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MSJ Staff

Gary Hill

Photo by Horatio Nicoara

Gary Hill has been publishing Music Street Journal (musicstreetjournal.com) since 1998. Since 2000 Hill has published MSJ simultaneously on-line and in book form. He also published all the archives in book form. In 2019 Hill began a series of books under the Music Street Journal banner focused on the Rockford, Illinois music scene titled, "Music Street Journal Local: Rockford Area Music Makers." In August of 2006 his first book The Strange Sound of Cthulhu: Music Inspired by the Writings of H.P. Lovecraft was published. Since then several other books (The Concert Photography of Gary Hill, the original edition of Strange Realities: Collected Short Stories and More by Gary Hill Expanded and Revised Edition, Poetry of the Air: A Collection of Love Letters from Musicians to Music and The Suite Music World of Gary Hill and a series of three books The Dark Starr Files) have been released. Wizard Song, his first book length science-fiction piece was released on March 31st, 2020. Hill has also written for cable television (Cops 2.0 on G4), All Music Guide, Demand Media Studios and more. He launched Tale of Wonder and Dread Publishing to release science fiction and horror books in 2018, but published a collection of those types of stories in 2017 titled "Dark Dreams and Worlds." Under the Tales of Wonder and Dread nameplate, Hill has published more than a dozen books including a series on Rockford Illinois cemeteries (Rockford's Final Resting Places), Spooky Rockford and Spooky Rockford Two and Spooky Berwyn. Hill launched Spooky Ventures in 2019 and has been doing video interviews, Spooky News segments and more for the Spooky Ventures YouTube Channel since then.


Diane Hill

Diane grew up with music. She started playing piano at age three when her mother found her playing "Old MacdDonald Had a Farm" after hearing it on TV. Her favorite artist to play on piano was Beethoven. Diane changed to guitar at age 12 and was heavily influenced by Jim Croce. She sang on an independent acapella CD and at various venues. She discovered rock and heavy metal at 15 has never looked back, much to the chagrin of her parents. Currently living in Northern Illinois, Diane still annoys her mother with her loud music.

Mike Korn

Mr. Korn was born in 1963 in Winnebago County (IL) and has spent his whole life in the Northern Illinois area. Yes, that is his real name and not a goof on the Jonathan Davis-led band. Graduated from North Boone High School in the cornfields of Boone County and then from Rockford College. He has had a lifetime interest in heavy metal that began in 1974 and has mushroomed into an all-consuming obsession here in the year 2000. His favorite acts range from Kiss and Blue Oyster Cult to Dismember and Bathory, hitting all points in between. He also has an abiding interest in classic horror/science fiction movies and in fact, his alter ego "Dr. Abner Mality" is in the process of trying to host a TV horror show. As "Dr. Mality", he is also the editor of The Wormwood Chronicles (web version at www.wormwoodchronicles.com), a journal dedicated to the stranger aspects of popular culture. He also has an interest in pro wrestling, cryptozoology, modern art and bashin' two bricks together!

Eric Meli

Eric has lived in northern Illinois his entire life. His passions include photography and going to Renaissance Faires. He has over 400 CDs in his music collections and enjoys all kinds of music. He particularly enjoys going to see bands live in bars.

Greg Olma

It was the year 1975 when Greg first discovered music. He took one look at Kiss Alive and said to himself, "these guys are awesome." From then on, music was all he thought about. But man does not live by Kiss alone, so he branched out into other music. He was still in grammar school when he discovered other bands like Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, and Yes. His biggest learning experience was getting a job at a local used record store (Record Hunt) in 1979. He spent four years working there and will always remember them as fun and exciting times. Through the years, he's stayed in touch with the music scene, spending all of his available money on CDs and concert tickets. He's attended a little over 300 concerts ranging from REO Speedwagon to Cradle of Filth and continues to photograph his favorite bands.  He currently spends his days as a Manager of Sales and Marketing Operations at a consulting firm.

John Pierpoint

John grew up in Solihull, England in the 70s, happily listening to Slade, Sweet, T Rex, The Osmonds and the rest on Top Of The Pops. At school, he was convinced that ELO were the best group in the world.

He received true enlightenment at the age of 16 when introduced to the real sounds of the 70s - Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd etc. - just as that decade ended and many of those bands started to appear on the endangered species list. . .A deep and abiding love of progressive rock began, which was kept alive during the lean years of the 80s and 90s by searching out old Prog LPs.

His favourite band is undoubtedly Yes (first attended concert was on the Drama tour in 1980), closely followed by other progressive big guns such as Jethro Tull, Crimson, Genesis and Rush. While his tastes now also extend into classical, folk, pop and jazz, his other long-term love is heavy metal, and he has followed tragically-overlooked Birmingham rockers Magnum for many years.

Despite getting his first bass guitar for his 18th birthday, it wasn't until well into his 20s that he overcame his fear of crowds and began playing bass in local bands, getting nowhere special but having lots of
fun in the process. His bass gods include Chris Squire, Geddy Lee, Mike Rutherford and Tony Levin (a pantheon now joined by EST's Don Berglund). He has since added guitar, mandolin, bouzouki and fretless guitar to his musical tool-box, and is always on the lookout for more weird instruments to try.

After several successful years on the Birmingham pub circuit with rock outfit The Earthmovers and country rock trio Randolph Flagg ("which became a progressive country rock trio once I was on board - much more interesting!"), John returned to his prog-rock roots in the 21st Century as bassist with 1912. He also plays bass, guitar and various other instruments in the acclaimed industrial/space-rock virtual collective Omenopus.

John joined Music Street Journal as a reviewer after reading reviews of the latest Omenopus and 1912 releases, and getting the "bug" to write again. Previously, he wrote reviews of albums and concerts for local music magazine Xposed and the online Solihull Gig Guide. John also enjoys dabbling in art, web design, model-making, electronics and guitar customisation. He writes short stories and poetry, and also proofreads. His favourite reading matter is science fiction novels and super-hero comics. He lives on the Lickey Hills, near Longbridge, Birmingham, with his partner and their young son.


Josh Turner

Joshua “Prawg Dawg” Turner has had an on again, off again relationship with the genre of progressive rock over the past few decades. Growing up, all he knew of music was what he heard on the radio.  So that his favorites did not grow tiresome, he stepped away to pursue other interests. Early on he took to outdoorsy activities like sailing, camping, and looking for newfangled creatures under rocks in faraway forests on long walks. Like a moth to a flame, he would be drawn to music every now and then, but it never stuck… until one day when he met his best friend who was a Dream Theater fanatic.

In one summer, the two of them road-tripped to see the band in several locations and for the first time; he stood outside a record shop to purchase one of the coveted first copies of Falling into Infinity. Turner played that album until the edges of that disc started to degrade from overuse. He even learned the words to the songs by heart and sang them along with James Labrie while adjacent fans held lighters and did the same.

From there he began his foray into rock journalism when the opportunity presented itself to talk to his hero, Roine Stolt, which was his first of many interviews. This went on for a while, attending regional concerts and festivals across the country. Later, he would meet the legend in person, finally understanding what it meant to feel star struck.

Turner got to know many of the wonderful and talented people associated with the genre. Had he never taken this leap of faith, he would have never known true musicians like Andy Tillison, who he believes to be an artist in the truest sense. There was even a time when he rode roller coasters with Moon Safari, a band that’s only a couple degrees of separation from his origin story.

As history repeats itself, Turner took a hiatus to travel the world and obsess over fitness. As things settle down again, he is rediscovering the genre once more. In a series of coincidences, it so happens that he now works for a company that distributes music. Yet, with his last two double concept albums, “Similitude of a Dream” and “The Great Adventure,” Neal Morse may be the one most responsible for his musical resurrection.

From here, the “Prawg Dawg” plans to rip through what he missed over the past few years. Then again, it’s not a sprint, it’s mostly a marathon with him.