December 1, 2004

SJP


Artist: Diodes, The


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Paul Robinson (vocals)
John Catto (guitars)
David Clarkson (bass)
Ian MacKay (bass; replaced Clarkson)
John Hamilton (drums)
Mike Lengyell (drums; replaced Hamilton)

The Diodes are best known for their hit "Tired Of Waking Up Tired" and also a manic cover of "Red Rubber Ball" (the old Cyrkle hit written by Paul Simon and Bruce Woodley) as well as having the distinction of being the first Canadian punk band signed to a Canadian major label.

The group formed in late 1976 with an amalgam of influences from The Who, Marc Bolan, Iggy Pop and MC5 and began touring in Canada and the US.

In 1977, the band and manager-cum-everyman Ralph Alfonso ran Canada's first punk club, The Crash 'n' Burn located in the basement of the building that was owned by the CEAC (Centre For Experimental Art And Communication) masterminds Amerigo Marras and Bruce Eves who recruited the musical skills of The Diodes and Curse vocalist Mickey Skin for a double-sided political propaganda 'newsletter' in the form of a 7" single called "Raw/War", under the guise of Crash 'N' Burn Records.

They were signed to Columbia that year and the eponymous LP, produced by Bob Gallo, featured a cover of the Max Frost And The Troopers song "Shape Of Things To Come" (originally heard in the movie 'Wild In The Streets').

It became a big import item in the USA and was also released in various European countries. They did a tour of the US through New York, Boston, Chicago and back in 1978. At their Max's Kansas City show, they were introduced on stage by the late Wendy O. Williams...The Ramones and Blondie were apparently in attendance!

They switched labels for their third album 'Action-Reaction' to Orient which was distributed by RCA Records followed by more tours of Canada and the US...and then self-destructing unceremoniously.

In 1982 they released "Survivors" which was a collection of out-takes and demos from 77-81.

Also in 1982, Robinson and Catto moved to England and tried recruiting a new rhythm section for the launch of a Diodes UK version, called High Noon, which featured two ex-Barracudas members David Buckley and Steve Robinson, but it failed to get off the ground.

The Diodes even had a tribute 7" single released by Change Of Heart and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet...both acts interpreting "Tired Of Waking Up Tired".

Catto, Mackay, Robinson, and Hamilton plus second drummer Mike Lengyell performed live for the first time in 20 years, one night only, for the TV show, "Open Mike With Mike Bullard" on Friday, January 22, 1999 to celebrate the release of the Sony Canada compilation 'Tired Of Waking Up Tired: The Best Of The Diodes'. The performance also marked the first time John Hamilton and Mike Lengyell ever performed together (Lengyell had replaced Hamilton following the original drummer's departure). For the reunion, Hamilton handled keyboard duties as heard on their classic single "Tired Of Waking Up Tired".

The band give it another kick in 2007 with shows in Liverpool, England as part of The International Pop Overthrow Festival and elsewhere (including a one-off in Toronto).

The members are currently scattered about the globe -- Robinson (originally from Boston, MA) is living in London, UK working as an Art consultant; Catto (originally from Birmingham, England) is also living in London, UK working as a computer consultant and now working with Ray Mayhew (formerly of Sigue Sigue Sputnik) as part of Mayhem Deranged; Lengyell lives in London, Ontario and still drums; the remaining two members live in Toronto: Mackay is employed in the computer software industry and Hamilton is designing web pages. Both are currently performing in a new project with drummer Cleave Anderson (Battered Wives, Blue Rodeo) called The Beverley Brothers.

with notes from Ralph Alfonso, Ian MacKay, John Hamilton, and Jon Pennycook.


Singles
1977 Raw [b/w 'War' by THE CURSE] (Crash 'N' Burn)
1977 Red Rubber Ball/We're Ripped (Columbia) C4-4168
1978 Tired Of Waking Up Tired/Child Star (Epic) E4-4186
1978 Tired Of Waking Up Tired/Teenage Nation (Epic) E4-4260
1980 Strange Time/Rocket Over And Under (Orient/RCA) O45-001
1980 Catwalker/Action Reaction (Orient/RCA) O45-003

Albums
1977 The Diodes (Columbia) PES-90441
1979 Released (Epic/CBS) PEC-80002
1980 Action/Reaction (Orient/RCA) OLP-001
1982 Survivors (Fringe) FP-3003
1998 Tired Of Waking Up Tired: The Best Of The Diodes (Sony)

Video
1980 Catwalker

Compilation Tracks
1995 "Tired Of Waking Up Tired" on 'Come Out And Play: American Power Pop' (Rhino)





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