Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Music and Memory Lane - 1967 or so...

I just came back from my cousins funeral memorial session. He made it to 91. Two weeks ago he was dancing with his wife, they had just moved from their house into the lodge. Last Friday he died at 91. Edward Sater - R.I.P.

Since I made it through a few bouts of memory lane here, I may as well continue - Ed was one of the first rancher farmers that I worked for for pay. I was fifteen and got my fill of dust and grit cultivating his Summerfallow - that would have been 1967.

A lot of things happened in 1967. The high point was Expo 67 in Montreal. Our class put the money together somehow and we took the train from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Montreal. The trip took about three days. What a three days that was, especially for a group of kids where the majority probably hadn't been further than fifty miles from home. There was a world out there that was real and having seen it and tasted it we could dream and the dreams had form and meaning... The stay was in a hostel and we bused everyday for two weeks to the expo site. Major memories. The whole world was there.

The Status Quo circa 1967 Pictures of Matchstick Men

The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions

The Strawberry Alarmclock - Incense and Peppermint originally done about 1967 this is a live version and I'm not quite sure of the year.

The Association - Cherish

The association had several hits that year but this was the biggest for most of us. Not sure why because it was softer than the music that most of us usually listened to.

The Turtles - So Happy Together

Arthur Browns - Fire - Great Video!!

How about Lovin Spoonful and Nashville Cats!!

And even though this wasn't 1967 I found it while I was browsing... Love these guys. They were there alongside The Band timewise and predating ZZ Top if I'm not mistaken.. Love the sound. Saw them in concert about 1970 - what a show - circus acts and the works...

Goose Creek Symphony - Tulsa Turnaround

This is all very cathartic for me, and I'm discovering music again... for too long due to events in my life the music went away - feels good!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Bob McCord, Willie & The Walkers Open Consort Sportsplex 1967

You tube has got some interesting stuff on it - for instance one of my favorite groups when I was just getting out of Junior High was Willie and the Walkers..

Picture it - the year is 1967. I was given a free ticket by the Sedalia community association to attend a $100.00 a plate dinner (figureout what 100 bucks was worth in 1967!!) for the opening of the Consort Sportsplex.

The headlining entertainment was Willie and the Walkers - their big North American hit was Diamonds and Gold (one of my favs at the time) - they hailed from Edmonton... the show was great and was hosted by my all time favorite DJ Bob McCord from 630 CHED radio (he sang los Bravos' "Black is Black" - backed by W&theWs) since I'm playing DJ already anyway, this is the best version I could find - Los Bravos - Black is Black... Bob truly did it justice. Didn't know he was a singer until then.

Willie and The Walkers - Diamonds and Gold

Gotta find a way to capture that.... hmmm....

Here's "Alone in My Room" one of their other hits. With 630 CHED Radio and Wes Dakus - Edmonton was really a major generator of Canadian music talent back in the sixties... with CKXL and Calgary right behind.

The show ended way too soon and I was still wanting more. Debbie Kroeger later to be mother of Chad Kroeger of Nickleback was feeling the same way.

She was now a cousin by marriage - my Uncle - Claude Thornton and her Aunt - Helen Kroeger had just been married a couple of months before.

I cajoled Debbie into getting the keys for the dealership (her dad Henry Kroeger - later Alberta Transport Minister - owned the John Deere dealership in Consort) and together we talked Willie MacCaulder (now with the Powder Blues Band in Vancouver) into doing an impromptu concert at the shop... it went for about another three hours... it was pretty magical for a couple of 15 year olds - I personally believe that was the real origins of Nickleback.

To finish the name dropping and close the loop - KD Lang was growing up in Consort right about that time (she lived across the street from my grandfathers) and was a playmate of my sister. When they were both 15 or so, my sister Sharon beat out KD in the local Talent contest - so there!!

Now I really do have to get some sleep. Hope you enjoyed.

More Music and Memory Lane

The first year I was in Calgary - 1968 - I started hanging out with a kid that I met at Crescent Heights High - Brian Downey. He lived in a duplex in Renfrew just across 16th ave from the Trailer Park going up the hill from Deerfoot his brother - Dave Downey - was the Bass player for the 49th Parallel - along with Guitar player Danny Lowe ( inventor of something called QSound - the surround sound codex used in almost all video games and most of the movie soundtracks you hear) ... the guys in the band used to hang out at the Downey household and for me as a 16 year old - it was wild!!

I hung around there for most of 1968 until they moved. On one of those afternoons after school I met Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett the founders of Delaney Bonnie & Friends) they seemed to be there working on some material with Danny Lowe and ?? ... not sure what came out of that - would really like to know actually... there was a recording studio here at the time that was in an old church on 16th ave and about 2nd Street NW... can't remember the name of it anymore... anyway the recording engineer (Frank ??) was getting a pretty good name for himself and was attracting a lot of really top names to town back in the day... since Delaney was a respected session musician that might have had something to do with things.

Incidentally a guy named Steve Fischler (Fischer Warner) who works for Delaney just contacted me to say that you can check out Delaney's new CD, which is up for a Grammy at

Labourer was 49th Parallels first really big hit... enjoy... they were successful North America wide...

Now... WHO invented RAP?? This is 1967 folks - and a Calgary group to boot!!

More Nostalgia from the 49th Parallel - Notice the Animals influence:

A departure with new band members - this is when Dorn Beattie joined. - Also a hit... very British influenced and much lighter in tone...

They eventually created a group called Painter which had a couple of North American hits as well - interestingly enough when I went to Vancouver to work for awhile my Location manager was Wayne Morice who was the bass player for Painter in the day... notice the influence that Guess Who had on this already - blame Randy Bachman for that - I believe that he was part of the last 49th Parallel lineup... maybe even part of early Painter - haven't been able to find that yet...

Painter became Hammersmith

Hmmmm.. Doobie Brothers sound-a-likes anyone - didn't notice that at the time....

Hmmm I'm enjoying this way too much. Reminding of my stint as a DJ as well. Later folks. Hope you enjoyed this little compilation.

Looking back to Highschool

Can't believe this is all on youtube now. A year ago I looked everywhere for all this stuff...

Here's a group that were local to Calgary but had a pretty big hit with this one. Also had their own TV show on CFCN for about five years.

The complete Happy Feeling band was Jim Aiello (Vocals), Dan Ferguson (Guitar), Gordie (Gary) Moffatt (Organ), Gerry Mudry (Drums), Bob Wagner (Guitar/Bass), Bob Moffatt (Guitar). Gary Moffatt later joined April Wine.

Jim Aiello had a brother - if I remember correctly - named Bobby who also was an aspiring rocker and sang with "Jake and The Canadians" (me, Keith, Jim Leyden, Danny Burke) for a few weeks as we practised in my grandfathers garage in Belfast on 18th St NE... Aiello's girlfriend stole my entire LP collection - about 50 albums I was more than devastated since this was the second time in less than three years I lost my entire collection to a girl!! We did a local Belfast community hall dance and a couple of appearances at Crescent Heights...

The year before this I was involved with another group out home called the Paranoic Express - my oldest friend Vic Nichol "uber guitar player" (travelled with Country artist Gary Buck for a few years then went almost totally blind... ) Curtis & Patrick - brothers from Coronation, Curtis - Bass, Patrick - Vocals (wish I could remember their last name) Tim Ravinski - organ and keyboards (he bought Willie MacCaulders ReVox organ and Leslie speaker setup) and moi... it broke the boredom of small town living...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Artist at work

Well the elections is long past. Did we accomplish anything? Probably not. The object wasn't to defeat Harper but to get him to listen... maybe we gained a little there, but then again I doubt it. In my opinion, the fight has just begun. With the declining dollar - if it stays down for a while, we can probably have a bit of a film and TV renaissance - the Americans can't resist a bargain and we're starting to be back in that market again. The 80 cent dollar coupled with regional and federal incentives might just be enough to bring it back again for a bit. The smart ones should have purchased Canadian dollars when it was really down a week ago.

Was just doing a casual search on the net for something totally unrelated and stumbled across a site that led me to an old friend. Ever have that happen? Kismet, serendipity? Who knows, haven't talked to Maggie in about five years. Lost track of her when I got involved with a crazy woman who was so jealous and controlling that I was nervous about even talking to another woman on business. Yes the crazy gal managed to somehow get between me and everyone in my life, it was slow and gradual, in fact so gradual I didn't realize what had happened until it was too late to do anything about it. It became an either or scenario. She's history now, nothing left but the legals. Live and learn I guess, but how many chances do you get, to get it right in a lifetime?

One thing about Maggie, she was an amazing artist. I remember some of her caricatures, spot on in my opinion. I remember she did a series of hanging pieces that stayed in the windows of the Husky House down on 11th ave SW or was it 12th Ave SW?? Anyway, they were there until they sold the place. And Maggie - eclectic, wild, crazy and incredible. A good friend, that's one thing that we seldom find in life - a good friend. We find all kinds of other things, usually all wrapped up in the end as merely someone who wants something from you rather than being interested in a give and take scenario - someone who tells you like it is, not what you want to hear, not sugar coated either, but somehow can say that one thing you need to hear and manages to not piss you off in the process. That was Maggie.

Since I have rambled into a friends discussion, my other best friend is Dennis. Have known him since high school, been through thick and thin together, he's given me some good advice, I've given him some good advice and we've stayed in touch throughout all the years, through all the moves, through the divorces, his and mine, there were several, and in the background was Maggie - I've known her for about eighteen years as well. Where does the time go? According to what I've seen she's a grandmother now! M'gawd!! A grandmother! Course if my son were still alive I too might have grandchildren as well. He would have been 31 this year. Maggie was there for that too. Her and her guy at the time. Helped me move after Chris died. Like I said, a good friend.

Her website link is below. Look her up if you need any art work of any kind. She's good and pretty reasonable too. She does some pretty wowie website work as well. Looks good Maggie!!

I'll ramble some more tomorrow. Maybe. Trying to sort out a few of life's speed bumps. Entropy versus atrophy... hmmmm....