Updated at 09:25 -- The annual Gary (Muth) & Dave (Charles) garden party is, by my call, now called the annual patio party for the Society of Canadian Music Elders (SoCME). And yesterday afternoon the annual SoCME convened on the patio at Cadillac Lounge in the Parkdale district of T.O. Lots to say, but top billing goes to the kitchen for supremo pizzas that had me grovelling at the trough and talking with my mouth full too much of the time. Cheers to Tommy Wilson for getting the bodies out this year. The veteran booking agent-turned realtor recently completed his tell-all autobiography – Backstage & On Stage – that is going through the editing process now. We can't wait to read it.
Cheers to ex-Nipper Johnny Murphy who was one of the contributors to this year’s shindig, helping to defray the cost of those tasty pizzas I mentioned. And speaking of Nipper, it was great to see Ed Preston looking as youthful and cheerful as last I saw him in Roger Ashby’s Hampton Court backyard. Oh, Roger was there too, looking dashing and sounding as witty as ever. The lad has a sparkle in his eyes too. I guess he can thank Randy Lennox at Bell Media for that.
Ed wasn’t the only past President on the deck. Jerry Lacoursiere and wife Gay looked tanned and happy to see so many old friends (as did Bill Ott, looking dapper as ever). Capitol’s Arnold Gosewich caught up with past friends (he’s slowly recovering from cataract surgery), and Deane Cameron--now running the affairs of Massey and Roy Thomson Hall--was in fine form, and well he should, having the best seat in the house for any number of sharp concerts he wants to catch.
Constants at these cock parties include (former Virgin supremo) Doug Chappell, Stan Endersby, Paul Fisher, David Mazmanian, Jim Macdonald, Tim Williams, Jim Campbell, John Finley, Tony Nolasco, Sebastian Agnello and Cliff Hunt--and Lord how I could go on.
Endersby, for those with long memories, was in Transfusion, the house band at the Rock Pile where I whiled away many a weekend under a cloud of smoke and mesmerized by the light show that David Bluestein concocted with oils and an overhead projector. Blue wasn’t there yesterday that I could see. But Johnny Brower was--and looking smart and fit as always.
Peter Moore had me laughing fits, along with fellow scribbler Kerry Doole, in his descriptions of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. He’s of the mind that the Brits don’t do rock ‘n’ roll like the Americans can, and who am I to argue with this Grammy winner? He’s currently working at cleaning up a history book of tape that is to become a boxed-set collection spanning the history of the Hawks, a band that eventually became The Band. There’s a good story behind how they chose the name, but that’s not for me to tell here.
And speaking of the Hawks and The Band, regular John Donabie was MIA this year. Hope all is well JD.
New to the annual were two Steves from Warner Music—Steve Kane and Steve Coady. Youthful codgers and clearly enjoying listening to war stories many were telling about their new robotic arms, knee joints and bionic hearts.
From the out behind-the-console we spied John Capek, Terry Brown, Hayward Parrott, and Andy Hermant.
Others noted include Jeff Burns, Richard Flohil (back the night previous from a week of partying at folk fests on Vancouver Island), Paul Hoffert and wife Brenda, Tommy Graham, Jeff Cutler, Ted Yates, Paul Ski, Brian Master, Bob Johnston, Cam Carpenter, ex-CBS staffers Mike Watson, Don Oates, Graham Thorpe, regular, Bob "The Ice Man" Segarini and dear friend, fellow FYI scribbler and all-round rennaisance man Bill King.
To prove this is isn’t just a guy shindig, we were glad to see Joanne Smale back in her stride, embraced by a beaming Bernie Finkelstein.
Her Honour Jane Hawtin with hubby Chris Allicock attended, as too Vicki Walters, Donna Murphy, the ever saucy Kris King, and (Mrs DC) Rita Cugini.
Thanks to Geoff Kulawick for buying the first pint, the ever good-hearted Brian Stutz for a ride home, and Jan Haust for laughs and letting me have my picture taken holding his Grammy Award (which he won for best historical album for The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11--along with several others including the aforementioned Peter Moore). For the 100 or so other people who attended who I have failed to mention, my apology but—you know how it is. There’s always tomorrow, tomorrow………………..
-- The barbaric terrorist attack in Nice is going to have enormous impact on everyday life on the continent. For starters, Rihanna has cancelled a concert in the city in the wake of the Bastille Day attack that left at least 84 dead. The pop star wrote on Instagram her gig tonight at the city's Allianz Stadium "would not be going ahead as planned... due to the tragic events".
-- Increased competition and a wonky line-up put a big dent in the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival’s bottom line this year, with a 46% drop in ticket sales from its 2011 high. On a year-on-year, ticket sales are estimated to have dropped by as much as $9m, according to The Tennessean. The annual took place at Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN, June 9-12.
-- Who could have guessed anyone could do Joni Mitchell like…well, Joni Mitchell?--and in Russia to boot. The soulful Moscovite Nani Eva (Нани Ева) performs here with an exceptional trio.
-- Katy Perry’s just-released single “Rise” is an Apple Music exclusive for now. The track has been licensed by NBC for its 216 Olympics in Rio soundtrack coverage. The singer describes the song as a powerful message of hope, an anthem of conviction, perseverance, and transformation. No audio or video available outside Apple for now.
-- And just out today is Steven Tyler's self-titled Nashville album on Dot Records. Here's the video for "Love Is Your Name".
-- Sylvia Tyson teams up with Rolling Thunder star-violinist Scarlet Rivera at Hugh’s Room on Sept. 19.
-- US-based Vinylize.it has launched a new service that allows fans to choose songs or playlists from SoundCloud to create custom-pressed vinyl recordings. There’s a twist here though: the records will only be made available for purchase after receiving approvals from the content owners, and after enough customers “rally support” for the discs. Japanese-based crowdfunding and small-batch, just-in-time company Qrates is behind it.
-- Rep. Doug Collins grills US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the consent decree review in the first few minutes of this video. The Attorney General responds with bafflegab and skirts why should have recused herself based on her prior affiliation with Google. It’s a fascinating fly-on-the-wall view of Washington politics and how the issue has become a division line with creators on one side and big business interests looming large on the other. Thanks to Chris Castle, editor of Music Tech Policy blog, for pointing this out.
-- Marvin Gaye’s estate is really mining deep for lucre with its reissue collections approved for release by Motown. Volume 1 spanning '61-'65 is a 7CD or Vinyl boxed set; Vol. 2, covers '66-'69, bundled as an 8 CD or Vinyl collection; and now comes Vol. 3, spanning ’71 through ’81--again offered in both formats as an 8-disc collection. That’s 23 albums in total. The vinyl on Vol.’s 1 and 3 ring in at C$299.99 each on Amazon.ca. We couldn’t find Vol. 2 on vinyl, but the first edition as a 7CD set can be found on the same site for a more affordable $40.48.
Some will argue here, but I will say all the juice is contained in the final edition---but it is incomplete. Gaye was shot dead following an altercation with his father, Marvin Gay Sr., on April 1st, 1984. His last official recording was released by Columbia two years before, in 1982, and it proved to be the biggest seller of his career. Midnight Love was released in Oct. and by year-end had sold over 1m copies in the US--in large part driven by the #1 single, “Sexual Healing.” The album has sold millions of copies more since.
-- And guess who and what was #1 on the Canadian chart on this day in 1996. Give up? Here he is: Bryan Adams…
-- Following an earlier mention, Eric Alper writes the column: “After sleeping in for one day, I'm off and running. Thanks to Microsoft, Festival Of Beer, Big Sugar, Jonas & The Massive Attraction, Andy Kim, Foghat, Micah Barnes, Marlowe + The Mix, Culvert Music, Fred Eaglesmith and new music commentary spots on The Jewel FM, Lightbox Video, and Record Mob for being making my first month as an indie wonderful. You can still hear me on SiriusXM, CJBK, Country 92.9 and dozens of others. I get to announce a PR move to massive record label tomorrow. And another legendary label in August. Good people + music + family = the best life ever.”
-- Is Rock dead? There’s a lot of chatter about the genre falling into an extended somnambulist state and there’s much to be said for this viewpoint--but then again, music goes through cycles. Larry LeBlanc sent us a Pitchfork link yesterday and following it led to a story about Philly punk trio Beach Slang releasing a summer EP.
So what? was my first take, and then I listened.
It took me back to a time when angst and revolutionary spirit were bon ton. It was a breath of fresh air from the Hot AC Botox injections that pollute my ears in supermarkets and the like almost daily. You have a listen and decide…