December 5, 2004

SJP


Artist: Greaseball Boogie Band


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Duncan "King Grease" White (vocals)
Gene Track (bass)
Mike "Animal" Holman (guitar)
Tommy "Short Ass" Frew (drums)
Paul Denyes (keyboards)
Tom Fryer (bass; replaced Track)
John Bride (guitar, banjo, ukelele; replaced Holman 1972)
Ray Harrison (keyboards; replaced Denyes 1972)
Wayne Mills (saxophone, synth; added 1972)

Formed in 1970, the Greaseball Boogie Band had their auspicious beginnings rehearsing in the Yonge Street Long & McQuade store in Toronto. Frew had come from the Scottish band Marmalade, Denyes had done the Toronto circuit with The Twilights and White had been in The Silhouettes in the early '50s with a young Doug Riley; Mills joined after jamming with them in Ottawa at the Skyline Hotel. The band soon asked him to join.

They developed a large following in and around Toronto with a mixture of parody and rock featuring all things relating to greasers, bikers and leather jackets. A new line-up including Harrison finally gelled by 1972 and the band started attracting a huge following on national tours from coast-to-cost culminating in a show at Toronto's Ontario Place for 15,000 people where they received 6 encores.

The attention was enough to land the group a deal with GRT Records in 1973 and, in a brave move by the label, released a double album of cover tunes.

Greaseball went back on the road with Gene Vincent's "Be Bop A Lula" as their 7" single calling card and did successful tours with The Guess Who, Sha-Na-Na, and an odd stylistic team-up with Roxy Music.

The band was nominated for the 'Most Promising Group' Juno Award against Rush in 1974 but ultimately lost out.

Next, GRT's Ross Reynolds wanted the band to record again but felt they needed a songwriting boost. After producer Ralph Murphy brought Leo Sayer's "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)" to them to record, they realized the song couldn't be convincingly performed by the rowdy and raucous Greaseball Boogie Band so they changed their name to Shooter Revue and finally just Shooter. It also meant an image change and so, White, Bride, and Harrison, decided to take the over-indulgent Vegas style of disco acts and dig back into the WWII catalog of 1940's swing and big-band music, hired female backing vocalists, The Murphy Sisters, and proceeded to record their self-titled debut for GRT.

The 1975 album spawned several hit singles including "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)" and another Leo Sayer hit "Train". The group split up in 1980.

Track would go on to play with Robbie Lane & The Disciples; White left the music business to help raise his three daughters; Denyes and Holman later joined Little Caesar & The Consuls. Holman also became a spokesperson for Yorkville Sound; Harrison joined Crowbar before re-teaming with Mills and Bride to form The Cameo Blues Band following their stint in Shooter.

with notes from Graham Ashe, Ralph Murphy and Duncan White.



Singles
1973 Be Bop A Lula/Dr. Feelgood (GRT) 1230-070

Albums
1973 The Greaseball Boogie Band (GRT) 9230-1042

Video


Compilation Tracks
1972 "Slow Down" on 'Concept' (ARC)













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