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Witness Inc.

1967 to 1971 Line-up: Kenny Shields
 (lead vocals) / Allan Ayers (bass) / Ed Clynton (guitar) / Bob Walker (bass; replaced Ayers) / Derry Stewart (guitar; replaced Clynton) / Les Bateman (organ, electric piano) / Dave Tupper (drums) / Craig Kaleal (drums; replaced Tupper) / Bob Ego (drums; replaced Kaleal) / Bruce Degenhart (bass; replaced and was replaced by Walker) / Steve Boddington (guitar; replaced and was replaced by Stewart) / Greg DeLaronde (vocals; replaced Shields in 1970) / Arnie Guzyk (vocals; replaced DeLaronde in 1970) / Don Johnson (guitar) / Terry Thomas (guitar; replaced Stewart in 1970) / Ed Kilbride (vocals; replaced Guzyk in 1970) / Larry Chalmers / Bill Hardie (guitar; replaced Thomas in 1970);
1975 Line-Up: Kenny Shields (vocals) / Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve (bass) / Craig Kaleal (drums) / George Martin (guitar) / Bob Deutscher (guitar) / Daryl Gutheil (keyboards) / Bob Ego (drums; replaced Kaleal)
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan’s Witness Inc. was formed in 1966. The band had an exciting stage show that helped them build a large following and attract the interest of Apex Records. With the strength of their first single, “I’ll Forget Her Tomorrow”, the band steam rolled across the Western Provinces where they became very successful. However, the follow-up single, “Jezebel”, failed to gain a foothold in Ontario. The Eastern seaboard would take three more singles to conquer. Walker and Stewart were added in 1969 while the band was touring Edmonton on the recommendation of legendary producer/musician Wes Dakus. The two new members hit it off well and the group spent two months working on new, original material at which time Craig Kaleal left the band due to intense pressure from his family. With little momentum forward over another two months, Walker quit in frustration and was replaced by Bob Ego’s boyhood friend Bruce Degenhart. Stewart left briefly to be replaced by Steve Boddington but soon returned. Then Kenny Shields nearly died in a devastating car accident at the end of 1969 and needed extensive surgery/therapy. The band decided to carry on without him in April 1970 with Walker returning for the departed Degenhart and Greg DeLaronde replacing Shields. However, Shields was a near celebrity and his fans (nearly all female) never warmed to DeLaronde who would quit in frustration. He was replaced by Arnie Guzyk after a failed succession of local and imported singers. Don Johnson was added in June 1970. Stewart left, again, shortly after and was replaced by his old friend Terry Thomas. Johnson left in September 1970 while Thomas and Guzyk bailed out in November 1970 to form their own band. Bateman, Ego and Walker moved to Edmonton and teamed up with Ed Kilbride, Larry Chalmers, and Bill Hardie as the new Witness Inc in late 1970. They played around Edmonton and did a short tour across the prairies including several appearances on Barry Allen’s TV show from Calgary. However, the steady work had dried up and in February, 1971 this chapter of the band called it quits. It took Kenny Shields until 1975 to fully recover from his accident and regain the confidence to return to centre stage. He attempted to reform Witness Inc. with former drummer Craig Kaleal, bassist Kenny Sinneave, keyboardist Daryl Gutheil, guitarists George Martin and Bob Deutscher. Bob Ego soon returned to the fold and replaced Kaleal once more. Soon Shields and Sinneave left to join Canadian River Race members Paul Dean (also of Scrubbaloe Caine) and Matt Frenette to create Streetheart in 1976; Daryl Gutheil would go on to form industrial band Skinny Puppy in the ’80s; Bob Deutscher would hook up with Hermann Fruhm and Greg Leskiw from Mood Jga Jga to form Crowcuss; Kaleal  went to Downchild; Kenny Shields passed away after a long illness on July 21, 2017. with notes from Bob Ego and Bob Walker.

From Jaimie Vernon’s Canadian Pop Encyclopedia