November 30, 2004

SJP


Artist: Crowbar




Larry Atamniuk (drums)
King Biscuit Boy [aka Richard Newell] (harmonica)
Roly Greenway (bass)
Kelly Jay [aka Blake Fordham] (vocals, piano)
Rheal Lanthier (guitar)
Richard Bell (keyboards)
John Gibbard (slide guitar)
Sonnie Bernardi (drums; replaced Atamniuk 1970)
Jozef Chirowski (keyboards; replaced Bell 1970)
Ray Harrison (keyboards; replaced Chirowski 1977)
Rick Birkett (bass; replaced Greenway 1977)

Crowbar's roots can be traced back almost as far back as Roly Greenway's career. Greenway first played guitar in The Centurys (1958) who were based in Guelph and featured Ed Dameron (bass), Rick Cassolato (drums), Glenn Higgins (sax) and an unidentified drummer. Greenway would then go on to perfrom in Joe Pino & The Starlites (1962), and The Ascots (1963). It was in the Ascots that he met guitarist Rheal Lanthier and the two played the Vegas lounge circuit for two years with the likes of Liberace and Zsa Zsa Gabor. The band broke up from sheer boredom and returned to Canada where Greenway joined Bobby Curtola's touring band.

In 1967, Greenway reformed the band with Lanthier as the New Ascot Revue where they recruited Kelly Jay, piano player/vocalist, and world renowned harmonica player Richard Newell aka King Biscuit Boy. Newell had gotten his nickname during his tenure playing on and off with Ronnie Hawkins. Hawkins had asked Newell to assemble a new band so he grabbed the New Ascots plus Richard Bell (keyboards), John Gibbard (guitar) and Larry Atamaniuk (drums) to create the latest version of Hawkins' band called ...And Many Others.

Hawkins took the band to some of the most prestigious venues in rock including the Filmore East playing on a bill with the likes of Joe Cocker, Johnny Winter, and Mountain. However, as was Hawkins' unpredictability, in 1970 while at the Grange Tavern in Hamilton, Hawkins came into the bar and fired the whole band exclaiming: "You guys are so crazy you could f*ck up a crowbar in three seconds!". And thus a band, and a band name, was born.

The act resumed with a slight personnel change - Sonnie Bernardi replaced Atamaniuk on drums and Jozef Chirowski replaced Bell on keyboards. Along with King Biscuit Boy, Crowbar cut the 'Official Music' album on credit from Terry Brown and Doug Riley's Toronto Sound production facility. It was the first Daffodil Records release July 13, 1970. Critics were unanimous in their appraisal of the band. The ensemble toured with their most memorable performance at the Strawberry Fields Rock Festival near Toronto in the summer of 1970. In late 1970, King Biscuit Boy and Crowbar parted ways - he to write material for the 'Gooduns' album; they to prepare for the debut album 'Bad Manors'.

Within three months, the international release of the album again garnered critical acclaim from magazines such as Creem and Rolling Stone. Crowbar was the first act to launch a record in the legislation era (a law designating the implementation of 30% mandatory Canadian content by all radio stations) with the single "Oh, What A Feeling".

The song was also featured on the live album recorded at Massey Hall, 'Larger Than Life', which was certified gold within 3 weeks of its release. Unfortunately, due to the drug connotation to lyrics in "Oh, What A Feeling", the tune failed to gain airplay in the United States. It did do well in England, however.

As part of Pierre Trudeau's bid to gain the youth vote, his wife Margaret Trudeau (who was a Crowbar fan) asked the band to become the opening act of Trudeau's re-election campaign in 1972. With rallies in such venues as Maple Leaf Gardens, Trudeau won the campaign and Crowbar became a household name. However, their popularity also spawned the need to incorporate and hire industry people to handle their affairs under the management of Martin Onrot.

While Daffodil Records was negotiating a new distribution with A & M Records, Crowbar was lured away by Clive Davis to join Columbia Records in New York and signed to their affiliate Epic Records. Their debut album for the label, 'Million Dollar Weekend', was produced by Jack Richardson (Guess Who) fledgling production apprentices Jack Douglas and Bob Ezrin.

A second album for Epic was released in 1974, but the failure to have any sizable commercial success led the band to officially split up later that year.

After several years in other personal projects, the members re-united (with the exception of Chirowski who had joined the Alice Cooper Band) with two new members - Ray Harrison (keyboards) and Rick Birkett (bass) - for a winter tour in 1977-78 following which the band split up once more. Kelly Jay would go on to have an intermittent solo career; Roly Greenway was in the band Next briefly in 1976; Ray Harrison co-founded Shooter who released one album on GRT.

Fast forward to 1996 and the original Crowbar reunited without Kelly Jay for some good time revival shows. With Kelly Jay flying in for gigs in recent years, Crowbar occasionally plays event shows when they can.

with notes from Francis W. Davies, Brad Cassolato and Roly Greenway.




Singles
as KING BISCUIT BOY AND CROWBAR
1970 Corrina, Corrina/Cookin' Little Baby (Daffodil) DFS-1001

with BLAKE FORDHAM (aka KELLY JAY)
1970 Uncle Pen/Roberta (London) M-17385

as RIP VAN WINKLE
1971 Prince of Peace/Prince of Peace (Instrumental) (Daffodil) DFS-1004

as CROWBAR
1971 Oh What A Feeling/Murder In The First Degree (Daffodil) DFS-1004
1971 Happy People/Mountain Fire (Daffodil) DFS-1009
1971 Too True Mama/In The Dancing Hold/Train Keep Rolling [3-sided 7"] (Daffodil) DFS-1012
1971 Fly Away/Newspaper Song (Daffodil) DFS-1014
1971 Ask Me No Questions/In The Dancing Hold (Daffodil) DFS-1019
1972 Hey Baby/The Beaver And The Eagle (Daffodil) DFS-1021
1972 Dreams/Cluckie's Escape (Daffodil) DFS-1029
1972 House Of Blues Lights/Let The Four Winds Blow (Daffodil) DFS-1038
1973 Higher & Higher/Nothing Lasts Forever (Epic) 5-11008
1973 Million Dollar Weekend/Something Happened Yesterday (Epic) 5-11050
1974 All The Living Things/[same] (Epic) 5-11104
1986 Call Me A Cab/Blue Light Boogie (World) WRC3-4993
1986 House Of Blue Light (independent) CX-0410

as KELLY JAY & BAD MANORS
1975 If You Play Your Cards Right (Ya Gets Me)/Hopelessly Hopeless (Columbia/CBS) C4-4077

Albums
as KING BISCUIT BOY AND CROWBAR
1970 Official Music (Daffodil) DS-1000001

as CROWBAR
1971 Bad Manors - Crowbar's Golden Hits Vol. 1 (Daffodil) SBA-16004
1971 Larger Than Life (Daffodil) SBBX-16007
1972 Heavy Duty (Daffodil) SBA-16013
1972 Crowbar Classics - Memories Are Made of This (Daffodil) SBA-16030
1973 Million Dollar Weekend (Epic) EPC-80046
1974 KE32746 (Epic) KE-32746
1982 The Best Of Crowbar [re-issue] (Daffodil) DFN-668
2002 Live At The Whiskey-A-GoGo (Unidisc)
Video


Compilation Tracks
1971 "Snakes And Ladders" on 'Concept' (ARC)
1972 "Beaver And The Eagle" on 'Maple Music Vol.1 (MMJ)
1974 "Million Dollar Weekend" on 'Music Power' (K-Tel) TC-214
1990 "Oh What A Feeling" on 'Made In Canada - Volume Two: Into The '70's' (BMG)





COMING IN OCTOBER 2011: The book version of the Encyclopedia.

Click on the image and pre-order now!


Photobucket

Submit corrections, additions and feedback







HOT MUSIC HEADLINES
Q & A with the Arctic Monkeys
Selena Gomez swears, storms off stage at Jingle Ball
R. Kelly: 'I met my match in Lady Gaga'
Rebecca Black debuts 'Friday' follow-up
Jay Z, Drake earn top Grammy nominations
Ed Sheeran paid his dues for singer-songwriter success
CD reviews: Bad Religion, Erasure and Nick Lowe top Christmas albums
Drake pulls out of Grammy's concert
How Christina Aguilera got her groove back
The most iconic '90s videos
More Headlines
Britney Spears ponders retirement after Las Vegas residency
Kanye West plays to half-empty arena in Kansas City
Our top Grammy nomination picks
Hilary Duff preparing for pop comeback
Gucci Mane faces gun charges
Lady Gaga announces Canadian tour
Katy Perry, John Mayer pose together in 'Who You Love' cover art
A semi ‘Orange is the New Black’ holiday special
Reggae legend Junior Murvin dies at 67
Rza pays tribute to Paul Walker through song


Who's coming and when
Want to know when your favourite band is coming to town? Check out Clive, JAM Music's extensive Canadian concert listings.

TV Listings
Wondering what's on tonight? Check out our TV listings for the complete schedule in your area.
Movie Listings
Find out what's playing at a theatre near you.








Do you think Kanye West should have the book thrown at him for fighting with a photographer?
Yes
No


Results | Story