Archive for the ‘Canadian Bands’ Category

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Randy Bachman is living proof that not all Canadian men are steamy hunks of grade-A man-meat. Sure, the overwhelming majority of us are, but Randy Bachman isn’t. Looking at the size of Randy Bachman in this video though, I would NEVER say that to his face. He is a mountain of a man. Unlike his brother on drums, who looks like my auntie Edith.

I think this is how BTO was formed: Chad Allan started a band in 1960 called Al and the Silvertones and then changed names to Chad Allan and the Reflectionsin 1962. Randy Bachman was the lead guitarist. A few years later the band changed its name again to Chad Allan and the Expressions, because some other group called The Reflections crowded them out.

In 65, the group scored a major hit by singing a rendition of Shaking All Over by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. Quality Records, the company that signed Chad Allan & The Expressions, attributed the song to “Guess Who?” (it was some sort of marketing ploy to build up mystique towards the band). Even after Quality Records announced the single was from Chad Allan, everyone now called the band The Guess Who.

From there, Bob Ashley left the group in 1965, Burton Cummings joined the band, a few months later Chad Allan left. The Guess Who stuck around for 5 more years until Bachman had enough of Cummings nitwittery and left. Randy then went back to Winnipeg and formed the group Brave Belt in 71 with brother Robbie and Chad Allan. Brave Belt came out with two albums but eventually tanked. We call this in Canada, “The Chad Allan Effect”, like, “Wow man, you really Chad Allan’d that test, loser.”

Randy then brought in his other brother Tim as a second guitarist. And here’s where things get pretty weird.

Bachman’s demo tape was rejected 26 times. He was about to give up and get a job, when amazingly, Charlie Fach of Mercury Records came back from a trip from France to find his desk stacked with unplayed demos. He swiped all the tapes off his desk and into a garbage can, but one tape missed and fell on the floor. He noticed that the tape had the name Bachman on it, and he remembered Randy from a previous encounter. He had told Randy that if he ever got a demo together to send it to him.

He called Bachman and signed him to a record deal. But before he would sign him,the band would have to get rid of their incredibly gay name. And that’s where BTO came in. And I’m not sure how they got the Overdrive Part of the name, but who cares, my story kicked major ass.

I have another story and it involves a dwarf, a roll of duct-tape and a 26er of top shelf hooch, but I’m going to save it for another day.

There are so many BTO songs to choose from, but this is the only one I could find where the boys played to a prison crowd in some remote jail in Nowhereville Manitoba or whatever. At first I thought the crowd was sitting on their collective hands, but they were probably handcuffed, or messed up on glue. Glue sniffin’ inbreds.

So there you go, there’s a little history lesson. You are now 3x as smart as you were when you woke up this morning.

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009


I saw Triumph three times in concert when I was young, but my favourite Rik Emmitt story – and my only Rik Emmitt story – occurred when I was 25. I was running an air condition company in Pickering Ontario, and on this particular Saturday afternoon in August, a whack of trucks pulled into the mall parking lot and started setting up a stage.

I paid little attention to them, but at the end of the day my buddy walked into my store with a case of beer. He tells me someone was going to play there in a few hours, so why don’t we shut the store down, get loaded, and then check the band out. I agreed, especially considering Pickering is usually as exciting as foot fungus.

We down a few brown pops and at about 8 pm some announcer dude gets up on stage and introduces Rik Emmitt. My buddy and I flipped. Being HUGE Triumph fans from way back, we couldn’t frickin’ believe Rick Emmitt was going to play unplugged in a crappy mall parking lot in front of 100 people. But it happened and he was incredible. One of the best rock guitarists ever. Case closed.

During an intermission, Emmitt jumps off the stage and makes a b-line right towards my buddy and I. He comes up to me and says, “Any chance you got an extra beer?” So I look in my case (which still had 8 beer left) and said, “Sorry Rik, they didn’t give us any extras.”

Rik laughed, I laughed, my buddy nearly peed his pants because he went WAY over the top laughing. And then when things settled down I said, “Seriously Rik, there aren’t any extras.”

So there we are, Rik Emmitt, me, and my idiot friend who now has some perverted man-crush on Rik Emmitt or some crap like that. We ended up chatting for 10 minutes, I even blew cigarette smoke in his face by accident. He didn’t care, I’m pretty sure he was high. Or we were high. I know we were drunk.

But Rik Emmitt is a great guy. Gil Moore the drummer wasn’t there, and neither was the bassist Michael Levine, and that’s too bad, I would have liked to mess with their minds too. But messing with Emmitt’s mind was pretty darn special to The Mayor.

What you are listening to is Rock n’ Roll Machine. If you haven’t heard it before, but like your music like you like your sex – hard and loud, with a bassist and a drummer in the room – you’re going to dig this.

The end.

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week – Back By Popular Demand

Monday, October 5th, 2009

According to the people that actually run this site — Dmorris, Two Dogs, and Andy, if I don’t give another week to Canadian Bands from the 70’s, there is a tremendous possibility that I might get my nipples bitten off by trained nipple hitmen (and possibly a hitlady).

The Mayor can’t take that chance, as I love my nipples too much. So here ya go.

Everyone with a neck is right: You can’t get all the great Canadian bands from the 70’s squished into one week if you’re only highlighting one band a night. I could have doubled up last week and put up two bands each night, or I could have put three bands up on Monday, two on Tuesday, three on Thursday and one on Friday, or, two on Monday, two on Tuesday, and three on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But I would have never put on two on Monday, three on Tuesday, FOUR on Wednesday and one Thursday and Friday, because that would have been stupid.

So I decided to stretch dis out another week, yo. Say, whatcha wearing?

RUSH. Oh ya. Have you ever wanted to go to a concert and NOT see a woman? Go to a RUSH concert. At RUSH concerts, the owners of the venue switch the female washrooms over to male washrooms for the night because they know there isn’t a chance in hell a woman would ever show up at one of their concerts.

And that’s not saying RUSH isn’t amazing, because they are. They’re just mancentric, that’s all. Have you ever heard a chick sing Tom Sawyer as she walked down the street listening to her IPod? Case closed, Leroy.

RUSH formed in 1968 in Willowdale Ontario, but it wasn’t until 1972 that the band got rid of their first drummer and replaced him with the best drummer the world has ever seen: Neil Peart. From there they went legendary, and there’s too much history to tell you about, so go Wiki the crap out of them if you choose.

The song above is Bastille Day, from RUSH’s bestest album ever, Caress of Steel (1975). You could argue that Caress of Steel wasn’t their best album, but let’s face it, you have made terrible choices in your life, and truth be told, your musical stylings blow chucks.

Enjoy RUSH. Enjoy Canadian Bands for the 70’s Week. Enjoy Yourself. But do it in private. Pervert.

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

I’m ending Canadian Bands from the 70’s Week with April Wine. There were a ton of groups I could have chosen, but I suppose it wasn’t until last night when I was listening to April Wine that I figured out I knew every bloody song. And that’s pretty good for a guy that doesn’t even listen to music. Because it’s of the devil. Everyone knows that.

April Wine started up in Waverly, Nova Scotia in 1969. I’ve actually been to Waverly before. I went there for a night, was the worst week of my life. Rimshot. Just kidding, I’m sure it’s lovely.

So, April Wine started in Waverly, then a year later moved to Montreal and released their self-titled debut album April Wine. The album met with success in Canada, which spurred lead singer and guitarist Myles Goodwyn on to proclaim, “Yes chaps, that was excellent, let us produce more music, and pass me that hash pipe”.

From there, April Wine kept producing albums and making great music. They never really made it out of Canada, only having minor success in the US and England. But they are great. I love ‘em.

I really enjoy most April Wine songs, but my favourites would have to be “Sign of the Gypsy Queen”, “Rock Myself to Sleep”, “Bad Side of the Moon”, and “Tell Me Why”.

Go YouTube them up and explore if you get the time.

The tune above these words is Rock N’ Roll Is A Vicious Game. And it is a vicious game, I nearly lost an eye rockin’ out to this.

And that ends Canadian Groups for the 70’s.

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Two Dogs is absolutely correct. No, seriously. He said something in the comments to yesterdays musical post that went a little sumpin’ sumpin’ like this: “This week has simply got to be impossible to complete. Certainly, without BTO and Rush, plus obviously ignoring Anne Murray, and her town mates. There is only that other power trio to go, which I hope comes down tomorrow.”

Sorry, Two Dogs, no RUSH this week.

As I mentioned before, BTO, RUSH, Joplin, The Guess Who, even April Wine, most people know all about those bands, I wanted to bring something a little unique to the table. Hahaha, I’m kidding, I’m not even at a table.

But I did want to showcase a few lesser known Canadian bands. Like tonight’s choice – The Stampeders.

They started out as a six piece band from the city of Calgary (beautiful place, but very expensive). They did squat for years until they got their heads straight, took the A train out of cattle country and moved to the Center of the Universe®, Toronto. They scaled down operations and became a trio, and then in 71 they started to absolutely dominate the Canadian music scene. At least for a time.

They came out with Carry Me, Devil You, and Wild Eyes. They also won three Juno’s (the Canadian version of music awards), went to #1 in Canada for Sweet City Woman, which also went to #8 on Billboard.

Sweet City Woman sold over a million albums in a y1971, stayed on Billboard for 16 weeks, and ya, probably got them a lot of tail for their efforts.

The Stampeders have a great sound – country, pop, a little ‘O this and a little ‘O that. I’m sure you will enjoy them. I heard Dmorris bought illegal fireworks from Ronnie King back in 72. I betcha that’s totally true.

Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I picked a band tonight that not even many Canadians will recognize: Mashmakhan.

They formed in 1960, but it wasn’t until 1970 (I believe) that they got their first record deal. As a matter of fact, Mashmakhan only came out with two albums, but Lord tunderin’ Jebus, these guys sure left their mark on the Canadian rock scene.

In later years, both Jerry Mercer and Brian Greenway joined a great Canadian band that goes by the name of April Wine (they might be tomorrows pick).

I picked Mashmakhan because The Mayor believes they were Canada’s first acid-rock band. Sure, they’re classified as *rock fusion*, but to me that doesn’t mean a thing. The 60’s were all about the hippies, acid, poor hygiene, and exceptional music. The 70’s was the wind down to rock, the death knell actually, but Mashmakham was there, rockin out, aciding up (not a word and maybe they weren’t), and being the last true acid-rock band standing.

I salute you, Mashmakhan, you guys were simply amazing.

Dig the tune above: As the Years Go By. It sold 100,000 copies in Canada (in 1970-71!!!), 400,000 copies in the States, and 400,000 copies in Japan.

Give it a minute, let it go to about 1:15 on the video and then see what they were all about.

And as a bonus Mashmakhan tune, have a boo at the one directly below these words:

Comin’ Home Baby, live from Winnipeg Stadium, July 1, 1970.

Did I mention that they originated from Montreal?


Canadian Bands From The 70’s Week

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Having a week like Canadian Bands From the 70’s means that quite a few excellent bands are going to be left out. For instance, I’m not going to put up Rush or BTO, simply because everyone knows them inside and out. I’m going to concentrate on bands that maybe those folks outside of Canada might not know a whole heck of a lot about.

Like Chilliwack, for instance. My sister use to love Chilliwack, she still might for all I know. In my honest opinion though, I thought Chilliwack was stronger in the 80’s then they were in the 70’s, with tunes like I believe (The Mayor’s fave Chilliwack song), My Girl (cheesy) and Whatcha Gonna Do.

Chilliwack was formed in the late 60’s from the ashes of a group called The Collectors. Other than marijuana and magic mushrooms, Chilliwack is the most successful export BC has ever had. BTW, Chilliwack is a town in BC, I think Dmorris hid out there for a summer in 72 when the RCMP was trying to track him down over some allegations regarding three midgets, a large rope and a stepladder. The details are kind of foggy now, but it’s something like that.

Anyway, Chilliwack was a pretty good group, a little musically light for my taste, but I’m still convinced that if Chilliwack was an American group, they would have been worldwide huge.

This post didn’t do these guys justice, so I suggest YouTubing the hell out of them to get the full falvour effect. You won’t be disappointed.