| Rik Emmett was a relatively unknown singer/songwriter/guitarist on the local Toronto scene in September of ’75 when he joined a newly-formed hard rock trio called Triumph. By ’79 three albums had gone platinum in Canada and two charted in the States, receiving serious radio airplay. By ’81 Triumph was firmly established as one of the premier touring rock acts in North America, with generous FM radio airplay support and heavy rotation on the fledgling MTV cable channel. In the next seven years, the band released ten gold albums, with four turning platinum in Canada. In the U.S., two went gold.
(previously posted on Palace of Rock, here is a short feature about the music scene of Toronto with Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett)
|What musicians from Toronto inspired you to work with music?
Rik Emmett-Domenic Troiano was a guitarist locally of high reputation. From the jazz area, my teacher at college was Peter Harris, who was very much a Lenny Breau kind of fingerstyle guy. A local guitarist from the jazz field who was extremely influential on many guitarists was Ed Bickert.
But as far as 'rock' goes, there weren't a lot of local guys that managed to rise above the huge influence of the Yardbirds guys, Beck, Page & Clapton. No one locally played like Hendrix. (Well - no one anywhere played like Hendrix, did they?) When the wave of British Invasion stuff hit, and in its wake, there were no local guys who had the impact on Toronto Canada's pop scene like the idols of my teenage years: Ritchie Blackmore, Steve Howe, Jan Akkerman ... And even if one set one's sights a bit lower, and only looked to the States, there would be blues guys like Mike Bloomfield, and Buddy Guy ... It was more of a blues rock influence in Toronto, coming up out of Chicago, and Detroit.