Electric mandolin/violin player and vocalist Nash The Slash (whose name comes from the 1927 Laurel & Hardy movie 'Do Detectives Think?') is well known for his instrumental soundtrack work and re-invention of classic rock cover tunes while his image, that of a bandaged, walking, Invisible Man has made him instantly recognizable. During a gig at The Edge in the late '70's to raise awareness of the threat from the Three Mile Island disaster, he walked on stage wearing bandages dipped in phosphorous paint and exclaimed: "look, this is what happens to you". The bandages became his trademark.
Though he was guitarist in a late '60's Toronto band called Breathless with Michael Waite, Nash The Slash made his auspicious debut alongside keyboardist/bassist/vocalist Cameron Hawkins as FM in 1976. Their first concert was at the "A Space" art gallery in November of that year. As their experiences live increased, they decided they needed a drummer and Martin Deller was added. Soon they began appearing as a fixture in the established Toronto music scene at rock clubs and outdoor festivals. CHUM-FM radio personality, Larry Wilson, had met FM during its infancy and adopted them as the radio station's pet project, keeping listeners updated.
Their appearances increased around Toronto including an award-winning live performance on TV Ontario's Nightmusic featuring three original tunes: "Phasors On Stun", "One O'Clock Tomorrow", and "Black Noise". They then appeared on CBC's "Who's New" TV variety program and are offered a deal to record an album through its Broadcast Recording division.
Their first foray into the studio was recorded and mixed in just days at Sounds Interchange in Toronto with CBC producer Keith Whiting. The CBC presses 500 albums and releases them to its affiliates (and through mail-order). The album prompted JEM Records' Marty Scott to license it for re-release on his VISA label in the US and on Passport Records elsewhere.
In 1978 Nash left FM to pursue a solo career.
A TV Ontario special, entitled 'Nash The Slash Rises Again', featuring paintings by Robert Vanderhorst set to the music of Nash The Slash aired in 1978. Live performances by the two artistes soon followed and included a one hour "pulsed, multi-screen audio-visual show" entitled 'Bombardier', (a reworking of a similar project from 1976). Nash would release musical segments of this production on his first two solo records, including the first EP, 'Bedside Companion' (1978). Robert Vanderhorst's cover art may have been instrumental in starting the mystery of Nash The Slash's appearance by deliberating obscuring his face.
Nash The Slash would put out a half dozen releases between 1980 and 1984 as writer, producer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and often times engineering and production. 'Children Of The Night' was produced by Steve Hillage and eventually became Nash's biggest selling solo record with estimates at 100,000 copies worldwide. And a fledgling engineer by the name of Daniel Lanois produced the single "Dance After Curfew" from the 'And You Thought You Were Normal' album.
In 1982 Nash played violin on Gary Numan's 'Dance' album and also played in the subsequent tour.
Throughout 1983 and 1984, Nash The Slash teamed up with Robert Vanderhorst once more for a new interpretation of their 'Bombardier' show which was videotaped and released commercially in 1985. Meanwhile, Nash launched a lawsuit against Pepsi Canada corporation stemming from their use of a character in a high profile TV advertisement (featuring Carol Pope and Rough Trade) that more than resembled the bandaged one. Nash would eventually settle out of court.
Also that year, the success of Nash The Slash's 1984 album 'American Bandages' (he would receive a CFNY-FM CASBY Award nomination for single of the year) that brought about a reunion of his old band FM -- Martin Deller and Cameron Hawkins make cameos on the album. Slash needed to tour the album but double bills with The Spoons seemed ill-suited for the bandaged one's eclectic noodlings, so FM hit the road doing their old standards and Nash doing his proven solo material.
Nash's label, Quality, were impressed enough to offer FM a reunion album and so 'CON-TEST' was released with a promising single/video "Just Like You" to establish the '80's FM as Canada's answer to The Cars. Alas, as was FM's karma, Quality decided to eliminate its recording division just as 'CON-TEST' was gaining momentum and the album hung in limbo. MCA records jumped in to save the day and re-issued the album without missing a beat but the momentum had been lost. Martin Deller had decided he'd had enough and decided to finally retire and spent more time with his family.
Undaunted, the nominal success of their comeback record led to FM's signing to Duke Street records who were, in effect, distributed by MCA. Having utilized actual guitars for the first time on 'CON-TEST' the band decided to inject new blood and hire Simon Brierley (Lee Aaron/Strange Advance) and drummer Greg Critchley (Partland Bros./Spoons) for the next album 'Tonight'.
'Tonight' was poorly received despite a handful of singles/videos and almost two years of non-stop touring (Randy Cooke replacing Critchley on drums). Nash quit in May of 1989 to continue his solo career.
He landed a movie soundtrack deal with Toronto's Sinister Cinema which hired him to add soundtrack scores to old silent films such as Lon Chaney's 1925 "Phantom Of The Opera" and the 1919 German "The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari" specifically for home video release. Nash would later perform the works live-in-theatre at special screenings in Toronto's Danforth Music Hall.
Nash The Slash returned to his own musical works. This time he created an entire incidental music score for the soundtrack to Bruce McDonald's critically acclaimed film 'Highway 61' which he produced with Tony Malone (Drastic Measures). 500 copies were pressed at the time and sold out quickly.
In 1993 Nash The Slash teamed up with Plexus (aka Brett Maraldo) for a series of concerts called Psychedelitron '93, an amalgam of Maraldo and Nash tunes backed by Nash's revamped light show, psychedelic slides and projected computer graphics.
Fast forward to the CD revolution of 1994 where Cameron Hawkins, now running his own multi-media company in Toronto, decides its time to re-issue the much bally-hooed 'Black Noise' album. With Passport's demise a decade earlier the master tapes had long disappeared. A new technology employed by CBC radio allowed Hawkins to re-master from near-mint copies of the album on vinyl.
His own label, Now See Hear, put the disc out with such success that it sparked another revitalized interest in FM. Touring throughout 1994 and 1995 by the band -- Martin Deller, Cameron Hawkins and Nash The Slash -- captured their progressive stage impressions on the CDRom enhanced "RetroActive" live album recorded at RPM Warehouse in Toronto on November 19, 1984 by producer Terry Brown. However, old wounds hadn't healed and the band parted once again. Hawkins and Deller both since left the music business leaving Nash to focus on his first love, his own music, once again.
In 1994 Nash began work on the first Feature Film Project (Norman Jewison Film Foundation) entitled 'Blood And Donuts'. The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September of 1995.
Nash plans to re-issue his entire back catalogue on CD starting with his first two albums 'Bedside Companion' and 'Dreams and Nightmares' in 1997. 'Bedside' was mastered from a sealed, mint vinyl after the original mastertapes were discovered to be in bad shape - both 45 rpm and 33 1/3 formats of the record are included. The double album was titled 'Blind Windows'.
1998 would find Nash revisiting his silent movie motifs as he put sound to such silent classics as 'The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari' and 'The Lost World' at clubs all over Southern Ontario.
In 1999 Nash released an album of new, harder-edged originals entitled 'Thrash'. Simultaneously, he released three video compilations: 'American Banned' (taped from a show in New Jersey as part of his 1983 'American Bandages' Tour), 'Give Me The Creeps', and 'Halloween 1999'.
In 2000 and 2001 Nash focused on finishing his masterful soundtrack work of the famous 1922 silent horror film 'Nosferatu', a collection of vaulted rarities called 'Lost In Space' and a re-issue of 'Children Of The Night'.
2002 saw the re-issue of 'And You Thought You Were Normal' and 'American Band-Ages' which completed Nash's cycle of original album re-issues.
In 2006 Nash compiled photographs from the former Toronto concert venue The Rock Pile (aka The Masonic Temple) in the mid-to-late 70’s and added editorial comments for each which were featured on his website. MTV Canada also used them in a special feature show following their assumption of the facility that year. Nash was also part of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival in October 2006 where performed music against the backdrop of a screening of silent film ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’.
Nash's next new album came in the form of a cover tune album called 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Nash' featuring remakes of such classics as the Iron Butterfly title track, The Who's "Baba O'Riley", Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine", and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald".
In 2010 Nash The Slash released 'Live In London, 2008'. He had to cancel a proposed tour of the UK due to family issues but promised a new studio album called 'Dog Will Hunt'.
with notes from Jon Crowhurst, Nash The Slash, Catherine Fawcett and Mark S. Tucker.
Dead Man's Curve/Swing Shift (Soixante-Neuf) (Cut-Throat)
Dead Man's Curve/Metropolis (Cut-Throat/Dindisc - UK)
Dead Man's Curve/Reactor No.2 (Cut-Throat/Dindisc - UK)
19th Nervous Breakdown/Danger Zone (Dindisc/Virgin - UK)
Novel Romance/In A Glass Eye (Dindisc/Virgin - UK)
Swing Shift (Flexi-version) (Smash Hits) [33 1/3 Blue vinyl flexi-disc included with Smash Hits Magazine]
Dance After Curfew//The Womble/Calling [12"] (Cut-Throat/PVC/JEM)
1984/1984 (instrumental) (Quality)
1984 - West Side (Radio Version)/1984 - East Side (Dance Version) [12"] (Quality)
Phasors On Stun/Dialing For Dharma (Visa/Passport)
Just Like You (Quality)
She Does What She Wants (MCA)
Good Vibrations/Good Vibrations (instrumental)(Duke Street)
Dream Girl/The Real Thing (Duke Street)
Magic (In Your Eyes)/I'm Not Mad (Ready For The World) (Duke Street)
All Of The Dreams (Duke Street)
Why Don't You Take It (Duke Street)
Bedside Companion (Cut-Throat)
[Fever Dream/Masquerade//Blind Windows/Million-Year Picnic]
Dreams And Nightmares (Cut-Throat)
Children Of The Night (Cut-Throat/Virgin/Dindisc/Polygram)
Decomposing (Cut-Throat) [The Calling/Life in Loch Ness//Womble/Pilgrim's Lament
And You Thought You Were Normal (Cut-Throat/PVC/JEM)
American Band-Ages (Quality)
4 External Cuts Only (Quality)
[2 remixes each of "Who Do You Dub/American Band/Psychotic Reaction"]
Million-Year Picnic (Ralph)
Highway 61 (Cut-Throat)
Blind Windows (Cut-Throat)
[CD re-issue of 'Dreams & Nightmares' and 'Bedside Companion']
Highway 61 [re-issue] (Cut-Throat)
Children Of The Night [CD re-issue]
Lost In Space (Cut-Throat)
And You Thought You Were Normal [CD re-issue] (Cut-Throat)
American Band-Ages [CD re-issue] (Cut-Throat)
Live In London - 2008 (Cut-Throat)
with FM 1977
Black Noise (CBC)
Black Noise [re-issue](Visa/Passport/GRT)
Black Noise [re-issue] (Passport/A & M)
CON-TEST [re-issue] (MCA)
Tonight [ltd. edition coloured vinyl](Duke Street)
Tonight (Duke Street) [CD includes 4 bonus tracks from 'CON-TEST']
Black Noise [re-issue] (Now See Hear)
RetroActive (Now See Hear/MCA)
Dance After Curfew
Bombardier [full-length](TransImage Productions)
with FM 1985
Just Like You
She Does What She Wants
All Of The Dreams
Why Don't You Take It
"Dead Man's Curve" on 'Rock '80's Vol. 2' (Virgin/Polygram - Germany) - compilation
"Swing Shift (Soixante-Neuf)" on 'Cash Cows' (Virgin/Polygram - UK) - compilation
with FM 1988
cut(s) on the soundtrack to 'Friday The 13th, Part VII: The New Blood'
with GARY NUMAN
Dance (Beggars Banquet) [Nash The Slash violin on "Cry The Clock Said", "You Are Moral"]
with DRASTIC MEASURES
Drastic Measures (Airwave/Columbia)
[Nash does arrangements and whistling on "Hotsy Totsy"; plays strings on "TNT", "I Need You Now", "Teddy Bear's Picnic"]
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