David Clayton-Thomas


David Clayton-Thomas started his career at the Toronto R&B club, The Bluenote in the early \’60s, working under the name Sonny Thomas. His first serious support group was The Shays, with whom he recorded a string of singles during 1964 and 1965. In early 1966, he formed a new support band, The Bossmen, which recorded one of the most ambitious singles to emerge from the Canadian music scene, \”Brainwashed\”. Following a brief spell supporting John Lee Hooker at the Riverboat in Toronto, he moved to New York briefly. In the autumn of 1967, while based in the Big Apple, he hooked up fellow Canadians, The Checkmates (the former support band for John Finley and Lee Jackson) and briefly worked with the group, which had renamed itself, The Phoenix. The group played as the house band at Steve Paul\’s Scene for a month before Clayton-Thomas returned to Toronto. He then formed David Clayton-Thomas Combine featuring members from The Bossmen and The Phoenix. The group recorded 2 singles, including the original version of \”Spinning Wheel\”, which he later took to Blood, Sweat & Tears. Returning to New York in mid-1968, he was recruited to replace Al Kooper in Blood, Sweat & Tears and went on to world-wide success.