Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finders Keepers

The Umbrella
Finders Keepers
The Picture
Anyone got any info on this Edmonton Group?


Anonymous said...

.. sorry no info on the UMbrellas, but 2 cool tracks

thanks as always


Brian Phillips said...

A 1974 issue of Billboard mentioned that Gerry Lyon was working with the group Bearfoot in Toronto. A search of the BMI database didn't turn up anything for Pet-Mac publishing or Gerry Lyon.

A "Gerry Lyons" sang backup with Alice Cooper on "Welcome to my Nightmare".

Brian Phillips said...

Still nothing about "The Umbrella", but a Gerry Lyon was a promoter for the DJM (Dick James Music) label.

Gerry said...

Umbrella was a group that Dwayne Ford (Bearfoot and solo) and I put together. We did all originals, most of which I wrote. I had been to the UK and auditioned for a slew of UK startup bands. The most notable was Deep Purple where I was one of two singers (two guys wanted me, two guys wanted you know who - my visa ran out and I had to exit the UK stage left). Anyway, Umbrella was a name I brought back from old blighty, along with a new wife (Bai) and a son (John Sebastion). Umbrella worked with Garry McDonall from my days with the Nomads. Pet-Mac are Garry (horn) and Wally Petrochuck (reed) - both real cool guys. CBC produced an Umbrella special where we did an hour of original tunes. Still, we struggled in that era before Canadian content regulation and eventually folded. I went up to Whitehorse and made a bunch of money in the bars up there, then went back to England. In England I worked for Dick James Music where, amongst other things, I helped develop a couple of lads names Reggie and Bernie (aka Elton John and Bernie Taupin). I promoted his first album in London, mainly at the Beeb (BBC), helped set up his world-wide record distribution (outside UK and US), did a bunch of work behind the scenes putting together stuff for his first US tour (where EJ, Dee and Nigel made that legendary performance at the Troubadour). I got recruited by Numbus 9 and went back to Toronto where I worked with Jack Richardson and Bob Ezrin (amongst others) on a long list of monster artists. I did a lot of production assistance and production (including getting Bearfoot a record contract with Columbia Canada), but became fedup with helping to make so many others so successful, only to have them become walking monopolies or worse, walking disasters. The last straw was a group I produced for Capital Records Canada that broke up a week before the first single was released - and it was a monster single. I also produced another monster for Douglas Clark Steiger and he literally ran away when I cam back from LA without a record deal. We had release his single in Canada and on a lark sent a copy to the Gavin report radio tip sheet, then the #1 in the US. He picked Kiss Me (And I Won't Complain) and Help Me as a very rare double-sided pick hit of the week. The artist, was nowhere to be found. I discovered later that Doug had tun off to join the Marines - go figure? I then moved to Hollywood where I worked very hard trying to develop a solo career as a singer-songwriter. I wrote a lot of great tunes and produced some awesome demos and masters, but at the time, the US music industry was not signing any artist that couldnt prove they could sell at least 100,000 albums. When the PC came along, my techno geek persona said, "Bye-bye" to the music industry and I've never looked back. I've worked for the who's-who in the software world using skills I acquired in that other software world of making hit records. I've done quite well. Still, it's kinda cool to see that anyone even remembers Umbrella or Gerry Lyon for that matter. And yes, I did sing backup on Welcome to my Nightmare, and a lot more that I never got credit for, including building the recording studio it was recorded in.

nadorozny2001 said...

thanks for the info. thats show bi full of sharks that smell blood in the water !!

Rick Nash said...

Pet-Mac Publishing was Garry McDonall and Wally (Wallis) Petryk. not Petrochuck... :)