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Geoff Downes

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Geoffrey Downes (born 25 August 1952 in Stockport, England,) is a rock keyboard player, songwriter, and producer. He is best known as the keyboardist for the bands Asia, Buggles, and also his stint with Yes in 1980. When he was a keyboardist for Buggles, he played multiple keyboards to achieve a New Wave technopop sound. He was once entered for the Guinness Book Of Records for performing with most keyboards (28) on stage in one performance.

Geoff received his passion for music through a family connection; his father had been organist and choirmaster at a church in Stockport.

Even before heading off to Leeds School of Music in 1971, it was obvious to family and friends that he had the making of a future star. His older brother Gordon was in awe of the young man’s talent and drive. “From the early days he always showed the potential of a showman, like the time at 13 he sprayed his brand new school shoes silver. I also remember in ‘67 making him a huge cabinet for his bass speaker in the basement of our big old house. He thought it was magnificent! I wish now, though, I’d had a tape running the time he played an extemporization on Whiter Shade Of Pale and Nights In White Satin at my brother Andy’s engagement party back in October ‘69. It was simply spellbinding. I just knew then he had that amazing mystery for creating music.”

Geoff’s exposure to other musicians at college in Leeds led him in 1974 to She’s French, his first real band. “We started off (under the name) Nathaniel Mouse. Melody Maker used to run band contests, and we got to the Northern finals. We used to play at a lot of clubs in the north of England.

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