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Kim Mitchell

Here are some interesting facts about Canadian rock musician Kim Mitchell:

(Photo: Kim Mitchell Facebook page)

  • He was born on July 10, 1952 in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. His full name is Joseph Kim Mitchell.

  • One of Mitchell's earliest music memories is sitting on his dad's lap watching Elvis Presley's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

  • Mitchell's high school band got a gig in Michigan opening for the legendary punk rockers "The MC5".

  • In 1969, At age 17, Mitchell moved to Toronto, where he played in bar bands and studied guitar under the renowned Tony Bradan.

  • Mitchell went to the Greek isle of Rhodes to play guitar in a Greek show band backing up a singer who called himself "the Greek Tom Jones".

  • After a stint in Greece, he returned to Toronto and in 1972 he formed "Max Webster" with keyboardist Terry Watkinson, bassist Mike Tilka, and drummer Paul Kersey. Poet Pye Dubois joined as the band's chief lyricist, crafting the surreal, unique lyrics. (If his name sounds familliar, then he wrote the lyrics to the song "Tom Sawyer" by the band "Rush" together with drummer Neil Peart).

  • In 1976 "Max Webster" released their self-titled debut album, introducing their distinctive sound and earning critical acclaim.

  • In the years 1977-1978 "Max Webster" released "High Class in Borrowed Shoes" (1977) and "Mutiny Up My Sleeve" (1978), both certified gold in Canada for sales of over 50,000 copies.

  • Known for their magnetic live performances and Mitchell's flamboyant stage presence, they opened for "Rush" on their 1977 tour.

  • In 1979 "Max Webster's" album "A Million Vacations" went platinum in Canada, and their single "Paradise Skies" reached No. 43 on the UK singles chart. They also released the live album "Live Magnetic Air".

  • In 1980 "Max Webster" released their fifth album "Universal Juveniles". One of the songs on the album - "Battle Scar" featured fellow Canadian band "Rush".

  • Due to internal pressures and lineup changes, Mitchell dissolved "Max Webster" in 1981 and pursued a solo career.

  • In 1982 Mitchell released his first solo EP, "Kim Mitchell," which earned him a Juno Award for Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year in 1983.

  • In 1984 Mitchell released his first full-length solo album, "Akimbo Alogo," which included the hit single "Go for Soda." This was the only song that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, reaching No. 12 on the Billboard rock chart.

  • In 1984 Mitchell wrote and recorded the theme song for the sitcom "Hangin’ In".

  • In 1986 Mitchell released "Shakin' Like a Human Being," which included popular singles such as “Patio Lanterns.” The album sold over 300,000 copies and received the Juno Award for Album of the Year in 1987.

  • In 1989 he released "Rockland," which earned him the Juno Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1990. The album went double platinum in Canada.

  • In 1990 The live album "I Am a Wild Party (Live)" captured the raucous energy of Mitchell’s popular live shows and sold over 100,000 copies.

  • At the years 1992-1994 Mitchell released "Aural Fixations" (1992) and "Itch" (1994), with the latter peaking at No. 55 on the Canadian charts.

  • In 1995 his "Greatest Hits" compilation went platinum, and he began touring with a reformed "Max Webster".

(Photo: The Observer)

  • In 1999 Mitchell released the album "Kimosabe," which did not chart.

  • In 2001 Mitchell retired from recording and focused on writing commercial jingles.

  • In the years 2004-2015 Mitchell was a popular radio DJ on Toronto's Q107, where he hosted the afternoon drive-time show and recorded instructional guitar clips.

  • In 2007 He came out of retirement to record "Ain't Life Amazing" and opened for "Def Leppard" at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto.

  • In 2016 Mitchell suffered a heart attack but continued to perform regularly. He was awarded the prestigious Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in recognition of his significant contributions to Canadian music.

  • In 2019 Mitchell released "The Big Fantasize," his first album in over a decade.

  • In 2020 Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

  • In 2023 "Max Webster" was inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

  • Mitchell also appeard on TV shows like: "Twitch City", "Puppets Who Kill", "Trailer Park Boys", "The Kids in the Haland" and "Miami Vice".

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