Swindled's roots were showing as early as May '80 when bassist Tim James asked Elysium Moon's prog-rock guitarist, Jaimie Vernon, to join Swindle -- a Pickering, Ontario punk band.
Vernon had been in high school with James and drummer Jim Greeley at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate in Scarborough. Vocalist Ivan Judd had the pedigree of a proto-punk growl having fronted and been booted out of his own band, DOLE-Q, for that old standby excuse - for musical reasons.
Swindle floundered for a year and only managed two live gigs fellow Pearson alumnus Jason "Jay" Clarke (Black Haven) replaced Greeley on drums.
The newly re-christened SWindleD envisioned a world dominated by Buzzcocks and Dead Kennedys Top-40 radio. A rapid-fire delivery - giving them the illustrious title of "fastest band in Toronto" - and a heavy political stance (cf The Clash) jettisoned them into the Toronto club scene in December 1981.
They played a flurry of gigs at Larry's Hideaway, The Turning Point, The Beverley Tavern, and The Cabana Room, with the likes of VITAL SINES, Brian Taylor's Youth Youth Youth, The Ugly Models, The Young Lions, Steve Cameron's Doomed Youth, and a fledgling Blibber & The Ratcrushers.
This was followed by recordings of the gonzo anti-gun anthem "Who Wants Guns?" and the anti-Falwell punkabilly ditty "Hymn No. 84" in March 1982. With the release of the 7" single in May '82, the tide was turning -- James, who had been orchestrating gigs and political agendas, was soon being pressured by his peers to conform. With a change of name, Cambodians On Safari, they tried again with a new image and stage show: 'Apocolypse Now - The Musical'. It never materialized and the band would split up in August 1982.
But they're back...30 years later and with new drummer Cleave Anderson (Battered Wives, Blue Rodeo).