Shama

Rock from Vancouver BC
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About

Shama

1976 - 1980
Shama moved to Vancouver from Sault St. Marie, Ontario in 1978. With three lead vocals they were billed as the most exciting band in Western Canada. Their influences were artist like The Cars, The Knack, The Police, Beatles, Joe Jackson, etc. Trooper picked up Shama to open for them on their summer tour. Shama was noted for their constant rehearsing and painstaking attention to detail.
Alan Burns, July 2004


A prominent fixture in Western Canada, Shama formed in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in January 1976. All four members attended Bawating High School together and studied music programs under the teaching of Frank Elliott
Although considered the 'cream of the crop' in their own city, Shama never played as a group together in their hometown. Instead, they decided to fly out to Vancouver, rehearse, play the Prairies and develop their writing and live show until attracting the attention of manager Bruce Allen, who was riding the success of his act Bachman-Turner Overdrive at the time.

Shama had became the darlings of Keith Sharp's 'Music Express' magazine and were receiving rave reviews from major centres in Western Canada. When they played Vancouver for the first time in early 1978, Bruce Allen was front row centre, and immediately invited the band to his office the next day to offer his services. Immediately Shama were sent into the studio with Jim Vallance (Bryan Adams, Prism) producing. The results were somewhat favourable, but not enough to land the band the deal they had been seeking.

Bruce Allen was convinced, however, that Shama would be the 'Next Big Thing' and put them on a Western Canada tour opening for hitmakers Trooper. Allen's intent was to groom Shama to become part of the new Bruce Allen world assault along with his roster of additional new acts: Red Rider, Loverboy and Bryan Adams.

As the Bruce Allen Talent Agency divided into Bruce Allen Management and S.L. Feldman and Associates, Shama was wooed away from the Allen camp into the Feldman roster. However, it soon became apparent that Shama had been signed as a headliner for club level activities only -- not the large radio and arena contenders they'd hope would come with Allen's original vision.

The band received no monetary or production assistance for their studio recording pursuits and despite recording over 50 songs, the act felt its potential as a recording act had yet to be fulfilled. Disillusioned, the band split up in June of 1980.

Jeffrey Neill went on to join Streetheart after Paul Dean and, subsequently, John Hanna's departure. Shama's "What Kind Of Love Is This?" was reworked and became a Top-10 hit for Streetheart.

Following Shama's break-up Mick Dalla-Vee and Michael Sicoly went on to form Trama with Tommy Stewart (Trooper - hence the spelling of Trama... Trooper with Shama); Brien Armstrong settled into family life and went on to a successful insurance career.

(Trama still exists with no original members some 23 years later!)

Replacing an ailing John Hannah in early 1981, Jeff Neill’s impact on the band was immediate with the recording and release of Streetheart’s self titled ‘Streetheart’ album. That album would go on to be the most successful album in the band’s catalogue. Many of the songs that Jeff co-wrote for that album remain as staples of classic rock radio across the country.

After the breakup of Streetheart in early 1984, Jeff worked as a session guitarist in Vancouver until the spring of 1986 when he was recruited by Bruce Allen to join up with legendary Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes. For the next decade Jeff wrote, recorded and toured worldwide with Jimmy selling over 3 million records during that time, earning gold, platinum and multi platinum albums in a number of countries internationally.

Jeff also played a significant number of shows throughout North America as guest guitarist with Loverboy between 1995 and 2000.

In late 2003, Jeff was invited to return to Streetheart and he has been back with the band since that time.

Along with playing guitar for the band, Jeff also represents the business affairs of Streetheart and he has continued to grow the band’s brand to this day. Together with Universal Music Canada, Jeff has successfully brought Streetheart back into the R&R mainstream and to their loyal fans after a two year hiatus that marked and honoured the passing of Kenny Shields.

Michael Sicoly became a successful solo artist, entertainer and actor . His 2 CD's (Meet You in Manhattan and Mood Swings ) have been played and sold across North America. An original song "Kiss & Say Goodnight" was featured in the motion picture "Marine Life" starring Cybil Shepherd.

As an actor, Michael co-starred in the 1992 hit film "Alive" with Ethan Hawke. He has done voices for 3 hit cartoon series such as Baby Huey, Space Goofs and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

In addition he has been the featured National Anthem singer for the Seattle Mariners since 1997 including a guest appearance at the 2001 Major League Baseball All Star game in Seattle.

Brien Armstrong is living very comfortably with his family and playing in a weekend party band, Mid-Life Crisis with Hermann Fruhm (Crowcuss) and Geoff Gibbons & Ken Kirschner (Silverlode).

Mick Dalla-Vee runs his own studio, Millennia Sound Design, writing and producing for himself and other artists. He still performs live, either solo or with the band Cease & Desist featuring Marc LaFrance (Crowcuss) and Brent Howard. Dalla-Vee is also the lead vocalist/bass player with Canadian legend Randy Bachman. After the death of his daughter in November of 1999, he also chaired The Carolyn Foundation Musician's Assistance Society which was named after his daughter.
Broken Up
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Community Events

Last Lineup

Jeff Neill
lead guitar/vocals
Michael Sicoly
bass/keys/vocals

Past Members

Brien Armstrong
drums
1976 - 1980
Mick Dalla-Vee
guitar/vocals/keys/bass
1976 - 1980

Artist Articles

The Story of Barney, Elvis & Shama 1976 – 1980

The origins and story of the band 'Shama'
Author: Mick Dalla-Vee

The Early Days – Sault Ste. Marie, Balderdash …

The story of Balderdash on to Shama My mother had passed away from cancer when I was nine. Being kind of a lonely kid, the next two years of my life were spent ‘noodling’ on every instrument my older brothers, Kenny and Jimmy, would bring home from t
Author: Mick Dalla-Vee

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