An Englishman that grew up in Vancouver, Nick Gilder brought those Brit roots with the establishment of his first band, Sweeney Todd, a glam rock group which garnered fans and radio airplay with their hit single Roxy Roller in 1976.
The band won the best single at the annual Juno Awards. In 1977, Sweeney Todd was no longer – as Nick Gilder wanted to pursue a solo career. He and his writing partner James McCulloch signed a deal with US label Chrysalis Records, while the band struggled to continue with replacements including a 15 year old Bryan Adams.
The first album by Gilder You Know Who You Are made little impact, but it was the single from the second album City Nights that made the radio stations take notice with Hot Child in the City.
This pop song climbed to number one in the US and Canada and earned Gilder Single of the Year and Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year from the Junos as well as a People’s Choice Award in the US.
Although Gilder was focused on his own career, his songwriting was being noticed by many other artists and Gilder was commissioned to write songs for Bette Midler, Pat Benatar and Joe Cocker.
Although his career slid out of the spotlight of the pop charts by the end of the decade, Gilder’s influence through the 1980s in songwriting was strong. But it was his early days as a glam rocker in seemingly conservative Vancouver that launched his career into the wild world of pop music.