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From the ashes of Oshawa’s Reign Ghost members Bryden, Richter, and Squires created a new act called Christmas with additional musicians Bulger and Raizanne who recorded their self-titled debut as a contractual obligation piece with Allied/Paragon in 1970. Nothing came of the record and vocalist Lynda Squires moved on to the Toronto cast production of ‘Hair’. Her spot was soon filled by Wynn.

After Bryden did some work with Crowbar on their Daffodil Records ‘Bad Manors’ LP, he was able to bend Frank Davies’ ear and sign Christmas to his Daffordil Records label. By the end of 1970 they released their debut album ‘Heritage’.

The record failed to make waves and the follow-up single “I’m A Song (Sing Me)”, a Neil Sedaka cover tune, gave them a little notoriety. However, the band’s penchant for bizarre and left field song themes and progressive arrangements courtesy of Bryden left Christmas out of the radio loop.

With failing record sales singer Bulger was soon replaced by Preston Wynn and a change in name occurred. For ‘Lies To Live By’ they became The Spirit Of Christmas in an attempt to establish both a distinct identity and water down their previously perceived public persona.

However, success was not to come their way and the band folded in 1975.

Bulger joined Moxy’s Buzz Shearman in Buzzsaw; Bryden went on to be in Age Of Mirrors and Benzene Jag, enjoyed a lengthy solo career and produced several alternative acts such as The Forgotten Rebels; Richter was last seen back in Oshawa; Raizanne played in Threshold with Bulger.

Christmas saw a cult revival in the early ’90s with two of its three albums re-issued on CD through Laser’s Edge Records in New Jersey. A long sought after live album from a 1971 show opening for Crowbar at Massey Hall was issued by Zapp Records in 1989 on a limited edition 300 autographed copies vinyl LP. It was reissued on CD in 1999 by the Quebec-based Unidisc.

with notes from Bob Bryden and Robert Bulger.

Bob Bryden (vocals, guitar)
Helge ‘Rich’ Richter (drums)
Lynda Squire (vocals)
Robert Bulger (lead guitar)
Tyler Raizanne (bass)
Preston Wynn (vocals; replaced Squire)

1970 Don’t Give It Away/Farewell Sweet Love (Daffodil/A & M)
1971 I’m A Song (Sing Me)/A Part Of Our Heritage (Daffodil/A & M)
1971 Point Blank/Goin’ To Oklahoma (Daffodil/A & M)

1975 Graveyard Face/Stay Dead Lazarus (Daffodil/A & M)

1970 Christmas (Paragon)
1970 Heritage (Daffodil/A & M)
1987 Live At Massey Hall [cassette] (LA)
1989 Christmas Live 1971 [re-issue of ‘Live At Massey Hall’] (RTA-ZAPP)
1991 Heritage [re-issue] (Laser’s Edge – US)

1995 Christmas (Pacemaker)
1999 ‘Live At Massey Hall (Unidisc)

1974 Lies To Live By (Daffodil/A & M)
1990 Lies To Live By [re-issue] (Laser’s Edge – US)

Compilation Tracks
1971 cut on ‘Proven Blooms’ (Daffodil/A & M) – compilation

1974 Jack Boot on ‘Naturally’ (Daffodil/A & M) – compilation

“from The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia written by Jaimie Vernon”