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Triton Warrior


The Cast guitarist David Fromstein named his band in homage to his own broken wrist, which he simply played through. “There used to be a lot of plaster dust flying around,” Fromstein recalled. After a 1972 wrist surgery, Fromstein met Mama Moose drummer Ken Ambrose outside a Toronto, Ontario, donut shop. Rival bands from rival schools, they resolved to merge. After all, silly-name Canadian groups were coming up fast (A Foot in Coldwater, April Wine, and Thundermug among them). Fromstein and Ambrose simply reacted. Enter The Cast bass player Alex Simon and Mama Moose guitarist Keith Syrett. Frontman Joel Cohen fit in because, according to Fromstein, he “had a loud voice and he could sing above the band without a microphone.”

Triton Warrior, named for sea-god Neptune’s son, devised a self-styled “gravel rock,” hammering it out during practices in Fromstein’s family basement. The youths signed justice-of-the-peace notarized waivers, as to legally play local bars and clubs, touring only occasionally outside a 40-mile Toronto perimeter. Recordings commenced at Sound Canada before 1972’s end, resulting in a 2,000-copy run of singles on Vintage Records. “Satan’s Train” took the A-side, with the Fromstein-sung, Mama Moose-sourced, and heavily Sabbath-inspired “Sealed in a Grave” as flip. An errant extra “T” on the 45’s label consigned Triton/Tritton Warrior to eternal pronunciation Hell. But Fromstein’s job with Canada’s 140-store Sam The Record Man chain did afford national distro to the band’s lone release.

One destroyed hotel room and its attendant lawsuit split Triton Warrior in 1973. Fromstein, remanded to private school, gorged himself on prog, writing rock operas Shatterer of Worlds and The Night Watchman, the latter intended as a double Triton Warrior LP. After Fromstein’s graduation, a second Triton Warrior iteration focused itself on operatic material, but ran aground in ’76, very much in overdone progressive style. A botched Barrie, Ontario, laser light concert lead to a second lawsuit. “The full house got to see this one dot kind of flying around the room,” Fromstein lamented. Triton Warrior’s last legal fight was on.


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