I love IMAX documentaries and I love music. So it blew my mind when I discovered a jaw-dropping universal truth: every single IMAX documentary would also be an amazingly good name for a band.
The creators of IMAX obviously had this in mind right from the beginning, with the March 1970 release of the very first giant-screen documentary: Tiger Child. If you cannot hear those words and picture exactly what a 1970s band called Tiger Child would look like and sound like, then you are simply not trying hard enough. Many people reading this won’t even reach the end of the paragraph before they have already imagined the specific type of drugs the drummer was on, and can vaguely remember reading about the legal allegations that led to the band’s inevitable personality conflicts and disappearance from the charts. The 1970s also saw the rise of such diverse acts as Summertide, Volcano, Snowjob, Silent Sky, Italian synth-rock pioneers Alfa 78, and of course Peruvian folk favorites Capture the Sun (whose best-known tribute band, Catch the Sun, enjoyed a certain level of popularity in its own right). There was also Genesis, but obviously nobody would name a band Genesis, so perhaps the theory isn’t 100% perfect.
The 1980s, of course, brought heavy metal. Documentary lovers rocked out to Atmos, Speed, Chronos, Omnisphere, as well as lesser-known foreign bands like Price of Freedom, Primiti Too Taa and Haupango. Shock-rock acts like Beaver achieved notoriety, if only for a short time, and of course there were still plenty of mellower sounds available: Born of Stars with its New Age ethos, and Heartland for the country fans. The Toronto duo My Strange Uncle defied genre and, while they never really made it big in their own time, they now command a small but devoted cult following.
Even as grunge made its appearance in the 1990s, big-name metal bands like Titanica, Ring of Fire, Crashendo, and Black Widow were still very much part of the scene. Teen pop idols came and went: Flowers in the Sky, Funhouse Express, Wildfire, and The Mountain Gorillas (later to break up and re-form with a new singer, as Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees).
From 2000 until today, the list seems endless, and history alone will reveal which of these groups have real staying power. A few to watch, in my opinion, are Rheged (formerly Lost Kingdom), UltimateX, Giants of Patagonia, Steep, To The Arctic, The Flying Monsters, Tornado Alley, and The Trip. I’ll throw in a special mention of a band most people seem to either love or hate, Herbert the Chameleon.
What’s up next in the ever-changing music world? Only the Coming Attractions sign at your local IMAX theatre will tell. Just forget about naming your band Ice Age Deathtrap. That one’s mine, damn it.