1972 Original release GRT
2006 Reissue Akarma
Joe Mendelson (vocals, harmonica, slide guitar)
Mike McKenna (guitar)
Dennis Gerrard (bass)
Tony Nolasco (drums, vocals)
Mike Harrison (bass; replaced Gerrard in 1968)
Zeke Sheppard (bass, mandolin, harmonica, vocals; 1970 reformation)
James Hartley (bass; 1972 replaced Sheppard)
Having played in famed Toronto acts Luke & The Apostles and then, briefly, The Ugly Duckings, guitarist Mike McKenna took out an advertisement asking other like-minded individuals to form a new blues band. Joe Mendelson answered the ad and this team-up provided the basis of Mendelson Mainline in the summer of 1968.
Former Paupers' bassist Denny Gerrard was the next to join and another advertisement brought in new-comer Tony Nolasco from Sudbury.
The band worked its way around Yorkville with Denny Gerrard soon being replaced by former Grant Smith & The Power bassist Mike Harrison in 1968. With bigger profile concert gigs, the band's vibrant live show was committed to tape in September 1968 -- a session that would later come back to haunt the band.
McKenna Mendelson Mainline relocated to England late that year to pursue a record deal. After being signed to Liberty (United Artists) in the Spring of 1969, they worked the same English club circuit as up and coming bands like Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin. In July of 1969 a single day recording session yielded the first Liberty Records album 'Stink'. They returned to Canada to await the release of the new album.
With their reputation as crowd pleasers on tours in England, Holland, and Australia with such acts as Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, and The Guess Who preceeding them, Paragon Records in Canada anticipated the band would be the 'next big thing' and rush released the September 1968 sessions to the band's chagrin.
Joe Mendelson quit in September of 1969 and Rick James (of Myna Birds fame) replaced him briefly to finish a run of contracted gigs. Mike McKenna effectively took the wind out of the group's sails by reforming a new version of Luke & The Apostles.
After a brief recording stint with Luke And The Apostles, McKenna found himself back with Mendelson, Nolasco and bassist Zeke Sheppard (formerly of Dutch Mason's Escorts) for the 1970 Scarborough Fair Festival.
By 1971 the re-christened Mainline was signed to GRT Records and released 'Canada Our Home & Native Land'.
The band's live shows became more risque and raunchier, defying the staid Canadian R & B clubs up and down the Toronto bar circuit. The result of Mainline's new found infamy was released as the 'The Mainline Bump 'n' Grind Revue: Live At The Victory Theatre' in 1972..
1.: O Canada
3.: Wild Wild Women
4.: Miss Collin's Cha - Cha
5.: Feel Alright
6.: Game of Love
7.: Chicken Shack
9.: C.C. Rider
10.: No Boogie Finale