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Trivia Q & A # 23 - 2015

Posted in: News, Trivia Q & A | 1 Comment | Posted on by Mary Anne

Q.  Where did the name Max Webster come from?

A.  Guitarist and vocalist Kim Mitchell, keyboardist Terry Watkinson, bassist Mike Tilka and drummer Paul Kersey got the name Max Webster out of a phone book.   So the rumour goes.  According to the MAX WEBSTER website …

There has been a lot of speculation as to where the name “Max Webster” came from. It has been widely reported that the band members picked the name out of a phone book, among other incorrect theories. Kim Mitchell finally put the question to rest by reporting the true origins of the name on the message board of his own website. His posting is repeated here:

max websters name came from mike tilka the bass player..he was in a
band called ‘family at macs’..and they did a song
called ‘webster’….we were looking for a jethro tull type name…a
real human name but nobody in the band with that name…

In the 1960s in Sarnia, the band that would later form in Toronto as Max Webster started out with various names such as The Grass Company, The Quotations, Big Al’s Band, ZOOOM. The band chose Max Webster in 1973.

Max Webster were close friends of fellow Canadian musicians Rush. In a 1979 interview, Rush bassist and vocalist Geddy Lee commented that he enjoyed their music, and both bands frequently toured together during the 1970s.

The band was successful in Canada, with hits such as “A Million Vacations,” “Let Go The Line” and “Paradise Skies,” although they never made it big outside of Canada. “Paradise Skies” was a minor U.K. hit, reaching No. 43 on the singles chart there. They also appeared on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1979, playing to a pre-recorded track that was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Kim Mitchell’s subsequent solo career, however, reached a much broader audience and he achieved popularity beyond Canada during the 1980s.

Among the highlights of the band’s career were their New Year’s Eve shows at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. Geddy Lee joined the band onstage to sing and play his Rickenbacker bass guitar for “Battle Scar” on December 31, 1980, when the band headlined the show.

The band reunited in 1990 for a gig at the Toronto Music Awards, with the Mitchell/Watkinson/Tilka/McCracken line-up. Max Webster then continued to play shows on occasional basis throughout the 1990s, with bassist Peter Fredette joining the band in place of Tilka.

Max Webster later reunited for the Q107 30th Anniversary Concert and Live Radio Special on Thursday, May 24, 2007, at The Docks in Toronto.


Total: 1 Comment

kevin says: June 16, 2022 at 12:17 pm | Reply

cool. I’m glad to know that.