CBC Digital Archives

Triumph talks to Toronto teens

Gordon Lightfoot, Celine Dion, Oscar Peterson, Sam Roberts, Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies. What do these artists all have in common? They've all won Juno Awards. Since 1970, the Junos have been held each year to celebrate excellence in Canadian music. In honour of the annual ceremony, the CBC Digital Archives has pulled together a diverse collection of radio and TV clips that shine the spotlight on some notable past Juno winners.

It's 1986, and Canadian "power trio" Triumph is being featured on a local CBC Toronto television program for teens called Switchback. In this jocular clip, two members of the band -- guitarist/vocalist Rik Emmett and drummer Gil Moore -- answer phone-in questions from fans. Who is Emmett's favourite guitarist? Who is Moore's favourite drummer? And why did they name their 1984 album Thunder Seven? In between jokes about hair gel, the Canadian rockers answer these questions and more. 
• The third member of Triumph, not appearing in this clip, was keyboard and bass player Mike Levine. • The trio first came together in 1975, and released their debut self-titled album in 1976. That album, released by Canada's Attic Records, reached gold status.

• Triumph went on to release a number of hit albums throughout the 1970s and 80s, with singles like Hold On (1979) and Magic Power (1981) earning them immense popularity with rock fans throughout Canada and the U.S. The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada explains that Emmett "came to be regarded as one of the premier guitarists in rock, and the group has had both a hard-core and mainstream following, the former, among young male audiences, based on the sheer volume and spectacle of its concerts."

• Critics, however, weren't always kind to Triumph. Rolling Stone magazine called them a "faceless band." And according to the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, "Triumph was often depicted by the Toronto media as a business rather than creative venture."

• Emmett left Triumph to embark on a solo career in 1988. To replace him, Levine and Moore recruited another Canadian musician named Phil X. The band recorded one album with Phil X in 1993 called Edge of Excess.

• In January 2008, it was announced that the three original members of Triumph would be getting back together to perform at the Sweden Rock Festival in June of that year.

• Triumph has been nominated for five Juno Awards but has never won. At the 2008 Junos, however, the band's original members -- Emmett, Levine and Moore -- were honoured with an official induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Each year, a different Canadian artist or group gets inducted into the Hall of Fame with a special presentation at the Juno ceremony. 

Medium: Television
Program: Switchback
Broadcast Date: Feb. 2, 1986
Guest(s): Rik Emmett, Gil Moore
Host: Shawn Thompson
Duration: 10:09

Last updated: January 31, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

1991: Fergie Jenkins named first Canadian in ...

Coming to Cooperstown is a great honour, but it comes on the heels of great personal loss.

The Resilience of Canadian Tire

Since its origins as a family company in 1922, Canadian Tire has become a national icon and a ...

Nine dead in explosion of HMCS Kootenay

(silent footage) HMCS Kootenay explodes in the English Channel, killing nine members of the Ca...

Canadian marries into British royalty

It's a Canadian fairy tale as Montreal's Autumn Kelly gets set to marry Queen Elizabeth's gran...

Joannie Rochette becomes Canadian skating cha...

After winning Canada's top women's figure skating honour in 2005, Quebec's Rochette describes ...

Chinese immigration: A changing identity

By 2004, Chinese-Canadian identity combines old and new world traditions.