Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reminiscing about Toronto

Just watched "Yonge Street," the Bravo documentary on the Toronto music scene in the 60's < > and right now we're in the middle of 40th Anniversary celebrations of JUNO Awards. I was in Ontario between '67 and '70 and visited many of those venerable music venues - even played at a couple of them. Heard lots of great music but my most vivid recollection was those go-go girls shaking their bootie while Ronnie Hawkins played. Some of the folks being interviewed in that doc looked familiar including guitar player Stan Endersby who has dropped by the Blues Campfire a couple of times and George Semkiw is someone I met at a Recording Workshop at the Eastman School of Music in the summer of '69 (the rest of the Canadian contingent was Andre Perry, Jack Richardson and my buddy Doug Elphick who was an assistant engineer at Hallmark Studios who used to sneak us in to do some moonlighting at night. I had no idea that Stan and George had played with some of those pioneering Toronto bands. My new friend Johnny Brower also figured prominently, talking about how he convinced John and Yoko to come and play at his Rock & Roll Revival in 69.

Wow, I just got "retweeted" - that's a first. Mind you I'm pretty new to Twitter and it's not much fun unless you have a smartphone. I just got a text that Jim Byrnes just won the Blues Juno.  Despite my long-standing loyalty for Harry Manx, I have huge admiration for Jim.  Looking forward to meeting him later tonight when I will be M.C. at the Blues JUNO fest celebrations at the Monarchs Pub at the Delta Chelsea, a room that is fast becoming THE blues venue in town. And I'm happy to say while I was there last night that Mike Smith booked me for Aug 18. Looking forward to it! Tomorrow night I get to watch the JUNOs from the hall, not on a TV screen in some cramped backtage media lounge.

Ooops, it's earth hour.  Now shutting down.