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Moxy (band). (2009, January 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:50, January 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Moxy_(band)&oldid=265455868

MOXY is a Canadian hard rock band, formed in Toronto, Ontario in 1974, from previous members of the rock group, Leigh Ashford "" which included singer Douglas "Buzz" Shearman (former singer of Sherman & Peabody which also featured Greg Godovitz of Goddo and Gil Moore of Triumph), Earl Johnson (former member of "Outlaw Music" and King Biscuit Boy), Bill Wade (former member of "Outlaw Music" and "Brutus" under the alias Hally Hunter that also included Gino Scarpelli of Goddo) and Terry Juric, (former member of Outlaw Music) as Leigh Ashford. The group changed its name to Moxy in late 1974. This name change was accompanied by a change in the group's sound. Buddy Caine was added to the group in 1975.

Moxy toured extensively in Canada before having a hit in late 1975 with "Can"t You See I"m A Star". Moxy then toured the United States on the strength of their radio airplay. Markets in which the band was very popular included Ontario, Canada, Chicago, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, Detroit, Michigan and San Antonio, Texas . Joe Anthony, the Godfather of Rock in San Antonio on KISS-FM was largely responsible for the popularity of the band in south Texas and helped bring about their first headline appearance in the U.S in 1977, appearing with AC/DC.

Despite the death of Joe Anthony, the Moxy/Texas connection has continued into the present with Moxy's hits like "Can't You See I'm A Star", "Moon Rider", "Sail On Sail Away". "Midnight Flight", "I'll Set You on Fire" and "Are You Ready" still on the daily rotation at many Texas radio stations.[1]

Many of the guitar solos on the band's debut album were performed by guest session musician Tommy Bolin, who had previously been the lead guitarist for The James Gang and later replaced Ritchie Blackmore in Deep Purple.

In the spring of 1974, Buzz Shearman joined up with Earl Johnson , Bill Wade, and bassist Kim Fraser. Still calling themselves Leigh-Ashford, they made their first appearance on the music scene in October 1974 at Scarborough's notorious rock club "The Knob Hill Hotel". Shortly thereafter, Fraser was replaced by Terry Juric on the recommendaion of Earl Johnson and the group changed its name to MOXY. Their first single release was a trial run of "Can't You See I'm A Star", which was distributed by Yorkville Records. The promising sound of the single received heavy radio support from CHUM (AM) in Toronto and led to the band's signing of a contract with Polydor Records of Canada in December 1974. The Polydor Records contract was mainly due to the popularity and success of the former band, Leigh Ashford, and to Buzz Shearman"s reputation.

The independently produced self-titled album, MOXY, also known as the Black Album, was recorded in only two weeks in early 1975 with the help of Mark Smith of BTO, who acted as co-producer. While in Van Nuys, California at Sound City Studio recording this album, session guitarist Tommy Bolin was in the studio next door.[2] Bolin was so impressed with the no-nonsense, to-the-bones sound of Moxy, that when he was asked by the band's manager Roland Paquin to fill in for Earl Johnson he said yes. Earl Johnson was actually supposed to have done all the guitar parts, but got into a disagreement with the producer and was consequently tossed out of the studio.[3] Roland Paquin knew Bolin from when he was a road manager for The James Gang. After the Moxy sessions, Bolin continued to work on his first solo album Teaser, and later that year got the call from David Coverdale to join Deep Purple.[4] Having heard the impact of the twin guitars, Moxy then headed back to Toronto in search of a rhythm guitarist who would free up Earl Johnson to play the material on tour that had been added to the songs in the studio by Tommy Bolin. Buddy Caine, a friend of Earl Johnson's, became the needed second guitarist, allowing the group to then hit the road with a Canadian tour that included Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, where the group mostly played small venues.

Moxy's hard-hitting style of wicked guitar riffs, heavy blues influence, thunderous backbeat, and shrieking vocals, was loved by Canadian fans so much that promotional copies of the first album found their way to hard rock stations in the southern USA. By the winter of 1975 "Can' t You See I'm A Star" and "Moon Rider" were receiving heavy radio support from KMAC/KISS in San Antonio, Texas. Bolin's contribution would also get some much needed attention for the album in the U.S media, even though Bolin always downplayed his involvement. Moxy then renegotiated a new contract with Polydor of Canada for distribution in affiliation with Mercury Records. Both labels were owned by PolyGram Records at the time, who reissued the self-titled debut album in North America and worldwide in 1976. The spring of 1976 would see "Fantasy" and "Sail On Sail Away" hit the top 20 charts on KISS-FM radio in San Antonio, Texas. KISS-FM disc jockey Joe Anthony also had the freedom to play the album in its entirety on many occasions through the late 1970s.

A year into touring Moxy went from a bar band to headline concert attraction. The album Moxy II was recorded in April 1976, a year after the first album for Canadian fans and just three months after the reissued copy of Moxy I was released in the U.S. Moxy II was recorded in the band's hometown of Toronto at Sound Stage studio with famed Aerosmith producer Jack Douglas. Musically not as strong as the debut album and with some slower paced songs, many nevertheless considered this second album to be a carbon copy of the first. Moxy II received international press coverage for the band. Most reviews predicted success for the band and comparisons were made to Aerosmith, Rush and Deep Purple.[6] Moxy II was also highly acclaimed on its release by Geoff Barton of the UK music publication Sounds (magazine), who made the album available to its readers for the special price of only *£1.50. Geoff Barton would later refer to Moxy as the Canadian Zeppelin.[7]

In the fall of 1976, Moxy hit the road again touring Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. Then tour Texas as the opening act for Black Sabbath,[8] and Boston, except at the new Convention Center arena in San Antonio October 24, 1976 where Boston was the opening act. November 17, 1976 "Take it Or Leave It", reached #14 on the Top 30 CHUM AM in Toronto[9] and in Texas "Midnight Flight", "Cause There's Another" and "Take it or Leave It" received heavy radio support. Moxy then toured California, Illinois and Missouri. "Cause There's Another" reached #16 on CHUM (AM) radio on March 26, 1977 .

In March 1977, after touring non-stop since the release of Moxy II, Moxy went back to the studio in Toronto to record another album with Jack Douglas producing again. "ŽThe result was Ridin' High which once more contained all-original material written by the band members with an even harder/heavy sound than the first two albums. The record received good reviews and got the band nominated for a Juno Award in 1977 for Most Promising Group of the Year,[10] but airplay was limited as FM radio stations in Canada and northern U.S shifted to softer rock. However, in the southern U.S and Europe, "Are You Ready", "Ridin' High" and "I'll Set You on Fire" received heavy radio support.

On July 27, 1977, Joe Anthony brought the band to Texas for their first headline appearance in the US in Austin at Armadillo World Headquarters,[12]. The next night Moxy played in San Antonio at the Municipal Auditorium and on July 29 they played in Corpus Christi, Texas at Ritz Music Hall, with AC/DC as the opening act for all three dates.[13] Moxy then toured California, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan with bands like Styx, Rainbow and Trooper,[14] ending the tour headlined Massey Hall in Toronto.

The hard touring and rigorous schedule was beginning to take its toll on the band by late 1977. Most of the band members had been touring since the late 1960s in other bands before Moxy was formed. Living a life filled with sex, drugs and rock and roll, the band had been slowly self-destructing for years. Buzz Shearman by now had developed vocal cord problems and singer/soundman Brian Maxim (singer on Moxy V) had to be called in to hit the high notes off stage.[15] Buzz decided to leave the band in late 1977 after the Ridin' High tour, due to personality conflicts and "musical differences" and in order to seek medical attention for his vocal cords[16] and drinking problem.[17]

Michael Rynoski, who later changed his name to Mike Reno and played with Loverboy, replaced Buzz Shearman and made his musical debut on Moxy's next album. Bill Wade had also left the band in early 1977 and had been replaced by Danny Bilan.[18] Danny Bilan would later join Wild T and the Spirit after turning up on Hanover Fist's album 'Hungry Eyes'. Moxy's new album's title track Under the Lights and "High School Queen" made the charts in Canada, but the album lacked the punch of the band"s earlier works instead opting for a laid-back sound. Moxy then toured across Canada playing many festivals including the Canadian World Music Festival with Aerosmith, Johnny Winter, The Ramones, Ted Nugent and Triumph[19] but the band no longer garnered a strong response in terms of either record sales or audiences that it had with Buzz as the vocalist. Buzz formed his own band called Buzz Saw with ex-Christmas guitarist Bob Bulger and drummer Frank Russe. Earl Johnson left Moxy in the summer of 1978 and was replaced by Woody West who was a former member of the big band version of The Stampeders and a former member of "Brutus".

"Buzz" would rejoin Moxy in late 1979 and tour Texas alongside new guitarists Doug MacAskill another former member of The Stampeders who would end up a member of The Arrows. Buzz rejoing left Reno free to form his own band Loverboy, which saw great success in the 1980s. In March 1980, Buzz was a candidate to replace the deceased Bon Scott in AC/DC but because his recurring vocal cord problems would not allow him to tour extensively, AC/DC bandmembers ultimately decided on ex-Geordie singer Brian Johnson .[21] Moxy's record contract had expired by the early 1980s and the band was just barely holding on by playing key dates in the Southern U.S and clubs in Canada. In 1981, Buzz, Earl and Bill all helped fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Lee Aaron on her debut album called "The Lee Aaron Project". While shopping around for a new record deal, tragedy struck when Buzz died in a motorcycle accident,[22] on June 16, 1983 at the age of 33.

Terry Juric had helped Thor for his 1978 album "Keep The Dogs Away" and would appear on Pop Rocker Stanley Frank's 1980 album "Play It Til It Hurts". Buddy Caine, Terry Juric, Danny Bilan and Brian Maxin (Moxy's 1970s back up singer), later formed the band Voodoo. Bill Wade formed the band Bongo Furies with fellow Canadian rocker Gino Scarpelli and bassist Terry McKeowen. Bill Wade also played on The Cry's 1980 album "Wispear". Earl Johnson soldiered on with Tom Griffin (co-writer of "Candy Delight" on Moxy V), Howie Warden, and "Coke" in local Toronto bars and night clubs like El Mocambo, Gasworks, and Larry's Hideaway till 1986.

Three of the original members of Moxy reunited when Bill Wade got Moxy back into his home studio in 1999, with Earl Johnson and Buddy Caine after a 20 year recording gap, to produce Moxy's fifth studio album appropriately titled Moxy V. The new album V released in 2000, returned them to the hard rock sound of the first three albums. New vocalist Brian Maxim (former member of Stumbling Blind and The Passing Fancy), who was considered a true member of Moxy, as Brian sung back-ups for "Buzz" on tour back in 1977, worked with Buddy Caine and Terry Juric in the band Voodoo and worked with "Buzz" in a building materials store in the early 80s . The album includes Working Man (early tune by Billy Wade), Yuccatan Man (unreleased Buddy Caine composition from the early Moxy days) and Walking On The Wild Side (unreleased Earl Johnson composition from the early Moxy days). Bill Wade grew very ill shortly after Moxy V was released. Unable to continue, a replacement for Bill became necessary and a bass player was also needed. Bill's replacement was Kim Hunt who like bass player Jim Samson are known in the Toronto area as the best rhythm section, they are former members of Zon, a very popular Toronto area rock band. Bill would succumbed to cancer[23] on July 27, 2001 at the age of 53.

Moxy hits the road for there 25 anniversary starting in San Antonio alongside fellow special guests Saxon at the annual Legs Diamond bash in the Sunken Garden Theater to the delight of 6,000 fans. Then tour the rest of Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Ontario the markets in which the band is still popular. The popularity that Moxy still holds in Europe prompted the band's first tour outside North America in 2001, accompanied with a new CD cover of Moxy V unique for the European fans. 2002 saw Moxy move to a new record label called Bullseye Records of Canada and release the live album Raw. Bullseye Records of Canada also re-released Moxy V in North America with some added live tracks from the same 2001 tour. Raw and Moxy V both features songs from Moxy's appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival on June 8, 2001 and there January 12, 2001 appearance at the El Mocambo in Toronto. Moxy's appearance at the El Mocambo was video recorded but has still not been officially released as a DVD. Brian Maxim would leave the band in 2003 and this is the most likely reason for the El Mocambo DVD not being released. World Studios however has released one song from the January 12, 2001 show for public viewing - World Studios - "Time To Move On" - .

Brian Maxim replacement was Alex Machin who fronted A Foot in Coldwater, a successful 1970s band from the Toronto area. Alex also fronted Champion on one album released in 1984. A Foot in Coldwater are best known for their hit "Make Me Do Anything You Want". In 2005 the 30th anniversary of Moxy's classic debut album, referred to as the black album, Moxy played the Voyageur Days Festival in Mattawa, Ontario with other Canadian classic rockers Chilliwack, Toronto, Trooper, Goddo,Killer Dwarfs and Ray Lyell. On August 26, 2005 Moxy performed "Can't You See I'm A Star" and "Cause There's Another" - City T.V - the band's two biggest Canadian hits live on City TV in Toronto .In November of 2008 Alex Machin announced that he would be leavening Moxy to reform A Foot in Coldwater and tour north America. Alex replacement was vocalists, Russ Graham from the 1980's Canadian band Killer Dwarfs again a very successful group from the Toronto area. Also in 2008 guitarist Buddy Caine decided to retire to spend more time at home with his family, Buddy was not replaced, Moxy continues to tour as a four piece, with Russ Graham as vocalists. On January 12 2008 Moxy Signed a New Management Deal With Cyclone Records,[24] who continues to book Moxy for shows all over the Ontario region and with the occasional appearance in Texas.

Moxy's first three albums with "Buzz" Shearman remain Moxy's best known and most commercially successful, with Moxy I on vinyl being especially sought-after by die-hard Tommy Bolin fans.[25] Their compilations have also done well over the years, especially in Texas when Moxy got together with the four original remaining members in 1983 to put on benefit concert and retrospective package, with proceeds earmarked for Valerie(Buzz's Widow) and Jesse Shearman(Son). The retrospective package released by Pacemaker Records called A Tribute to Buzz Shearman, features three previously unreleased Moxy songs with "Buzz" on vocals called "Highway", "Eyeballs" and "Trouble".

In 1989 the songs "Train" and "Time to Move On" appear on The Ultimate: The Best of Tommy Bolin box set. Best Of Moxy: Self-Destruction was released in 1994 and features a song in tribute to "Buzz" called "Feed The Fire" written by Buddy Caine and performed by is band called The Buddy Caine Band and again would feature the song "Trouble". 2004 saw the song "Cause There's Another" appear on a compilation album of Canada's most popular rock & roll acts called WHEN CANCON ROCKED!.[26] Also in 2004 Moxy made KZEP FM San Antonio, Texas "Top 104 BEST GROUPS OF ALL TIME" ahead of bands like Quiet Riot, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, Queensrÿche,and Iron Maiden. They were number 87,[27]. "Can't You See I'm A Star" appeared in the Pierre Trudeau mini movie approximately 40 minutes into part two that was resealed in 2005. In 2006 Moxy was featured in an article that included band's like Ram Jam and Tucky Buzzard called Top 6 Classic Rock Bands You Never Knew You Didn't Know written by Dave White. Top 6 Classic Rock Bands. 2009 saw the release of a song endorsed by Moxy & Valerie Shearman honoring Buzz Shearman, written and composed by Canadian musician Don Coleman titled "LOUD HARD FAST & WILD". [28] Moxy"s original catalogue of albums were again available starting in the mid 1990s when Valerie Shearman oversaw the release of all of Moxy's back catalogue on CD through Pacemaker Records, and again in the mid 2000s this time through Unidisc Music Inc..

Note: Buddy Caine is listed on the album Moxy, but did not join the band until after the album was finished.

[29]

Studio albums: - Moxy (1975) "¢ Moxy II (1976) "¢ "ŽRidin' High (1977) "¢ Under The Lights (1978) "¢ Moxy V (2000)

Live album: - Raw (2002)

Compilation albums: - A Tribute to Buzz Shearman (1984) "¢ Best Of Moxy: Self-Destruction (1993)

Moxy (band). (2009, January 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:50, January 21, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Moxy_(band)&oldid=265455868

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