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Islands in the Stream

In 1990 I brought a copy of my first record, Coming of Age, to the offices of a small radio network in Sudbury. The music director saw me right away and we listened to the album in his office. He…

Anchors Away

On May 27 I'll board flight AC872 (Toronto-Frankfurt-Edinburgh) to join the G Adventure team for two months exploring the Norwegian coast. Then in August I'll hop on the MS Ocean Endeavour with my Adventure Canada mates and return to Greenland…

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Not For Sale!

Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine that the federal government decided to fully fund Classic Rock radio as well as the CBC. Picture the Minister of Canadian Heritage walking into Q107 in Toronto and announcing, “Good news everyone! You no…
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In the Court of the Twang Bar King

Sometime in the spring of 1982 I bought a copy of Guitar World Magazine. I was interested in an article about my musical hero, Randy Rhoads, who had just been killed in a plane crash while on tour with Ozzy…
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Is This The Right Room For An Argument?

After spending an unsatisfying day setting up an internet shopping cart, relearning Sonic Bids (fail), trying to remember the user name and password for my CBC site (no luck), and googling Spotify and Rdio (still don't know what they really…

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An Evening With . . .

I don't know if the first music I ever heard came from a loudspeaker or from a live human being. It must have been the latter (both my parents are musicians) but even if it was a radio or record…
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It's Alive

The first song I remember concocting was for my high school rock band, Blitz (later Tyrant, then Kroam, bass player names all). I still remember the song, an abomination called "Next Door Neighbour" which sounded suspiciously (alright, exactly) like "Room…
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Give Us A Kiss

Every once in a while a band puts out a record that reminds us that pop music can be more than bubblegum. For the generation before mine it was probably Sgt. Pepper or Pet Sounds, but for me it was…
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Don't Call Us

  Of all the wicked things I've heard spoken, the worst came out of the mouth of a record company A&R* man. He said: "If you've done your best work, quit." He said this at a panel discussion during Canadian…
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We're Rolling

 

Making a record is a strangely ironic endeavour. It is deeply personal yet highly public. It begins as a meditation on eternal truths and ends as a disposable plastic product. The work is fulfilling but also exhausting. Recording a…

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State Broadcaster My Ass!

When Conservatives attack the CBC using the argument that it competes with privately operated media they are deliberating clouding an important issue: the control of information.

Corporate media is no more threatened by the CBC than by any other public…
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The Defense Calls Brother Kevin

In 1993 I was asked to take on the job of music director for a Theatre Cambrian production of The Man Who Never Died, a play about the labour organizer Joe Hill. A Swedish immigrant and itinerant worker Joe Hill…