One of the most distinctive Canadian bands of the last 40 years, Doug and the Slugs, will be in Chilliwack on Oct. 18.
Ted Okos and the original slugs — John Burton, Simon Kendall, Steve Bosley, Wally Watson and Richard Baker — will be coming to Chilliwack to highlight the band’s irreverent stage antics, upbeat musicianship and charm that made them so popular.
“We are thrilled to have Ted Okos on board as our lead singer. He does not try to replace the irreplaceable Doug Bennett. Ted’s respectful and considerate interpretations of Doug’s lyrics and vocals are a vital component of all our shows. We are also grateful for his sense of humour,” says John Burton. “We continue to play in remembrance of Doug, to honour his legacy and to bring our fans a live performance of the songs we recorded, toured and still love after all these years.”
Created in 1977, the band formed with front man Doug Bennett, where they quickly developed an avid underground following because of their infamous “theme nights” where audience and band alike were invited to show up in costumes. After a year, their notoriety was great enough that local clubs started to take a chance on them and they earned the attention of Sam Feldman, who signed a management deal with them.
Their first single Too Bad became an overnight national hit and led to Feldman securing a record deal for the band. The Slugs toured relentlessly and went on to produce six more albums, three of which were certified Gold.
In 2004, Doug Bennett died and the Slugs wondered if they would ever tour again. It wasn’t until several years later that they even considered the idea, and it was suggested they call Ted Okos, a journeyman rocker who was with the band Nick Danger at the time. Okos and the original Slugs hit it off immediately, his warmth and keen understanding of the essence of the songs making him the obvious and only choice for the rebirth of Doug and the Slugs.
Touring as the original Doug and the Slugs is something that the band never could have anticipated happening, but after securing the blessing from Doug’s family and a lot of discussion, they decided to keep the name. Despite it being uncharted territory and the band being daunted by the idea of doing shows without the main man, Okos has made the transition something they’re thrilled about. Not only is Okos gifted at faithfully recreating Bennett’s song, but also matching the overall enthusiasm from the rest of the original members.
With classic hits like Making It Work, Too Bad and Tomcat Prowl, Doug and the Slugs are set to relive their glory in Chilliwack.
Doug and the Slugs is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors and $35 for youth, and can be purchased at the Centre Box Office, online at www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca, or by calling 604-391-SHOW(7469).