The earliest roots of The Parachute Club stem from when Lorraine Segato and Laurie Conger formed an all-girl band called Mama Quilla 2. They spent the latter part of the '70s becoming fixtures of the Toronto club scene, where they gained local notoriety for their weaving political messages into their music. They released one 12" EP, produced by Daniel Lanois which didn't exactly set the world afire. Segato was introduced to drummer Billy Bryans in 1979. Their love for different rhythms and musical influences were a natural meld, which culminated in the formation of V, a group which also consisted of Steve Webster on bass and in part was based around Mojah, the black rastafarian leader of Truth and Rights, Toronto's premier reggae outfit of the day.
After Mojah left, the band changed its name to The Parachute Club in '83 and had percussionist/saxaphonist Margo Davidson join the band. Soon Julie Masi moved from Winnipeg and joined up, followed shortly thereafter by guitarist Dave Gray. They gained the attention of Current Records and began recording their self-titled debut later that same year. Produced by Lanois, the album was an instant hit with both critics and the fans. Backed by the smash single "Rise Up", which won a Juno for Single Of The Year, their penchant for writing politically-conscious tunes would become legendary. "Alienation" and "Boys Club", a song about women's rights, soon followed suit.
The eagerly-anticipated follow-up, AT THE FEET OF THE MOON hit the stores in '84. Produced by Michael Beinhorn, Webster had left the group prior to its recording to work with Billy Idol. With new bassist Keir Brownstone, the band picked up where they'd left off the album before. The first single was the eclectic title track, and was then followed by 2 more top 40 hits, "Act Of An Innocent" and "Sexual Intelligence". Other noteable tracks included "Innuendo" and "Walls and Laws". The group's political and sociological messages scored them their second gold record, and they were rewarded that same year with their second Juno, this time for Group Of The Year.
1986 saw the release of SMALL VICTORIES. The album saw the band's collaberation with John Oates, who served as album co-producer. The first single, "Love Is Fire", also co-featured Oates on vocals. The duet gave the album international credibility and it marked the band's third straight gold record here at home. The beginning of the end for the band started following the end of their Canadian tour that year, when Masi left to pursue outside interests. Conger followed suit in mid '87 when she too left the group, shortly after they'd written and performed four songs for the Canadian and U.S. versions of the anime series, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
One final single was released in the fall of '87, "Big Big World." But with little support from the label, the single stalled out of the gate and went nowhere. Although the band continued for another two years with various musicians filling in as necessary, the rigors of having a 7-piece band touring - plus their collective musical goals having been met, the band called it quits in late '89.
WILD ZONE - THE ESSENTIAL PARACHUTE CLUB was released in '92. The expected greatest hits package, it spanned the run of hits the band had over the course of their 3 albums, as well as a remix of "Rise Up". Renowned for their social conscience, they found a knack to make you think while making your feet want to dance, and in 2006 the band was inducted into the Canadian Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
With the members each venturing off to do their own things, Segato began a successful solo career, while Conger has begun work in First Nations music after training in massage therapy in New Mexico. Bryans meanwhile still does extensive work promoting musical genres from abroad here in North America. Davidson got out of the business all together, preferring to work for social causes including helping the homeless.
In '05, Segato reformed the group for Toronto's City Roots Music Festival, along with Bryans, Gray, Brownstone, and new members Mystic and Miranda Walsh (daughters of Eric Walsh, lead singer of Toronto reggae band Messenjah) on vocals and Ashley Wey on keyboards. This version of the group continued to make occasional appearances, usually at political or cultural events in Toronto, for the rest of the decade. In 2008, Davidson died under undisclosed circumstances.