Gary O'Connor began playing in the '60s for bands such as Synics, Cat and Liverpool. When the band began playing originals, they changed their name to Aerial and recorded two national hits. The band later split up; O'Connor served on the board for the Toronto Musicians Association for several years and then formed Kid Rainbow. After deciding on a solo career in 1981, he shortened his name to Gary O. The self-titled debut appeared that same year, while Pretty Boy was released in 1984.