In 1981, the world shifted. Heavy Metal climbed to the top of charts around the world, displacing older styles and bringing young rebels out of the closet to bond together under cover of ear splitting feedback and chaotic distortion. In a smoky bar in Los Angeles, two young musical brothers meet up with a leader in the scouting world and together they form a band that changed the way Metal was perceived for a generation. More than that, they formed a family that stuck together while drugs and disease brought down the nation.
Marc Gadling and Jared West made no secret of their relationship when they were on stage. As Marc’s soaring vocals took the world to higher levels and Jared’s guitar pushed the envelope with every new chord and riff, it became clear to all watching that they were lovers. But what they and band mates Jason Matthews and Tony Gadling did keep secret was Jared’s own battle with AIDS. After Jared’s death, Marc spiraled out of control and his problems with drugs and alcohol almost ended everything for the band. It took the birth of his son to bring him back from the cliff’s edge.
Even still, the Music Gods had plans for the boys in Time Machine. With guitarist Michael Wilson at the strings, they started over, again changing and challenging the world’s definitions of Metal and Family while being brought to the brink as they face the one crisis they might never recover from.
This is their story.
Awards/What They're Saying: Shadows in the Spotlight won an Honorable Mention in the Novel Category; 53rd Annual Utah Original Writing Competition, sponsored by the Utah Arts Council.
An excerpt from Shadows in the Spotlight was published in the 2010 literary edition of QSalt Lake: Utah's Gay and Lesbian Newspaper.
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Time Machine is: Phil West (Lead Vocals, Guitar; 2002-present)* Mike Wilson (Guitar, Strings, Backing Vocal; 1988-present) Tony Gadling (Bass, Piano/Keyboard, Backing Vocal; 1981-present) Jason Matthews (Drums/Percussion; 1981-present, Producer; 1988-present)
Marc Gadling (Lead Vocals, Guitar; 1981-2002) Jared West (Guitar, Backing Vocals, Producer; 1981-1990)
*Eirian Philips helped to develop the character.
Mike Wilson is the lead guitarist for Time Machine and the lead singer for his own band, Crushed Souls. Picked out of a bar in New York just shy of his 18th birthday, he has spent the last twenty-three years at the top of the music world and has been regaled by many of the top music critics as one of the top five guitarists of all time. But he is perhaps best known not for his guitar work but how he has made the electric violin relevant in Metal. Married to former model Jasmine Blythe, they have custody of her daughter from a previous relationship and the three children they have had together.
Tony Gadling is one of the two remaining founding members of Time Machine. A legend on the bass, he spends his time in the shadowed spotlight, driving forth frightening rhythms that leave many critics wondering exactly what is going on in his head. He is quiet and driven, communicating best through music and his beloved artwork. When he is not on stage, he is painting or sketching and is known in the music world not just for his skills with the bass but for the countless album covers he has designed. Married to Elisabeth Westphal, together they raised his brother's son after Marc's death, have custody of his son Josef from a previous relationship, and have a young son named Isaac who appears to be taking after his father.
Jason Matthews is the other surviving original member of Time Machine. A drummer born of Greek and Spokane blood, he was making noise from the time he was born (so says his mother.) His own sexuality was lost in the publicity of Marc and Jared's affair, but over time he has become a vocal supporter of bisexual issues. Married to singer/songwriter Sasha Martin, together they have two children, Adryana and Jammer, both of whom have music in their veins.
Phil West is Jared West's younger brother, who stepped bravely into the lead role of lead singer after Marc passed away. Every bit the onstage showman as Marc, off stage he is a terribly private man who keeps his longtime girlfriend and his children far from the light of the media.
Sasha Martin grew from being a teenage runaway who was picked up by the band to handle merch and other grunt duties to being a singer/songwriter with a career and family of her own. Blessed with a gift for piano and a voice that rivals all the women in music, she now tours with her band Devil's Arrow and raises her kids with the help of her husband, Jason.
Stephen Peterson came into Marc Gadling's life on a September night in 1999. They fell in love and Stephen became a father to Marc's son, Luke. After being let go from his position as head coach for a high school football team in Austin (because of his relationship with Marc) Stephen eventually moved on to New York where he coaches a team in Harlem and also works with Luke as a shooting coach.
Luke Gadling saved his father's life and holding onto his father's memory has saved Luke's. Now grown, he is a professional basketball player, pursuing his own dreams, but still clinging to the memories he has of the man he worshiped. (twitter: @doogiegadling)
Please note: (1) Icons used to represent characters are exactly that, representations. The actors, musicians, etc. who are represented are not affiliated with this journal, these blogs, or me in any way - save for serving as muses. (2) Bands, actors, musicians, or other public figures mentioned in these blogs are not connected in any way to this journal or the stories I write.