Trevor Rabin is a famous rock electric guitar player who made a transition to a career in film score composition. He is probably the only film score composer to have a handprint in the Rock and Roll Walk of Fame on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard.
He began piano lessons when he was six. When he was twelve, he bought a Comet Electric Guitar, which he played by hooking it up to the input jacks of his family's old console model radio. In 1968, he formed a three-man rock group called The Conglomeration which won a national "Battle of the Bands," which did not, however, prevent The Conglomeration from dissolving. Rabin went to work playing piano in a Greek restaurant.
Three months later, Rabin was drafted into the South African Army and was posted to the entertainment unit as a guitarist and electric bass player. After his discharge, he began to get session work. Record producer Patric Van Blerk hired Rabin and some other local musicians to make a cover of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath." This one-shot studio band was named Rabbitt for the purposes of the release. The single was an unexpected hit, staying on the charts in South Africa for fourteen weeks. Rabbitt made some appearances, but dissolved after the record went off the charts. Its members came back together a year later, in 1974, and began playing clubs. In 1975, Rabbitt became a wildly popular act on the club circuit, now playing their own music rather than covers. Their first album, Boys Will be Boys, set a new record for going gold, then received the top national award, the Sarie.
After another successful release, Rabin left the group to do solo work in 1977. In 1978, he moved to London and got a contract with Chrysalis Records. He had three successful solo albums. In 1982, the rock band Yes broke up. Two of its members, Chris Squire and Alan White, asked him to join them in a new band called Cinema. In 1983, Yes vocalist Jon Anderson joined Cinema, which took the name Yes, winning a Grammy for a track from it.
During the next decade, Rabin and Yes (or members of it) had great international success, which can be found chronicled on AMG's popular music web pages, and Rabin also produced another successful solo album. In 1993, Rabin produced Yes' record "Talk," released in 1994. He left Yes in 1995.
In 1989, keyboard player Mark Mancina had played with Yes on its tour of that year. In 1995, Mancina engaged Rabin to play electric guitar on Mancina's score for the popular film Twister.
This led to Rabin beginning a career in film music. In 1996, he composed the score for Stephen Segal's film The Glimmer Man, a closing cue for Arnold Schwarzenegger's film Eraser, and began work on the score to the Jerry Bruckheimer film Con Air, then the theme for Bruckheimer's TV series "Soldier of Fortune, Inc."
Rabin's style is hard-edged, and predictably heavy on use of electric instruments, but not invariably so. In 1998, he used a primarily acoustic sound in the film Homegrown. Since then, he has composed the soundtrack to the highly popular 1998 film Armageddon and another Bruckheimer film, Enemy of the State, as well as Jack Frost. In 1999, he wrote music for Deep Blue Sea and Whispers, then the 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds, and at the end of that year was scoring Texas Rangers, a film about the founding of that legendary group of lawmen.