This is from an interview with Jon Drenning that Metal Heart did on September of 1999. All biographical information can be found in either the interview section or History/Discography section of their Official Website at www.crimsonglory.com
Jon Drenning: CG began in 1982. I was playing in a band I had formed in high school called Rising Force (2 guitars & drums: no bass player or singer), in a small warehouse which also had four other bands playing there - one of which was Ben and Dana's band named 'Pierced Arrow'.
One day, Ben came to my door which was located directly across the hallway from where his band was practicing and stood outside listening to me play the Ozzy Osborne song 'Believer' for a short while. I know this because I surprised him when I opened the door as he was leaning against it, causing him to almost fall over!
In any event, Ben introduced himself and said he was really impressed with my playing style, and ask me if I would be interested in joining his band Pierced Arrow. I said I would and arranged for an audition the following night. The audition went very well and I was asked to join the band the same night. So, the old guitar player was out, and I was in!!! It was that fast!!! I remember wondering how easy that was and being very excited to be in a band that actually owned their own P.A. equipment!!!
Not long afterwards we changed the name of the band to a name Ben had suggested - 'Beowulf'.
A few months later, myself and Ben went to see a bass player that everyone was talking about. Although I had become good friends with our current bass player, Ben and Dana wanted to recruit a better bass player, and Jeff was the perfect choice. He not only was well respected as a bass player, but he also owned additional P.A. equipment which he had made himself, which is always a good thing!!!.
I remember Jeff being very quiet and reserved, sitting atop a speaker cabinet, hardly saying a word. He just picked up his bass, played a few Iron Maiden riffs from their 'Killers' album and that was it. We immediately asked him to be our new bass player!!!
Fortunately, Jeff turned out to be the perfect fit and it was at this time that we began writing our own material. Actually, Jeff was the one who really persuaded everyone to begin writing original material. In any event, after convincing Jeff to join us we then went in search for a singer. We went through a few different singers before finally settling on a little, scruffy-haired, blonde named Midnight, who spent his time playing acoustic guitar while sitting on the beach on sunny Florida afternoons. He was also someone Ben, Dana and Jeff knew from high school and had seen around playing at small backyard parties in the local area.
I did not know Midnight, but the first time I saw him perform was when he opened for us ('Beowulf') at a party we had organized ourselves, called "Summer Jam Festival I". The party took place inside an autobody (car repair) shop where Ben worked at the time. And I remember walking in and asking the guys, "Who the hell it that?" I couldn't believe we had an acoustic musician singing Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd songs opening for us!!!. It didn't seem right to me as we were a metal band!!! I thought it was ridiculous...
Nevertheless, Midnight sounded good for the style of music he was performing, and we were unhappy with our current singer at the time, so a few weeks later we approached him about auditioning for our band and gave him a cassette tape of Judas Priest, Scorpions and Iron Maiden songs to learn.
Several days later we had Midnight come to our warehouse for the audition. At first, no one was very impressed with him as it was obvious he has no experience and had never sang the style of music we played.
However, I distinctly remember Midnight sounding good while singing the Scorpions' song 'Twentieth Century Man and the Krokus song 'Screaming In the Night'...so we ask him back for another audition. This time he seemed much more prepared and did a better job overall singing a few different Judas Priest songs as well as the Accept songs 'Breaker' and 'Son of a Bitch'.
We thought Midnight had the potential to develop into a strong singer and were impressed enough with him enough to offer him the job right then. However, we took a few days to think about it to make sure, before finally deciding to ask him to join the band a week later.
The rest is history...
The history below is from the Official Crimson Glory Homepage.
Crimson Glory, originally named "Beowulf", was formed in 1982 in Sarasota, Florida, by guitarist-Jon Drenning, guitarist-Ben Jackson, and bassist-Jeff Lords. The group spent the next four-years in seclusion rehearsing and developing their own "distinctive" look and sound which eventually led to the recording of their self-titled debut album "Crimson Glory" in 1986 on Roadrunner Records (Europe). The band performed throughout Holland and parts of Germany immediately following the release of their self-titled LP in the fall of 1986 too much success and acclaim.
The band recorded and released their much anticipated follow-up LP "Transcendence" in 1989 for Road Runner Records (Europe) and MCA Records (USA). "Transcendence" contained the band's first hit-single "Lonely", a song that was in the top of the American Radio charts in several major market areas for over 24 consecutive weeks. "Transcendence" received equally rave reviews abroad which led to a very successful North American, European and Japanese tour with the bands Metallica, Ozzy Osborne, Queensryche, Udo, Doro, and Anthrax, to sold-out crowds everywhere...The largest show being the Metal Hammer Festival in Dortmund, Germany in front of 20,000+ fans in the spring 1990, with Ozzy, Metallica, and Queensryche.
Recorded and released their third LP "Strange & Beautiful" for Atlantic Records in 1992...Immediately followed the release of "Strange & Beautiful" with a head-lining club tour in the United States that culminated with the biggest show of the tour at the end of the year in Los Angeles, Calif. at the Concrete Foundations Forum along with Ozzy Osborne, Soundgarden and Alice In Chains.
Their three LP's, "Crimson Glory" (Roadrunner Records/1986), "Transcendence" (MCA Records/1989) and "Strange and Beautiful" (Atlantic Records/1992) have gained cult status as some of the best prog/power metal music ever recorded.
After a successful but brief "Strange and Beautiful" tour in the U.S, the band members went their separate ways taking a hiatus to pursue other musical interests. The band's primary songwriters Jon Drenning and Jeff Lords formed the projects Erotic Liquid Culture (which also features vocalist David Van Landing - Michael Scenker) and Crush with drummer Ravi Jakhotia. Ben Jackson formed the bands Parrish and the Ben Jackson Group. Former lead vocalist Midnight retired from the music business to pursue other interest.
Towards the end of 1996, the band's primary songwriters, Jon and Jeff, knew it was time to reunite and make another Crimson Glory record However, in order to create a record of astronomical proportions, the band realized they would have to trace back to their roots, the progressive-power metal style that they help to pioneer in the late 1980's. With the addition of new front man Wade "War Machine" Black (who originally fronted the band Lucian Black based in Tampa, Florida) and new drummer Steve Wacholz (Savatage) the band was ready to re-emerge into the next millennium, delivering their own unique brand of music in the only way they know how...with raw passion and power.
The band have recorded a new CD called "Astronomica", which they hope will be as widely acclaimed as their first two releases and becomes the prog/power metal album for which all others will be judged in the new millennium...and beyond.