Monday, February 28, 1994

Benefit for Care Foundation

The Black Swan. What a treat – Blue Willow played with a couple of other bands at this benefit – and harp player Jerome Godboo sat in for the entire set. He picked up on a lot of subtleties in my playing and reflected them on the harp. For a guy that looks and moves like Jim Morrison (it was his claim to fame), he sure is a sensitive musician. I heard he was doing solo projects but when I asked what side-things he was doing he said “I only have one project – The Phantoms”. In the washroom someone complimented me from the urinal – I looked over and it was the wunderkind guitarist for the Sidemen – I said “Kyle??? – I’m looking forward to hearing you, too.” He was very friendly and I mentioned “I was just talking to your manager.” He said “RJ?” That didn’t sound like the name I remember – after tossing around a few other names, he finally found one I recognized.

Saturday, February 12, 1994

O.P. in the audience

Montreal Bistro. Finally got to see Doug Riley – one of the pioneers of the jingle scene in Toronto – successor to Ben McPeek and then a rock star of sorts (Dr. Music). So he’s about to get on for the first set at the Montreal Bistro and who walks in (slowly) and is placed at the only table in front of the stage. Oscar Peterson, looking a little frail, sat with his back to the musicians but always clapped and looked over his shoulder to nod approval – in particular to guitar wizard Ted Quinlan. Phil Dwyer, the sax player said to his boys “Have a nice set, boys” when he saw Peterson. And they did. But the opening number, “The Lady Is A Tramp”, did start off slightly rocky.

Quote of the Night: Fay Olson leaned over to me in the Bistro holding up a snifter and said “I’ve made a resolution. From now on after every 10 glasses of white wine I’m going to have a double Grand Marnier”.

Wednesday, February 9, 1994

The P-90

The Grover Exchange. My band was already onstage, and I was racing up the stairs of the Grover Exchange through the crowd when a young guy right behind me says “Hey what kind of pickups you got on that thing?” I only had time to utter one word “Soapbar”. That said volumes, even if he didn’t know what a soapbar was, any music store guy will tell him it’s a Gibson P-90, the noisiest and most aggressive pick-up in the world. They’ve tried to recreate that sound – they even have one that looks the same but quieter (the P-100) but it doesn’t do it for me. I’ve started a search for the perfect pick-up – and I know what I want; I want a whisper quiet soapbar that fits in my Strat without cutting holes in it’s vintage pickguard.

Monday, February 7, 1994

Ultrasound. Saw Penny Lang at a CD-release party at Ultrasound. This was a turning point because it was the first time anyone ever went out of their way to invite me. Usually I’m slipping in to these things but this time Heidi Flemming, Penny’s manager called and faxed and I was there. Penny sounded great but the back of the room was pretty noisy with all the industry types chatting away. That was from five to seven - I hope she got a decent crowd for the evening show.