The Blue Peter story started in the mid-to-late 70's when Chris Wardman and Paul Humphrey, who became the nucleus of the band, began practicing and writing material in the Wardman's basement in Markham, Ontario. Blue Peter's beginnings were pretty typical - friends getting together in the basement to play rock and roll and hopefully impress the girls, and the late '70's had some of the freshest sounds anywhere. Disco was on its way out and punk was making a statement, leading the way for new w...
The Blue Peter story started in the mid-to-late 70's when Chris Wardman and Paul Humphrey, who became the nucleus of the band, began practicing and writing material in the Wardman's basement in Markham, Ontario.
Blue Peter's beginnings were pretty typical - friends getting together in the basement to play rock and roll and hopefully impress the girls, and the late '70's had some of the freshest sounds anywhere. Disco was on its way out and punk was making a statement, leading the way for new wave. Originally formed by vocalist Paul Humphrey and guitarist Chris Wardman, the band's lineup was solidified when Geoff McOuat came in on bass and Ron Tomlinson brought his drumkit on board.
After moving to Toronto in 1978, they quickly discovered the 'big time' circuit was a tough egg to crack at first, simply because of the lack of venues that were home to the new wave pop sound they were developing. Bars predominately had bands play cover tunes, and Blue Peter put their own spin on the Stones, Iggy Pop, Led Zeppelin, but were still actively writing and trying out their own material on the crowds. Big hair and tight spandex still ruled, but once the club scene caught up with the changing musical landscape, the band found themselves in high demand. Playing a mix of synthesizer-driven originals and their own take on the standards.
They signed with Ready Records and released their debut EP 'Test Patterns for Living' later that year. All seven tracks were recorded in a single day at South West Studios in London, Ontario. They were a hit with radio stations around Toronto who were also switching over to what would be dubbed, 'the new music,' including independent station CFNY. The station played "Factory Living" and "Same Old Place" and other stations in the market soon followed suit.
In 1980, Mike Bambrick replaced Tomlinson on drums, and in the same year, the band released their first full-length album, 'Radio Silence'.
Over the next couple of years, Blue Peter ran into difficulties with record labels and management, which led to them briefly releasing material on their own label, including "Chinese Graffiti" in 1981. Around this same time, McOuat left the band and was replaced by new bassist Ric Joudrey. After a year without label representation, Blue Peter returned to Ready Records in 1982, in time to release 'Up To You'. "Chinese Graffiti" was included on the 'Up To You' release, and won the band a CASBY Award (then known as the "U-Knows") for Single Of The Year in 1982.
By the release of the 1983 Steve Nye-produced LP 'Falling', the line-up had stabilized with the addition of Jason Sniderman on keyboards and Owen Tennyson on drums and the band scored a Top 40 hit with "Don't Walk Past". The song won two important awards in Canada in 1983: "Best Video of 1983" from the Canadian Film And Television Association; and "Most Popular Video" at Sony's Video Culture Festival. It also received airplay at various U.S. outlets including MTV.
Then, in January of 1985, just as the band seemed poised for international recognition, Blue Peter split up. Seven years of non-stop output - including remixes, dub-mixes and club mixes - and a rigorous touring schedule had left the band drained and exhausted.
The band released their greatest hits package, 'All Through The Night', in 1997 which featured the previously unfinished 1985 track "Equalizer" with new parts added by Paul Humphrey and Rick Joudrey in 1996.
In 2006, Blue Peter reunited for a concert to commemorate the release of The Best of Ready collection by Ready Records. The following year, the band reissued their catalog as three compilation CDs. The re-release of Falling included eight of the Vertigo demos as bonus tracks.
Band Members: Paul Humphrey - Vocals Chris Wardman - Guitar/Songwriter Owen Tennyson - Drums Jason Sniderman - Keyboards Rick Joudrey - Bass
Geoff McOuat - Bass (1978-1980) Mike Bambrick - Drums (1978, 1980-1982) Ron Tomlinson - Drums (1979) Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.