Book excerpt: chapter one, the beginning

A wop ba-ba lu-mop a wap bam BOOM The explosion that was rock “n” roll felt around the world caused only minor tremors in Vancouver.It was an adult life then. Grown ups waltzed to big bands led by Lance Harrison or Mart Kenney at The Cave Supper Club. The...

David Bowie

David Bowie was coming out of the wilderness when he died. He’d been stricken with cancer but had kept it secret from the public, which meant his death at 69 years old  seemed sudden and thus that much more of a shock. How perfectly David Bowie. Hadn’t he...

Mothball

I like to think that Andrew Meissner just showed up at my basement door one night. The truth is more prosaic than that but not much more. Andrew was living in an apartment up the block from me. A nice,  well-kept building next door to the Greek restaurant,...

Close Quarters

As is usual, I don’t remember how I came to drum for Close Quarters or  exactly how the end came. The person who probably knows best is Alan Twigg. He did some writing for the Georgia Straight around the same time as me, from Spring 1974 to Fall 1978, so Twigg...

Let There Be Drums

Sandy Nelson said Let There Be Drums. He was a drummer with one foot who managed to release a bunch of instrumental albums with his drums to the fore. If he could overcome a handicap, I can write about mine. Actually, I’ve never heard a Sandy Nelson record,...

The smartgun

Introducing the Smartgun. The ordinary handgun is useless but for one thing.  It can’t be used as a doorstop, a paper weight, bottle opener or hammer. The handgun exists for one reason: To shoot people. People might buy a handgun saying it’s only for...

Ugly is beautiful; beautiful is ugly

What if the ugly is beautiful and the beautiful is ugly? How would that reversal change our value system? These are questions for intellectuals much deeper than I, but I found myself wondering what constitutes beauty and, conversely, what constitutes ugly? I can only...

The Pope of Hope

Pope Benedict 16 is resigning, February 28, due to failing health. This will be the first resignation in 600 years. Most Popes die on the throne although it might take a few days to realize they’re dead. Cardinals around the world are gathering to elect a new...

Campus radio

The most powerful person at CYVR was the woman who operated the cash register at the the cafeteria. There was a dial on the wall beside her. If she didn’t like the music – which was often – she could turn off  CYVR  or turn it down. There’d be...

The Not So Faceless Rock Of Ages

It took a few months but I finally saw the film Rock Of Ages. Rock Of Ages is a rock musical starring Tom Cruise as a decadent rock star and features  covers of songs by Journey, Foreigner, Night Ranger, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar. The place is Hollywood, the time is 1987,...