by Michael Popke
After a three-year absence, Michael Saga and Canadian prog-pomp rockers Saga have reunited. "To put all the rumours to rest, we are happy to officially announce that Michael Sadler is once again the Singer and Frontman in Saga!!," blares Saga's website. "The new studio CD and tour news with Michael will be up very soon!"
But for more news now on this saga, we go over to Sadler's own website, which posted a lengthy commentary from the man himself:
Let me begin by saying how touched I am by your overwhelmingly positive reaction to the news of my return to Saga. It’s always good to feel support from one’s friends and family, (fans fall under both categories!) especially at a time when you’re making any kind of life change or decision, and believe me, this was a big one!
Although the facts about “how it all went down” will surely be elaborated upon through the course of the inevitable interviews that will follow, this came about simply because Jim [Crichton, Saga bassist/keyboardist] and I stayed in contact after my departure in 2007.
After all, after 30 years of musical and emotional investment, it’s next to impossible not to be at least a little curious about the ripple effect, positive or negative, you may or may not have caused as a direct result of a decision you’ve made.
During the course of a conversation we had some months ago about a few things, musical and otherwise, the topic of Saga came up, and we briefly touched on the notion of what it would be like, hypothetically speaking, if I were to rejoin the band. Nothing serious, just two friends sharing some memories and speculating just for fun.
One thing that we agreed on was that, if and when I ever were to return, it would have to feel like it was exactly the right thing to do and exactly the right time to do it!
While I can’t say for certain that my return, in whatever capacity, was inevitable, what I can say is, that on more than one occasion, I have thought of what it would feel like, to once again record and perform with Saga.
Consequently, during a more recent conversation, Jim said he felt that perhaps the time was right, and after quite a bit of thought …I agreed.
One thing I would like to make clear, considering the implications and impact that my decision would have on my family, I naturally discussed this extensively with my wife, Gwen.
Ultimately we agreed…this is who I am...and this is what I do!
But make no mistake, without her support & belief I know that this decision would not have been made. So, although I am very optimistic about Saga’s future and very happy about my decision to come back, my family is, and will remain, my number one priority.
So there you have it. The “if” has become “yes” and the “when” has become “now”.
I would like to thank you all again for making me feel so welcome. It’s nice to be back!
I’ve missed you…
Rob Moratti replaced Sadler from 2008 through 2010 and appeared on the band's 2009 album, The Human Condition — a record I loved. The double-DVD/CD set Contact: Live in Munich captured Saga's final performance with Sadler, who left the stage to as much audience adulation as I've ever seen on video.
During his absence, Sadler participated in some outside projects (Henning's Pauly's Babysteps and Roswell Six) and recorded a solo album for ProgRock Records in 2008 called Clear — on which he left behind the pompous voice of Saga to experiment and impress with numerous styles. Back then, I considered Clear one of the year's most rewarding surprises, and I plan to spin it again tonight. (Maybe I'll cue up "On the Loose," too.)