By Keith Sharp
The name Images In Vogue might ring a bell with those musicphiles blessed with an in-depth knowledge of Canadian music history. Launched in Vancouver in 1981, Images In Vogue released four Ep’s, one featuring a hit single “Lust For Love” before dropping their debut album, `In The House’ release in 1985 on WEA Canada.
Drummer Derrick Gyles remembers that time frame. He joined the new-wave synth band from another Vancouver group, Strange Advance, and replaced original drummer Kevin Crampton who left to join alt band Skinny Puppy after finding Images In Vogue too commercial for his personal musical tastes.
“I was given tickets to see Images In Vogue open for Duran Duran and was invited by the band to replace Kevin,” explained Gyles who is now engineering the band’s current revival from his Toronto base. “I joined in 1985, just as they were shooting the video for “In The House” with Klaatu’s Dee Long.”
Gyles joined just as their manager, Kim Clarke Champniss was leaving the band to become a veejay at MuchMusic and the band soon joined Clarke Champniss in moving East to Toronto in search of a replacement manager.
Reacting to a positive endorsement by Geddy Lee’s wife who loved Images In Vogue, Anthem’s Ray Danniels decided to manage the band but the relationship proved not to be a successful one. “I think Ray was just too pre-occupied with Rush. As far as we were concerned, he wasn’t that money hungry,” Gyles explained. “He was used to the heavy playing of Rush, we weren’t that kind of band”.
Imagines In Vogue played over 200 dates in 1986 and won two CASBY awards for top group and top single for “In The House” but Danniels was particularly critical of bass player Gary Smith, forcing him to leave the band.
“When Gary left, that’s when pieces of the band’s jigsaw puzzle started to fall apart,” offered Gyles. “We released an album in 1988 called `The Spell’ (Quality Records) and our vocalist Dale Martindale suggested we should change the name of the band to The Spell, but that just caused added confusion so we had to go around and re-sticker all the records as Images In Vogue to make sure people didn’t think it was a solo record.”
Gyles says there was no major blow-up internally, the band’s various members just drifted apart, but a series of re-releases resulted in a couple of reunion shows at Toronto’s Opera House in 2002 and the Vancouver Commodore Ballroom in 2004.
An invitation by The Spoons for Images In Vogue to open for their Arias & Symphones 30th Anniversary show in Toronto November 13th 2012, kick-started a major revival by the band and Images In Vogue have been active ever since. They recently performed with The Box and Honeymoon Suite at a Mississauga charity concert for MacDonald House to an enthusiastic capacity audience and are planning to stay active this summer.
Known more for singles like “Lust For Love”, “Just Like You”, “Call It Love” and “In The House”, Gyles reports that these songs are still staples on classic rock airplay and with the resurgence of 80’s era bands currently on tour, the timing couldn’t be better.
“I just saw Paul Young and Midge Ure at the Phoenix, Howard Jones is also due to play at the Phoenix and Simple Minds are touring this Fall,” enthused Gyles. “All these 80’s bands are out there and Canadian bands like The Box, Honeymoon Suite and Glass Tiger are all doing well, it just seems like te right time to get back out there.”
President of his own product marketing company (MAD Design Company) and also drummer for an Eighties tribute band called The Bomb, Gyles is also working with Strange Advance founder Drew Arnott to relaunch that band in 2019. Stand by for further details.