The Wackers

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The Wackers were an American Elektra Records group formed in 1970 out of another Elektra band Roxy. Singer/songwriter Bob Segarini and multi-instrumentalist Randy Bishop disbanded Roxy and joined with singer-guitarist-keyboardist Michael Stull to form the new group. Bassist Bill 'Kootch' Trochim and drummer Spencer Earnshaw completed The Wackers lineup to record the debut album Wackering Heights, produced by Gary Usher.[1] Following the success of the tracks "Travelin' Time" and "Body Go Round", the band toured Canada and the US.

The next year (1972), the band moved to Montreal, Canada around the time that they released their sophomore LP Hot Wacks to very good reviews. The album, recorded at Andre Perry Studios, featured "I Hardly Know Her Name" and a cover of John Lennon's "Oh My Love". Billboard, April 15, 1972, had this to say about "Hot Wacks":

The Wackers have been wackering around for a long time with only a modicum of success; this album may well rectify that state of affairs. Their music is penetratingly electrifying, their songs possessing an unusual built-in compulsion. This album contains some lingeringly lovely efforts, ("Oh My Love" and "Do You Know the Reason") as well as ripplingly up-tempo numbers ("I Hardly Know Her Name" and "Breathe Easy.")[2]

Comparing them favorably to the Hollies, the Beatles, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Bill Mann, Montreal Gazette, called The Wackers, "one of the tightest singing groups around," adding, "theirs is a vocal alphabet soup with a little bit of everything thrown in (with the letters spelling "Sho good listening")." [3]

Most of side two of the album was the six-song "Time Will Carry On" suite which reminded the listener of side two of The Beatle's "Abbey Road. Mann says,

The next six cuts on Side Two are a fast-moving melody, and The Wackers' transitions from one melody to another are the best I've heard since Sergeant Pepper's. . . . [the title cut] is distinguished by a tough slashing guitar line that is the most distinctive and interesting thing on the album."

Many references to the Hot Wacks LP erroneously refer to songs that do not appear on any Wackers LPs including "Windy Days", "I Got My Friends" and remakes of "New York City" and "Rock and Roll Circus", which were songs from the Roxy album in 1970. The third album, Shredder, was released in 1973 and featured "Day and Night" (a chart single), "Beach Song" and "Last Dance".

Despite Michael Stull leaving the group shortly after the move to Montreal, and April Wine drummer Jerry Mercer and guitarist JP Lauzon playing on several of the "Shredder" tracks, Segarini, Trochim, Bishop and Earnshaw went on to record an unreleased fourth album, "Wack 'n' Roll." Soon after, Earnshaw returned to California and Randy Bishop began a solo career. The Wackers soldiered on for a time with new additions—Leon Holt, Norman Vosko and Wayne Cullen—and released one single on Polydor Records, "All I Want To Do Is Love You." Segarini, Trochim and Cullen would then form The Dudes, with original April Wine members David and Ritchie Henman, and future April Wine guitarist Brian Greenway for one album. Bob Segarini went on to enjoy a critically acclaimed solo career and later ventured into TV and Radio broadcasting.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Liner Notes for The Wackers' Wackering Heights". Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Billboard, April 15, 1972". Retrieved April 7, 2013. 
  3. ^ Mann, Bill. "The Wackers Wax Lyrical in Montreal". The Montreal Gazette. April 15, 1972. 

The group has no connection with an identically named group from Liverpool who released a single called I Wonder Why in 1964.

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