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The beginnings of Stonebolt date back to the late 60's when high school friends Ray Roper, Brian Lousley and Dan Atchison began playing for teen dances in North Vancouver, Canada. This core group stuck together for several years, performing cover tunes of the era. By 1973 they had begun to write songs of their own, cleverly inserting them between playing the "hits" in local clubs. It was around this time that the name Stonebolt was chosen, along with a committment to hit the road, which was to become their home for several years. Singer David Wills left Seattle band Shaker to join soon after and a young John Webster completed the lineup on keyboards. By this time, the band had built a grassroots following, criss-crossing the western continent playing clubs. In 1976 the band recorded two sets of demos in San Francisco with legendary producer Elliot Mazur (Neil Young, Janis Joplin, Journey) which began attracting attention. But it wasn't until the following year that success hit. A tape passed on to singer Johnny Rivers' road manager lead to a production deal with Walter Stewart and a signing with Parachute Records, a subsidiary of Casablanca Records. The Parachute division was headed by Russ Regan, a music industry vet who founded UNI Records (later MCA), and had signed Neil Diamond and Elton John to their first deals. The band was soon shuttling back and forth between Vancouver and LA playing showcases, making TV appearances and putting the finishing touches on what was to become the first of 4 LP's recorded for Parachute and later RCA. The group played concerts, theatres and clubs in diverse locations from Osaka, Japan to LA's famed Whisky a' Go Go. They made national TV appearances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. They were in the initial balloting for the 1978 Grammy Awards "new artist" category but got bumped in favor of disco groups. Hit singles emerged from the albums including "Queen of the Night", "I Will Still Love You" (a major international hit in '78), "Don't Ya Hide It", and "Goin' Through The Motions of Love" (SOCAN award for top Canadian airplay in '82). The lineup had remained mostly intact, the only change being Webster who left in '81 to be replaced by keyboardist/composer Lewis Nitikman. Despite being tagged by some media as being "the next potential supergroup of the 80's", the band's career was stunted due to an industry recession, switching record companies, promotion staff and changing musical trends. In spite of the obstacles, Stonebolt remained close knit and true to their goals. In 1983 Ray Roper left to pursue a solo career and Dan Atchison temporarily retired from music. Wills, Lousley and Nitikman continued touring and recorded demos for what would have been a fifth StoneBolt album. It was not to be however as the group disbanded later that year. In 1997, Stonebolt was asked to reunite to participate in a classic rock festival in High River, Alberta, Canada. The spark that emanated from that event led to the creation of their latest project, a combination of past, present and future: REGENERATION.
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