PORT ARTHUR — A dream dissipates
Several events precipitated Xcel’s split. Though the band’s manager took Xcel to California, again nothing ever came of it. The manager tried to take one of Xcel’s investor’s money and put it into another band he was managing at the same time, Duncan said. The investor refused, saying he knew Xcel, not this other band.
Duncan said the band probably would have gone further without a manager because the investors were attracted to the band and its music.
Then Black Monday happened. Stock markets around the world crashed and burned, and all of Xcel’s investors pulled out in October 1987.
“I would have figured we’d have been a better investment,” Duncan said.
Their dreams of becoming rock stars began to dissipate. They had other dreams, like graduating from college and starting families, so they put down their instruments and pondered a different path.
But somehow their music made its way to Europe, where it was well-received by many.
Voight had traveled to England with his family in 1988 and passed out copies of “Deliver This Dream” to radio stations, vinyl shops and family members, but he had no idea if that was how the album found its way into the hands of European metal fans, he said.
A dream resurfaces
Ten or so years later, the band members started seeing Xcel and its album scrawled across the pages of the Web. An eBay member out of Greece was selling signed copies of the vinyl album for $315.99, but Duncan and Voight seriously doubted they were really signed by Xcel. The latest transaction for the signed album closed Oct. 9.
“I wouldn’t pay for that album,” Duncan said with a chuckle.
However it happened, Xcel’s album had made a name for itself. Voight got calls from Italy, Greece and Germany, inquiring about the status of the band and seeing if it could come play. The band was baffled.
After Cox read the review by Papadakis, the Greek blogger, about two years ago and thanked him, Papadakis could not contain his excitement over finally getting in contact with the obscure American metal band from Southeast Texas that had released only the sole album.
Papadakis partly owns Arkeyn Steel Records, a Greek record company that specializes in releasing rare, high quality metal bands that have been neglected or whose music was never released. And he wanted to release 1,000 copies of “Deliver This Dream” on the record label’s dime.
Arkeyn Steel Records announced the release of “Deliver This Dream” on its website Oct. 18. The band expected the album to come out sometime during the spring, for Papadakis has been gathering liner notes, photographs and promotions for the re-released album. If the album sells out, Xcel could have the chance to play in Europe and possibly live the dream on which the band was built.
“We had long since given up,” Duncan said.
Xcel certainly did not expect to achieve this kind of success 20 years down the road. But this made the band realize how much they had missed their music.
“I loved it. I actually have missed it,” Voight said. “I put up my bass, and I didn’t play for 26 years.”
And if “Deliver This Dream” sells out, the band might be able to release a new album.
“I’d be tickled,” Duncan said. “Would any of us turn down going to Europe? No.
“Who knows?” he said. “We’re just keeping our fingers crossed.”