Proudly Canadian: Young Canadians

Young Canadians No Escape.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Young Canadians (originally The K-Tels) were a Canadian punk rock band formed in Vancouver in 1978 and active for just under two years. The YC's were influenced not only by the other punk bands in town at that time such as D.O.A. and the Pointed Sticks, but also by the Dolls, the Stooges, and 1960s garage rock. Although the band only recorded two EPs and asingle before breaking up, their single "Hawaii" is one of the classic Canadian punk anthems.

Historically significant (at least to the Vancouver scene), The K-Tels were the first punk band to play the Smilin' Buddha. They also supported the Boomtown Rats on a tour across Canada.

Just before the release of Hawaii, they were forced to change their name when threatened with legal action by the K-Tel Corporation.

The band's leader and songwriter was Art Bergmann, who went on to become one of the key figures in Canadian alternative rock in the 1980s and 1990s. Founding member and bassist Jim Bescott died in an accident in Vancouver on August 31, 2005 at the age of 52.

Their two EPs and single, plus unreleased live tracks, were re-released in 1995 on the album No Escape, with liner notes written by Buck Cherry. Joyride on the Western Front, a live album documenting a 1980 concert at Mabuhay Gardens, was released in 2001.

The Young Canadians were one of the biggest names on the local scene, creating an enormous buzz over their brief career. They toured down the west coast a couple of times, toured western Canada with the Boomtown Rats, and were landing plenty of prestigious opening slots for visiting bands. Thus, it came as a big surprise when the band announced their split in December 1980. They marked their demise with a four night engagement at the Lotus Gardens Hotel. Art Bergmann left to concentrate full-time on his sideline project, Los Popularos and followed that with a storied solo career.

Young Canadians – KTEL