Q-5: Steel The Light-80’s-1984.


This US group was formed in Seatle, Washinghton, in 1983 by the innovative guitarist Floyd Rose and vocalist Jonathan Scott Palmerton. Rose is otherwise best known for being the inventor of the locking tremelo system, the now indispensable device that ensures the guitar stays in tune even after the heaviest of tremelo use.

It all started back in 1982 when Floyd Rose and Jonathan K. were in a group called “The Core”. The band was one of the few in Seattle playing original music nightly in clubs, when the rest was playing cover tunes. Floyd and Jonathan decided to break away from “The Core” and formed what at first was to be just a recording project they were soon joined by Rick Pierce on guitar, Evan Sheeley on bass and drummer Gary Thompson, all of whom had deserted fellow Seattle band “TKO” to complete the line up. Jonathan had done a recording project a couple of years earlier with Gary Thompson. He thought Gary was one of the best drummers he had ever heard. Evan Sheeley was on the list simply because even then his playing ability was monstrous. Floyd and Jonathan couldn’t decide if they wanted another guitar or keyboard or both so they left it at that, while Rick Pierce was tentatively approached but declined to be involved in the first phase of the project.

Q5 recorded a three song demo tape at The Music Source, a well known studio in Seattle. It was owned by Jim Wolfe, music maker in the 60’s and 70’s. The studio was comfortable and boasted cutting edge equipment and Jim’s knowledge of recording was to be helpful to the band for several years. Ken Kinnear was manager of Heart, one of the biggest rock bands in the world. He also had managed a few other bands, including for a time TKO. Evan and Floyd took the Q5 demo to Kinnear. Within a week Q5 was managed by Kinnear. The band began to rehearse in an old club. During the summer of 1983 Q5 wrote songs and played them live to audiences two nights a week. Word began to spread about a new band that played hard and fast. After a couple of weeks the club was full whenever Q5 played. It was time to record again. This time for an album. The band was still writing searching for that one final song that would cap the album.


Demo 1983Demo1983 
Steel the LightFull-length1984 
Demo 1984Demo1984 
Steel the LightSingle1985 
When the Mirror CracksFull-length1986
New World OrderFull-length2016
Jonathan Scott K.
Vocals (1983-1986, 2009, 2014-2019, 2019-present)
See also: Nightshade
Michael Self
Bass (2020-present)
RJ Singleton
Drums (2020-present)
See also: ex-Pandoras Box
Duffy Delgado
Guitars (2020-present)
See also: ex-Ruff Justice
Chris Eger
Guitars (2020-present)

Past Members:

Evan SheeleyBass (1983-1986, 2009, 2014-2019)
See also: NightshadeTKO, ex-James Byrd, ex-Gypsy Rose
Gary ThompsonDrums (1983-1986)
See also: ex-TKO, ex-Tyrant
Rick PierceGuitars (1983-1986, 2009, 2014-2017)
See also: Nightshade, ex-TKO
Floyd RoseGuitars (1983-1986)
See also: ex-Osiris
Jeffrey McCormackDrums (2014-2019)
See also: FireWölfeScreams of AngelsTKO, ex-DeVol, ex-Juvenile, ex-Bloodgood, ex-Fifth Angel, ex-Heir Apparent, ex-Nightshade, ex-Red Platinum, ex-Sentence, ex-Ultrastone
Dennis TurnerGuitars (2015-2018, 2019)
James NelsonGuitars (2017-2019)
See also: ex-80 Proof Logic, ex-Cross + Fire, ex-Sons of Mercury, ex-Syre
Nick LaytonGuitars (2019)
See also: FireWölfeNick Layton
Side A
1.Missing in Action03:02  Show lyrics
2.Lonely Lady04:01  Show lyrics
3.Steel the Light06:07  Show lyrics
4.Pull the Trigger03:59  Show lyrics
Side B
5.Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady02:32  Show lyrics
6.In the Night04:36  Show lyrics
7.Come and Gone04:30  Show lyrics
8.Rock On03:29  Show lyrics
9.Teenage Runaway04:44  Show lyrics

One thought on “Q-5: Steel The Light-80’s-1984.

  1. Q5
    Steal the Light .
    by Marcos “Big Daddy” Garcia at 03 August 2018, 3:51 AM
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    I really miss some features of the 80’s. In those days, we were not worried about politics, nor about political correct censorship (they are the new PMRC, nothing more than that), but only the music. In the USA Metal scene, along with Thrash Metal and earlier screams from Death Metal, there were those bands that were playing US Metal, along the lines of RUTHLESS, OMEN, MANILLA ROAD and many more, there were the Seattle based quintet Q5, that I never heard of until I was asked to write this review for the reissue of “Steel the Light”, their first album released originally in 1984. Time for regret: what a band I was losing, for they are great, indeed!

    They are into the same trend of many bands of those days, playing a melodic, technical and charming Heavy Metal way that was only found on USA, due the refined melodies and influences from Melodic Rock/Hard Rock from the 70’s (a feature that only bands from those days had) along the modern energy that JUDAS PRIEST and THE RODS brought to the genre back then. Charming, heavy as a ton of pure steel, done with hooking melodies and great choruses, their music is amazing, even today. Although they aren’t playing nothing new, it has a strong and bold personality.

    This new version of “Steel the Light” was remastered by Bart Gabriel (AVENGER, CIRITH UNGOL, and others), that gave the songs a new life, but without destroying what was done back on 1984. It’s still heavy and abrasive as on those days, but cleaner and ready for these new days. Be prepared, for they have some lessons to teach you all how to sound on Old School format, but without being outdated. It’s a double CD package. On the first CD, you find the album. The energy shown on “Missing in Action”, “Lonely Lady” (a fine blend between NWOBHM and JUDAS PRIEST influences with the US melodic aesthetics), the hooking rhythm of “Steel the Light” (the bass and drums technique is really amazing, and what energy this song bears), the oppressive melodic hooking grasp of “Pull the Trigger” (these nasty charming guitars are really something lovely), the accessible elements that can be heard on “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady”, on the headbanging inciting song called “Rock On”, and on “Teenage Runaway” can be said as their best shots.

    On the second CD, you’ll find some really excellent and rare material (and some unreleased stuff). So “That’s Alright with You”, “Nothing Ventured – Nothing Gained”, “She’s a Dancer”, “In the Night”, “Waiting for Your Love”, “Our Love Has Come and Gone” and “Your Love is the Best Love” are songs from Demos, Singles, and the last one comes from an unreleased Demo of 1983. “Ain’t No Way to Treat a Lady”, “That’s Alright with You”, and “Steel the Light” are live shots from the past. After hearing this album, I only can say that they hit another fan, and hope you all can hear and take the best of this new release of “Steel the Light”. It’s a pity for me that in Brazil, I can’t buy a copy of the album, because I loved it!

    Originality: 10
    Songwriting: 10
    Memorability: 9
    Production: 8

    Liked by 1 person

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