Cats Can Fly
|Cats Can Fly|
|Origin||North York (Toronto), Ontario, Canada|
|Past members||David Ashley
Cats Can Fly began as a school rock band called Ethos at Elia Junior High School (now Elia Middle School) in North York, Ontario in 1971. The original members were Jim Longmuir on guitar, Alan Frizell on guitar, Frank Miller on drums and Peter Alexandre on bass guitar. The band was formed under the supervision of school board consultant Laura Lapedus. In the following year, Mitchell James replaced Longmuir and Frizell left. David Ashley replaced Steele on bass guitar and he switched to keyboards.
After a US-based band with the same name released an album, the group changed its name to Scamp. Miller eventually left the group and was replaced by Tom Davidson. Scamp toured Canada as a bar band and had limited success including touring with Burton Cummings, winning the CFTR Talent Search and appearing on Global at Noon. Lapedus eventually became the band's co-manager along with Wayne Baguley and Warren Keach.
In 1980, Scamp recorded an album with the producer Jack Richardson. Distribution could not be established, however, and the record was never released.
After a series of drummers including Geoff Geddes, Phil Knipe and Bill Hibbs, Eddie Zeeman became the band's permanent drummer in 1982. Scamp changed its name to Cats Can Fly shortly thereafter. In its final form it consisted of Ashley on lead vocals and bass guitar, James on backing vocals and lead guitar, Alexandre on backing vocals and keyboards and Zeeman on backing vocals and drums. They released an independent EP, Touch Touch, in 1984 and were signed to CBS Records after winning a cross-Canada talent search sponsored by Craven A. (The same talent search also led to a recording contract for Belinda Metz.)
Their album Cats Can Fly was released on CBS Records in 1986. Coproduced by Lou Pomanti and Lenny DeRose, the album spawned the Top 40 hits "Flipping to the A Side" (#16, 1986) and "Lies Are Gonna Get Ya". They toured across Canada to support the album, both as a headlining act and as an opener for several Canadian shows by Level 42. The band garnered a Juno Award nomination for Most Promising Group at the Juno Awards of 1986.
Despite their success, CBS dropped the band in a major housecleaning that preceded its 1988 takeover by Sony Music Entertainment. They spent some time shopping for another record label, but subsequently broke up.
- Touch Touch (independent EP, 1984)
- "Father Was a Foreigner"/"Touch Touch" (single, Axe Records 1984)
- Cats Can Fly (CD, LP, Epic Records 1986)
- Cats Can Fly at canoe.ca's Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia.
- "North York band heads south of the border". Toronto Star, July 14, 1987.
- "Cats Can Fly Makes Impressive Debut -- As Kingston Can Judge This Weekend". Kingston Whig-Standard, March 6, 1986.
- Greg Quill, "Cats Can Fly and fans ignore lousy weather". Toronto Star, May 23, 1986.
- "Cranking up the bass level". The Globe and Mail, April 24, 1986.
- "Juno nominations list contains many faces that are familiar". The Globe and Mail, September 9, 1986.
- "CBS Records lets Cats fly away". Toronto Star, April 24, 1987.