"Play it LOUD, or don’t play it at all"
"Tough and adventurous, Moxy was a driving force in Canadian rock, pushing its energetic hard rock sounds, beyond the borders – and beyond the limits. Moxy had the musical ability, they had the star quality and they made the right moves, but their road to success was also their road to self-destruction."
This page includes the liner notes for "The Best of Moxy: Self-Destruction" (Pacemaker Entertainment, 1995), a compilation of songs from the albums Moxy, Moxy II, and Ridin’ High. The liner notes were written by Jane Burnside with research by Bill Munson (all rights reserved). "Moxy", their eponymously-titled first album, has the unmistakable presence of Tommy Bolin’s solos, fills, and quite possibly song structures. Also notable is that Mike Reno (ne', Mike Rynoski), who replaced Buzz Sherman as lead singer for Moxy's 4th album "Under the Lights", went on to front "Loverboy".
Bolin was recording in the next studio, and liked what he heard from these guys (see full band biography, below).
Moxy [lp] : US 1976 Mercury SRM-1-1087
Moxy [lp] : Canada 19-- Ahed AS-8230
Tommy Bolin - The Ultimate... [3lp; Bolin] : Germany 1989 Geffen 924248-1
Tommy Bolin - The Ultimate... [2cd; Bolin] : US 1989 Geffen 2-24248
Some information taken from Jouni Maho’s excellent Bolin Discography: Deep Purple WWW Pages
Self-Destruction chronicles Moxy’s short but significant career.
It was a Monday night gig at the Knob Hill Hotel – a bleak establishment in a bleak drugs and donuts Toronto suburb – where Moxy first appeared in 1974. Actually, the band was not yet called Moxy. They were still using the name "Leigh Ashford," a band that had been a fixture on the local scene since 1967 with a steady stream of different members.
The newest version of Leigh Ashford had only one holdover from the previous Saturday night - singer Douglas "Buzz" Shearman. The others - Earl Johnson on guitar, Terry Juric on bass and Billy Wade on drums had all been in another local group, Outlaw Music.
For lead guitarist Earl Johnson, it was his second stint with Leigh Ashford; he had been in an earlier version with Shearman, bassist Don Elliot from Toronto's legendary Mandala [note to Bolin and James Gang fans: Roy Kenner and Dominic Troiano from the James Gang had also been in "Mandala"] and drummer Jack Flynn from Manchild. After a short stay in a reformed Manchild with Flynn, he joined show band Brandy, which transformed itself into the hard rockin' Outlaw Music.
Bill Wade had previously been in another hardy perennial, Brutus, with singer Walter Zwol and flash guitarist Gino Scarpelli, later of Goddo.
Buzz Shearman had been one of the frontmen in Sherman and Peabody in 1968 while still in his mid-teens. Peabody was Greg Godovitz, who lead the renowned Goddo for over 20 years. Sherman and Peabody also included Gil Moore who later found fame and forture with Triumph.
Next step for Buzz after Shearman and Peabody, was Flapping, a group based in Hamilton, Canada's steel town. When the rest of this band went to join Ian Thomas in Tranquillity Base, Buzz brought his raspy shriek back to Toronto to become the new front man in the already established Leigh Ashford.
After Buzz joined the band, they soon found success with an album and top 30 single. Unfortunately this success was short lived. They soon began to suffer from continuous band changes, differences in musical direction and a tedious string of week long engagements in scuzzy little bars scattered across the province.
Enter Johnson, Juric and Wade, now Leigh Ashford had a new lease on life. Their hard 'n heavy style suited Buzz's voice and in return they gained a front man with unbelievable stage presence. Realizing their sound no longer resembled Leigh Ashford, the band christened themselves Moxy.
Moxy's self-titled debut album was recorded in only two weeks and received some unexpected help from guitar wizard Tommy Bolin, who was recordeing an album in the studio next door.
Liking the punch of a second guitar, the band called on another veteran of Outlaw Music, Buddy Caine, to join.
In the spring of 1976, "MOXY" was released in Canada. FM radio listened - and loved - Moxy's hard-hitting, kick-ass style. So much so that promotional copies of the album found their way to hard rock stations in the USA. The response from these stations, including a "#1 most requested" in San Antonio, got the band a worldwide deal with Mercury Records.
Riding high on the success of "MOXY", the Aerosmith production team of Jack Douglas and Ed Leonetti went to work on MOXY II -- just two months after the debut album was released.
The US tour to support the album got Moxy the rave reviews they wanted -- and apparently anything else. Living the life of sex and drugs and rock and roll, the band was slowly but surely self-destructing.
By 1977 Moxy was a band in trouble. The RIDIN' HIGH tour in the summer had to be cut short. The personality conflicts and "Musical differences" that seem to occur in almost every band were present, but Moxy had a bigger problem. Buzz's voice was fading fast and singer/soundman Brian Maxim had to be called in to hit the high notes off stage. A rock and roll singer who couldn't sing, Buzz left the band.
The band suffered along for a few more months, but Moxy without Buzz just wasn't Moxy. The energy that put them into the spotlight burned out. They called it quits.
Any chance of a reunion ended early one June morning when Shearman crashed his Harley into the back of a truck. The outlaw spirit that fueled Moxy was put to rest.
Yes, the boys are back. Bill Wade (drums, bass) , Buddy Caine (guitar), Earl Johnson (guitar) plus new member Brian "Max" Maxim (vocals, ex Buddy Caine Band) have put a true kick ass album that returns them to the hard rock sound of the first three albums.
There's word of a few live dates to support the album over the next year so you may want to join the moxy mailing list at http://email@example.com to stay up to date.
From: http://www.hardradio.com/hr3lead.html (Thanks to "Dreamer on the Thames" for this find!) Canadian legends MOXY have reformed for their first album in 22 years. Having pioneered Canadian metal with four records on Polydor from '75 to '78, Moxy are best known for 1977's Ridin' High opus. Original vocalist Buzz Shearman was killed in 1980 in a motorcycle accident, and the band's last album, '78's Under The Lights featured a pre-Loverboy Mike Reno.
Compilations have done well over the years (especially in Texas), and a reunion, states drummer Billy Wade, was long overdue. "Pacemaker had done the reissues, and I had asked them if there was still a market for us, and the label's president Peter Burnside said 'sure there is, I'm getting emails all the time about you guys.' So yeah, we're in the process right now of recording the fifth Moxy album. It's all the original members, except for Buzz, of course, who is not with us anymore.
The new singer's name is Brian Maxim, and he sung on a song of Buddy Caine's who was, and is, one of the guitar players besides Earl Johnson in the band. Brian also sung back-ups with Moxy on tour back in the '70s, and he's had a band called Stumbling Blind that has also been around since those days." The band is rounded out by bassist Terry Juric.
Stylistically? "It will be the same," assures Wade. "But Moxy have always had a bit of a varied songwriting style from the first to the fourth, and it will incorporate all those styles, because obviously, it is the same guys writing. And of course it will be very aggressive rock 'n' roll, heavy metal, hard rock, whatever you want to call it. And there will be 13 songs on the album. We have ten, almost eleven of those recorded now."
Tracks (all new writing unless otherwise stated) slated for the as-of-yet untitled album include 'Working Man' (early tune by Billy Wade), 'Yuccatan Man' (unreleased Buddy Caine composition from the early Moxy days), 'Fire Down Below', 'Not For The Glory Not For The Gold', Snakebite', 'Nitro Love', 'Thunder Incorporated', 'Walking On The Wild Side' (unreleased Earl Johnson composition from the early Moxy days), 'Meltdown' and 'Burning In The Night' (also early Earl Johnson). For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see www.pacemaker.com.
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Pic Courtesy of Gary Boole
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