Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet are the rockin’est Canadian combo that ever blasted into orbit. Composed of Reid Diamond, Brian Connelly and Don Pyle, they led the instrumental rock’n'roll scene through 1996 after which the various members continued to champion instrumental music via the bands Phono-Comb and Atomic 7. K had the privilege to include the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet EP Music for Pets [IPU019] in our International Pop Underground series; they toured with Beat Happening and played the International Pop Underground Convention at Capital Lake Park with Sleepyhead and the Melvins (Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet appear on the K compilations International Hip Swing [KLP016] and International Pop Underground Convention [KLP011]).
Unfortunately we lost Reid Diamond to cancer in 2001. Recently Mammoth Cave Recordings reissued the Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet album Savvy Show Stoppers. The surviving members are playing two shows this week in Toronto, Ontario with Dallas Good (a member of Phono-Comb with Pyle and Reid) playing the bass guitar in place of Reid Diamond. Exciting!Don Pyle has been busy with a ver important non-musical project, a book of photographs documenting the early Toronto punk scene, Trouble in the Camera Club. Don began photographing the local scene when he was 14 years old. Trouble in the Camera Club combines his photo work with early posters, ticket stubs and “related ephemera”, giving an insiders view of such nascent Canadian punk artists as Viletones, Teenage Head, D.O.A. and the Ugly, plus the first performances by visiting underground royalty as Dead Boys, Iggy Pop, Blondie and the Clash. A Primitive Primer.
“In the 1970’s something started creeping into Toronto’s squeaky clean reputation, spilling beer all over it and, sometimes, even a little blood. Photographer Don Pyle, who was a teenager at the time, hid behind his camera lens to capture the chaos of hundreds of gigs. Trouble in the Camera Club brings them all together in a first-time collection that showcases the best of many reckless nights and relentless energy. The images here are more than photographs. Each tells a story through bleak angles and stark expression, perfectly exposing the dynamic, iconoclastic personalities of Toronto punk in all their grainy, frayed originality. This stunning collection of images showcases local heroes the Viletones, Diodes and Teenage Head, alongside international punk icons like Deborah Harry, The Dead Boys and many more.”
—Liz Worth, author of Treat Me Like Dirt:
An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond