Formed in the summer of '78 in Ottawa Canada, the Bureaucrats featured Gary (Gaz) Sidwell on Vocals, Mitch Sidwell on Rhythm guitar, Joe Frey on Lead Guitar, Grant Bucowsky (a.k.a Johnny Flamingo aka Lamont Porter) on Bass guitar and Wayne Johnson on Drums.
At the time of the band’s inception, very little was happening on the Canadian music scene. Bands that wrote and performed their own material could not get gigs in local clubs, as club owners systematically selected mainstream "cover" bands to fulfill their club’s musical needs. Record companies also did not believe that original Canadian bands had anything to offer, and would rarely even venture outside of New York City to check out new talent. Eventually, Toronto was seen as a stepping stone to NYC but even that didn’t occur until well into the 80’s. But a band from Ottawa…. especially one that leaned heavily towards the "new wave"…wasn’t then nor ever would be, a consideration in any self-respecting A&R man’s eyes!
Burdened by these limitations, the Bureaucrats began their musical legacy by opening and closing the now infamous "Rotter’s Club" and eventually did the same with it’s successor, "The 80’s Club". In the time between these two clubs’ inceptions and eventual demise, the Bureaucrats changed the face of the "live" music scene in Ottawa forever! Starting from a point of having absolutely no musical venues to showcase their original and distinctive songwriting capabilities and performances (with the exception of Eugene Haslam’s legendary "Gang of Four" house parties), the growing appeal of the band ultimately led to the opening up of almost ALL clubs in the Ottawa area to the Bureaucrats, and eventually to the just then emerging "new music scene". This about face by the club owners could only be attributed to the popularity of the Bureaucrats, their intensely energetic yet melodic music, and their ever-growing fan base. Combine this with an almost iron-clad guarantee of a capacity crowd wherever and whenever they performed proved to be just too lucrative for most club owners to continue to ignore. And that, if anything, is the Bureaucrat’s legacy to Ottawa: their ability to "open the doors" which enabled the "live" new music scene to grow and prosper in Canada’s capital. Over the course of these early years, besides extensive touring, the Bureaucrats had been busy penning and recording original songs both at Double Helix Studios in Old Chelsea and at Passport Studios in Hull. In total the band wrote about 20-30 songs but unfortunately only recorded about half that number..
The "original" Bureaucrats went their separate ways in August of 1980. However, the band continued on in various incarnations until late 1981 when eventually it disbanded for good.