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(a history of the band by Cris Cuddy, aka J.W. Dormouse)
At that same time I was part of a trio called The Purity Complex with guitarist Charles Meanwell and vocalist Lynn Perry at school, and back home was friends with guitarist Richard Gullison, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Dennis Delorme (aka Rev. Orval Rutabaga), his wife vocalist Carol Delorme and his partner fiddler-vocalist David Mazurek (aka Zeke Zilch).
At the Green Door Coffee House in Oshawa and the Bushel Basket Coffee House in Whitby I became acquainted with other musicians who also participated in the Toad recordings, notably Terry "T.R." Glecoff, John Gurney and Kathy Reid. Shortly thereafter, in Peterboro, pianist and now visual artist Stu "S.D." Cisco appeared as did vocalist-composer Paul Grady, guitarist Gordon Peck, banjo player Luke Wilson and his partner singer Paul Morin.
While playing with Gullison, vocalist Lynda Squires and bassists David McKay and Nick Corneal, the concept of the Jeremy Dormouse LP arose and led to the living room sessions with Mike Clancy engineering while the Waddington/Cragg/Tapscott songs were recorded at the university language lab by Peter Northrop. The cover was silk-screened by Barry Gray on blank covers bought at a failed pressing plant's auction and the discs made by Quality Records.
After the LP came the EP "The Entire Castle Illusion" featuring two JD originals and two songs sung by Kathy Reid, one her own and one by Moe Ewart.
Contrary to the opinion of some collectors, the "Rejects" LP was the last of the three sessions, and the covers were completed by friends in Peterboro while I was visiting Britain for the first time. Many of these sessions were recorded at the country home of Cisco using his old tack piano, or at the home of Peter and Lynn "Moonbeam" Cragg and occasionally featured the formerly uncredited bass playing of Bob Boucher (Jesse Winchester) etc.
TOAD (Private Pressing) 1968
Dormouse (aka Cris Cuddy) had previously been with a late sixties folk outfit, The Rejects, who also put out an ultra-rare privately-pressed album. He is supported by a range of backing musicians on this horrendously rare privately-pressed album, which was housed in a beautiful silk-screen sleeve. Four of the tracks - Portrait For Marianne, By The Way, October Morning and Apple Annie - were penned by Chris Cuddy, one of the supporting musicians and four others - Young Face, Sometimes You Ain't Got Nothing Boy, Believe Me and Small Man by another, M. Waddington. There are interesting interpretations of Dylan's Baby Blue and Bo Diddley's Who Do You Love, but the highlights of this superb album are the vocals of Reign Ghosts' Linda Squires on High Flying Bird and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne. A priority album for reissue.
THE REJECTS (Private Pressing) 1968
An obscure privately pressed folk album by an outfit probably most significant for including Jeremy Dormouse, who recorded a ridiculously rare privately-pressed album with Lynda Squires of Reign Ghost the same year. The Rejects' album is very primitively recorded and only likely to appeal to folk collectors.
Dennis Delorme and Zeke Mazurek aka Orval Rutabaga and Zeke Zilch...