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Doug And The Slugs

Led by guitarist/vocalist Doug Bennett, the Vancouver-based Doug & the Slugs were at the forefront of independent Canadian rock for more than a quarter of a century. While their debut album, 1980's Cognac and Bologna, remains the peak of their career (it sold more than 100,000 copies), the band long continued to bring their lighthearted R&B and hook-laden pop to enthusiastic crowds throughout North America. Their songs have been heard in such films as Iron Eagles II, Meatballs II, Tough Love, and Neon Rider.

Formed in 1977, Doug & the Slugs have withstood numerous personnel changes. The original band, featuring guitarist John Burton, bassist Dennis Henderson, keyboardist Drew Neville, and drummers John "Wally" Watson and Ted Laturnus, was only together for a few months. By 1978, only Bennett, Burton, and Watson remained, with guitarist Richard Baker, bassist Steve Bosley, and keyboard player Richard Kendall replacing Henderson, Neville, and Laturnus. Although this lineup remained intact for a decade, the group continued to evolve. By the spring of 1998, the group featured Bennett, keyboardist/vocalist Marc Gladstone, drummer/vocalist Chris Murray Driver, guitarist/vocalist Elio Martelli, and bassist/vocalist Jay Wittur.

Signed by RCA after releasing a self-produced single, "Too Bad," in June 1980, Doug & the Slugs went on to record several impressive albums in the 1980s and early '90s. Their second album, Wrap It!, released in November 1981, featured the vocal harmonies of Toronto-based a cappella group the Nylons. Their third effort, Music for the Hard of Thinking, released in 1983, included the Canadian hit "Making It Work." Popaganda, released in 1985, received a Canadian Academy of Arts and Sciences Award for Album of the Year and earned the band an award as Group of the Year.

During the subsequent ten years, Bennett continued to balance group activities with work as a soloist. He released the solo album Animato in 1986; he made his theatrical debut in John Gray's musical Rock and Roll; and he went on to co-produce an English translation of the long-running Quebec hit comedy Brew in 1993. Bennett also established himself as a writer, director, and producer of music videos. In addition to creating videos for Doug & the Slugs and Canadian rock bands Trooper, Headpins, Zappacosta, and Images in Vogue, he worked with Canadian country music artists including Suzanne Gitzi, Rhodes & Marshall, and Wyona Sue & the Turnpikes.

Although most of the original Slugs had been replaced by the mid-'90s, the band celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2003 with a pair of reunion shows in Vancouver. Just one year later, however, Bennett was dead from cirrhosis, a victim to years of alcohol abuse. By 2009, virtually all of the original Slugs began playing again, with new frontman Ted Okos. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Cognac And Bologna / Wrap It!

1. To Be Laughing

2. Just Another Case

3. Soldier Of Fortune

4. Too Bad

5. Advice To A Friend

6. Stay With Me

7. Chinatown Calculation

8. Thunder Makes The Noise

9. Drifting Away

11. Tropical Rainstorm

12. Dangerous?

13. Real Enough

x

Track List: Slugcology 101: A Decade Of Doug And The Slugs

1. Too Bad

2. Chinatown Calculation

3. Real Enough

4. Who Knows How (To Make Love Stay)

5. Making It Work

6. Drifting Away

7. Tomcat Prowl

8. Day By Day

9. Love Shines

10. Powerful Thing

11. It's Got To Be Monday

12. Dangerous

13. To Be Laughing

14. (I Don't Want To) Walk Away

Comments

Report as inappropriate
RIP Doug. Long live the Slugs! Great band.
Report as inappropriate
gtrelease201 1
Highly underrated band. Bennett was smart lyricist with twist of humor.
Report as inappropriate
Umm, Doug Bennett died in 2004 - ten years ago
Report as inappropriate
jpollack06
Love these guys.

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