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  • Years Active

    1983 – 1993 (10 years)

Dreams So Real were a significant band in the Athens, Georgia music scene, gaining some national exposure in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including releases on Arista Records.

The trio consisted of chief songwriter Barry Marler on lead vocals and guitar, Trent Allen on backing vocals and bass, and Drew Worsham on drums. Forming in 1983 when its members met in an Athens record store, their debut single, "Everywhere Girl", came out in 1985 and was produced by Peter Buck of R.E.M.. Buck also produced their first full-length album, 1986's Father's House. The band gained a bit more exposure by performing their song "Golden" (called "Steps" in the movie's end notes) in Athens, GA. Inside/Out , a rock documentary on their hometown music scene.

With the success of R.E.M., the Athens scene, and other college radio-friendly bands, Dreams So Real was signed to Arista Records and released Rough Night in Jericho in 1988. The title track earned some success, reaching #28 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart and receiving some MTV airplay. A follow-up single, "Bearing Witness" also cracked Billboard's Rock Chart. The album would reach the Billboard Hot 200, peaking at #150.

The 1990 follow-up album, Gloryline, met with less success both critically and commercially. Soon after, Arista dropped the band and Dreams So Real soon drifted apart. As a kind of parting gift, the band released a collection of outtakes, rarities and B-sides titled Nocturnal Omissions, made available through their fan-club mailing list.

Marler and Allen briefly reformed with the band Ether in the late 1990s, but have since appeared to have mostly left music behind. Marler is an analyst at the University of Georgia's Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, while Allen became a graphic artist.

The band also received mention in a number of R.E.M. biographies detailing their success and importance to the scene, including Marcus Gray's It Crawled From the South and David Buckley's R.E.M.: Fiction.

In 2003, Worsham was shot in the head by a man who was reported to be his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend. Reports said the man, Joel Chris Blankenship, subsequently kidnapped and fatally shot the girlfriend, Dara Jo Wasdin, before putting a bullet through his own head. Worsham survived, as the bullet lodged in his eye socket and never reached his brain, and reportedly recovered to return to his post-Dreams So Real music projects as well as his work as a computer technician.

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