It's rare you get to meet people that inspire you. Usually you hear a radio interview with someone or see an interview on TV or the internet, but it is rare that you get to be part of that conversation. I have been into punk for a long time and as I have gained an appreciation for the homegrown local scene I have come to recognize that the Viletones and the Diodes were some of the pioneers of that scene. That is a given, especially after reading Treat Me Like Dirt or Perfect Youth or Trouble in the Camera Club. But the first band that grew out of that scene and became part of a second wave that is described as part of the second wave is a band named the Secrets. The band got their name because they technically had formed while the Viletones were still a band. They were practising in secret. And they initially started out as a jam band. In fact when they first started playing they were known as the Secrets Review. And they shared the stage with all the folks who were singers in that first wave. They performed as a stage band and had many of the greats like Mickey Skin and Lucas and Zero come up and sing....while they worked on original material. And the material was not what you would expect from guys who wrote the Viletones and Diodes material. The key difference was that it had a back beat. This had something to do with the musicians backgrounds. Freddy had been a do wop singer back in Philly. That influenced a song like "Zoom".
John and Chris performed in R and B bands prior to their band Zoom, which Don Pyle has argued is the first punk band in Toronto to release a record. There are songs on the Secrets LP that are bar blues numbers and more new wave inspired. But the music reflected the time when bands like the Clash started toying with reggae and rockabilly. The Secrets were out of the gate early and they shared the spotlight bring the scene together at a time when it was falling apart. Gary Topp put together a reunion show for the Secrets getting Freddy Pompeii to come back for the first time in decades. Cleave told us about this reunion a year earlier and we began planning to record a session. Freddy's trip to Toronto led to him getting strep throat and so he wound up missing the session. he was hopped up on antibiotics trying to get better for the show they had in Hamilton later that week. So Chris, John, Bryant and Cleave came in to record a session but recorded the only two songs that Freddy didn't sing on. "Schoolgirl Hitchhiker" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow", which appeared on the "No Pedestrians" compilation. We also got to speak to these guys in three parts. Interview part 1, Interview part 2, and Interview part 3.
This session was recorded by Ian Wilkinson. The session was videotaped by Aldo Erdic and Candy Nichols.