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The Quid

The Quid - Crazy Things / Mersey Side - 7

Crazy Things / Mersey Side - 7"
Eagle - 1966

Michael Panontin
The Quid's lead singer Ron Rene was allegedly such a stage dynamo that the Guess Who name-checked him in their acid stormer 'Friends of Mine' (with Burton Cummings belting out "...and fade away / like Ron Rene"). The Winnipeg band he fronted managed to make a couple of records in their heyday, 1966's Brit-infused 'Crazy Things' and its jangly follow-up 'Lover Lover' that same year, before imploding when Rene ditched them for the newly formed group the Fifth.

Formed in and around The Twilight Zone, a popular teen club on St. Mary's Road, and named after the plethora of British Invasion bands that were so popular at the time, the Quid swiftly got down to business, rifling off those singles and playing them at clubs like J's Discotheque, the Pink Panther and the Den. Of course, it also helped that the boys (Rene, guitarists Colin Palmer and Billy Pavlik, with Morley Nickles on bass and Lenny Fidkalo on the drum kit) had the blessing of some of the deejays around town. "[CKRC's] Ron Legge and Boyd Kozak used to plug our records all the time," Nickles would tell writer John Einarson in the Winnipeg Free Press some fifty years later.

Nickles' 'Crazy Things', a sort of rough amalgam of Them's 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Mystic Eyes', was actually recorded in the studio at CKRC and issued on Wes Nowosad's Eagle imprint, a local concern that was also responsible for the Shags' groovy 'Smiling Fenceposts'. 'Lover Lover' may have been the group's bread and butter - it charted all across western Canada - but the r'n'b-laced 'Crazy Things' was easily the better song, and indeed the perfect platform to showcase Rene's considerable singing talents.

By the fall of 1966, however, things started to change for the Quid. With two records in the shops and a jam-packed crowd in front of them at the University of Manitoba, everything seemed to be falling into place. But, alas, the limelight went dim pretty quickly. "We just bought new suits," Nickles recalls, "and the next day Ron told us he was leaving to join the Fifth." Though Palmer and Pavlik did try to hold things together, adding horns and another singer (Bobby Barton) as the New Quid, it was clear that their place in the Museum of Forgotten Bands was already being secured. These days, Nickles is rather matter-of-fact about the whole thing: "If Rene had stayed, I think we could have made it."

('Crazy Things' was included as a bonus track on the CD version of Pebbles Volume 2.)

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