Archive for October, 2011

As a birthday gift, my son treated me to the Roger Daltrey concert on Saturday night. Great seats – we were third row on the floor. A really enjoyable experience which I will elaborate on in an another post.

Roger and company played the Who’s Tommy from start to finish as well as a number of other tunes. Simon Townsend, Pete’s brother, was one of the guitar players.

Simon Townsend playing a very unique Gibson Firebird 12 string

I brought my Canon G11 along to try and get some shots of the performance. During one of the first few songs, I was looking down adjusting my camera when I felt something hit my shoulder. As I looked up, the guy in front of us yelled, “Hey buddy, I think he (Simon) just threw a pick at you”. I quickly looked on the floor and sure enough found a guitar pick. Well, I was pumped. After years of going to concerts, this is really cool – an actual pick from Pete’s brother. A real memento. I stuck the pick in my pocket and went on to watch the rest of the show.

As we made our way onto to the concourse at Rexall Place, I dug into my pocket to view my prize.

I burst out laughing when I realized that my cherished piece of memorabilia was exactly the same pick that I buy in bulk at my local music store – a green Dunlop .88 mm Tortex pick! Well, if nothing else, it shows I have good taste in guitar picks.

Guess which guitar pick is the priceless piece of rock memorabilia! (Hint: It is the one on the left ... or is it the right?

To save the suspense … it is the one on the left.



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The muses haven’t been around very much in the last couple of weeks. It has been overly busy with work and all the other stuff life likes to throw in our direction.

But on the weekend, I got a chance to sit down and watch “Living in the Material World“; the new documentary about George Harrison from Martin Scorsese that is airing on HBO.

Sometimes life is all about timing. I was just entering my teens when the Beatles broke. It’s hard to relate the impact they had, especially to people my age. I still remember my buddy Luke and I singing “She Loves You” at the top of our lungs in his bedroom until his Dad told to pipe down. It’s a cliche but there was something fresh and different about their music. It was our music, made even more so by our parents calling it noise and making comments about “that hair“. It seems so tame today, but then it was like a clean break from the past and a starting point for our teens. The night Sgt. Pepper’s was released, we were having a party at Luke’s house and someone brought over the newly purchased album. It was revolutionary. We played it over and over – at a very loud volume – until the neighbours called the cops and we were requested to turn it down.

From the first, George was always my favourite Beatle. Probably the guitar player in me, but he was the one I followed. You could always tell the ‘George’ song on a Beatles album – it was just a little different and maybe that is what appealed to me. No matter, I continued to follow his career even after the demise of the group.

The Scorsese film is very well done. It shows George as a complex individual who chose his own path. For me, it was his realization early on in his life that he needed to follow and search for meaning that intrigues me. There was something calming watching the film. A great cure for the blahs. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend seeing the film.

(I couldn’t find a reasonable version of George singing All Things Must Pass, so here is the version from his tribute concert.)

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Don Cherry

With all the uproar about Don Cherry’s rant on fighting, the best line in response was from Bob MacKenzie last Friday on the Team 1260 morning show.

“Don’s not old school – they tore down Don’s school to make way for the old school”


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Ladies and gentleman, I’ve suffered for my music, now it’s your turn.

Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

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David from CJSR asked if we would ‘headline’ an open stage to be held at the Pacific Café just north of downtown. David has helped us in the past so we agreed.

Top Billing!

The Pacific Café is a small restaurant just north of downtown. There was another person advertised on the bill … Rosco Tonokahak. The deal was if Rosco showed up, he went first. If he showed up later, then we would go first. As it turned out, this was a moot point since Rosco didn’t show up at all.

Me and Don with the new mandolin

In fact, no one showed up for the open stage. So we played for about an hour to a small but definitely enthusiastic audience. There were a couple of Jamaicans who asked for Bob Marley tunes. The best we do in that vein was “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”, to which they loudly joined in on the chorus. There was another room adjacent to the main room and some of the loudest applause was from an elderly gentleman who was watching television in the side room.

I had just suggested we take five when the woman who ran the place also said it was time for a break. We shoved all the tables into the centre of the room and musicians and audience members sat around the big table and were presented with an ox-tail stew, spring rolls and a slaw type of salad – on the house. We spent about a half hour eating and chatting and then we got back up and did three more songs and an encore to close the night.

Playing the Pacific Cafe Open Stage

If there was one issue, it was difficult to hear ourselves. But, we are getting more confident in our abilities and certainly the stage nerves are not close to what they used to be. We did a few cover tunes but mostly originals again. And this time, I played my new mandolin on stage as well as bass and guitar. It is getting much easier to adapt to whatever conditions are thrown at us. It was a very cool evening and we hope to go back. The lady who runs the restaurant promised to show us her collection of Vietnamese musical instruments when we go back … so there is an added incentive.

And thanks again to Wanda for the photos.

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