Legacy Diamond has a long love affair with SA rock fans

Legacy Diamond is forever etched in San Antonio hard rock history, but the origins of the band’s name may not be as well known.

“We were big fans of ‘The Untouchables’ TV show, so we were into the gangster stuff,” drummer Jeff Poole said in an interview via Zoom. “One day we were debating band names trying to come up with a gangster name. Our original bassist, Michael Diamond, started the Purple Gang, and I started Legs Diamond.

“I said, ‘And Legacy Diamond? A diamond is the hardest rock in the world, so we can play around with that name with all sorts of catchy album titles and stuff. He fell in love with it and that’s where the name was born.

Soon after, another love was born between the Los Angeles band and San Antonio hard rock faithfuls, who couldn’t get enough of Legs Diamond’s 1977 self-titled debut album and fan-favorite follow-up “Firepower “, “A Diamond is a Hard Rock” and “Out on Bail”.

“The first show we played in San Antonio was on April 8, 1977 at the Municipal Auditorium,” Poole said. “We booked with Bob Seger and Starz. It was a killer show. We were brought back within seven months to headline the exact same place. So yeah, we’ve been in love with San Antonio for a while.

“That was 45 years ago,” he added, “and today we are thrilled to be back playing for our favorite audience in the world.”

This audience will share their longtime mutual love with star Legs Diamond on Saturday at the Tech Port Arena as part of Tierra Sagrada Rockfest. Fellow classic rockers Moxy, Lita Ford, Jack Russell’s Great White and Kingdom Come are also playing Local favorites Jessikill are open.

While every band on the bill can trace their enduring popularity in San Antonio back to legendary 99.5 KISS FM DJ Joe “The Godfather” Anthony, perhaps none are more indebted than Legacy Diamond, who today includes original members Poole, guitarist/keyboardist Michael Prince and guitarist Roger Roméo. Newcomers Adam Kury and Keith England round out the lineup on bass and vocals.

“We owe it all to Joe Anthony and the power of radio,” Prince said on the same Zoom call. “He started playing our records very early and people started hearing our songs over and over again. Lou Roney and Tom ‘T-Bone’ Scheppke also played our records and helped us a lot. The power of radio was a beautiful thing for us in San Antonio.

Anthony, who died in 1992, helped turn Legacy Diamond songs like “Woman,” “Stage Fright,” “Fugitive” and “Rat Race” into radio staples for generations of San Antonio rock fans.

Legacy Diamond, pictured in a promotional photo for the 1979 “Fire Power” album with original singer Rick Sanford, was an instant hit with San Antonio rock fans.

cream folders

“Our management said we were getting a lot of radio broadcasts on KISS FM in San Antonio, and that’s when they set up our first in-studio radio interview in time for our 1977 gig,” Poole said. “That’s where we first met (Anthony). I remember the yard in front of the radio station filling up with people while we were on the air. When we finished the interview, we walked out and there was a crowd of people. It was absolutely fantastic.

On the bill: Diamond Legs, Moxy, Jack Russell’s Great White, Lita Ford, Kingdom Come, Jessikill

When: Doors open at 4:30 p.m.

Where: Tech Port Arena, 3331 General Hudnell Drive

Details: $35 to $65, techportcenter.com

Meet the band

Legacy Diamond will meet fans, sign autographs and sell merchandise at Fitzgerald’s Bar & Live Music Venue, 437 McCarty Road, from 6-8 p.m. Friday. All ages; under 21s must be accompanied by a parent. fitzrockssa.com

Fast forward to the present and Legacy Diamond is less active than in decades past when the band toured with Kiss, Ted Nugent and Styx. Leave it to San Antonio, however, to call on the group nearly every year to brush the gems.

“We know people want to hear ‘Woman’, ‘Stage Fright’ and ‘Out on Bail’,” Prince said. “We play these songs every time we play in San Antonio because we know they’ve been on the radio and everyone wants to hear them. These songs are always exciting to us and we’re happy to play them. .

“We’re also trying to find a song or two that we haven’t played in millions of years, so (this year) we’ve added one from the first album and one from the third.”

While Legacy Diamond’s catalog is rock-hard, it’s the mournful ballad “Woman” that always sends the crowd into chanting mode.

“I think it’s because it’s more than a song,” Prince said of the song’s enduring popularity. “It’s very well constructed and very well written. It has different movements. He builds. If you listen to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ or Grand Funk Railroad (starts singing ‘I’m Your Captain’), those songs build up and turn into something else by the end.

Poole added another theory behind the song’s timeless appeal.

“I think that song resonates, because the lyrics really resonate with a lot of people,” he said. “It’s a deep and emotional song that deals with the human element and relationships. It speaks to the heart and I think everyone relates to it.

The voice behind “Woman” and the other classic Legs Diamond songs belongs to Rick Sanford, who left the band in 2005 and moved to (surprise!) near San Antonio after growing tired of the music industry. music and the consequences it had on his voice.

“Rick is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet,” Prince said. “He would come and help you change your tire at 3 a.m. if you called him, but he wants to make sure the songs are done vocally and you need to be able to hit the high notes. I know the fans would still be happy if he sang in a lower register, but Rick doesn’t want to come out that way.

Enter Keith England, former Montrose singer and former Allman Brothers backing vocalist.

“He’s a real professional and a super nice guy, so he fits right in,” Poole said. “It’s one thing to try to step into another man’s shoes, but when you’re playing Legs Diamond material and trying to sing like Rick Sanford, let’s face it – Rick used to sing some of those songs when he was 22 and could really hit the high notes. Some of those songs are a real stretch! I think Keith really stood out and did a wonderful job.

True to the tradition of periodically releasing new albums since the heyday of the 1970s and 1980s, Legs Diamond is hard at work on new material. When can fans expect a new album?

“To be sure, I’m going to say it will be next year,” Prince said. “We could probably do it this year, but we don’t want to rush it. I think we want to write three or four more songs and then we’ll be ready to go into the studio.

David Glessner is a freelance writer in Austin.

About John Crowder

Check Also

5A Women’s Volleyball: Rock Canyon and Grandview advance to state semifinals

History links DENVER — It’s been a long time, but the Rock …