Jaimie Vernon

JAIMIE VERNON has a long musical history as a live performer, a solo recording artist, and a member of such acts as SWindleD, Moving Targetz, Swedish Fish, The Hounds, Spare Parts, The Richmond Hillbillies, Cheaper Than Therapy, and most recently Mr! Mouray.

Vernon’s musical coming-of-age began in Scarborough, Ontario in 1978 when his parents reluctantly bought him an electric guitar following the end of a minor league hockey career due to two bad knees. Though he would dutifully take guitar lessons from an aging old British music teacher, what he longed to do was emulate his favourite artists – The Beatles, Kiss, Elton John, David Bowie and a Toronto band who hadn’t been signed to any record deals named Rhinegold. Rhinegold’s singer was Lawrence Gowan who would later catapult to fame as a solo artist, and two decades later as the lead singer for Styx. Vernon had his work cut out for him.

He toiled away with some neighbourhood friends in a band called Elysium Moon working on original songs, but after a punk in his high school home room in 1980 asked him to join his band, Vernon found himself playing rhythm guitar in Pickering punk act Swindled. Several drummer changes later and Swindled became fixtures on the Toronto Queen Street circuit playing such venues as Larry’s Hideaway, The Turning Point, and The Cabana Room. After recording their one and only 7” single “Who Wants Guns” b/w “Hymn No. 84” in 1982, the band changed members again to become Youth In Asia. That incarnation lasted until the Spring of 1983.

Vernon soon found himself without an outlet for his original material. On a whim, he called another musician who he had also known from that high school home room class and proposed a team up. That musician was Simon Bedford-James who was already in a band that was floundering. Vernon offered to play guitar and add vocals. Moving Targetz was born.

For the next 9 years Moving Targetz would record five E.P.s, two full-length albums on their own Bullseye Records label (Vernon and Bedford-James would also play in a side-project called Swedish Fish), and tour endlessly throughout Southern Ontario playing with the likes of Trooper, Haywire, Lee Aaron, and the Killer Dwarfs among others. The band called it a day in early 1992 at which time Vernon and Targetz drummer Duanne Welsh joined blues band The Hounds. The Hounds were primarily a live act and after an abandoned recording session, Vernon and Welsh put a cover band together called Spare Parts in the Fall of 1993.

Spare Parts also toured relentlessly from 1994 through 1998 – stopping briefly to record an album of original material under the name Sharon’SISTER – and briefly were the backing band for former Klaatu member Terry Draper (recording one live album entitled ‘Live…Years Later: From The Cue To The Shoe’). Life ultimately interrupted the band with marriages and births, and Vernon found himself joining a new cover band called The Richmond Hillbillies which featured former members of Moving Targetz fronted by KiLLeR DwaRfs vocalist Russell Graham.

By this time Vernon was in the early stages of preparing to launch the record label Bullseye Records full-time. He would soon put performing and recording on hold until the label was well on its way. But by 2002 he was itching to write and record again. His first solo release was ‘Broadcasts From The Twilight Zone’ in 2003 which was produced by Brian Gagnon (The Hunt, Frank Soda). Jaimie would return to the stage and put a live band together to promote the album.

Former Moving Targetz lead singer Ivan Judd had released his own album around the same time and the two teamed up under the name Cheaper Than Therapy, touring Southern Ontario from 2003 right through 2008. Vernon would play bass guitar on the Cheaper Than Therapy album ‘Forbidden’, as well as briefly play guitar with former Klaatu member Dee Long on Long’s live album in 2006.

By 2006 Vernon released his sophomore solo album ‘Time Enough At Last’ (also produced by Brian Gagnon) and toured both solo and with his own band from 2006 through 2008 in Southern Ontario, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and even a date in 2007 at The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.

In 2008 he would release his third solo album ‘Nightmare @ 20,000 Watts’ and repeat his intermittent touring through 2010. A live album entitled ‘Nice Place To Visit’ was released in 2009.

2011 would see the 30th anniversary reunion of Vernon’s old punk band Swindled featuring the addition of Battered Wives drummer Cleave Anderson. The group toured Southern Ontario and capped off their reunion with a live-off-the-floor studio recording of their first full-length album entitled ‘It’s Only Peace That You Want, It’s Only War That You Get.’

Unfortunately, Bullseye Records folded during this period due to the collapse of both music retail and the uncertainty in the digital economy. Vernon would stop recording and performing until 2018, though he would put out two archival projects of cover tunes entitled ‘Mirror Image: Somebody Else’s Greatest Hits’ Volumes 1 & 2. He would also have a minor hit on Spotify with a cover version of the Hudson Brothers’ 1974 hit “So You Are A Star” after Randy Bachman played the song on his CBC radio show Vinyl Tap. A 5-song EP called ‘So You Are A Star’ featuring outtakes from 2008 was released in 2018.

It was at that point that founding Moving Targetz member Simon Bedford-James was assembling a new band called Mr! Mouray with Swedish Fish guitarist Nelson Periera, and Mahones drummer Domenic Whelan. Jaimie joined on bass guitar and backing vocals. The group released its debut album ‘Bats In Disguise’ that year followed in 2019 by two E.P.s and several live shows. The band returned to the studio in February 2020 to begin work on their second full-length album but were shutdown, as the whole world was, in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

It was during the lockdown that Vernon decided to revive his solo career by learning to work from home with a digital studio set-up. His first solo album from two years of recording, and self-producing, is the 2022 all-instrumental album ‘Sounds & Silences’ featuring the singles “Waning Moon,” “Daft As Funk,” and “Big Band Age.”