Official Trent Gardner Memorial
Due to the sudden passing of our dad we need immediate financial assistance to ensure a proper, dignified burial for our father. We are grateful and humbled by any size donation that you are able to give.
Our father was, at his core, a creator. This passion can be summed up in a quote our father gave to the Vacaville Reporter for a feature length article they did about him titled, ‘The Makings of a Professional Musician’ (Jan. 6, 1980) which reads, “Music dominates my whole existence; it’s always on my mind...I was born to play music.” After a successful career in the Vallejo Police Department (and making many felony arrests) he was able to turn his attention back to music full time and founded the band that would forever define him, Magellan .
Magellan (1985-2016) was founded by Trent Gardner, his brother Wayne Gardner, and childhood friend Hal Imbrie and over the course of those 31 years seven studio albums were released and from 1997’s Test of Wills onwards, it was just our father and uncle. They held a special musical bond that lasted until our uncle’s death in 2014. Our father was a prolific composer, producer, and contributed on numerous tribute albums and released singles under the Magellan banner on his website, there are 36 projects he was a part of officially. I had the privilege to watch him compose and create music and he would compose and perform all the parts of the song on his keyboard, drums and guitar included, and he always told me that he, ‘thought like a drummer’.
One of his greatest music successes and one that brought him the most joy and fulfillment, was when he was fatefully able to join forces and then collaborate with his adolescent idols, the iconic band Chicago. Our dad’s favorite instrument was his trombone and he would practice after school playing along with their debut album, Chicago Transit Authority. He then being able to collaborate and have album credits on 2014’s, Chicago XXXVI: Now along side Robert Lamm and Lee Loughnane made him the happiest I’d ever seen him.
His contributions included the horn arrangements for, “Crazy Happy”, “America” and his performance on the trombone and synth on, “Naked in the Garden of Allah” & “Free at Last”. Listen here I, myself was able to work with my dad during these Chicago years on the business side of things and I am grateful for everyone of those days that allowed us to work and create things together.
In this difficult time we want to share our dad’s life’s work and his singular passion of music and even though he did have his faults (like everyone), we love him beyond measure and hope that he found peace. We hope that he, just like his music, is now is able transcend all things temporal.
We love you dad, goodnight.
- Trent Rigel Gardner II, Sarah Elston, & D. Michelle Olson
After being out of the traditional working force for so many years, our family is so proud of her for being strong and gaining employment at her local school district. The reality of it though is that entry level pay coupled with the mounting unforeseen debt that’s coming to light and medical expenses has put her in a very difficult position. We are in contact with a lawyer to see what our options are and in the process of getting a mortgage modification for her house, but this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Our family will continue to support her because at a time like this, finances should be the last thing on her mind. And with the help of this fundraiser, and you, we can help her that much more. Thank you for anything you can give and we are forever grateful.
Heartsick... Trent was an incredible musical inspiration to me. A musical visionary, he and his late brother Wayne wrote some of my favourite modern progressive rock in their band Magellan. Hour Of Restoration, Impending Ascension and Test Of Wills took me down musical paths I didn't know existed. This is a massive loss to the world of prog rock. Thank you for the all the music you gave us!
Hello Trent, I am absolutely devastated to have discovered this news this morning. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been a hardcore fan of Magellan, Explorer's Club, Leonardo The Absolute Man etc since 1998. I also had the privilege of working with your father in a small capacity by maintaining Magellan's web site (previously www.magellanband.com) for a number of years. In my opinion, your father was one of the most talented musicians that ever walked this earth. His kindness and generosity matched that of his musical talent. I know that he had a huge archive of unreleased material and I hope that, one day, you can make it available for all his fans to purchase. My thoughts and prayers are with your family, Chris Millar from Alberta, Canada