Contributor’s Note: Welcome to the 23rd episode of the Madness To Creation Podcast featuring a special interview with Mark Dean interviewing Mauro Magellan of legendary Southern Rock band Georgia Satellites. On February 26th, Georgia Satellites released “Ultimate Georgia Satellites” which includes the three albums that they released under Elektra Records. This compliation set includes their self-titled album, “Open All Night” and their 1989 release “In The Land of Salvation and Sin.” Georgia Satellites are known for their songs “Battleship Chains”, “Let It Rock”, “Railroad Steel” and their smash hit “Keep Your Hands To Yourself.” Mauro Magellan discusses memories from those three albums and their legacy as a band. Fans can find Mark Dean on Facebook @Mark-Dean-Media-Journalist and also find him on Twitter @DeanoJou. Fans can pick up “Ultimate Georgia Satellites” via Amazon and all digital streaming platforms. Fans can find the Madness To Creation Podcast at the following locations: Spreaker, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, Podcast Addict, Podchaser, JioSaavn, iHeartRadio and Google Podcasts. Find us at www.madnesstocreation.com for the latest in mental health and music and find us on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram @madnesstocreation and on Twitter @MTCMadness
Mauro Magellan: I’m great. How are you?
Mark Dean: I’m pretty good. Okay. I’m here to talk about the new box set or the new compilation that Cherry Red have brought out. I see on your Facebook page that you’ve actually got a copy.
Mauro Magellan: I do. I have a copy.
Mark Dean: Were the band actually involved in the putting together of the new compilation?
Mauro Magellan: Actually, yes. Yes. A lot of those pictures are my personal shots, which is kind of cool. That’s why it was fun to look at because I’m looking at it going home, “Look at that. Oh, I took that one.” And, “Oh, I remember that day.” It’s so weird to go back and actually know what’s… Holy shit. And then my favourite part, though, was when I took it apart, it had all the three covers. What a great idea. Have we ever done that before? I don’t think so. That’s a great way to do it. So I was pretty happy with it.
Mark Dean: How do you feel yourself looking back on those three albums?
Mauro Magellan: I miss it. I love to play music. I love to tour. That’s basically what I love to do. And I miss it, especially with this COVID. I can’t play with anybody. I had a bunch of gigs with some really interesting bands, as a villain, as a pick-up gig, booked. And we couldn’t do any of them. That was just like, “Oh…” Well, it beats a sharp stick in the eye, I guess.
Mark Dean: How have you been spending the time? Obviously you can’t tour. Have you been creating new music yourself?
Mauro Magellan: Yeah. I’ve done some recording with some people, but not a lot because nobody has any money. I cleaned up my drum room. I sold like 10 drum sets. 10 of them! I used it to pay off, I just need a real vacation and pay off some of my granddaughter’s school. She goes to a Catholic school. I’m an atheist, but the school doesn’t really push the religion that much, which is great. But it’s a really good school, a small school for my granddaughter. And we paid off some of my daughter’s college education, paid it off. Yeah, my daughter’s education. My other daughter.
Mark Dean: It’s very difficult for you guys as well. Obviously, you were in the Georgia Satellites a long time, because fans get a false impression that you guys are financially pretty much set for life, which is not the case. Not the case?
Mauro Magellan: No. Dan is, I’m not. I work. I’m working now. I do artwork. I do a lot of books. I’ve been getting a lot of books, artwork. It’s good work because when I was travelling with Homemade Sin, I would take my laptop and that would be my office. I would work with my own business and I don’t do as much anymore. I dropped a lot of clients because I want to enjoy the tundra that I live in.
Mark Dean: Looking back at those albums, do you feel that maybe the success from the first album brought a whole lot of pressure in terms of what the band did next?
Mauro Magellan: You know, I don’t think it really… To me, in my opinion, it didn’t. I think a lot of times what destroyed the band was a couple of other things and not the real success, the pressure of all that. Drugs have a lot to do with it, immaturity for our advanced age had a lot to do with it. But I see Rick a lot. I remained friends with Rick a lot. Dan, of course, is a good friend of mine. In fact, I got one of my kids at his house in Nashville.
Mark Dean: When you say you see a lot of Rick, is that Rick Richards?
Mauro Magellan: Yes, sir. Richard. I speak with Price occasionally, but that’s about it. I’m an acquaintance with Price, I speak with him. But as far as I know, I would be happy to do a reunion gig with all of them.
Mark Dean: Yeah, that would be good.
Mauro Magellan: But Dan will not have anything to do with it.
Mark Dean: He’s obviously got his own- musical career well developed by now.
Mauro Magellan: I believe Dan and Price are still not talking.
Mark Dean: Okay, that’s sad. I first saw you guys, I’m originally from Belfast, you guys came over and played a few gigs over. At a time when not many bands actually came to Belfast. Do you have any recollections of either Belfast or maybe playing some European gigs at that time?
Mauro Magellan: Oh gosh, yeah. Especially Belfast. I remember I was actually afraid, we were having so much fun, “Oh my God! They’re going to tear the place down.” And I had a t-shirt that had “The Pope on Tour” and the woman in the back that was… We had dinner back there. She looked at me and she said, “You’re going to burn in hell.” I thought it was amusing because it reminded me of my mom constantly telling me I was going to burn in hell, so that was kind of nice.
And I remember I had this really cool coat that survived Belfast. I loved it. And I had my wife with me. She’s a redhead. People would always ask, “Are you Irish?” She goes, “No.” She’s not or Ir… And as it turns out, she was of Irish descent. We did a DNA test. Scotch-Irish is what they call it. We don’t know what, who we are. I mean, I know who I am. I’m a more recent immigrant, but especially in the South, they have no idea where they come from. They say, I’m English or Scotch-Irish, maybe I’m part German or part Cherokee.
Mark Dean: One thing that surprised me back in those days, did it surprise the band? You seem to have developed a crossover, I mean, with a heavy rock audience. A lot of your music was obviously more of a lighter almost country feel than what those heavy rock fans usually listened to.?
Mauro Magellan: I think it was because of the aggression, the way it was played. It had a lot of aggression in it. It almost sounded angry even though it wasn’t, except for the part of the songs with the men and women not getting along. But yeah, that surprised me as well, but not completely. Every time we had a heavy metal cross, I didn’t get paranoid or a country crowd. It was weird. We could cross over into a lot of genres, even square white people, they kind of understood it for some reason. I think because it wasn’t that complicated of a band. And if you could tolerate the noise, you would like the band. If you can tolerate the volume, you would have liked the band.
Mark Dean: Yeah. Because as I say, I saw you a couple of times live and it was definitely not a country vibe that you were giving off that stage. Like you said, it was pretty intense, pretty heavy when you guys were playing live.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah. And we never let up. That was the thing, “Don’t let up.” Nobody, and this included Price. Mostly, Richard. Not every time Richard, but when Richard’s put 125% into it, holly! Get the hell out of his way.
Mark Dean: Yeah. Great band live.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah. That was part of the breakup. Dan, looking at Richard and looking at this tremendous talent, he had so much respect for Richard. Holy crap, he was a tremendous… He still is. Better now that he’s clean. He’s got this thing. And believe me, I brought up the reunion gig to Dan a couple of times and he says, “No,” and he just doesn’t want to do it. And I’m going to bring it up again, with all three bass players. That would be fun. And Dan’s the kind of guy, when he’s done, he’s done.
Mark Dean: Go ahead. You’re just talking about your former bass player but Dan seems to have moved on.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah, I have this fantasy that we do a gig with the Homemade Sin band. And we open the show with [Sean Zava-Cooler the , latest bass player through the middle of the show with [Mikey He changed his last name, it’s not Nielsen anymore. What is it? I forgot. It means “birch” in Swedish. And then in the show with Keith Christopher, bass player. I thought that would be fun, but actually I haven’t brought that one up today, now I am.
Mark Dean: Maybe we’re suggesting now-
Mauro Magellan: To… do that. That would be so cool. And we would have to kind of do it in Europe.
Mark Dean: Yeah, definitely. One thing that’s surprised me, you guys have so many great unique songs, original songs of your own, but you had so many covers on those albums. What prompted those covers? Because you have so much great material of your own.
Mauro Magellan: Loved the songs. That’s all, loved the songs, loved to play them. And we had a hell of a lot more. We were going to record one Thunderclap Newman song, and Rick wouldn’t do it. He doesn’t have anything to cover. We were planning to give it over to Petty, Tom Petty, and Tom goes, “You guys are going to record that? Can I record it?” “Shit, I guess so.” He did and it was actually very successful for him. And we were doing a soundcheck. We would do all these covers and Tom would always come to the covers. Yeah, and we had Ian! You’ve got to love that. What a hero. What a hero of the late and great.
Mark Dean: Do you have any memories of recording the albums, maybe touring those albums, any sort of studio, any memories?
Mauro Magellan: I have all the memories. Which ones do you want?
Mark Dean: Well, maybe take one from each album.
Mauro Magellan: Well, one of my big memories is we were recording the first album and we were doing the Rod Stewart song. No, the Faces song.
Mark Dean: Yeah, Every Picture.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah. And I couldn’t play, it was a shit. And I had, “Hey, let me come back tomorrow and do that.” And I’d never had done something like that. to, but I really, really loved that song. And the thing, what I remember most, it was recorded on my black Sitoong we did the video with, and looking at the floor tom, because it had a lot of floor toms when I played it. And when I came back the next day determined to get it, it came out. It came out really well and I’m really happy with it. But I had that memory. We did it in Axis Studio in Atlanta. And they had all sorts of video games at the time. One was that Space Invaders?
Mark Dean: I remember that.
Mauro Magellan: I played it until I got sick of it and never want to play it again. I guess I’m not a gamer. Jeff Glixman was the producer. And of course at the end of the sessions, we would go to a strip bar. Not my thing, but I had a lot of friends who were married to strippers. They were friends of ours. I never knew, the wives were dancing up there, I have to look at them? What do you do? But no, we had a lot of fun. We were young men and, well, we worked real hard. Me and Dan, especially. Dan was really pushed hard by Jeff Glixman and it shows.
Mark Dean: What about, then, the followup album?
Mauro Magellan: We sang [Myth of Love ] really well. I remember that, when it came in and heard that. I went, “Holy crap, you sang the hell out of that one.”
Mark Dean: What about the follow-up album, then? Open All Night, came up next.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah, completely unprepared. And the memories aren’t as good on that one. Not prepared and sorry to say Jeff would just accept anything. And I played like crap. No, it’s fine.
Mark Dean: You don’t have any good memories of that? Do you feel that as a band-that it was starting to crumble around you?
Mauro Magellan: I have a couple of good memories, we did Down and Down, which I liked, and we did Sheila, which I liked.
Mark Dean: I liked Sheila.
Mauro Magellan: “Hash browns and coffee, make a man feel fine,” which I love. Duncan Died. Those are the good memories. Most of the songs are one or two takes. I would have rather done better. But there you have it.
Mark Dean: Was that a case of the band being rushed into the studio too soon, you feel, by a record company?
Mauro Magellan: No, not at all. Not at all. We knew those songs. It was just the attitude of the band that was not good. I will exclude Dan from that. Dan had a great attitude. I exclude Dan. Me and Dan wanted to work and play and record. We were done having fun. We wanted to play. Playing was the fun of it. You know what I mean? That was the thing. That became, to me, the ultimate fun. Not chasing women or partying.
Mark Dean: What about, then, the follow-up-
Mauro Magellan: The third album?
Mark Dean: Yeah.
Mauro Magellan: The third album was a little more relaxed. We had Joe Hardy recording. Of course, the same thing happened. I wanted to redo a bunch of songs and he said they were fine and I didn’t think they were. But yeah, that one was more fun, more relaxed, more cordial. Dan had come back from his trip to Mexico, getting over his wife. His first or second wife. But it was a good… We stayed at the hotel and we’d go visit the ducks next door. And we got to go to Elvis’s place and get a VIP tour of Elvis’s house, Graceland. Yeah. It was just a better vibe.
Mark Dean: Some great songs on there as well.
Mauro Magellan: We were going to do Another Chance and I had no part in it. So I said, “I’ll play bass.” They agreed. That was a thrill for me.
Mark Dean: Some brilliant songs on there. I mean, thinking Bottle of Tears, All Over But the Crying, some really, really good-
Mauro Magellan: Oh, I love it. The Crying came up really well-
Mark Dean: Brilliant.
Mauro Magellan:… on the record. I played well on it. That song got a lot of heart. That one had a lot of emotion. I mean, you’ve heard it.
Mark Dean: Yeah.
Mauro Magellan: You know how Dan sings. And you know what the cool thing about it is when we did it in Homemade Sin and any other bands, Dan never let up on it. He sang it with the same amount of anger and emotion. I thought that was super.
Mark Dean: Just a couple, then, to finish. Obviously you still played with Dan in Homemade Sin. How would you describe your relationship with Dan? I mean, you’ve known him probably most of your life.
Mauro Magellan: 35, 38 years. Look good. Dan and I, we’ve always gotten along. He’s been a butthead, but I’ve been a butthead. But nothing crazy. I really respect his intelligence. Dan ain’t dumb. And I respect that the guy is strong, he sings every night. Sing every night and that always shocked the hell out of me because I worked with a lot of great singers, but they couldn’t sing great every night. The voice is a delicate thing. Not Dan.
We were in Holland, this is before Homemade Sin, this is the Dan Barrett thing when toured with… Towards the first album, because of your radio show in Amsterdam, Dan lost his voice. Never happened. And it was so weird because we had to do the show broadcast. And right before the show, he got his voice back. What the hell? That’s will power, I guess.
Yeah, no. And I’ve really enjoyed playing with Dan because Dan, we would play… We kind of make each other overplay. Well, not overplay, but you know what I mean?
Actually, not laid back. We don’t let each other lay back.
Mark Dean: You push each other.
Mauro Magellan: Yeah, and we don’t do it consciously. We don’t do it consciously. It’s unconscious. Holy crap, every time we get together, it’s like an explosion. I love it. I play a lot differently with other people.
Mark Dean: Yeah. How do you view your legacy, those three albums with the Satellites? I mean, obviously, you’ve indicated that you’ve mixed feelings about the second one. Generally, what’s your overview of those three albums?
Mauro Magellan: I love the first and the third a lot. But you know what? My favourite album is, that I’ve been involved with, Love Songs for the Hearing Impaired. That’s my favourite. And you know what? I really liked this very last album we did with Homemade Sin, the Screamer. Even the one before that, Stan really developed as a songwriter. And I really, really liked those albums. I don’t like listening to my own, to myself play. I start picking it apart.
I recorded with some guy and I forgot that I did a certain song and I was at a studio and they played it, because they played it for me. “Man, that song was really good.” And they started laughing. “What’s so funny?” He goes, “That’s you.” And then all of a sudden, the drumming sucked. Picking it apart. I wasn’t objective anymore. I go, “Oh yeah. I guess it’s me.” “Yeah.” “Turn it off.”
Mark Dean: Mauro, it’s been good. It’s been a pleasure for me to rediscover all those albums. It came out when I was growing up. I saw you guys a few times, and it brought back some great memories for me. Talking to you, it’s been good.
Mauro Magellan: Same here. And I put that on my Facebook page. That did, ultimately, bring back really good memories. None of the bad ones.
Mark Dean: Yeah, that’s good. That’s nice
Mauro Magellan: Oh yeah. And I still have fond memories. I look back, the Satellites, which is a blast. Even when we did the Midwest tours, before we broke, we were playing dumps, so we were in a van, very uncomfortable, travelling the Midwest, Kansas and all those playing in concrete blocks. It just was great. I had an older live recording I found in Athens, Georgia. And Dan is explaining that when he’s saying, “Keep your hands… Everybody say, keep your hands to yourself,” or something like that. He would have a call back. So he would have to explain it. We don’t now. I don’t know if you’ve seen Homemade Sin? Everybody sings “Keep around yourself. Don’t give me no lines,” and the audience sings. So Dan had to explain that. That was really funny, “Oh look, he’s got to explain it.” We can add some other songs. We could play them really fast and really energetically. We were young back then.
Mark Dean: It’s been a pleasure to chat to you -and revisit those albums with you.
Mauro Magellan: Anyway. Yeah, it was a pleasure here too.
Mark Dean: Thank you very much.
Mauro Magellan: I hope you have enough material. Have a great day.
Mark Dean: Brilliant. Thank you very much. Hopefully, get to see you. Playing live again very soon.
Mauro Magellan: Great to talk to you.
Mark Dean: And you, thank you very much.
Fans can listen to this interview featuring Mauro Magellan of Georgia Satellites via SoundCloud below:
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