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Biography

There are three bands known as The Squids:

1) A Chicago punk band.
2) A Calgary-based lo-fi punk band. http://squidsye.bandcamp.com/
3) An indie-pop band from Los Angeles https://thesquidsla.bandcamp.com/

1) The Squids are a Chicago-based punk band that was created by Chicago born singer/songwriter Joey Spatafora and William LaTour also known as LaTour. The Squids appeared to break up recently[ though it is never clear when they will resurface. The Squids toured and recorded from 1990 to 2002. They were the break out band at the 6th Annual Chicago FreeFest.

Spatafora, LaTour and The Squids bass player Emery Joe Yost went back into LaTour's studio Chateau LaTour in 2005 to record a batch of Squid songs which have not yet been released.

Other band members included Bolander Davis on guitar (Davis passed in 1996 from liver cancer. He was replaced in the line-up by Robert Fesus), Judy Johnson on bass, and Jimmy Vass on drums. The bands more noted line-up changes include the addition of Yost on bass in 1994, Dave Hunt on drums in 1996, and keyboard player Scot Bahry who would sit in for LaTour when he was on tour to promote the LaTour albums.

The Squids were created by accident in 1989 in the Chicago basement of LaTour after LaTour and Joey Spatafora attended a concert at The Cabaret Metro in Chicago (now known as Metro Chicago). They went to see the The Dead Milkmen open up for The Ramones. Immediately that night they decided to re-record the entire catalog of demo-songs they were working on with their group Shock Radio (which included future Squids bass player Emery Yost) in a Ramones/Shaggs like punk style that they jokingly referred to as Squid Music.

They removed the drum machine which they used in their previous band and opted to enlist drummer Jimmy Vass who lived next door to the LaTour household on Montrose Avenue. Right before the bands first public performance (April 1, 1990 at The Sanctuary on Rush Street in Chicago) they chose to name the band The Squids as they thought it was a name that would represent homage to The Shaggs, and would be as memorable as The Beatles. The Squids were soon after invited to play on the stage of The Cabaret Metro September 26, 1990, and played there regularly. The band auditioned hundreds of musicians in the spring of 1990 before tapping former Barbie Army bassist Judy Johnson and Bonk Nobles bassist Bolander Davis to play guitar for The Squids. This was the line-up that recorded the bands first release Bingo City.

The Squids first rehearsal hall was Dress Rehearsals at 1610 W. Wood Street in Chicago in the early 90's, and they would go over new material in the studio across from another famous Chicago band named Styx who were popular in Chicago in the late 70's. While Styx was preparing for a comeback in the early 90's, The Squids would yell at them to turn it down from the studio next door, especially when they would play Mr. Roboto. Joey Spatafora in 2010 now credits Styx as being one of his favorite bands of all time.

In 1995, the very first annual North by Northeast Music Festival and Conference (NXNE) in Toronto Canada, selected The Squids and heavy metal band Cutlass, to represent Chicago that first year of the still going event. The Squids performed on the closing night of the festival in the Cabana Room at the historical Spadina Hotel on Saturday June 17, 1995.

LaTour has been credited for leading the musical direction of the band, and both LaTour and Spatafora grew up listening to Top-40 radio giving them a knack for composing original radio friendly songs, and then trashing them into a punk style recording and performance. Both credit The Shaggs, The Ramones, The Cars, Spinal Tap, and "Weird Al" Yankovic as main influences for the development of The Squids. Spatafora's very first inkling to sing in a rock and roll band started when he received the first self titled album by the hard rock group Kiss on his 9th birthday in 1974. The gift was from his mother's best girlfriend in an effort to inspire, but with rumors circulating of Kiss being a negative influence on youth, Joey's mother quickly threw the album in the trash can after just a few days of observing him emulating Kiss vocalist Paul Stanley performing an entire Kiss concert in his bedroom mirror for hours. Joey quickly and effortlessly committed the lyrics to memorization while shouting out the vocals using a hair brush as a microphone, and a plastic whiffle ball bat for a guitar. The Squids re-inacted the defining childhood memory in 2005 with the bands final recording entitled "Weeeee!! A KISS Concert!!".

"Time has made The Squids and all of their music highly relevant." - Zarathrusta, punk rock music historian.

Members have at various points included:
Joey Spatafora, Billy Latour, Emery Yost, Scot Bahry, Bob Fesus, Jimmy Vass, Judy Johnson (currently known as Tosha Avon ), Bolander Davis, Dave Hunt, Guy Dominick, Paul William, Guy Giusto, Nick Panowko, Skip Pederson, Greg McDaniel, Peter Alexakos, John Yost, Pat Burns and Claude

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