MONTREAL’S FAB FIVE
Talking to Allan Nicholls and Bill Hill more than 50 years after their band J.B. and the Playboys ruled the Montreal rock ’n’ roll scene, one notion still comes up. “We were entertainers,” says Nicholls, the group’s lead singer. “We took it seriously. We gave them The Beatles at John Rennie High School.”
“We entertained ourselves as much as we entertained the audience,” adds Hill, lead guitarist. And they’re ready to do it all over again with J.B. and The Playboys 2.0.
Kings of the Montreal rock scene in the mid 1960s, JB and The Playboys had several chart-topping hits in Canada. In their heyday, they headlined their own sold-out concerts as well as opening for The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Birds, The Dave Clark Five and dozens of other huge acts. Their high-energy performances featured a mix of their original material and the rhythm-and-blues songs that influenced them.
Fifty years later, the (Play)boys are back in town.
TOP ROW: Bill Hill, Al Nicholls, Doug West BOTTOM ROW: Lou Atkins, Andy Kaye
J.B. and the Playboys are returning to the studio and the stage with founders Allan Nicholls (lead singer) and Bill Hill (lead guitarist). Joining them are r.d. harris on drums, Stuart Patterson on bass, and Bobby Stagg on keyboard and guitar. “I’ve done many things in my life, but this band was always my first love,” Nicholls explains. “When we jammed together recently, it felt like a homecoming. On the spot, we decided to dive into our second act.”
Let the music play(boys)!