Toronto Sun - Tuesday April 29, 1980
By Wilder Penfield III
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
the name is Frank Soda, it would seem there are a lot of promotional
possibilities in it.
Never mind that the man with the name is a writer
and singer of aggressive rock songs, a player of abrasive guitar, and a sporter
of the most bizarre headgear since Genesis featured Peter Gabriel.
The name is Soda, and the theme is pop. The new Frank Soda
& the Imps album stood out from the rest because it came in a pop-art jacket
in a box that included not just an itinerary (tonight he's at the El Mocambo),
recent press clippings ("A popular act with a flair for gimmicks and rather
peculiar theatrics"), an autobiographical interview ("The stage is pretty much
my platform to express what I think can be done to improve things"), a
song-by-song album rap, and pictures like the one you see here, but also four
soda glasses, four long spoons, scores of flexible straws and an ice-cream
Now actual cans of "Frank's Soda" are being manufactured, and
mobiles that balance the cans of pop have been sent to stores across the
Frank himself is no stranger to elaborate promotions. When he
and drummer John Lechesseur came east from Vancouver it was as two of the Imps
that worked for Thor in an act that - in an example of super-salesmanship -
almost succeeded in headlining a North American concert tour before anyone had
heard the first record.
When the Imps wanted to make an
attention-grabbing demo of their own, Soda and manager/producer Robert Connolly
setup Tube Records, recorded a set at the Picadilly Tube here, and released In
The Tube with a cover picture of Frank with his head in a boob tube.
without much airplay or good distribution, the album sold some 8,000 copies, but
what people remembered was the TV set. Now it looks like more people will
remember the name of the man inside it.