The Amen (or A Men) originated in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario, Canada. Band members in 1966 were Tim Ryan on vocals, Ed Schryer lead guitar, Nick Scali rhythm guitar, Dave Wilson bass and Bob Clarke drums. At this point they were known for their original songs and also for the 15 minute drum solos of Bob Clarke. A later clipping lists Bob Yukich and Bob Yeomans as well, and omits Ed Schryer.
After eight months together, playing at the local Teen Centre, they traveled to Toronto in late 1966 to record their only 45, a fine 60’s pop 45 released on the local Algoma label early in ’67. No songwriting credits are listed on the label, but an article from the Sault Daily Star mentions Tim Ryan as the composer of the a-side, “Carnivals and Cotton Candy”, with the slightly psychedelic “Peter Zeus” being a collaboration between Tim and Bob Clarke. Production was by John Holt.
The Amen apparently moved to Toronto at some point in 1967, returning on July 21 to Sault Ste. Marie for a homecoming concert at the Memorial Gardens. (The Memorial Gardens were demolished in May of 2006.) They stayed active until at least late 1967, sharing billing with the Guess Who at the Princess Theatre in September. They certainly had ambition and talent, but for some reason never cut another record.
Thank you Jim Witty for letting me know about this group, and special thanks to Bård Hodneland for the cool photo and memorabilia of the Amen, and Ronald T. Robinson, former DJ at Sault Ste. Marie radio CKCY, who sent in the fabulous article “Amen Cut Peter Zeus” from the Sault Daily Star which his wife had saved since high school. Thanks also to Ivan Amirault for the scan from RPM.