National Velvet (band)

National Velvet (band)

National Velvet were a Canadian goth rock band in the 1980s. The band took its name from the 1944 Elizabeth Taylor movie National Velvet.

The band members were vocalist Maria del Mar, guitarist Mark Crossley, guitarist Tim Welch, bassist Mark Storm and drummer Garry Flint. They came together after a chance meeting between Del Mar and Storm in an alley during a party in Toronto, Ontario. Six months later, they released an independent, self-titled EP.

Molly Johnson introduced the band to record label executives, and they eventually landed a deal with Capitol Records. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1988, and spawned the radio hit "Flesh Under Skin". In 1989, their single and video for "68 Hours" garnered them a CASBY Award.

Their follow-up album, Courage was released in 1990. The album was recorded in England with producer Zeus B. Held, and gave the band hits with "Shine On" and "Sex Gorilla". (The latter title was a band in-joke. The song had actually been written as "Sasparilla", but the fans kept misunderstanding the lyrics, so the band relented and retitled the song.)

The band did not deliver their next album until 1995, by which time their audience had largely faded. Wildseed was released on an independent label. The band never released another album.

Despite frequent confusion, del Mar is not the same person as television actress Maria del Mar. She has continued to work in the Toronto music scene, including gigs with Classic Albums Live.

Storm was reported missing in November, 2002. The following June, his body was found in Lake Ontario.


See also

Toronto goth scene

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