Dillinger was a Canadian symphonic/hard-rock band from Toronto that released two albums on Daffodil between 1974 and 1976.

Members: Jacques Harrison (keyboards, vocals, saxophone, flute, accordion), Robert Harrison (drums, percussion), Paul Cockburn (guitar), Terry Bramhall (bass)


Dillinger formed in Toronto in 1973 when keyboardist and reedist Jacques Harrison and his percussionist brother Robert teamed with guitarist Paul Cockburn and bassist Terry Bramhall.

The Harrison’s came from Montreal in search of opportunities. Jacques played flute and alto saxophone on one track (“That Day When I Saw Your Face“) on the 1973 album …Just Tammy by Ontarian singer/songwriter Tammy Rafferty. They named their band after John Dillinger, a Chicago gangster and bank robber dubbed the Robin Hood of organized crime during the Great Depression.

Dillinger stormed the Toronto bar circuit and impressed music impresario Frank Davies, who signed them to Daffodil Records, his label for local post-psych talent (Christmas, Fludd, A Foot In Coldwater). He produced their two albums at Toronto Sound Studios.

1974: Dillinger

Dillinger released their self-titled debut album in 1974 on Daffodil. Side one totals just over 14 minutes with three songs: “People,” “City Man,” and a cover of “Nature’s Way,” composed by Randy California and originally cut by Spirit. Side two consists of the 17-minute “Live and Return,” divided into two parts: “Live” and “Return.” Jacques wrote all the originals apart from “Live,” a Jacques/Cockburn co-write.

Dillinger is housed in a gatefold sleeve with an illustration of the gangster flanked with gun barrels. The original release (cat# DAF 10045) came between the debut album by Tom Cochran (Hang On to Your Resistance) and the singular album by Spirit of Christmas (Lies to Live By), a reinvented Christmas. Daffodil paired “Nature’s Way” and “City Man” onto a 7″. “People” appears on the 1974 comp Naturally! with cuts by Klaatu and aforementioned labelmates.

Dillinger spent most of the following year gigging central Canada in competition with Rush, Moxy, and Mahogany Rush.

1976: Don’t Lie to the Band

Dillinger’s second album, Don’t Lie to the Band, appeared in 1976 with three short songs and four lengthy numbers. The album starts with a cover of “Two Time Love,” originally by Spooky Tooth on their 1974 album The Mirror. Cockburn wrote “It’s Not All Mine” and the epics “Munchkin Men” and “Coming Home.” He co-wrote “You Lied” with Jacques and Bramhall, who joint-wrote “Robot Race.” Also featured is a cover of the George Harrison-penned Beatles staple “Taxman,” covered the prior year by Black Oak Arkansas.

Don’t Lie to the Band is housed in a gatefold sleeve with a mirrored illustration that depicts a photo-negative coral reef. Rush producer Terry Brown co-engineered the album with John Woloschuk of Klaatu, who preceded this release with their infamous Daffodil debut 3:47 E.S.T..

Daffodil issued “Taxman” as a single, backed with the non-album Cockburn cut “Bumpadilly,” itself released as an a-side (b/w “Two Time Love”).

After Dillinger

Jacques and Cockburn formed The Hunt, a Zeppelin-style hard rock band that issued a self-titled album in 1977 on GRT. That band, minus the Dillinger alumni, reconfigured for a second and third album during the early ’80s.

Bramhall played on the 1979 album Fever In Rio ‎by singer/songwriter Ray Materick. Along with Jacques and 16 other musicians, he played on the 1980 album Walk Into the Mirror by Falcon, a project guided by producer/composer Glen Foster.

Bob Harrison played on the 1979–81 Offenbach albums En Fusion and Coup de Foudre. In 1987, he played on the A&M release Les Gitans Reviennent Toujours, a solo album by ex-Aut’chose frontman Lucien Francoeur.

Both Dillinger albums were issued on CD in 1998 by Unidisc. The reissue of Don’t Lie to the Band adds “Bumpadilly” and sports a colorized, text-realigned cover.


  • Dillinger (1974)
  • Don’t Lie to the Band (1976)


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