Monday, May 2, 2016

The Haunted - s/t 1967

In 1965, Jurgen Peter joined up with Bob Burgess (vocals) , Al Birmingham (guitar), Glen Holmes (bass), and Peter Symes (drums) to form The Haunted. Besides Peter, the other band member who was constant through most of the bands six year history was Birmingham. The band membership that recorded the bands best known song, "1-2-5" was composed of Birmingham (lead guitar), Peter (rhythm guitar), Burgess (vocals), Mason Shea (bass), and Dave Wynn (drums).
The bands first big break came after winning a "Battle of the Bands" at the Montreal Forum in 1965, beating such competitors as David Clayton-Thomas and the Shays. The first prize was studio time, bankrolled by Quality records. They used it to record the two songs on their first single, "1-2-5" with "Eight O'Clock this Morning" as the B-side. The execs at Quality records were enthusiastic about "1-2-5", but objected to the original lyrics, so an alternative "clean" version was also produced, and the single (with "clean" lyrics) was released in 1966. The first pressing of this single had the bands name mis-printed as "The Hunted."  Ironically, the latter pressings with the band's name spelled correctly are more difficult to locate.
The single achieved substantial local success, then broke nationally making the Canadian version of the national charts (RPM Weekly Magazine). The song gained enough attention in the U.S. to attract a U.S. version of the single on Amy records, who released the original "uncensored" version. Several more singles as well as a self titled album over the next two years, served to increase their popularity.
Their final single, "Vapeur Mauve" is a French language version of Jim Hendrix's Purple Haze.
The band grew to be one of the most 'in-demand' bands in Canada for the balance of the 1960's, and into the 1970's. Peter decided to fold the band in 1971, saying: "We were the most sought after and highest paid band in Canada for many years. When I folded the band in 1971, I had to cancel a whole years worth of bookings and it cost me a fortune in lawyers fees to get out of some of them. At the time of the breakup, the band had a loyal fan club with thousands of members."
Subsequent to the breakup of the band, control of the band's name seems to have been lost. As of 1996, the name is most closely related to a Swedish Heavy Metal band.

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