Brosco ~ Drums
Steve Ellis ~ Drums
David Gregson ~ Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Lee Johnson ~ Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Tony Keller ~ Drums
Mike Maxwell ~ Bass
Willie Hoffee ~ Photographer
Xanthus formed in September of 1979 when Lee Johnson introduced himself to Mike Maxwell the first week of high school after Mike gave a speech and said he played bass. That next weekend Mike told David Gregson about this awesome guitarist who could sing and had original songs and invited him (guitar player) over to jam with them. From that weekend on, they jammed every day and added Steve Ellis on drums.
With their ages ranging from only 15 to17 they played a few gigs with that lineup one being the New Years eve gig at Wenas Grange with Sassy Jack and Amadeus Axe. This was where Troy Keller first saw Xanthus play as he played drums for Sassy Jack at the time.
Steve moved away and Troy informed the band that he was interested in joining us so after a short period with a female drummer, Liz Brosco, they added Troy. This completed the main and final lineup of Xanthus from early 1981 to late 1982.
They were the first real Heavy Metal band in Yakima. They played both original material and covers by bands like Judas Priest, Scorpions and UFO.
In 1981 a 2-track demo was released after traveling to Kennewick and recording in the studio at Music Machine. This demo featured tracks "The Caller" and "Runnin" which both received local radio airplay.
In 1982 another 2-track demo was recorded featuring tracks “The Final Hour” and “She’s not Alone” which again, both received local radio airplay.
After graduating high school in 1982 Lee moved to Los Angeles and the remaining members formed Shield by adding Willie Hoffee (guitar) and Tracey Larimer (Vocals).
David Gregson, July 2012