1979 would see the release of our first album, Breaking Loose, which quickly gained a following for us in Texas , and saw us tour the U.S. for the very first time. To our friends and fans back home, it was like we had finally broken through to another level. We hadů
The album was recorded at Springfield Sound, a recording studio run by Bob Leth and Brian Ferryman (who would eventually go on to manage Michelle Wright). We raised money for the recording through my parents and grandmother as well as Brent and Brian Doerner's parents. Bill Seip, our manager, also helped finance it. We knew very little about what we were doing, but it wasn't from lack of trying to find out. Like every band doing their first album, we had to learn by our mistakes.
We shopped the album to the record companies but even back then they would tell us that we were "dinosaurs" and that we should pack it in. So we did something that was almost unheard of back then, we released the album independently. The album got very little airplay in Canada , but in Texas we caught the attention of a guy named Joe Anthony who was a DJ on KISS FM, a station in San Antonio . Joe was known as "The Godfather of Rock n Roll".
Joe had been in radio for many years, and in his early days on radio he was known for "breaking" black acts when it wasn't fashionable to play blues or R&B. Now he was doing the same thing for hard rock and metal acts when it wasn't fashionable to play them.
The song which had become the hit down there was "You're a Woman Now", a song Paul had written about a girl from Espanola , Ontario . The original lyric was "Joan, don't you worry", which we changed to "No, don't you worry". The thing I remember most about that girl is that when she left in the morning she stole Paul's underwear!
Another place we received heavy airplay was Amarillo College , also in Texas . The DJ there was a guy named Chris Johnson. We ended up playing outdoors at the college in 100 degree heat. I still have this footage on video. The funny thing about it is that Keith Zurbrigg used to wear a tuxedo on stage, which he did that afternoon as well.
We sold our album between sets in the clubs and venues in which we played. Some weeks I made more money selling albums than I earned for my pay. I think we eventually sold more than 10,000 albums this way.
Once again we toured the east and west coasts of Canada and all points in between. Our following in western Canada was both unexpected and exhilarating. Whereas on the east coast we had a tough time gaining any popularity, the prairie provinces were another matter entirely. In Alberta we'd have line-ups on Monday night, and in Lethbridge it was one giant party from Monday to Saturday. This was right in the middle of the first major oil boom in Alberta and a lot of the people out there we knew from Ontario (in particular London) and Fredericton , New Brunswick .
Some clubs we played were: The Norlander - Winnipeg, Manitoba, The Bijou - Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., The A-4 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, The Padock - Regina, Saskatchewan, The Airliner - Calgary, Alberta, The Beverly Crest - Edmonton,Alberta, The Windsor - Redeer, Alberta, The Alex Arms - Lethbridge, Alberta, The Landmark Inn - Thunder Bay, Ontario, The Penny Arcade - Rochester, New York, U.S.A., and The After Dark Club - Lockport, New York.