2007 marks the 30th anniversary of the birth of The Canadian punk scene,The Crash & Burn Club and the release of The Diodes first album on CBS records.
When punk first broke in 1976, The Diodes (Paul Robinson, John Catto, Ian Mackay, John Hamilton and, later, Michael Lengyell) were at the front line of a wave that included The Ramones, Dead Boys ,Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Generation X, The Damned,and countless other pioneers of alternative rock. By the time they signed to CBS Records in August, 1977 , The Diodes had already run Canada's first punk club (the legendary Crash 'n' Burn ), played CBGB's in New York, and had been written up in Melody Maker UK ,NME UK, Creem US,Rock Scene US, Billboard US,New York Rocker, The Globe and Mail Toronto and The Toronto Star. The debut self-titled Diodes lp came out in October, 77;making it one of the first punk/new wave albums of the era.
The single, "Red Rubber Ball", a revved up version of The Cyrkle's 60s hit, was the first new wave single on the Canadian charts (peaking at a modest No. 96 on the RPM singles chart), It reached No. 5 on the U.S. Record Week "New wave Top 20" chart in Feb, 1978. In November, 77, the Diodes headlined the notorious 'Max's Kansas City' in New York with none other than Wendy O. Williams (The Plasmatics) introducing them on stage. The Diodes lp was released in France, Sweden, Germany, Holland, and was a top selling CBS import in the USA and the UK.
During a 1978 US tour, the group introduced a new song "Tired Of Waking Up Tired" . The reaction was so phenomenal that the single was rush-released and rocketed onto US radio stations KROQ in LA, KSJO San Jose No. 4; WTBS/Boston No. 12; , WBCN Boston, etc. As an import only item In the UK, "Tired" made ..36 on the Sounds magazine Best of 78 chart. The NME hailed it as one of "The Singles That Got Away" and respected rock critics , Jon Savage, Vivien Goldman, Ken Barnes and Greg Shaw called it a classic track. The Diodes also become the first punk group to get an El Mocambo live broadcast on CHUM FM Toronto(March, 1978) This was held on the first anniversary of the Rolling Stones appearance there a year earlier.This gig will soon to be released as a live album on vinyl.Watch this space!!!
The Diodes were an active force on the Canadian and US music scene, touring with the likes of U2, The Ramones , Dead Boys ,Talking Heads, Ultravox, Split Enz,The Cramps, and Gary Numan. The Diodes were influential not only in Canada (Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and Change Of Heart released a 7" tribute single) but worldwide (Bob Mould (Husker Du) once bought a box of their first lp to give out to people). "Tired" was also the only track by a Canadian band featured on the Rhino Records DIY series of punk/pop compilations. Interest in The Diodes has been steady via heritage airplay on Modern Rock radio. The cult movie Hard Core Logo has a segment where the lead characters sing an acoustic version of "Tired". Vintage video play on Much Music,the CBC the BBC and the Internet has secured that The Diodes live on!."Tired Of Waking Up Tired" was also recently voted No. 17 on the Top 50 Canadian Singles Of All Time (Chart magazine)
The Diodes were a key band in the development of the Canadian alternative music scene. Over the last few years, The Diodes have been profiled by Dave Bidini (Rheostatics) in The Toronto Star; appeared in the book MONDO CANUCK, featured on the MUCH MUSIC'S Punk Special, MOJO magazine in the UK reprinted lyrics to "Plastic Girls" as an example of great punk lyrics, and vintage Diodes videos have been featured on Canadian music programs including Much Music and the CBC.
John Catto Guitar
Paul Robinson VOX
Ian Mackay Bass
John Hamilton Drums