Lindsay Mitchell

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Lindsay Mitchell
Lindsay Mitchell.jpg
Mitchell performing live at Whisky a Go Go, in 1977
Background information
Birth name Lindsay Christopher Mitchell
Born (1949-05-28) May 28, 1949 (age 67)
North London, England
Origin Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Rock, pop rock, arena rock, soft rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Prism, Jim Byrnes

Lindsay Christopher Mitchell (born 28 May 1949) is an English-born Canadian musician and songwriter who achieved success as the guitarist and founder of the rock band Prism.

Early life[edit]

Born in North London, England, Mitchell emigrated to Alberta, Canada with his family in 1957, finally settling in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1962. He developed his guitar skills by emulating instrumental surf-rock bands (The Shadows, the Ventures, the Astronauts, etc.) and Brit-rock heroes the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.

Musical career[edit]

After graduating from high school two years early at age 15, Mitchell joined local Vancouver pop-rockers William Tell & the Marksmen. He later became a member of the "psychedelic sixties" era band, the Seeds of Time.[1] During his tenure with the SoTs, he was fortunate to tour and play with venerated bluesmen Willie Dixon and T-Bone Walker, experience which instilled a lifelong veneration for the Blues.

The Seeds of Time sometimes reunite for special events. In April 2014 the band played at the 25th Anniversary Easter Be-In, a benefit for the Vancouver Food Bank.[2]


Mitchell left the SoTs to front the Vancouver R&B band, Sunshyne,[3] having been recruited to help transform their sound from jazz-rock into blues-rock. To enhance the chances of securing a record deal, Mitchell voluntarily withdrew as lead vocalist and was replaced by Ron Tabak, whom he himself had discovered fronting the local band Not Fragile. The project was renamed Prism, and its self-titled debut album released on the GRT label in 1977. The album hit platinum status in sales, a first for a debut artist in Canada. Although drummer Jim Vallance was initially the principal songwriter for the band, Mitchell assumed the role after Vallance quit in 1978 (replaced on drums by former SoT Rocket Norton). Mitchell went on to compose "Armageddon", the title track for the third album and one of the band's most recognizable songs. He later received a SOCAN Song of the Year award for "Night to Remember", a ballad written for the Armageddon album.[4] The same song received an award from the Canadian Performing Rights Organization (PRO).[5]

Prism disbanded temporarily in 1982 but reformed again in the late 1980s with new singer Darcy Deutsch (original singer Tabak having died).[4] Mitchell continued to perform with Prism until 2006, when he left the group permanently, following a dispute with sole remaining core member Al Harlow.

Recent work[edit]

Mitchell's also played as a member of Trainwreck, an acoustic "psycho-billy" vocal and instrumental group formed in 1985 with lead singer Billy Cowsill (of the legendary Cowsill family band) and upright bassist Elmar Spanier.[6]

Mitchell lives and works in Vancouver and is a regular performer in the Vancouver blues scene, most recently with St. Louis born actor/singer Jim Byrnes.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Mitchell is a later-in-life graduate of the University of British Columbia[7] and holds a BA in Political Science (1998), a master's degree in Adult Education (2002), and a PhD in Curriculum Studies (2010). He also served as the Ombudsman of the UBC Alma Mater Society (1998-2002).


  1. ^ Montfichet, Stansted, Seeds of Time, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  2. ^ a b Lindsay Mitchell Recalls the Summer of Love with the Cocky Seeds of Time, 21 April 2014, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  3. ^ Sunshyne, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  4. ^ a b Prism, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  5. ^ "PRO Honors Jazzman Hoffman", Billboard, 14 November 1981, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  6. ^ Billy Cowsill's Trainwreck, retrieved 6 April 2016 
  7. ^ Prism, retrieved 6 April 2016