The Georgia Satellites

  • Southern rock band formed in 1982 from Atlanta Georgia. The members during the 80s were Dan Baird (lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, songwriting), Rick Richards (lead guitar, lead and backing vocals), Rick Price (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Mauro Magellan (drums).
  • Baird and Richards, along with bassist Keith Christopher and drummer David Michaelson formed a band in 1980 names Keith and the Satellites. They performed at bars and nightclubs around the Atlanta area for a year. When Christopher and Michaelson left the band, they were replaced by Dave Hewitt and Randy DeLay, and since Keith was gone, they changed the name of the band to The Georgia Satellites. They recorded a six song demo tape, and took up a regular Monday night residency at a bar in the Atlanta suburbs.
  • By the summer of 1984, the band was going nowhere, and they broke up, taking roles in other bands. Richards landed in an Atlanta band named the Hell Hounds (which included Rick Price and Mauro Magellan), while Baird performed with a North Carolina group called the Woodpeckers.
  • Despite their demise, their British manager took their demo tape to a small record label in England, and the label liked their southern rock sound. The label released the demo as an EP titled Keep the Faith in 1985, and the press responded favorably. This led to the reformation of the Georgia Satellites, with Baird joining the Hell Hounds and re-adopting the Georgia Satellites name. The following year, they were signed to a recording contract.
  • Their debut studio album was the self titled Georgia Satellites, released in 1986. The lead single from the album became their one-hit wonder – Keep Your Hands to Yourself. The song is about a girl who refuses to sleep with her boyfriend unless they get married – Baird wrote it on a bus ride home from his construction job. It had a classic Southern Rock boogie sound to it and its video received heavy MTV play. This drove it to #2 on the Hot 100 chart and it received a Grammy nomination. The success of the song accelerated album sales, and it received a platinum sales certification. A second single from the album, Battleship Chains, barely charted, peaking at #86 on the Hot 100.
  • Hopeful that they could continue their success, they released albums in 1988 and 1989, but songs from these albums weren’t successful – their best effort was a song titled Open the Night that briefly ran up the Mainstream Rock chart and peaked at #6 there. In 1988, they contributed a cover of the song Hippy Hippy Shake to the film Cocktail, and their version of the song reached #45 on the Hot 100 and #13 on the Mainstream Rock chart.
  • Unable to produce hits, the band split up in 1990, with Baird starting a solo career. Richards, Price and drummer Billy Pitts reformed the Georgia Satellites in 1993. There were several lineup changes after that, with Richards remaining the only original member of the group. An album was released in 1997 that did not chart – the last release of original music by the band. A three CD compilation was released in 2021. They were touring prior to COVID, but there is no future tour planned.
  • Here’s the video to their one-hit wonder, Keep Your Hands to Yourself.

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