Many Blue Rodeo fans will recognize Michelle McAdory from her appearance in videos like "Try" and "Bad Timing". However, many will also recognize her as the front person of Crash Vegas, a band she formed in late 1980s after some convincing from Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor who wanted to see this long-time member of the Canadian music scene return to playing music.
Keelor was one of McAdory 's original guitar players but his commitments to Blue Rodeo prevented him from continuing on with Crash Vegas (thankfully for most Blue Rodeo fans). Keelor did though find time to help McAdory write some of her songs and he assisted in getting her back on track musically at a time she was actually starting to put her musical career on hold.
Jocelyne Lanois hooked up with Keelor and McAdorey while running a workshop studio called The Lab with Malcolm Burn. Shortly after, drummer Ambrose Pottie completed the core lineup. Guitarist Colin Cripps, now with the Jim Cuddy Band, also joined the band in 1988, roughly six months after Crash Vegas started.
The band began recording what would become their debut album, Red Earth, at The Lab, with Burn producing. Cripps played most of the guitar, with Keelor sitting in on a couple of songs.
Crash Vegas was eventually signed to Blue Rodeo's own label, Risque Disque, for Red Earth. The album went gold and earned them significant media recognition. But when Risque Disque went bankrupt the band was left with no direction both figuratively and literally.
After the Red Earth recording sessions were completed, Crash Vegas returned to the Toronto area and performed for about six months. The band and Lanois parted ways at the end of 1990. She was replaced by bassist Darren Watson, whom Cripps knew from the Hamilton, Ontario music scene.
In 1992 Crash Vegas signed a new US deal that put out their second album, Stone, in 1993. It featured Watson on bass and continued with songs co-written by Keelor and another by David Pirner. By 1995, Crash Vegas had become a duo of McAdorey and Cripps. A new record deal with Sony resulted in the release of Aurora. The recording unit featured emergency fill-ins by Change Of Heart's John Borra and Mike Sloski as the rhythm section. Their touring band saw the addition of Brown (Phleg Camp) and Chenaux (Phleg Camp).
Despite the addition of new blood, Crash Vegas continued to experience more downs than up. The band headed over to Europe where they had a mediocre time and found they could not bounce back.
Crash Vegas officially split up in 1996 with each member moving on to pursue different musical projects.