Certainly the most successful commercial group to arise from the seventies Vancouver punk scene, would have to be The Payola$. While Paul Hyde and Bob Rock never became rock stars, their band was a strong radio presence in Canada (and to some degree in the US) for much of the eighties. While Rock says The Payola$ were always outsiders in that tight scene (they had jobs!) he downplays how crucial his production work was to giving Vancouver punk bands like The Young Canadians (more to come), The Subhumans (more HERE) and The Pointed Sticks (more HERE) a sound that would endure.
And Rock himself ended up becoming every rock star's producer, providing sound advice for a who's-who of bands about whom I do not give a flying fuck, like Aerosmith, The Cult, Motley Crue, and Metallica. Whatever he's done for the big boys, Rock has remembered his roots, recently producing an album for D.O.A. (more HERE) and helping to restore some early Art Bergmann (more HERE) material, not to mention giving a great interview for Susan Tabata's film "Bloodied but Unbowed" (more HERE).
It's interesting how Rock proved to have such killer instinct for stadium-metal, when his band, whether in their initial punky-power-pop phase or their time of commercial ascendancy never sounded like the sort of cheesball pap he grew so famous for helming. Of course, judging by the screechy histrionics of Rockhead, it might have been former Englishman Hyde that kept Rock's ROCK in check.
Now, where was I?
Oh yeah, that initial punky-power-pop phase of the band was absolutely amazing, although a lot of their keyboard-heavier radio fare is actually very good as well. This first single, released on the band's own Slophouse Records in 1979, contains an early version of poppy-but-punky "China Boys" and the slightly more KBD-y "Make Some Noise". It's a great taste and there's more to come, should you care to COMMENT!
While a 2007 re-formation EP and a slim Best-Of CD are currently available, the Payola$ albums have NEVER been re-issued in any format!
- All Payola$ rips and scans generously provided by ace archivist BristolBoy from My Life's A Jigsaw, who deserves a word of thanks!
- Visit PVAc to 44.1 kHz for some more out-of-printy Payola$ goodness.
We were talking earlier about COMMENTS and how they encourage the rarities tap to open wide. Feel free to let us know what you think of the work of Dr. Rock and Mr. Hyde in the COMMENTS section (where you will find the China Boys 7" link).