Based in Sacramento, California, Game Theory made their recording debut in 1982.
Although loosely associated with the ‘paisley underground’ movement the band’s progress was determined by their vocalist and guitarist Scott Miller’s infatuation with classic American pop and melody, rather than temporary fashion.
The group survived several personnel changes – including Miller’s own temporary defection – without losing its sense of direction.
Miller’s fusion of 60s and 80s styles was expertly captured on Lolita Nation (1988), a fruitful partnership with R.E.M./dB’s producer Mitch Easter, and Two Steps From The Middle Ages (1988), which placed Game Theory on a pop/rock pantheon with the equally accomplished and underrated band, The Shoes.
Soon after the release of Two Steps, Enigma Records went out of business. In addition, there were conflicts within the group.
After the 1988 tour, Donnette Thayer left the group to form Hex with Steve Kilbey of The Church. LaFreniere and Gassuan left the group at that time as well, and Ray sustained a disabling back injury that rendered him temporarily unable to play the drums.
In 1989, Miller convened another new version of Game Theory, which toured in 1989 and 1990. The line-up consisted of Miller (lead vocal, guitars), Michael Quercio (bass, drums, backing vocals), Jozef Becker (drums, bass), and Gil Ray, who was shifted by Miller from drums to playing guitar and keyboards.
Game Theory’s penultimate recording sessions took place in April 1989, when original keyboard player Nancy Becker returned to record new versions of three songs for the compilation Tinker to Evers to Chance.
Miller recruited three new members in 1991 before deciding that the differences in sound and energy warranted a new name for the group, which began performing in the Bay Area in 1991 as The Loud Family.
Scott Miller had been making preparations to reunite Game Theory when he unexpectedly took his own life on 15 April 2013. He was 53.
The surviving original members reunited on 20 July 2013, to perform a memorial concert in Miller’s hometown of Sacramento.
Vocals, guitar, synthesizer
Drums, guitar, keyboards
Bass, drums, vocals