IT'S A SECRET
THE NEWEST BAND TO HIT THE STREETS OF TORONTO HAS BEEN AROUND SINCE THE BEGINNING.
COMPOSED OF THREE EX-VILETONES AND ONE EX-DIODE THE SECRETS ARE -- FREDDIE POMPEII (LEAD VOCAL), CHRIS HAIGHT (GUITAR), MIKE ANDERSON (DRUMS) AND BUDDY SEVEN NEE JOHN HAMILTON (BASS).
POMPEII, HAIGHT AND ANDERSON RELEASED TWO E.P.'S AS THE VILETONES WHICH SOLD WELL AND RECEIVED FAVOURABLE REVIEWS IN PUBLICATIONS AS DIVERSE AS ANDY WARHOL'S INTERVIEW AND MELODY MAKER.
HAMILTON WROTE AND ARRANGED ON TWO CBS ALBUMS FOR THE DIODES AS WELL AS PLAYING DRUMS, SAX, KEYBOARDS AND DOING BACKING VOCALS.
THE SECRETS PLAN A SERIES OF LOCAL DATES TO TIGHTEN UP AND KEEP BODY AND SOUL TOGETHER. NEGOTIATIONS HAVE BEGUN WITH A LOCAL LABEL AND AN ALBUM IS DUE IN THE SPRING. AN AMERICAN EAST COAST TOUR IS PLANNED
THIS FALL WITH A POSSIBLE ENGLISH OR WEST COAST VISIT ALSO IN THE
FOR MORE INFORMATION
CONTACT MARGARITA PASSION
(From the original Secrets press release.)
After about a year spilling blood and leaving broken beer bottles on the various stages of Toronto's punkiest clubs, the original Viletones imploded in 1978.
According to an uncited newspaper clipping from the time, it wasn't the prettiest sight when the backstage standoff took place at the city's Hotel Isabella: Haight, Pompeii and Anderson (along with "Screamin'" Sam Ferrara from The Ugly -- who, presumably, had been on stage with them that evening) on one side; Steven "Nazi Dog" Leckie on the other. Evidently, they decided to fire Leckie from the Viletones. Despite reported emotional protestations from the former Nazi Dog, the other members just stood in stone silence. Reportedly, Leckie returned fifteen minutes later more defiant than ever:
"Fuck ya! Fuck each and every one youse! I AM The Viletones! You guys are nothin' but my backup band! Fuck you! You can't fire me -- I QUIT!!!"
(The preceding quote was reported in an (unnamed and seemingly biased) entertainment publication, which was reproduced in the liner notes of the now-out of print Secrets retrospective, Teenage Rampage. I'm further reproducing it here from a scan. I don't know Steven Leckie, so I cannot attest to the veracity of said quote.)
Subsequently Chris Haight, "Motor X" Mike Anderson and Philadelphia-born Freddie Pompeii join up with John "Buddy Seven" Hamilton, formerly of The Diodes, to form The Secrets. In the process, they shed their stiff Punk ethos to adopt a more Rockabilly and Doo-Wop sound.
In 1979 The Secrets play the infamous Last Pogo festival, to formally close the Punk Rock chapter of Toronto's musical history.
In 1980 the band release their 12" EP Success Without College and leave behind a smattering of rehearsal tapes and demos that wouldn't see the light of day until 1997.
In 1980 Pompeii is busted for drug possession and flees the country...
The band splits.
The Secrets' approach to music came at a time when many bands were tiring of the whole "Punk Rock thing", at least in Toronto; much like the titular club in that city, the movement had Crashed and Burned. Subsequently, many bands were returning to a (then) retro sound of the late 50s/early 60s.
Success Without College (1980):
|4||Secrets||All The Girls||2:26|
|10||Secrets||Take Another Look||3:14|
Teenage Rampage (1997):
|4||Secrets||I'll Cry Tomorrow||3:10|
|5||Secrets||All The Words||2:51|
|7||Secrets||Diddy Wah Diddy (Live At The Last Pogo '78)||2:48|