Taking their name in part from a 1930s American bank robber, Pretty Boy Floyd was formed in Vancouver in 1987 by singer Tommy Floyd, a former singer with the Powell River Boys Choir, after he’d bounced around the province with a few groups. With highschool friend and fellow ex-Panic member Pete Parker on guitars, they eventually rounded out the line-up with Steve Bratz on bass and drummer Sandy Hazard while working the local circuit.
Recorded in Vancouver at Gangster Studio, they released a six-song EP in ’88 called BULLETS AND LIPSTIK on Musicline Records. Although largely ignored at home, tracks like “Welcome To The Show” and the title track earned the album a spot in the top 10 on the British Indie Charts, and received positive reviews from magazines and critics alike, hungry for a hard rock outfit with both balls, a thundering backbeat, and a slick sound.
After getting a distribution deal with Germany-based Bellaphon Records, they finished off a European tour, then recorded four more tracks once they came home. They re-released the now 10 tracks full album under the same title in ’89, and did a video for “Welcome To The Show” that got good airplay overseas. The album again gained critical praise, and featured cameos from many of the Vancouver rock scene’s elite – including Paul Laine and Victor Langen of Kick Axe.
But shortly after its release, the band got into a legal battle with a band out of LA with the same name. While the lawyers were making their dollars, Parker ended up leaving the group amicably. The American band won the right to use the name after settling out of court, but still had to shorten its name to PBF when it appeared on the “Karate Kid III” soundtrack. Meanwhile the Canadian group simply renamed itself Tommy Floyd. Parker was replaced for awhile, before Floyd simply went solo.
In 1990, the video for “Black & Blue Avenue” made its rounds on MuchMusic, and received the Heavy Metal Performer of the Year Award via CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences). Floyd performed relentlessly over the next several years, opening for the likes of Pantera, Circus of Power and Agony Column. In ’94 he recorded the full length album ROCK AND ROLL REDNECK, but with hair metal on the outside looking at grunge taking over, the album was never released.
Floyd then formed a management company called Outlaw Entertainment International, working with The Cartels, Salty Dog, Dangerous Toys, and Celtic Frost, among others. He then formed Outlaw Recordings, who helped launch Parker’s new venture – a blues-based trio called Billy Butcher, releasing one album. Hazard played in a few groups around Vancouver, including Grandma Moses, also releasing one album, and then formed a pop/punk band called Mcrackins.
In 2006, Floyd officially retired from the music business to spend more time with his family, ride motorcycles, and collect vintage pinball machines. He even founded Flipper Freaks Pinball Club and is the organizer of Fraser Valley Flip Out, the only annual tournament of its kind that attracts pinball players from around the globe.