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Diodes, The

When punk first broke in 1976, Canadian band The Diodes (Paul Robinson, John Catto, Ian Mackay, John Hamilton and, later, Michael Lengyell) were in the front line.

By the time they signed to CBS Records in August 1977 The Diodes had already run Canada’s first punk club – the legendary Crash ‘n’ Burn (originally the band’s rehearsal basement) – and played at CBGB‘s in New York. They had also been written up in Melody Maker,  NME,  Creem,  Billboard and the Toronto Star.

Their self-titled debut album was released in October 1977, and their single, Red Rubber Ball (a revved up version of The Cyrkle’s 60’s hit) was the first new wave single on the Canadian charts.


The LP was released in France, Sweden, Germany, Holland, and was a top-selling import in the USA and the UK.

In November 1977, The Diodes headlined the notorious Max’s Kansas City in New York with Wendy O’ Williams from The Plasmatics introducing them on stage.

During a 1978 US tour, the group released the single Tired Of Waking Up Tired. It rocketed onto US radio stations including KROQ (Los Angeles), KSJO (San Jose) and WTBS and WBCN (Boston), and – as an import – made it to #36 on the Sounds ‘ Best of 78’ chart.

The NME hailed the single and respected rock critics Jon Savage and Greg Shaw called it a “classic track”.

The Diodes remained an active force on the Canadian and US music scene, touring with the likes of U2, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Ultravox and The Cramps, and played a key role in the development of the Canadian alternative music scene.

Paul Robinson 
John Catto 

Ian Mackay 

John Hamilton 

Michael Lengyell