#37: Band Bandit by Tundra

City: Calgary, AB
Radio Station: CKXL
Peak Month: January-February 1971
Peak Position in Calgary ~ #5
Peak position in Vancouver ~ #10
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube: “Band Bandit
Lyrics: n/a

Tundra was a band formed in from Toronto in 1970. The original line up was Al Manning on guitar, Bruce Manning on bass guitar, Glen LeCompte on drums, Lisa Garber on vocals, and Scott Cushnie on piano. George Scott Cushnie was born in 1938 and was a member of the Toronto band the Suedes (with Robbie Robertson). He also played with Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks. Cushnie was also a member of the Hamilton based rock band Jerry Warren & the Tremblers who released a local hit in 1960 titled “Rompin'”. In the early 60s Cushnie also played with a band based in Alexandra, called Barry Darvell & the Blazers. He also played with the Ottawa group, The Townsmen, for about a year.

In 1970, Tundra released a single titled “Band Bandit”.

Band Bandit by Tundra

“Band Bandit” was written by Tundra member Al Manning, and another songwriter named J Rudder (aka John C. Rutter, or Rhythm Johnny). The song is about someone who is waiting at the backstage door, presumably to get a glimpse of pop stars who’ve finished a concert. The ‘band bandit’ has never been kissed. Perhaps there will be sparks…

“Band Bandit” peaked at #5 in Calgary, #6 in Edmonton (AB), and Chilliwack (BC), and #10 in Vancouver, and #12 in Pointe Claire (PQ).

Garber went solo in early 1971 and soon after Cushnie exited in 1971 as well, with the band continuing as a trio. In June 1971, “Let Me Know” was a charted single in Toronto credited to Lisa Garber with Tundra. Meanwhile, Tundra released two more singles which got little attention.

In the mid-1970s, Lisa Garber moved to U.S. and worked as a session musician, backup singer and songwriter in New York and Los Angeles before returning to Toronto in the 1990s. She still performs music in Toronto where she lives, and is also a life coach and author. On the way, she earned a Masters degree in counselling psychology.

Glenn Lecompte and Al Manning went on to form Coyote in the mid-70s, a band that he continued to record and perform with into the 80s. Both Lecompte and Al Manning were studio musicians for the 1978 gospel album by singer, Trudie, titled Jesus is Coming Soon.

Scott Cushnie went on to found the Canadian Aces which latter became the Rockin’ Deltoids, a jazz-roots band.

Scott Cushnie died at the age of 80 in 2018. But the circumstances of his death tell a strange tale. By 2018, Scott Cushnie was legally blind, but he typically went on walks at night. He just disappeared the night of August 7th. On September 11, 2018, the CBC reported friends and family were trying to discover his whereabouts.

Global News reported in October 2018, that “in August (2018), his friends and family were baffled when Cushnie suddenly went missing. It wasn’t until recently that they were informed he died and was buried by another family. The Ontario Coroner’s Office realized the mistake after the family, who identified Cushnie as their missing family member, said their family member had reappeared alive.” Scott Cushnie’s sister, Anne Hales, said her brother would likely be amused by the mix-up at the end of his life. Hales told Global News, she found some comfort in knowing her brother was respected, even if it was from the wrong family. “There probably were a lot of people that thought he was someone else that came to pay their respects,” she said about his funeral.

March 9, 2024
Ray McGinnis

Matthew Bingley, “Family seeking answers after Toronto musician was buried in the wrong grave,” Global News, October 31, 2018.
Friends of renowned musician ‘Professor Piano’ searching for new clues in his disappearance,” CBC, September 11, 2018.
Scott Cushnie – bio,”
Lisa Garber Coaching

Band Bandit by Tundra

CKXL 1140-AM Calgary (AB) |Top Ten February 6, 1971

2 responses to “Band Bandit by Tundra”

  1. rockinrichskelly says:

    Talk about synchronicity. I’m finishing up a tribute article to soon Post and share on Facebook music Pages about the late Liam Mullan, one of the A & M Canada principals who made Tundra the very first artist to be signed to the fledgling label in 1970.

    Prior to 1970, A & M in the U.S. had licensed their recordings to Quality Records for release in Canada. Both Liam and fellow Quality promo rep David Brodeur and a receptionist were the initial hires made by A & M Canada president Gerry Lacoursiere when he set up shop north of the border.

    Tundra was followed by numerous A & M signings of Canadian artists over the decades, most notably Bryan Adams and Gino Vannelli.

    Lisa Garber’s brother is veteran tv and film actor Victor Garber. Prior to acting, Victor was one of three vocalists in Canadian band Sugar Shoppe. They contended enough to bring their 5th Dimension-tinged sound to The Ed Sullivan Show in 1969.

  2. Ray says:

    Excellent. Thanks Rich!


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