The son of a Welsh philosophy professor at McMaster University and a Scottish mother, Ian Thomas was born July 23, 1950 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. His brother Dave is an actor, famous for his Second City and Strange Brew movie character, Doug McKenzie.
At age six, Ian was taking piano lessons, and 13 he took up guitar. A year later, he began writing songs. Still in his teens, he arranged music for the Hamilton Philharmonic orchestra. He's also performed with the Hamilton orchestra and the Toronto Symphony orchestra.
By the mid ‘60s, Ian formed a group that became Tranquillity Base and in the late ‘60s he penned the hit single If You're Lookin'.
After the band broke up, Ian worked as a CBC Radio producer in Toronto. In 1973 he signed with GRT Records, releasing the self- titled album, Ian Thomas, and hit singles, P ainted Ladies and Come the Son.
In 1974, he earned a Juno for Most Promising Male Vocalist. A string of hits followed through the ‘70s and ‘80s, including Long, Long Way; Liars; Pilot ; Hold on; Time is the Keeper; and Right Before Your Eyes. Hits Hold on and The Runner were recorded by Santana and Manfred Mann. Chicago featured Chains on their come-back album.
Ian also teamed up with his brother Dave in 1983 to record some music for the soundtrack of Dave's movie venture, Strange Brew. Also featured in the recordings was Rick Moranis, the other half of the Bob & Doug McKenzie hoser team.
The ‘90s saw Ian form a new band – The Boomers – and release a string of albums to worldwide critical acclaim.
With the break-up of the Boomers in the new millennium, Ian met up with old friends Murray McLauchlan ( Down By the Henry Moore, Whispering Rain ), Marc Jordan ( Marina del Rey ) and Cindy Church. Ian released a live CD and DVD of a performance titled; Lunch at Allen's and the friends continue to perform together.
With several decades of song-writing experience, Ian Thomas is a superb pop artist, a star of the first magnitude in Canada, with an uncommon melodic flair and lyrical sensitivity. The Toronto Star has described him as “a fine craftsman-like songwriter.”
Ian likes to call himself “an anti-star,” and lives quietly in the rural town of Winona, outside Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife Cathy. He says, “I'm still in business, still creative. I've been fortunate that I've been allowed to do what I want to do.”
Bequest is his first novel, published in 2006. His second book, The Lost Chord, was released early 2008.