Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The Ugly Ducklings: Somewhere Outside 1966


The Ugly Ducklings were a five-piece garage rock group based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, most notable during the mid 1960s. Arguably Canada's first "Bad boys of Rock" and one of the first groups to gain huge popularity mimmicking the British dark wave, The Ugly Ducklings caused a stir on the Yorkville circuit before anyone knew where it was.                                                                                                             

In 1965, however, the Ugly Ducklings were little more than a teenage Stones cover band with the cheeky monicker the Strolling Bones (for what it's worth, perhaps a more apt name for Mick and crew in their latter days), but a year later they had changed their name and begun penning their own songs.

They struck both chords and pose well, especially with rhythm-guitarist Glynn Bell's blond mophead making him the spitting image of Brian Jones and no doubt upping his groupie cachet a few notches. They released six singles in 1966 and 1967 on the Yorktown and Yorkville labels, and one album, Somewhere Outside in 1967. In the summer and fall of 1967, the band's fifth single "Gaslight" became a Top 40 hit across Canada, peaking at #17 on the RPM Chart, and reaching #1 on CHUM 1050 in Toronto on October 2 that year, displacing The Rolling Stones' 2-sided hit, "Dandelion" b/w "We Love You". Their first three singles also made the local 1050 CHUM AM charts in Toronto.

The group was formed in 1965 with Dave Bingham (lead vocals, harmonica), Glynn Bell (rhythm guitar), Roger Mayne (lead guitar), John Read (bass), and Robin Boers (drums). In their early days their

music was partially influenced by The Who, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Kinks, however the band was still able to create a rough individual sound typified by their solid garage-punk original material and raw delivery. The band recorded a single, "Nothin'," which became a Canadian hit, and opened for the Rolling Stones in 1966 when the Stones played Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens. The bandmembers were quickly becoming local heroes, and in 1967 the album Somewhere Outside was released on Yorktown.

The Ugly Ducklings recordings have since been featured on several 1960s garage rock compilation albums, including the Garage Beat 66, Pebbles and Nuggets series. Perhaps in response to their wider recognition via these compilation albums, the band released an album in 1980 called Off the Wall (a year after the Michael Jackson album) that included new recordings of two of their 1960s songs "Nothin'" and "Hey Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut", and nine new original songs.

In 1998, three CDs of the band's material were released in a three-month period. The first release, Too Much Too Soon, on Pacemaker, featured all the material from "Somewhere Outside" an unreleased

track from the album sessions & 2 single tracks, with an unreleased mix of "Gaslight". Some tracks are true stereo, having been re-mixed with the original 4-track session tapes in 1981, some are fake stereo, some are original mono mixes. The Pacemaker release went out of print quickly due to licensing issues, but was the only compilation approved and authorized by the Group. Several bootleg editions of Somewhere Outside exists. UK bootleg label "Beat Records" issued a mono CD edition with seven bonus tracks: three from the 1982 compilation LP, the "Gaslight" and "Rimb Nugget" singles, and an unreleased alternate mix of "Postman's Fancy". Japanese bootleg label "Oldays Records" released a "paper sleeve" cd edition.

In 2007, East Coast CBC Radio Host & Journalist Bob Mersereau released his book, The Top 100 Canadian Albums. The book was a Top 100 list assembled by polling 600 singers, songwriters,

musicians, producers, journalists and collectors from across Canada, asking for their top 10 Canadian Albums. Each #1 received 10 points, #2 - 9 points, #3 - 8 - etc... down to 1 point for #10. The points were tallied and counted. The Ugly Ducklings' "Somewhere Outside" came in at No. 72, right in there with the likes of Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot, The Guess Who, April Wine, Bruce Cockburn and other big-name Canadian musical acts.

The band broke up in 1969 after multiple membership changes. Dave Bingham led an entirely new lineup 1973-74, but the original lineup reunited in 1979-1982, and then continued, intermittently and with some membership changes, until the death of Roger Mayne in 2004.


Lead Singer & Harmonica - 1965 - '69, 1979 - 2004: Dave Bingham
Rhythm Guitar & Vocals – 1965 - ’68, 1979 – 2004: Glynn Bell
Lead Guitar – 1965 -‘67, 1979 - 2004: Roger Mayne
Lead Guitar – 1967 -‘68: Mike McKenna
Lead Guitar – 1968 - ‘69: David Kindred
Bass Guitar – 1965 -‘67, 1979 - ’82, 1986 - ’89: John Read
Bass Guitar – 1967 - ‘68: Howie Smith
Bass Guitar – 1969: Dennis Pendrith
Bass Guitar – 1982-’86: Ron Cameron
Bass Guitar – 1999 - 2004: Stan Endersby
Drums – 1965 - 1969, 1979 - ’82, 2000 – 2004: Robin Boers
Drums – 1982 - 2000: Kid Carson
Keyboards – 1968 - ’69: Bill Speer (and as session musician in 1967)

The Ugly Ducklings ‎– Somewhere Outside
Label: Unidisc ‎– AGEK-2185
Format: CD, Album, Reissue  1998
Country: Canada
Released: 1966
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock



01. Nothin'  2:28    
02. Do What You Want  3:01    
03. She Ain't No Use To Me     3:01
04. Just In Case You Wonder  2:24    
05. Not For Long  2:54    
06. I Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore  2:50    
07. Hey Mama (Keep Your Big Mouth Shut)  2:56    
08. 10-30 Train     2:34
09. That's Just The Thought That I Had In My Mind  2:40    
10. Postman's Fancy   2:35    
11. Windy City (Noise At The North End)   6:02

MP3 @ 320 Size: 79 MB
Flac  Size: 198 MB