Nick D'Virgilio

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Nick D'Virgilio
D'Virgilio in concert with Spock's Beard at BB Kings, NYC, April 27, 2007.
Background information
Birth nameNicholas D'Virgilio
Born (1968-11-12) November 12, 1968 (age 52)
Origin Whittier, CA
Genres Progressive rock
InstrumentsDrums, vocals, percussion, keyboards, guitar
Years active1992–present
Associated acts Spock's Beard, Genesis, Big Big Train, Mystery, Tears for Fears, Jonatha Brooke

Nicholas D'Virgilio (born November 12, 1968) often referred to as NDV, is an American drummer and multi-instrumentalist musician, best known as a member of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard. [1] He was also one of two drummers chosen to replace Phil Collins in Genesis on the Calling All Stations album. He has also done session work with many artists including Tears for Fears and Mystery, and is an official member of Big Big Train.



D'Virgilio was the drummer in Spock's Beard since the band began in the early 1990s. After Neal Morse left in 2002, D'Virgilio took over on lead vocals and became their frontman during live performances. In this line-up, Spock's Beard subsequently recorded four albums, Feel Euphoria , Octane , the self-titled Spock's Beard , and X , prior to D'Virgilio's departure in 2011.

In 1994, D'Virgilio joined Kevin Gilbert's reformed band Giraffe for a one-off performance of the Genesis piece "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" at Progfest '94. In 1995, he performed drums as part of Gilbert's touring band, Thud, which recorded a live album, Live at the Troubadour , released in 1999. After Gilbert's death in 1996, D'Virgilio was asked by Gilbert's estate to complete his second solo album, The Shaming of the True , based on the extant tapes and Gilbert's notes. Shaming was released posthumously in 2000 and has D'Virgilio on many tracks contributing drums, percussion, bass, guitar, keyboards and backing vocals. In November 2002, D'Virgilio headlined Progwest in Claremont, California and played the entire The Shaming of the True album live in a band consisting of other friends and colleagues of Gilbert's. In 2008, video tapes of the Troubadour concert were uncovered for the first time, leading to a DVD, entitled Welcome to Joytown – Thud Live at The Troubadour, released in 2009.[ citation needed ]

A lifelong fan of the progressive rock band Genesis, D'Virgilio was given an opportunity by the band to replace Phil Collins on drums for their 1997 album Calling All Stations. D'Virgilio split percussion duties with Nir Zidkyahu during work on the album.

D'Virgilio had been a full member of the Mike Keneally Band from 2001 to 2004, playing on the tour supporting Keneally's 2000 album Dancing and later providing drums and vocals on the 2004 album Dog, as can be seen on the DVD included as part of the Dog Special Edition in both live as well as "making-of" studio footage. Previous Keneally drummer Joe Travers took D'Virgilio's place in the band for the subsequent Guitar Therapy tour.

D'Virgilio's first solo album, Karma, was recorded in 2001 at Kevin Gilbert's former studio, Lawnmower and Garden Supplies Studio, in Pasadena. [2] The album included performances by Mike Keneally and Bryan Beller, D'Virgilio's bandmates in The Mike Keneally Band. D'Virgilio also served as the chief engineer on Beller's solo album View, recorded at the same studio as Karma.

D'Virgilio filled in for Mark Zonder on Fates Warning's summer tour with Dream Theater and Queensrÿche in 2003. Zonder's prior commitments prevented him from taking part in the tour, and he ceased performing with the band following its 2005 release FWX due to a reported aversion to touring. D'Virgilio played with the band on a handful of gigs supporting that album and appeared on the 2006 DVD release Live in Athens. D'Virgilio also appeared on Jordan Rudess' 2007 album The Road Home .

After guesting on three tracks on Big Big Train's 2007 album The Difference Machine , he was billed as a "permanent guest" on The Underfall Yard (2009) and subsequently joined the band as a full member, appearing on the 2010 EP Far Skies Deep Time , English Electric Part One (2012), English Electric Part Two (2013), the Wassail EP (2015), and most recently Folklore (2016), Grimspound (2017), The Second Brightest Star (2017) and Grand Tour (2019).

On July 26, 2011, D'Virgilio released a solo EP called Pieces. [3] He performed a show in Quebec City, Canada performing the EP in its entirety with local musicians on the day of the album release. [4]

On November 18, 2011, D'Virgilio announced that he had left Spock's Beard, because of his work with Cirque du Soleil, "It is very hard for me to write this, but as all good things come to an end at sometime or another, unfortunately I have to tell you all that my time with Spock's Beard has come to a close." [5]

In early 2014, D'Virgilio appeared on Strattman's album The Lie of the Beholder stating: "Recording the drums for Roy's record was a total blast. I am really honored that he asked me to be a part of his new musical adventure. The record rocks and, from a drummer's perspective, I got to hit 'em hard and got challenged by the songs – 2 things drummers love. I really enjoyed the whole process and the music."

In July 2016, D'Virgilio and Neal Morse joined Spock's Beard for the only two performances of the album Snow, first at Morsefest on July 2 and then for Night of the Prog, in Loreley, Germany on July 15.

In August 2016, rock trio The Fringe released its self-titled debut album, featuring D'Virgilio on drums and vocals, Jonas Reingold of The Flower Kings on bass, and Randy McStine (Lo-Fi Resistance) on vocals and guitars.

In 2018, it was announced that D'Virgilio had returned to Spock's Beard as their recording drummer following the departure of Jimmy Keegan. He appears on their 13th studio release, Noise Floor . It remains unclear whether D'Virgilio will continue recording with the band, which has designated Mike Thorne (previously of Saga) as their live drummer. [6]

Personal life

D'Virgilio lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana with his wife Tiffany and his two children Anthony and Sophia.


Solo albums

With Spock's Beard

Studio albums

With Big Big Train

With The Fringe

Other collaborations

Related Research Articles

Spocks Beard

Spock's Beard is an American progressive rock band formed in Los Angeles.

Neal Morse

Neal Morse is an American singer, musician and composer based in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1992, he formed the progressive rock band Spock's Beard with his brother Alan and released an album which was moderately successful. In 1999, he joined former Dream Theater drummer and co-founder Mike Portnoy, together with Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and Marillion's Pete Trewavas they formed the super-group Transatlantic. In 2002, Neal Morse became a born again Christian, left Spock's Beard and began a Christian rock solo career, releasing many progressive rock concept albums about his new religious faith. In the meantime, he continued to play with Transatlantic and formed three new bands with Portnoy, Yellow Matter Custard, Flying Colors and The Neal Morse Band.

Kevin Gilbert (musician) American musician

Kevin Matthew Gilbert was an American singer, songwriter, musician, composer, producer and collaborator. Gilbert was best known for his solo progressive rock projects, Toy Matinee and his contributions to Tuesday Night Music Club, the debut album by Sheryl Crow.

<i>Snow</i> (Spocks Beard album) 2002 studio album by Spocks Beard

Snow is the sixth studio album of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard, and the final album with main songwriter and vocalist Neal Morse, who left immediately after the release of the album due to his conversion to Christianity. A double-CD concept album, Snow explores similar ground to classic concept albums like The Who's Tommy and The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis. It was released in 2002 on InsideOut Music.

Mike Keneally

Michael Joseph Keneally is an American session guitarist, keyboardist, vocalist and composer.

<i>V</i> (Spocks Beard album) 2000 studio album by Spocks Beard

V is the fifth studio album of progressive rock band Spock's Beard.

<i>Beware of Darkness</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Spocks Beard

Beware of Darkness is the second studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard, released in January 1996. The album was the band's first release following the addition of keyboardist Ryo Okumoto. The album was named after the song of the same name, originally written and performed by George Harrison.

<i>Feel Euphoria</i> 2003 studio album by Spocks Beard

Feel Euphoria is the seventh studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. It was the first album the band recorded following the departure of vocalist/songwriter Neal Morse, also the first full-length album to feature drummer Nick D'Virgilio as lead vocalist. It marked the beginning of a more band-oriented era of songwriting, as before Neal Morse had written the bulk of the band's material, now all of the remaining band members wrote for the band, including bass player Dave Meros, who picked up his first songwriting credit in the history of the band on the song "Ghosts of Autumn".

The Carpet Crawlers Song by Genesis

"The Carpet Crawlers" is a song by the English progressive rock band Genesis, recorded for their sixth studio album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway. Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks wrote most of the music, with the help of Peter Gabriel. Lyrically, the song tells the section of the album's story whereby Rael, the lead character, finds himself in a red carpeted corridor surrounded by kneeling people slowly crawling towards a wooden door. Rael dashes by them towards the door and goes through it. Behind the door is a table with a candlelit feast on it, and behind that, a spiral staircase that leads upwards out of sight.

<i>Octane</i> (album) 2005 studio album by Spocks Beard

Octane is the eighth studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard, released on 25 January 2005. The first seven tracks form a complete piece of work, "A Flash Before My Eyes", that tells the story of a man involved in a car accident who relives his memories in the moments following the crash.

<i>Spocks Beard</i> (album) 2006 studio album by Spocks Beard

Spock's Beard is the eponymous ninth studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard.

<i>There and Here</i> 2001 live album by Spocks Beard

There & Here is a double live album from American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. Individual songs were recorded at several shows on the V tours in Europe, as well as the August 2000 show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. It was released in July 2001 on Radiant Records.

James E. Keegan is an American drummer and voice actor. He has played with artists such as Santana, as the drummer on the song "Primavera" on Santana's hit album Supernatural and with John Waite. He was the drummer for the progressive rock band Spock's Beard, having replaced original drummer Nick D'Virgilio in November 2011. Before joining Spock's Beard, Keegan was their touring drummer since 2003, when D'Virgilio picked up the frontman and main singer role during live performances. Keegan was a member of Spock's Beard for five years, until he left in October 2016.

Big Big Train

Big Big Train are an English progressive rock band formed in Bournemouth in 1990. The current line-up consists of band founder Greg Spawton, along with Nick D'Virgilio, David Longdon, and Rikard Sjöblom. Robin Armstrong joined the group for live performances in 2019. Until 2009, the band were active as a predominantly-studio project led by Spawton and co-founder Andy Poole, who departed the band in 2018, with changing line-ups and guest musicians. They have released twelve studio albums and three EPs.

<i>X</i> (Spocks Beard album) 2010 studio album by Spocks Beard

X is the tenth studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. Similar to what Marillion did for Anoraknophobia, the album was funded by pre-orders of a limited edition of the album before the album was recorded. Those who ordered the album's "Ultra Package" had their names listed in the CD booklet and included as part of the track "Their Names Escape Me", which is exclusive to the limited edition. The album was released independently in May 2010. A retail and digital release with Mascot Records was released in August 2010. This album is the last studio album recorded with Nick D'Virgilio performing lead vocals, who left the band on November 18, 2011, to focus on other commitments. He rejoined the band in 2017, returning to his former role as drummer.

<i>Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep</i> 2013 studio album by Spocks Beard

Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep is the eleventh studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. It is their first album with new singer Ted Leonard and drummer Jimmy Keegan in place of Nick D'Virgilio, while former member Neal Morse co-wrote two tracks, including "Waiting for Me", on which he plays guitar.

<i>The Oblivion Particle</i> 2015 studio album by Spocks Beard

The Oblivion Particle is the twelfth studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. It was released on August 21, 2015. It was the last album with drummer Jimmy Keegan, who left the band in October 2016 for personal reasons. This album also features Nick D'Virgilio, who returned to the band in February 2017. Only 3 songs on the album feature writing credits to the band members themselves, with the rest being credited to longtime collaborators Stan Ausmus and John Boegehold.

<i>Wassail</i> (EP) 2015 EP by Big Big Train

Wassail is the third official studio EP by the English progressive rock band Big Big Train. It was released on 1 June 2015 by English Electric Recordings and Burning Shed. It contains three new songs and a live bonus track that originally appeared on The Underfall Yard. The title track also appears on the band's next full-length studio album, Folklore, released the following year, while the other two new songs are included only on the double-LP vinyl release of that album.

David Longdon is a British multi-instrumentalist and singer, who is most well known as the lead vocalist and co-songwriter of the progressive rock band Big Big Train. Besides singing, Longdon plays flute, keyboards, acoustic and electric 6 & 12 string guitars, bass, mandolin, lute, banjo, accordion, percussion, dulcimer, psaltry, vibraphone, theremin and also the glockenspiel.

<i>Noise Floor</i> (Spocks Beard album) 2018 studio album by Spocks Beard

Noise Floor is the thirteenth studio album by American progressive rock band Spock's Beard. It is the band's first full album of original material to feature original drummer Nick D'Virgilio since X in 2010. D'Virgilio had previously recorded a new song with the band for the compilation album The First Twenty Years and a bonus track for the band's previous album The Oblivion Particle, both released in 2015. Noise Floor was released on 25 May 2018.


  1. "Spock's Beard Singer Quits". BW&BK . November 18, 2011.
  2. "bryanbellerdotcom". Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  3. "New Nick D'Virgilio EP - DPRP News Blog". Archived from the original on August 30, 2017. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  4. "Archived copy". July 16, 2011. Archived from the original on September 9, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Archived copy". November 18, 2011. Archived from the original on November 21, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Barrios, Joel (June 13, 2018). ""SPOCK'S BEARD And Roine Stolt's THE FLOWER KINGS REVISITED To Embark In European Tour, SPOCK'S Confirms New Drummer"". Sonic Perspectives. Retrieved June 13, 2018.