Major Hoople's Boarding House Band


Major Hoople’s Boarding House began in mid-1967 at Cambridge’s Galt Collegiate Institute in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, as a trio called The Shan-de-leers featuring Rocky Howell, Peter Padalino, and Rick Riddell. Following high school, the troop decided to go professional under the management of Larry Shannon, a disc-jockey from a local Kitchener radio station CHYM, and later Dan Mombourquette. Not too long after forming, the three added vocalist and bassist David Lodge to their ranks.

In November 1967, they received permission from the makers of the long-running Gene Ahern comic strip “Our Boarding House/Major Hoople” to use the name and became Major Hoople’s Boarding House.

In 1968, one short year later, they added Gail Selkirk (who Peter Padalino calls “the little girl with the big voice”) on keyboard. This solidified the original 5 band members. Shortly thereafter, they began their extremely successful touring career in their home area. They worked the southern Ontario bar circuit from Kitchener to Kingston, which helped solidify their first label signing to MUCH Records in 1970 where they released the single “Lady”.

Later that year, a move to Polydor allowed them some radio exposure with the song “Beautiful Morning”.

1975-1976, the band found itself in a frenzy of activity. The tide finally turned after being signed to Greg Hambleton’s Axe Records, allowing for the release of their first and biggest hit in August 1975 called “I’m Running After You”, which is still played on many stations today.

By the 1980s, Rocky Howell was leading the band with another succession of singles. They released a new album, New Adventures of Hooples, which made the Top 10 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary charts. They continued to tour, playing all types of shows.

In 1982, they performed with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

1985-1986, original bass player/singer David Lodge rejoined the group for a tour. He had been working as a songwriter for Peermusic/Southern International during this time and was a co-writer of the international hit by Peter Schilling, “Major Tom”, as well as “Lifetime Guarantee” both from the album Error in the System. Lodge passed away suddenly at the end of 1986.

In late 1987, Hoople’s re-grouped with Rocky Howell, Grant Heywood, Gary Hintz and Ralph Hetke. They continued playing festivals, one-nighters and corporate shows into the early 1990’s and then disbanded.

In 2010, the three original members, Peter, Gail, and Rocky, along with Ralph Hetke and Ron Duke, joined forces again to give their fans another chance to experience the classic sound of Major Hoople’s Boarding House. Recently, the band reunited with Peter (Moss) Beacock and Rena Gaile, bringing their extraordinary talents back again. Over 40 years after the band first came together, their fans are still scooping up tickets for shows as soon as they’re available. Don’t miss it!

Major Hooples Original Members

David Lodge (vocals, bass)
Gail Selkirk (keyboards, vocals)
Peter Padalino (guitar, vocals)
Rick Riddell (drums)
Richard “Rocky” Howell (guitar, vocals)