The shroud of anonymity that has surrounded this band from day one is slowly being cast away, according to a member who refers to himself as John. The cover of the group's third album, "Sir Army Suit," showed likenesses of band members in the artwork and the animated short is stage two in a plan to unmask members.
The next development is a 30-minute animated special with caricatures of members playing material from the first "3:47 EST" LP and the more current "Sir Army Suit" work.
Strict secrecy is still in force within the Klaatu camp, John informs, but "we want to remove the shroud of mystery - in a controlled fashion, which will not attract an undue amount of attention and will not appear as if it is another publicity-seeking hoax."
According to John, Klaatu has suffered from the Beatle rumor that went down in 1977 "and we have to be careful about what we do now because our actions seem to be open to misinterpretation."
Anonymity was the prerequisite for the quartet's members when they first signed to Frank Davie's Toronto-based Daffodil label, the faceless and surnameless John tells because "we feel the public has a right to exploit our music but not our private lives."
The group's ambition to become famous on its music alone fizzled when Providence Journal writer Steve Smith sparked international interest in the group by illogically figuring out that Klaatu just might be the Beatles in the spring of 1977.
In Toronto, Davies at Daffodil warded off prying reporters with the cryptic comment: "The Beatles? You are welcome to draw your own conclusions and if yesterday is here, let it be."
The media was not about to let things be, however. As the first album started to perk in sales as a result of the controversy, a program director in Washington pulled the plug on the mystery group and unmasked the band as John Dee (sometimes known as John Long), Terry Draper, John Woloschuck (sic) and Dimo (sic) Tome.
The group's second album "Hope" was poorly received internationally, despite promotion by Capitol. Part of the reasoning, John reports, was due to the Beatle rumor backlash, but Davies also attributes the lackluster success of it to the thematic concept which made it difficult to program on AOR radio. While it was to go platinum in Canada, international sales are admitted to be less than exciting.
The third album, "Sir Army Suit," sought to achieve rapid AM and FM acceptance by including a variety of short tracks. Released shortly before Christmas, it is this album that is part of the ongoing promotion to demystify the band and the ultimate goal is to have the band perform onstage with the release of the to-be recorded fourth album "sometime in 1980," John reports.