New record and video shows the beat goes on for Oakville hitmakers The Kings


Published March 15, 2024 at 9:19 pm

Kings Oakville music concert Trafalgar Heatwave

To steal a line from one of their songs, the beat goes on for The Kings.

The band, formed in the 1970s around Oakville Trafalgar High School pals Mister Zero (John Picard), David Diamond and Max Style, continue to make music and have just released a new song and video from their latest record as they get ready for spring and summer performances.

The song Nowhere to Go But Gone (you can watch the video below) finds The Kings rockin’ heavier but still providing catchy pop hooks that have been their trademark since day one.

According to Mister Zero the goal has always been to write original songs that the listener can easily grab hold of and enjoy.

“When we started out we wanted to be songwriters who wrote original material…and we managed to do that,” he explained. “That’s what a musician wants to do is write good songs.”

The Kings, of course, have already done just that.

For instance, their 1980 tune This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide has withstood the test of time and continues to earn airplay on classic rock radio stations.

Recorded by super producer Bob Ezrin, This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide first surfaced on Canadian airwaves before emerging as an international hit, staying on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for almost half a year.

During that period the band performed at the famed Whiskey A Go-Go in Los Angeles as well as on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. They also appeared alongside such acts as Eric Clapton, Bob Seger and the Beach Boys as well as performing at Heatwave, the 1980 outdoor concert near Toronto which served as modern music’s answer to Woodstock.

“Those were amazing times, we got to play with other great artists and appear before large crowds,” said Zero. “Meeting Dick Clark was a real thrill. He was very kind and professional and made us feel at ease. It was an unbelievable experience.”

But that was then and this now and members of The Kings have never been ones to keep their eyes glued to the rearview mirror.

Zero acknowledged the band has had ups and downs but has always pushed ahead and focused on the music they wanted to create. He credits their longevity to a willingness to work toward common goals and the appreciation of each other’s skills.

“We feel that we are the best people we have found to work with,” he said. “Three of the original four are still together so it must be working.”

While the latest album, Longest Story Ever Told does recognize the past, it presents a modern outlook and is attracting an audience that goes beyond loyal followers.

“We’ve always been able to pick up new fans along the way,” he said. “It’s about writing good songs and people can recognize that. It doesn’t matter what age or generation.”

Recorded mostly in Oakville, Longest Story Ever Told took a while to complete as the pandemic hindered the ability to bring personnel together and was just released a few months ago. Again the band received assistance from Ezrin and also Terry Brown who has worked extensively with Rush.

It was made with the original lineup of Diamond (lead vocals/bass), Zero (lead guitar) and Sonny Keyes (keyboards) along with long-time drummer Todd Reynolds.

The recording session, according to Zero, produced their best record to date.

“We’ve been very pleased with the results,” he said. “We had a lot of great people helping out…we couldn’t ask for more.”

With upcoming performances at Casino Rama and the Kitchener Blues Festival, The Kings again look forward to reaching their audience and meeting new fans and expect to keep the music coming.

“It’s what we do,” said Zero.

Longest Story Ever Told can be found on Spotify and is also available on CD and LP.

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