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Kim Mitchell

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Kim Mitchell
Background information
Born (1952-07-10) July 10, 1952 (age 71)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
GenresRock, hard rock, progressive rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1973–present
LabelsAnthem, Alert

Joseph Kim Mitchell (born July 10, 1952) is a Canadian rock musician. He was the lead singer and guitarist for the band Max Webster before going on to a solo career. His 1984 single, "Go for Soda", was his only charted song on the US Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 86.[1] Several other singles such as "Patio Lanterns", "Rock and Roll Duty", and "Rockland Wonderland", reached the top 20 in Canada.[citation needed]

Early life[edit]

Mitchell attended St. Clair Secondary School in Sarnia. During the 1970s, Mitchell began playing with local bands in Sarnia. After going through a few name changes with essentially the same band, Mitchell and "Zooom" headed for Toronto, Ontario. Zooom eventually dissolved, with Mitchell travelling to the Greek islands.



On his return to Canada, he formed the band Max Webster with fellow Sarnia native Pye Dubois. Max Webster toured extensively and built a string of hits. Mitchell's solo career began after his departure from Max Webster in 1982,[2] with session work and a succession of solo albums.

A new sound was tested on the club circuit and recorded on his 1982 self-titled mini-album.[2] Songs such as "Chain of Events" featured Mitchell's lead vocal and guitar and Dubois' suburban storytelling, anchored by the visceral drum/bass combination of Paul DeLong and Robert Sinclair Wilson. Peter Fredette added a vocal and guitar counterpoint.

In early 1985, the song "Go for Soda" from the Akimbo Alogo album became an international hit and remains his best known song outside of his native Canada.[2] His most successful Canadian album was the follow-up, 1986's Shakin' Like a Human Being,[2] featuring the hits "Alana Loves Me", "Easy to Tame", and the biggest hit of his career, "Patio Lanterns". His 1989 album, Rockland, achieved critical acclaim and was the highest placing chart album of his career.[2]

In 1992, Mitchell played guitar on the track "Brave and Crazy" from Tom Cochrane's album Mad Mad World. In that same year he also made a cameo appearance (as himself) on the third-season finale of the Canadian sketch program The Kids in the Hall. In 1995, Mitchell participated in the Kumbaya Festival to raise money for AIDS research.[3]


Mitchell entered the radio broadcasting industry, becoming an afternoon drivetime host on Toronto classic rock radio station Q107 (CILQ-FM) from April 2004 until August 2015.[4][5]

On November 15, 2004, Mitchell was awarded the National Achievement Award by SOCAN at the 2004 SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[6]

In 2006, Mitchell provided a guitar solo on the song "Wind It Up" from the Barenaked Ladies' album Barenaked Ladies Are Me.[7][8]

Mitchell opened for Def Leppard at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto on July 16, 2007. His eighth studio album, Ain't Life Amazing, was released on July 17, 2007.[9]

Mitchell has been on the same live bill with many acts over the course of his solo career including Sammy Hagar, Def Leppard, Aerosmith, and Van Halen.

In January 2016, Mitchell suffered a heart attack, for which he underwent emergency surgery.[10]

On May 21, 2020, Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, although due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada the honour was not formally presented to him until 2021.[11]

On October 2, 2021, Mitchell performed a sold-out show at the "Sarnia OktBorderFest" in Point Edward, Ontario, followed by the Barenaked Ladies. It is estimated that over 6,000 people were in attendance over the two-night event.[12]


Mitchell at the Fergus Truck Show, 2008


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications
1984 Akimbo Alogo 23 106 Platinum
1986 Shakin' Like a Human Being 6 3× Platinum
1989 Rockland 4 2× Platinum
1992 Aural Fixations 17 Gold
1994 Itch 55
1999 Kimosabe
2007 Ain't Life Amazing
2020 The Big Fantasize

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title Chart position
1982 Kim Mitchell 38

Live albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
1990 I Am a Wild Party Platinum

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Certifications
1995 Greatest Hits 31 Platinum
2005 Fill Your Head with Rock


List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications, showing year released and album name
Year Title Peak chart positions Album

1982 "Miss Demeanor" Kim Mitchell
1984 "Lager & Ale" Akimbo Alogo
"Go for Soda" 22 1 86 12
"All We Are" 79 10
1986 "Patio Lanterns" 12 1 36 Shakin' Like a Human Being
"Alana Loves Me" 31 4
1987 "Easy to Tame" 32 2
"In Your Arms" 97
1989 "Rock 'n' Roll Duty" 7 1 Rockland
"Rockland Wonderland" 10
1990 "Expedition Sailor" 20
"Lost Lovers Found" 78
"All We Are" (Live) 73 I Am a Wild Party
"I Am a Wild Party" (Live) 43
1992 "Find the Will" 28 Aural Fixations
"America" 3
"World's Such a Wonder" 8
"Pure as Gold" 21
1993 "Some Folks" 16
1994 "Acrimony" 40 2 Itch
"Wonder Where and Why" 63 8
"Lemon Wedge" 1
1995 "The U.S. of Ache" 78
"Rainbow" 21 Greatest Hits
"No More Walking Away" 35
2020 "Wishes" The Big Fantasize
"2Up 2B Down"

Guest singles[edit]

Year Title Artist Album
2006 "Young at Heart" Charlie Major Shadows and Light

Juno Awards[edit]

Mitchell has been awarded several Juno Awards for his work:

  • 1983 – Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 1987 – Album of the Year: Shakin' Like A Human Being
  • 1990 – Male Vocalist of the Year

Television appearances[edit]

  • Mitchell made a cameo appearance on the show Twitch City.
  • In 2005, Mitchell played a taxi driver on the sixth episode of the third season of Puppets Who Kill, titled "Buttons and the Paternity Suit".
  • On the sixth episode of the seventh season of the Canadian sitcom Trailer Park Boys, Ricky (Robb Wells) plays one of Mitchell's songs, "Go For Soda", on 8 track, while exclaiming "Bubbles, while you rock a piss, I'll rock some Mitchell."[16]
  • Mitchell appeared in a skit on the Canadian show The Kids in the Hall, teaching senior citizens how to tune the electric guitar.
  • "Go For a Soda" was in Season 2, Episode 5:Buddies, on Miami Vice


Kim Mitchell has two sons, Josh and Jesse. Jesse works for his father as a drum tech and road manager.

In popular culture[edit]

He was the subject of the Rush song, "I Think I'm Going Bald".[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Billboard > Artists / Kim Mitchell > Chart History > The Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 297. ISBN 0-7535-0257-7.
  3. ^ "Kumbaya disc needs more odd couplings"[permanent dead link]. Toronto Star - Toronto, Ont. By Peter Howell and Geoff Chapman Sep 2, 1995 Page: L.8
  4. ^ "Kim Mitchell becomes DJ". CBC News. July 27, 2004. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  5. ^ "Q107 Toronto | Shows". Q107.com. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "2004 SOCAN Awards" Archived October 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. SOCAN website
  7. ^ "Barenaked Ladies Are Me - Barenaked Ladies | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "Barenaked Ladies – Barenaked Ladies Are Me (2006, Digipak, CD)". Discogs.com. Retrieved July 19, 2021.
  9. ^ "Kim Mitchell's back in his groove". Hamilton Spectator. August 2, 2007. Archived from the original on November 10, 2017. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  10. ^ "Rocker Kim Mitchell recovering after heart attack". Toronto Star. The Canadian Press. January 13, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Nick Krewen, "Kim Mitchell says Songwriters Hall of Fame honour caught him by surprise". Toronto Star, July 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "'Oktborderfest' concerts attracted large crowds to Point Edward".
  13. ^ a b Peak positions for Kim Mitchell's albums in Canada:
  14. ^ a b c "Gold Platinum Database: Kim Mitchell". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2011.
  15. ^ "Billboard > Artists / Kim Mitchell > Chart History > Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Trailer Park Boys – Season 7 – "We Can't Call People Without Wings Angels – So We Call Them Friends"
  17. ^ "Caress of Steel". Rush.com. Retrieved July 19, 2021.

External links[edit]