The Pointed Sticks were formed in 1978 by North Vancouver childhood friends Nick Jones and Bill Napier-Hemy. In the beginning, it was the more tuneful and playful aspects of vintage punk rock that brought together Nick (vocals), Bill (guitar), Tony Bardach (bass) and Ian Tiles (drums). As their high-energy version of melodic punk rock became more popular locally, they started to take themselves more seriously.
In October 1978 they won the Second Georgia Straight Battle of the Bands and recorded the debut single, What Do You Want Me to Do? b/w Somebody’s Mom, produced by Bob Rock and released by Quintessence Records. In 1979 they got a major makeover when they poached drummer Robert Bruce and keyboardist Gord Nicholl from Active Dog. After The Real Thing b/w Out Of Luck single, Robert Bruce was replaced by Subhumans drummer Dimwit (Ken Montgomery). In September 1979 Stiff Records UK signed them to an album deal. They recorded one more single for Quintessence (Lies b/w I’m Numb) and a locally-recorded EP for Stiff before flying to England. The London sessions, however, did not go well. The band lost confidence in their producer; neither they nor the label were happy with the results, which ended up being shelved. Back in Vancouver, the Sticks soldiered on through 1980, touring Canada and recording the Perfect Youth LP for Quintessence. Eventually, however, the relentless club circuit, with no prospects on the horizon, began wearing them down. After a tour in August 1981, the band dissolved.
In 1995, Zulu Records issued a CD retrospective, Part Of The Noise. In 2005, Sudden Death Records issued Perfect Youth on CD, and followed that with Waiting For The Real Thing, another CD retrospective of early material. In 2006, the Pointed Sticks re-formed and visited Japan. In 2008, the Stiff Sessions CD was released, and in November 2009, they released an album of new material, Three Lefts Make A Right.
Les sez: One of the most individual sounds to come out of the punk movement, the Sticks were known as power pop, but no one sounded like them. Nick Jones vocals and simply the tunes they wrote were completely out of synch with any niche or wave or pigeonhole. Their subject matter was girls, getting together with girls and breaking up with girls. "Pointed Sticks are fun," was their motto, complete anathema to the political motivations espoused by DOA and Subhumans. Still they would take a gobbing from the crowd with smiles on their faces.