Proudly Canadian: The Bop Cats

The Bopcats 1980's

Sonny Baker (vocals)

Teddy Fury (drums, vocals)

Jim McTaggart (guitar)

Pat Flynn (bass)

Jack de Keyzer (guitar, vocals; replaced McTaggert 1980)

Zeke Rivers (bass, vocals; replaced Flynn 1980)

Toronto's original rockabilly outfit, formed by Baker, Fury and McTaggart in 1979, were the creators of the Toronto country-billy hybrid scene that became popular in the early '80's with bands like The Razorbacks. The Bopcats' rockabilly sound in Canada predated the Stray Cats signature style by six months.

The Bopcats' debut  was a self-titled EP on Showtime Records produced by Rough Trade/Flying Circus bassist Terry Wilkins (and engineered by Doug McClement) which contained a radio single called "Ride A Rocket" reached No.2 in England.The EP was followed shortly by a 7" single featuring an original tune called "Caroline" backed with a cover version of the Bing Day song called "I Can't Help It".

The EP, the single and word-of-mouth about their kinetic live shows helped them secure a deal with Attic Records in 1980. Just prior to signing the deal, Jack de Keyzer joined the band on guitar and vocals. Soon after, Zeke Rivers left the Toronto New Wave band Willie English to join the Bopcats as their bassist. 

The band released two albums -- 'Bopcats' (1981) and 'Wild Jungle Rock' (1982). During these years, the Bopcats were well known for the outstanding music they could create in any live setting, from coast to coast, in both Canada and the USA including the band's 'Whip Skull Tour' of 1982.

Sonny Baker left the Bopcats in early 1983 and formed his own soul/R&B band called Ten To Midnight. de Keyzer, Fury and Rivers carried on as The Bopcats for a short while before re-thinking their music, changing their style to harder-edged rock and roll, re-naming themselves Rock Angels and recording an EP on Attic Records.

The Rock Angels eventually split up and the members continued with their own pursuits. Jack de Keyzer would go on to be a much respected blues guitarist, session man, and producer with several solo CDs under his belt in the 1990s and awards in the early 2000s; Teddy Fury would play in several bands (most notably The Royal Crowns) and has spent many years tending bar at Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Club; Sonny Baker works for Sunrise Records in Toronto; Zeke Rivers earned his PhD in 1994 and now teaches Sociology and Criminal Justice in a college in Massachusetts. 

with notes from Tim (Sonny) Baker, Jim McTaggart, Jack de Keyzer and Zeke Rivers.