Cleave Anderson

Cleave Anderson is a Canadian rock, rockabilly, and punk drummer. Anderson has played and recorded with several well-known groups, including Battered Wives,[1] The Viletones, Sherry Kean, Forgotten Rebels, and Blue Rodeo.[2]

Cleave Anderson
Cleave Anderson performs at Salty Dog Bar & Grill in Toronto, Ontario on March 15, 2019
Background information
Genrespunk rock, country rock, rockabilly, blues
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
Years active1968–present
Associated actsBlue Rodeo
Battered Wives
The Viletones
Forgotten Rebels
Sherry Kean


While in high school Anderson played drums in bands that performed at frat parties and church drop-in centres. After high school Cleave played around Ontario in cover bands. In 1974 Anderson joined Canada Post as a letter carrier when music failed to pay the bills.[3]

In 1976, after visiting Max's Kansas City and CBGB and seeing the Ramones, Anderson became interested in the new punk movement. Returning to Toronto, Anderson eventually joined Battered Wives one of a few new bands on the scene.[4][1] The band recorded their debut album and opened for Elvis Costello on his first tour in North America.[5] On leaving Battered Wives he played and recorded with local Punk Rock groups such as Tyranna, Forgotten Rebels and bubblegum punk pioneers the Way Outs.[6][7]

In 1980 as the first wave of Punk Rock faded, Anderson joined new wave R&B band The Sharks.[8] He would later play with The Shark's bassist Basil Donovan in Blue Rodeo. Around the same time, Anderson also played with blues artists David Wilcox and Colin Linden.[7] Anderson returned to roots music doing gigs with Handsome Ned, who had started playing country and rockabilly in Toronto's Queen St. West artist community.

In 1984 Anderson started rehearsals with Blue Rodeo.[9] Anderson joined the group and is heard on their first two albums, Outskirts and Diamond Mine. Despite Blue Rodeos's success, Anderson left the band in late 1989 to raise a family and return to Canada Post.

After leaving Blue Rodeo, Anderson continued to play with local songwriters and then reconnecting with original punksters Screamin' Sam. In 1997 he joined the John Borra band (with John Borra from A Neon Rome and Change of Heart) that continues to the present.[10] In 2004 Anderson formed old school punk rock revivalists the Screwed, who have recorded two albums. In 2011 Sid's Kids were formed to back up many of the Canadian punk originators and the project is ongoing.[11][5] He has toured with the Viletones' Steven Leckie, Cheetah Chrome of the Dead Boys and Walter Lure of Johnny Thunders' Heartbreakers among others.


  1. Saturday Night. 106, 1-6. Consolidated Press Limited. 1991. p. 54.
  2. Worth, Liz; Gold, Gary Pig (2011). Treat Me Like Dirt: An Oral History of Punk in Toronto and Beyond, 1977-1981. ECW Press. p. 6. ISBN 1770410678.
  3. "Glory Road". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  4. "Battered Wives". Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. "Interview with Cleave Anderson". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  6. Perlich, Tim (13 August 2008). "Punks MIA". Now. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. "Tyranna 1979". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  8. "The Sharks". Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia.
  9. "Blue Rodeo 1984-1989". Archived from the original on 2009-04-30. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  10. "John Borra band". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  11. "Battered Wives - 1978". Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
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