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December 23, 2021

Remembering Kim Harris

By Brian Heaton

I never met the late Kim Harris. I wish I had.

He was the unsung hero of Queensryche's early years, managing the band during its infancy. Through Kim's connections in the music industry (and those of his then-wife, Diana), Queensryche received the promotion needed to get on the radar of label executives, break free from the Pacific Northwest and land a major record deal. His initial guidance helped steer Queensryche down a path to eventual stardom.

Kim's impact on the careers of Chris DeGarmo, Eddie Jackson, Scott Rockenfield, Geoff Tate and Michael Wilton should be obvious. The five of them went on to achieve worldwide acclaim and sell millions of albums. Mr. Harris was certainly proud of his work with Queensryche. But his tireless devotion to the band affected the course of so many other lives – including my own.

As the clock winds down on 2021, I'd be remiss if I did not acknowledge how grateful I am to Kim Harris, and pay tribute to someone whose work left an indelible mark on my personal journey.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, less than a month after Kim's passing, his partner, Ardell DellaLoggia, shared stories about Kim's life with myself and a handful of other Queensryche fans in a conference room in Snoqualmie, Wash.. Hearing her talk about Kim's history and accomplishments, it hit me (like a two-ton heavy thing) that had he not listened to that demo tape of The Mob in 1982, there wouldn't be a Queensryche and I would be leading a very different life.

I met some of my closest friends through a mutual appreciation of Queensryche's music in the 1980s and 1990s. Those experiences of listening to and dissecting the band's albums, going to their concerts together, traveling all over the country, etc., are threads woven throughout my life story. I attended Queensryche's 2001 fan club event in Seattle, and as fate would have it, met and fell in love with Staci – the woman who would ultimately become my wife. Twenty years later, our dynamic duo is now a trio with a teenage daughter we're immensely proud of.

All of those life experiences can be traced back to one man, Kim Harris, pressing “play” on a cassette deck at Easy Street Records. Talk about one hell of a head trip.

Thank you, Kim. Rest in peace.

Brian Heaton is the founder of AnybodyListening.net, and co-author of Building An Empire: The Story of Queensryche, the band's first biography.

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