Origin: Burlington & Hamilton, Ontario, 🇨🇦
Slander represent part of Hamilton’s unwritten past. And it is kind of crazy because they were one of a few bands to get a full length out back in 1981. That is a feat unto itself. But they had a lot of other things stacked against them. They weren’t entirely well liked among their peers. There was an animosity that existed between some members and TEENAGE HEAD. And yet somehow they incorporate part of the TEENAGE HEAD sound, which makes me think that there is something in that Hamilton harbour water. Songs like “No Place to Go” exhibit the bands shared love for 50’s rock ‘n roll, which was a big signature on TEENAGE HEAD’s sound. And this is not the only band’s cover. They do a Neil Diamond song that was originally written for the Monkees in “I’m a Believer”. They cover “House of the Rising Sun” by the ANIMALS. They even did a cover of the BEATLES “8 Days a Week” which in an era where the VILETONES chanted “No More Beatles, No More Stones, We want the Viletones” was a pretty ballsy thing to do. Either that or stupid. The band also displays a FORGOTTEN REBELS sound which makes sense given that the key guitar player was originally in the REBELS. But there is also lots of Johnny Rotten inflections in the lyrics like “I want you’re woman to be free”. There was 5,000 of these pressed and the members never saw a dime. This is the age old story within the music industry. It’s just that this guy Bill McDowell wasn’t industry. He may have had money but he didn’t have the record industry apparatus around him. That didn’t stop him from being a dick to this band. Seems like management was a curse in this instance and so many others. But there was a record that did come out. And there are some great originals like “Jail-Bait” or the ode to Hamilton in “Rockin’ on Main Street”.
The original line-up consisted of Johnny Stringer on lead guitar and Paul Bleeder on rhythm guitar, both of whom were later replaced by Chris Crash who assumed all guitar duties. Chris Suicide the original bassist often went MIA and was replaced by Dave McGhee, thus forming the line-up of Slander. After frequent shows at The Turning Point and The Franklin in St. Catharines, Slander started to gain a reputation for being a F.T.W., F.T.L. band, and in general a crazy drunk snotty nosed fuck everyone punk band. Quite often fighting and drinking was involved and that earned them their reputation that was unlike Teenage Head and The Forgotten Rebels who were their rivals at that time. Slander disbanded in 1982 after some “questionable” management.
From Chris Crash:
The band started out with me being a punk who drank with Slander but was soon to become the guitar player. The band consisted of Stevo (vox) whom I used to play with in another band from Burlington, Ray (drums) who later went on to find fame with Junkhouse, Chriss Suicide (bass) former Forgotten Rebel, John F. (lead guitar) who was a nobody in the punk scene and Paul Bleeder (rhythm guitar) whom I replaced. After doing a few gigs at the Turning Point in Toronto, John thought I was too unprofessional because I broke too many guitar strings and was too ... energetic ! So he quit the band. With just the four of us remaining we moved as forward as we could and Stevo's brother got us into Grant Avenue Studio through Bill McDowell who became our "manager". See Stevo's brother was doing some contract work for Bill and Bill was wanting to become involved with us as a promoter. He already managed "The Machines"! and "Cleveland" who were nothing like us but he tried make us "commercially acceptable" by releasing our "Hemi-conscious" LP which was done at Grant Avenue Studio. I think he had 5000 copies printed and we saw $0.00 from that. We didn't care ...then ! So after a brief and often absense with Chriss Suicide this young punk who hung out with us became the bass player and we did a few more shows. This bass player was Dave McGhie who later went on to be the drummer for the Forgotten Rebels for many years. Funny we never get mention when it comes to Hamilton punk history, only Teenage Head and The Forgotten Rebels get press but we were punks in every sense of the word. Drinkin' , fightin ', fuck authority and F.T.W. were our attitudes. I went on years later to be the front-man for Columbian Necktie and then went on to be in The HammerbOiz. After that went south Barney (Hammerboiz, Bassbag, Problem Children) and I started The Chico Maki Punk Rock Experience. It! went south also. We just couldn't get together anymore ... lives and jobs.
Steve "Stevo" Slander: vocals
Ray "Curse: Farrugia (Junkhouse, Lee Harvey Osmond, Ginger St. James & The Grinders): drums
Chris Crash (replaced Paul Bleeder and Johnny Stringer): bass
Dave McGhee (replaced Chris Houston): bass
Chriss Suicide (Chris Houston) (The Forgotten Rebels) (replaced Johnny Stringer and Paul Bleeder): all guitars
Johnny Stringer: lead guitar
Paul Bleeder: rhythm guitar
Emma O.: guitar (2010-2011)