Formed in Toronto by highschool friends Mike Swartz and Bob Walker in 1973 after folding the tent on their previous group Black Wheat. They recruited Swartz's younger brother Rob as the second guitarist, and with Walker handling bass, they added Rick Haberman on drums - and Lynx was born.
They made their way around the local circuit for the next year or so, while writing material on the side. Reviews of the shows were positive and the band's legion of fans steadily grew around the region. Steve Taylor, head of Starship Music Productions, caught their show one night and signed a deal with them. Armed with a demo tape they'd recorded at Mercy Brothers Studio in Elmira, Ontario, he landed them a contract with Quality Records in early '76.
While they were at Toronto's Phase One Studios, they augmented their sound by bringing in Tony Caputo on keyboards, a classically trained pianist from the Toronto's Royal Conservatory of Music, and holder of a degree in Music Theory and Performance from Toronto's Humber Music College.
Produced by Bob Morten, the material they were laying down was for the most part a joint writing effort, although Caputo had come on board too late. MISSING LYNX, their debut album was on the store shelves by that summer, and tracks like the lead-off and first single "Dollars," "Best You Ever Had," "Lucifer" and anthemic "Goodbye Educaton, Hello Rock & Roll" captured the band's live essence, and word of the band's raucous and flambouyant show continued to spread. They were featured on Global TV Toronto's "Caught In The Act" program that year, but even with constant touring that took them throughout Ontario and beyond, they were finding it tough cracking the program directors' personal playlists.
Caputo noted at that time there were also a lot more choices for the live concert-goers to choose from. "There were so many groups out there back then that we were like a traveling road show from town to town, getting together at obvious spots for gas and food and to warm up," he said.
Following a tour that took them across the country, what had already been years of toiling for the group led to its demise, with everyone going their separate ways. The problem though was Quality had a three album contract, and Caputo and Rob Swartz were talked into carrying on under the Lynx banner. They assembled a new lineup that consisted of Norm Paulin as the new singer and bassist, and Ian McCorckle was brought in on drums.
With Morten returning behind the controls, some sessions at Thunder Sound in Toronto culminated in their sophomore release in the spring of '78. In many ways, SNEAK ATTACK picked up where its predecessor left off. The first single was "Which Side," and like its follow-up, "I Just Wanna Love You," was rock with a bit of an edge, towering with actual anthemic potential. Other noteable tracks included the slightly eerie aura of "Ain't No Way," "and keys-driven "Better Together." But by the time the album was pressed, Paulin moved over to vocals while Daryl Peterson was brought in on bass and Jim Differ was the new drummer. Following a series of dates around Ontario, the band was again on the shelf when neither single made a dent in the charts.
By spring of '79, Caputo put the name under another major overhaul, assembling guitarist Jerry Donnelly, Dan Nowack on drums and bassist Dave McWilliams. They were shipped off to Hollywood with new producers Ed Cobb and James Pike, and WE ARE THE PEOPLE was on the store shelves that fall. Unfortunately though, the title track was released as the only single and with a lack of interest from the label, the song went nowhere, and few albums left the stores.
With the band on life support once again, and frustrated with the industry's politics, Caputo pulled the plug on Lynx by the end of the year following a short tour. He tried one last time to resurrect the band a couple of years later, but eventually moved to Chicago, where he played with the likes of Peter Gabriel and Cheap Trick. He then began spending much of his time overseas, and was the musical director at Spain's 5-star La Cala Resort for five years. He's also worked with a number of artists in far-off lands, including TNT and 1349, a pair of Norweigan groups that he noted sound eerily familiar.
"I bailed out of the business after the last screwing by Quality Records, I've mostly played in Europe for the last 25 years, where good Canadian rock is appreciated," Caputo laughed. He added that although the band caused little ripples at home, it's ironic and still gratifying to have made an impact overseas. "A lot of groups there are crazy about Canadian '70s rock, and knew of Lynx as well as a few others that they modeled a lot of their style after. I was amazed. I think they know more obscure ground-breaking bands than I did."
In the early '00s, Unidisc re-released all three Lynx albums, but no new or bonus material was added.