The Ugly Ducklings

Ugly Ducklings, TheFrom: Toronto, ON, Canada

The Ugly Ducklings originally formed in 1965 under the name The Strolling Bones, and blatantly displayed their admiration for the Rolling Stones. The band even had a  Brian Jones look-a-like in Glynn Bell (guitar). The orignal line-up of the Ugly Ducklings was Bell, Dave Bingham (vocals), Roger Mayne (guitar), John Read (bass), and Robin Boers (drums).

The band made their live debut at Cedarbrae High School in Toronto (all the members, minus Boers, attended the school). It was at this time that they changed their name to the Ugly Ducklings. In 1965, Yorktown Records displayed interest in the band and recorded their first single, “Nothin’.” The song was recorded for only $300 on a 2-track machine at Hallmark Studios. The song became a local smash hit in March 1966. Thanks to the success of the single, The Ugly Ducklings landed a gig opening for their idols, the Rolling Stones, at Maple Leaf Gardens in June 1966.

Their debut album was Somewhere Outside. It was recorded in both New York and Toronto, and was issued soon after “Nothin’.” The album featured all of the Ugly Ducklings’ early singles, opening with the aforementioned “Nothin’.” The album features some other great songs, most notably “Just In Case You Wonder” and “That’s Just The Thought That I Had In My Mind.” There looked to be a lot of potential for success, but the label’s decision to recruit producer Brian Ahern, despite the band’s wishes, along with the failure to properly distribute the records in the US, caused the first of many line-up changes. In early 1967, Read dropped out and was replaced by Howie Smith.

Mayne left once the musical direction of the Ugly Ducklings changed, and was followed soon after by Bell. Mike McKenna of Luke And The Apostles was recruited as a replacement. Throughout all of the personnel changes, the Ugly Ducklings managed to record their biggest hit, “Gaslight.”

The band continued to alter their line-up throughout 1967 and 1968, recording a few songs that were not released. However, the tracks do now appear on the Ugly Ducklings compilation Duck Tales. In 1980, the band decided to reform, and went on to release Off The Wall. The Ugly Ducklings are often referred to as one of the greatest garage bands to come out of Canada.

Artist information sources include: Dreams, Fantasies & Nightmares – Canada by Vernon Joynson

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 album Somewhere Outside
Somewhere Outside

  • Nothin’
  • Just In Case You Wonder
  • That’s Just The Thought That I Had In My Mind
  • Postman’s Fancy

From the 1967 single “Gaslight”

  • Gaslight