Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Symmetry Of Sound

I first became aware of The Symmetry Of Sound after hearing their beautiful cover version of The Byrd's song "Here Without You." For years, I wondered who the group were and what their story was. Finally, with the help of the great Sam Kinsey (who ran the Teen Canteen club in San Antonio), I was put in touch with the bands drummer, Scott Price. Below is an email interview with him, with some input from Joe Sarli.

L to R: Tommy Davis, Scott Price, Greg Gardner, Joe Sarli, and Mark Murray

1. What got you started playing drums? When did you start? 

I grew up playing all kinds of sports – especially football – I was injured playing football – had hip surgery and was on crutches for 2 and ½ years – doing this time I took drum lessons at Music Mart (owned by Joe Sarli’s dad) with Guy Davis.

2. How did you get connected with the guys in the Symmetry of Sound? 

The band would practice at Music Mart and Guy suggested I go by and listen – I picked up drums quickly – at this time the band was called the Loners and their drummer was Steve Gleaser, he was a very good drummer – with a jazz background – the band wanted a more “drive” drummer – and I tried out and they asked me to join – I was by far the least accomplished musician in the band compared to Tommy Davis and Joe Sarli.

3. How old were you at the time? Do you remember roughly what year this was? 

15 years old; 1967.

4. What High School did you guys attend?

Joe Sarli, Tommy Davis, me and Mark Murray went to Lee; Greg Gardner went to Highlands.

5. What were some of the venues/gigs you guys played around San Antonio? Did you perform outside San Antonio much?

Teen Canteen; Southside Teen Town, TAG at Fort Sam Houston, All the local military bases, Jewish Community Center, Lee and Churchill High Schools, many private parties,. We played a couple of times at the Shaft in Devine with touring national bands; and a few areas in surrounding cities – mostly San Antonio.

6. What do you recall about recording the bands 45? How did that come about? 

It might have been Tommy or Greg’s choice – maybe Greg knew all the words – a rare occasion – (Tommy's sister) Marilyn lined up the recording; I selected the Young Rascals song on side 2 of the record.

"Here Without You"

"Come On Up"

7. Do you recall how many copies were pressed and how it was distributed? Any notable airplay for the record?

100 copies – we sold or gave them away. No airplay that I know of.

8. I love the bands "dreamy" cover of "Here Without You." What made you guys decide to record that song? Was it a regular in the set?

Tommy and Greg wanted to record the old Byrd’s song. Yes, it was a regular in the set.

9. Did the band make any TV appearances? 

No direct appearances, but were featured in newspaper articles and TV regarding local entertainment. I do recall being filmed at NIOSA one year by a local TV station, but do not recall seeing it on air.

10. Any other funny or noteworthy stories about the band or its members? 

While I was in the band and on crutches, Mark Murray (organist and now attorney) would not only bring in all his equipment – but all of mine as well. Mark was the only one with a car big enough to hold most of our equipment – so he drove most of the time – we would stop and each get a soda to drive and Mark would always hit his brakes so we would spill soda on our shirts!
We were the first northside groups to have “uniforms” - blue blazers, white shirts with ruffles down the front, blue pants and dark shoes – cool!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Our manager was Tommy’s sister – Marilyn; She was a very bright, nice, organized and a stunning blond. She was always a hit at the military bases.
Tommy Davis knew every chord imaginable and like Joe Sarli, could pick up any song after hearing it once. Tommy, when he would, had a very nice harmony voice – serious musician – went on to play with other bands - very sensitive – God rest his soul.
Joe Sarli was one of the best bassist I have ever heard – he played brass instruments as well – and could fix them. He was smooth and kept excellent rhythm; has since opened his own music store in Boerne. He went on to continue playing with other bands as well as with his father in the rodeo band.
Mark Murray joined the band in 1968 and was a solid organist – dry humor - now a very well respected local attorney.
Greg Gardner – always wanted to be called “gorgeous Greg” - vocalist and could play drums (I would sing Hang on Sloopy and Louie Louie) – I tried not to let him play that much. At a Church gig, he once put the bass drum pedal through the head! I had never done that in all my times of playing! No telling where he is.
I was a drive drummer with fast hands, decent timing and very good bass drum control; I worked my way through college as a drummer in a local night club – I wore headphones and played along to the records – great gig – went on to receive PHD and taught at A&M, UTSA.

11. How and roughly when did the band come to an end?  

The band broke up in 1969 – 1970 about the time Mark and I went off to College.

12.What were some of the groups that you went on to play with after SOS?  

I went on to College as did Mark Murray; Tommy played with Giant Smiling Dog and Pablo’s Grove; Joe played with Gene Coleman and Feel and First Light.

Thank a ton to Scott Price, Joe Sarli, and Sam Kinsey for their time and help!


  1. One of "my" high school bands at Lee! They made me fans of Otis Redding when they covered "Mr Pitiful." Also was crazy for their version of the Rascals' "Love Is a Beautiful Thing."

    1. Oh wow! Didn't know you went to high school with these guys! Super cool.