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Klaatu - the Band

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Klaatu was the name of a Canadian rock band that experienced a short period of fame in the 1970s. The group took their name from the character in the 1951 science fiction film The Day The Earth Stood Still. Formed in 1973, the group members were Terry Draper, Dee Long, and John Woloschuk, all hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The first, self-titled album, was somewhat unique in that it did not list the names of the band members, composers, producer, or any other details about the band. In 1976, an American journalist named Steve Smith published an article about the mysterious band entitled 'Could Klaatu be the Beatles? Mystery is a Magical Mystery Tour'. In the article Smith stated that he believed that Klaatu was likely to be The Beatles. A number of other so-called music experts agreed with him. Admittedly, the music and lyrics were Beatle-esque and the members of Klaatu were undoubtedly influenced by the Beatles (but who wasn't?).

Fuelled by fans who dreamed of a Beatles reunion, and reminiscent of the 'Paul is dead' rumours that spread years earlier, fans pointed out many clues that supposedly 'proved' that Klaatu was The Beatles. Despite denials by both the band and the record company, the rumours persisted and record sales shot up, reaching the number 32 spot on the Billboard chart for the week of 30 April, 1977, where they remained for three weeks. Rolling Stone Magazine named Klaatu 'Hype of the Year'.

In 1977, Klaatu released the album Hope, and in 1978 their third album Sir Army Suit was released, still without any credits listed. With the release of Endangered Species in 1980, the album finally listed the names of the producer and band members. Their last album was Magentalene released in 1981. They also released two compilations: Klaasic Klaatu in 1982 and Peaks in 1993. Their song 'Calling Occupants', the first track on the first album, was later recorded by The Carpenters.

Sales of the subsequent albums never reached the levels seen during the days of the Beatles rumour. The band disbanded in 1983, and is now all but forgotten except by a small number of faithful fans and collectors of rock trivia.

Further Reading

The official Klaatu web site can be found at www.klaatu.org.

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