Pat Travers was born in Toronto, Canada on April 12, 1954. Soon after picking up the guitar at age 12 Pat saw the legend Jimi Hendrix perform in Ottawa. This obvious inspirational concert must have sparked the young Pat to go after the dream of becoming a star like so many of his early influences. Inspired by such guitarists as Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, Pat began playing in bands early in his teens. His first bands were "Red Hot" and "Merge" who played in Quebec area clubs. While the early years were hard, they would eventually pay off in the form of improved musicianship, style, and exposure.
While performing with Merge, he was noticed by the 50's rock artist Ronnie Hawkins who soon had Pat off on the road performing with him. While Hawkins music was mostly old rock and roll, country and rockabilly, Pat used this experience to hone his skills and voice as Hawkins lead guitarist. After a year on the road with Hawkins, Pat traded in the tuxedoes and ties to go after his true dream, to have his own band and become a star.
At age 20, Pat with the help of some friends he moved to London in hopes of achieving his dreams. Armed with a Marshall amp, a wah-wha pedal, and a few hours of studio time Pat recorded a demo that soon earned him a recording contract with Polydor. Releasing his debut album "Pat Travers" in April 1976 with Mars Cowling on bass, and Roy Dyke on drums, Pat embarked on a tour of England in support of his debut. Adorned in a red and white jumpsuit displaying the maple leaf of his native Canada, Pat increased his following of fans. Trademarks of his early shows included giving away cardboard replicas of his black Fender Telecaster, playing barefoot, and inviting audience member to play "air guitar" on stage during the show. It was with this accessibility to the fans that Pat became an invited performer to the huge Reading Festival in 1976.