpaceArk's albums were recorded on 16-track analog 2-inch tape machines. The original master tapes were lost during the years, being in the possession of Troy Raglin. They may have been re-used to record other projects. The first album was recorded and mixed in 12 hours at Sunset Sound Studios.
The SpaceArk 1 album re-release by Creole Stream Records for the Japanese market in 2013 was digitally duplicated from the original vinyl album, and also sourced from an earlier 2-track stereo R/R master mixdown tape in Peter's possession. The main difference between the two mixdown sources is that after the first mixing session, Troy Raglin decided to VSO (speed up) the songs, and these versions were mastered and pressed to vinyl. Song versions from the original mix on the reel-to-reel mix tape were more true to the original tempo/feel of the songs as performed live.
Song credits - lyrics and music as noted:
Everybody's Trying - Raglin
Understand - Silberg/Raglin
Fever Pitch - Silberg/Raglin/Greene
I'm Only Me - Reed/Greene/Silberg/Raglin
Jr. Blaster - Austin/Raglin
Welcome To My Door - Silberg/Raglin
Our Love Will Last - Raglin/Greene
I'm Walking - Silberg/Raglin
Do What You Can Do - Reed/Greene
This World - Austin/Raglin
The "Lost" SpaceArk II Album
After Spaceark's first album, a new group of songs were composed, rehearsed, and performed before live audiences. The rhythm tracks were recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Hermosa Beach, California, for a second album but these songs would not be completed.
Troy decided the songs weren't commercial enough and he wanted to record more pop hits. This unilateral decision distressed the group members, and was a primary factor in original keyboardist, Russell Greene, leaving the group.
The original songs for the second album concept were group-composed and had been performed live for months, prior to going in the studio. The songs were inspiring, well-written, and the band members had all contributed to this collection. But Troy reasoned SpaceArk needed to focus on releasing more pop songs (which he had composed) in an effort to become successful.
As far as the original "lost album" songs, they included:
Beautiful Machine (demo) - music composed by Peter Silberg; and Troy dubbed a guide vocal. Troy was so enthusiastic about this song he pressed an in-studio acetate to promote without even completing the recording. This song was not released.
Don't Stop (featuring Dolores Hardy - released as a 45 single under the pseudonym "Dollyway & SpaceShip Earth"). Dolores Hardy sometimes performed with SpaceArk. The music was composed by Peter, lyrics by Troy. Musicians on the session were SpaceArk augmented by a studio horn section. Don't Stop was a featured song at SpaceArk live performances. This song was included on the 2013 re-release of the SpaceArk Is album on Creole Stream Records, Japan.
Big Locomotive On The Tracks Of Love - the only composition from an outside writer. This song was performed by vocalist and percussionist, Charles Breckinridge Overton. SpaceArk was the backing band and also played this song live, with Troy singing as Charles Overton sometimes performed with the group. This song was also included on the SpaceArk first album release on Creole Stream Records, Japan.
Sexy Lady - included on the SpaceArk Is album. Music by Peter Silberg, lyrics by Troy Raglin.
======================================SpaceArk SpaceArk Is -- Recording Notes
Troy Raglin selected a new group of songs and recorded the rhythm tracks for a "new" second album entitled "SpaceArk Is." The SpaceArk Is album was recorded and mixed in approximately 24 hours' studio time at Ocean Way Studios.
Troy Raglin composed the majority of the songs for the SpaceArk Is Album and directed the recording efforts. SpaceArk's band members (without Peter) recorded the rhythm music tracks, and Peter overdubbed guitar parts in a subsequent session. Skip Reed sang lead vocals on "Take Her Out Dancing."
The album re-releases were digitized from the original vinyl record. No master recording tapes survived.
Song credits - all lyrics and music by Troy Raglin, except as noted:
Sweet Hitchiker - Raglin
Take Her Out Dancing - Raglin/McAllister
Sexy Lady - Silberg/Raglin
Ja More Mon A More (I Love My Love) - Raglin/Silberg
Phantom Lover - Raglin/McAllister
Each Song - Raglin
What happened to SpaceArk's members after the group ceased to exist?
After Peter left SpaceArk, in 1980, Troy Raglin formed his Fire Mountain record label and represented and marketed other artists. He subsequently retired to the High Desert area of Southern California and left the Los Angeles music scene.
After SpaceArk, Peter joined Poly, an 80's power pop group, and played bass guitar. Poly performed at club venues in Hollywood and tried to obtain a recording contract but were not successful. Peter then joined a country-rock group as a bassist, and performed regularly at clubs for a few years. Peter later spent time writing new material and recording demos, but didn't have any success marketing to record labels.
In the mid-1980s, he changed career direction and became involved in the computer industry, providing IT services to major corporations. Music and guitar playing continued as a life-long interest.
In 2008, while searching the internet Peter discovered that Troy Raglin, Russell Greene, and Michael McAllister, the group photographer and second roadie, had unfortunately passed away.
In 2009, Peter received an email from Dolores Hardy's daughter, who informed him Dolores had tragically lost her life in the mid-1980s attempting to help someone being assaulted on the streets of Hollywood. Peter was able to provide Dolores' daughter with copies of photographs and recordings of the time Dolores spent working with SpaceArk.
Allen "Kenny" Chavis, the 3rd bass player lives in the Southern California area. An internet search revealed 2nd bass player Mahlon Hawk resided in the Phoenix area, and Jared Stewart, 2nd keyboardist resides in the LA area.
Unknown are the whereabouts of Jerry Horton, SpaceArk's faithful roadie and record promo man, and the second female singer (name forgotten) who performed with SpaceArk during the late 1970s.
Reflecting back all these years later, "Rip" was the nickname Troy gave Peter for playing fast and aggressive guitar. Troy's self-moniker was "Rags" for the patchwork jeans he had a habit of always wearing.
Once Peter left the group he didn't have any contact with the band members until 2009. Peter found a YouTube video of Brian "Skip" Reed's jazz group performing close to where he lived. He surprised Skip with an uannounced visit, and brought Reggie Austin to the meeting. A joyous one-night reunion took place. Peter sounded the musicians out about potentially getting together but there was no real interest - everyone had moved on with their lives...
For general inquiries including licensing of SpaceArk compositions email firstname.lastname@example.org
Peace to all,
Peter Alan Silberg, founder and lead guitarist of SpaceArk
November 11, 2018
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