"Michael personified art, talent, integrity, dedication to his craft, spirited, heartfelt, a visionary, and giving in so many ways. His impact on his fans, and myself will be remembered forever."
In high school Rory, would meet some great musicians who inspired him like Steve Lukather and Steve Porcaro, who would later become Toto. Rory then started out of high school with Jazz artist Chick Corea as his keyboard tech and synthesizer programmer. Through Chick he worked with Stanley Clarke, Herbie Hancock, The Crusaders, and many other jazz artist including the Yellow Jackets, where he would originally meet Ricky Lawson. Then Rory was signed to Michael Chapman’s label; Michael had produced the Knack, Pat Benatar, Exile, and Blondie. From there he was asked to work for Fairlight Keyboards which was the first sampling keyboard. Through Fairlight he would work for Shelly Duval for her Faerie Tale Theater, Christopher Cross, Stevie Wonder, and Jermaine Jackson.
In October of 1983, Rory was teaching Jermaine how to program his newly purchased Fairlight, and it was then that Jermaine asked Rory to perform on the Victory Tour. After the tour Rory went back to working with Chick Corea as he was putting together his Elektric Band. After an album and tour, Rory was contacted by Frank Dileo in March of 1987, while on tour with Chick. Frank said to contact him in a couple of months as there was a possibility of Michael’s first solo tour.
In June of ’87, Rory was confirmed to do the Bad Tour and be musical director to audition the band, as well as Chris Currell, who prgrammed the Synclavier keyboard on the Bad album and would play the Synclavier on the tour. After it was established that drummer Ricky Lawson was confirmed as Jonathan Moffett was still touring with Madonna, and guitarist Jon Clark was confirmed as David Williams was also out with Madonna, Jennifer Batten was confirmed on lead guitar, and Don Boyette on bass. Three weeks into rehearsals Greg Phillinganes walked in and took over as musical director, and Rory began building and programming the keyboard rigs with Tim Meyer and Eddie Reynolds. The rest is HIStory – or shall we say, Bad!
After the Bad Tour, Rory would go onto being musical director for Donny Osmond!
The Bad Tour Band: Rory, Jennifer Batten, Don Boyette, Michael Jackson,
Jon Clark, Greg Phillinganes, Chris Currell, Ricky Lawson
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