Stone Crazy

stone crazy

Before the Skulls, before 1977, there was a group of long-haired pot-smoking miscreants from Burnaby, BC who called themselves Stone Crazy. Their roots go back to a group of four school friends from North Burnaby: Joe Keithley, Ken Montgomery, Brian Goble, and Gerry Hannah. They practiced in their parent’s basements and garages, working on a mix of 1970's hard rock and 1960's protest anthems. The four friends (self-professed “baby hippies”) decided on a course of action which was not unusual in the 1970's. They decided to abandon the city and move to the rural interior of the province; to Cherryville, near the town of Lumby, 20 miles east of Vernon. They imagined they could live cheaply in a cabin or farmhouse and make extra cash playing music for culture-starved locals. There were a few flaws in their plan. First, the locals weren’t enthusiastic about the hippie newcomers. Their second problem was financial. Their operation was funded by unemployment (UIC) and welfare cheques. The group (alternately named Resurrection, or The Icon) was able to play a few shows, but it was clear these gigs were not going to support them. The third problem was musical direction. Gerry, the group’s singer, suggested the group should unplug entirely and play acoustic-based folk music; living in a remote cabin and growing their own crops, they wouldn’t need jobs or handouts.

However, the group had also met a hot-shot guitarist in Lumby named Brad Kent. His addition to the band opened up the possibility of a more amplified, hard-rock direction, which might go over better with their audiences. Money was running out and a bitter winter was looming. Gerry’s "unplugged" position was rejected; the group moved back to Vancouver and renamed Stone Crazy. They lived together in a rented house in North Burnaby and worked at a food canning plant. In 1977 the advent of punk rock triggered another stylistic shift within the group, which resulted in the formation of The Skulls.

skulls tree