February 20, 2001

Shadowy Men Bassist Dead at 42

Reid Russell Diamond, best known as the bassist for Canadian instrumental trio Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, died in his Toronto home on Saturday, Feb. 17, as a result of complications related to cancer. He was 42.

Diamond formed Shadowy Men with drummer Don Pyle and guitarist Brian Connelly in 1984. In contrast to the dark, gloomy fare favored by many local acts at the time, the trio opted for a clean, guitar-oriented sound. "We just wanted to have fun, and that was a bit infectious," Diamond told Raygun in 1993.

The band, most widely recognized for providing the musical interludes on the '90s comedy series The Kids in the Hall (the show's theme, "Having an Average Weekend," was culled from the first Shadowy Men single), released three full-lengths: Savvy Show Stoppers (1988); Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham (1991); and Sport Fishin' (1993).

Although frequently pegged as a surf band (a label they rebuked on the 1993 album track "We're Not a Fucking Surf Band"), the group's style was extremely broad, encompassing everything from classic and B-movie film scores to rockabilly and swing, all of it earmarked by irascible humor.

"I find it most annoying when people think we're an escapist, retro band, that we want to hearken back to simpler times of cars and girls," said Diamond in 1993. "I'm not even vaguely interested in living a life like that."

Shadowy Men also played on Just Fred, the 1996 solo album by Fred Schneider of The B-52's, and 1995's Shame-Based Man by Kids member Bruce McCulloch.

Following the amicable dissolution of Shadowy Men in 1996, Diamond and Pyle went on to form Phono-Comb with Beverly Breckenridge of Fifth Column and Dallas Good (the Sadies). Working in collaboration with Jad Fair (Half Japanese), the group released one album, Fresh Gasoline, in 1996.

Diamond is survived by his wife, Rebecca Diederichs; his parents, Margaret and W. Boyd Diamond; brother Grant, and sister Dallas. "Remember him in all his guises and for his talent and for his energy, his spark, his tenaciousness, and remember him as one who lived his life," read an announcement in the Toronto Star. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday. - Kurt B. Reighley

Kurt B. Reighley is the author of Looking for the Perfect Beat: The Art & Culture of the DJ and a Seattle Weekly columnist.

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