Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Buick McKane - Demos (1978)

So, here's the thing. We were all set to keep on keeping' on, and post all of the stuff that was in James Muretich's collection (well, all the stuff that Mary-Lynn Wardle had, anyways)... and then the former proprietor of Golden Rock drops us an email with something he's just discovered he's been sitting on for several years. Something that, well, is something special.

If you read Perfect Youth (we tried, and kind of gave up... to be fair, we haven't made it through Ulysses yet, either), you might get a conflicted sense of this town's history. Sutherland wants to peg December 1977 as when "Calgary had its first punk show", featuring Allen Baekeland and Alan McDonald's Social Blemishes. But, just before that, in a brief four paragraphs, Sutherland recounts the history of Buick McKane, our city's "stumbling first step into punk." Talking to folks from that era of the scene, Sutherland perhaps doesn't give this band their due - sure, they went on to form the seminal Crash Kills Five, and subsequently the unforgettable Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet... but they also opened a lot of kids' eyes (and ears) and maybe got this whole thing rolling (along with some high school kid who had just come back from the UK with a pile of punk records to share with his friends).

What we didn't know is that there were recorded artifacts from this band - which is truly ground zero of our underground music scene. Here's the note from Golden Rock:
Here's the Buick McKane stuff, six songs from two different sources: 
1978 demo:Janie Jones
Anywhere, Anytime
Oddy Knocky
She's Only
Downtown...When It's Dark
Scott Reed: vocals
Brian Connelly: guitar
Reid Diamond: bass
Alex Koch: drums 
Studio recording, June 16th, year unknown:Vambo

Scott Reed: vocals
Brian Connelly: guitar
Reid Diamond: bass
Rob Wynne: drums
Recorded by James Braden (sp?) 
Other than "Vambo," which is definitely a Sensational Alex Harvey Band cover, I *think* these are all original BM compositions, but am not positive. It's all got that Alex Harvey pub-glam-rock feel... "Oddy Knocky" and "She's Only" showed up in Crash Kills Five sets a few years later....
I can't believe I didn't know I had these! They were on a couple of CDs of Crash Kills Five stuff that I've had for years but forgot to listen to because they came in a huge package of Shadowy Men bootlegs and such (15 discs or so!) that I got from the guy who runs the definitive, unofficial Shadowy site (I traded him a digital copy of SMOASP's Peel Session, which Don Pyle dubbed for me overtop an E.J. Brulé cassette in 1993 or so). So that's that.
Yes, indeed. That is that. We don't have much to offer beyond Golden Rock's description. So why are we still writing? We should be pointing you to the download!


Leeanimal said...

I loved Buick McKane! There were so few of us who actually knew of the band that I soon befriended them (actually met Reid Diamond in a record store in about 1976/77 as we were both perusing the "punk rock" section, very limited as it was, and he told me he was in a band and to come see them). I most certainly did and got to know them as friends and party mates. As my NW crowd mingled with their SW crowd, we went wherever they played; don't think we ever missed a gig! No other band was playing early Who, Slade, Sex Pistols, etc. and not only that but they were so GOOD and energetic and loads of fun on (and off!) stage. From venue's like The Beacon and The Airliner to high school gigs, we were there to watch them and go crazy on the dance floor. In 1978 Reid, Brian and Alex headed off to Toronto, hooked up with Don Pyle and soon there was Crash Kills Nine (if memory serves) then Crash Kills Five and finally Shadowy Men from a Shadowy Planet and finally Phono-Comb (here and there member changes...). But Buick McKane never did get their due for their importance or impact on the early Calgary punk scene - they left before it opened up here with Social Blemishes, Hot Nasties, Verdix....So glad to see them mentioned here!

Anonymous said...

> hey were on a couple of CDs of Crash Kills Five stuff that I've had for years

Whoa there .... these CDs are described here:

But they have seem to never have been posted anywhere. Can you find and upload them? You are the only one who has the connections and the audience. Thanks.

Leeanimal said...

That'd be a trip to hear this again...Pretty sure Don Pyle would have recordings of everything they ever did, with and without him ;)