Proudly Canadian: The Rabble

THe Rabble Montreal Band.jpg

Credit: Michael Panontin

The Rabble were five boho lads from Pointe Claire on Montreal's west island who played a nominally funky, oddly eccentric alternative to the Haunted's straight-on garage rock. Their first album is a psychedelic curio sadly languishing in oblivion, even as scads of American and international crud is scraped from the bottom of the dustbin of sixties psychedelia. What gives?

The band were formed in 1966 by leader/guitarist Mike Harris (a slight pause here to allow for fits of apoplexy across Ontario*) and did the requisite club and bar slog across Montreal island, eventually playing before 4,000 people at the Queen's Park love-in in Toronto on May 22, 1967. But unlike other bands of the era, who were trying to establish rock as a serious medium (as evinced no doubt by the emergence of rock criticism at about the same time), the Rabble were more eccentric, stippling their music with wit, sarcasm and whimsy. 

The Rabble found its original release on the Canadian Trans-World label in 1967, but after a surprise substitution for Cream in 1968 in Montreal in front of 5,000 fans, the group soon nabbed the attention of U.S. label Roulette, who subsequently released this record south of the border. The Roulette version includes a re-recording of the spry single, 'Golden Girl', a brilliant slice of romanticism that was their biggest hit. 

Editor’s Note: In the 1960’s Montreal was humming with great talent, Bartholomew Plus 3, MG & The Escorts, The Haunted, J.B. and the Playboys.  The Bonaventure Curling Club hosting teen dances that packed the place and were hosted by great DJ’s like Dave Boxer and Dean Hagopian. The Rabble became well known with the Montreal scene there and ‘Golden Girl’ was always a huge scream teen song when they played it. Great memories.

Golden Girl The Rabble

You can find The Rabble on Facebook: The Rabble (Canada)