AKA Stephen Simpson Hillage
Birthplace: London, England
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Gong guitarist
Now primarily a producer and techno-animal, guitarist Steve Hillage first established himself as one of the leading names in the 60s psychedelic rock movement. His first notable band was Uriel, which included the talents of keyboardist Dave Stewart; Uriel then became Egg (isn't it usually the other way around?) when Hillage went off to university in 1968. A brief reunion of the two under the name Arzachel took place in 1969, spawning an eponymous record.
Upon returning to music in 1971, Hillage had a brief stint with his own band Khan, another brief stint with ex-Soft Machine frontman Kevin Ayers, and then moved on to the group that really established his reputation: the hippies-from-outer-space collective Gong. He added his signature echo guitar to the Radio Gnome Invisible Trilogy, toured extensively, and then -- thank you ma'am -- set out on a solo career in 1975.
After a brief detour playing with National Health, Hillage flew to the States to record the solo effort L with Todd Rundgren at the production helm. The album met with considerable success, aided in part by a promotional tour across America with The Electric Light Orchestra. Several more solo offerings followed, but by the early 1980s interest in his music was on the wane, so Hillage turned his skills to producing, putting together albums for the likes of Simple Minds and (less successfully) Robyn Hitchcock.
Hillage made his return to performing through a chance meeting with The Orb's Alex Paterson in 1989, which led to the creation of the techno band System 7 in 1991. System 7 released several albums during the 90s through the labels Astralwerks, Butterfly and Cleopatra, and continues to be active in the new millennium.
Arzachel Guitarist (1969)
Gong Guitarist (1973-75)
National Health Guitarist (1976)
The Steve Hillage Band Guitarist (1976-79)
System 7 Electronics (1991-)
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