Category Archives: Performing

New Years Day 1961


Lee Van Leer (C. J. Feeney) died in January.

In the obit it said his bandmates broke down his apartment door after he wasn’t seen for more than a week.

I saw him play in those early just-moved-to-Toronto days where Grossman’s Tavern made me feel much more like a musician than York University ever did. I haven’t walked into the place since sometime in the 90s but I remember this guy very well for he had a unique style – the same signature that made Jeff Healey a spectacle – played the guitar with his thumb – the fingering hand not the strumming hand.

The 60s were such a mystery to me. I was born then but grew up in the 70s always feeling like I missed something more important 10 years earlier. People who actually were connected to living and making music then held a lot of fascination for me. He was one of them and I could see success didn’t shine its lights on his life yet he had the sort of plastered smile on his face that survivors of airline crashes tend to live with. Everything is beautiful from here on in because I’m still here.

The novelty of his thumb playing was striking but anyone with a good musical sense could tell his actual musicality was right on the money and his tone showed he was a bit of a scientist. Looking through his blog the most amusing thing is every comment on any posting seems to also be by him. I admire a man as delusional about self publishing as I am.


Don Paveling & Declan Doran: Heroes, IMHO.

On New Year’s Day 1961, used car dlr. Ernie Barnhart introduced me to Ronnie Hawkins.
I heard “Robbie” Robertson play his Tele and on the leads I thought it sounded “thin”
and I formulated A THE0RY, to wit: all u need4 a gd blues tone is 2 pickups & a metal
playing surface on your bridge. “` ` ““` ` “ ““` ““ “ ` “““` ` ` ““`
“““` “““` “ ““ “““. I mean, look at Freddy & Albert King! Don P. & Declan D. played ’54-56 LP gold-tops when others around them were buying Teles, and their tone was excellent! SO, I drew a CONCLUSION. Soon Mike Bloomfield, E. Clapton, J. Page & J. Beck were also playing LP’s and sounding great. TONE to the BONE, my brothers! Case closed, nya-nya, nya nya-nya. I’d rather hear these gtrs. than attend the Sandy Claws Parade ANY year!





Peggy Baker’s Acceptance Speech


There’s talent and then there’s unreal talent.

The dance milieu is a highly complex and unstable world. Within it, each artist must establish and constantly expand and deepen their expertise in a multitude of roles. In class, in rehearsal, in performance; under the gaze of teachers, directors, critics and the public; in meetings with administrators, managers, board members, presenters and grant officers dancers do battle with their vulnerabilities and fears in order to pursue their physical and creative practice, and to accomplish and share their art. At almost any point in the arc of a career, any one of us of could flounder, become overwhelmed, lose our bearings or our confidence, or realize we lack the tools for growth. If we are persistent enough, or desperate enough, we will turn to someone for a crucial exchange that lasts a few hours, a few weeks or months, or is sustained over many years. I am forever grateful to Patricia Beatty, Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, James Kudelka, Irene Dowd, and Christine Wright for their extraordinary mentorship, and for the immeasurable impact each of them has had on my work. Their generosity and honesty set the standard for my own interactions with those who have likewise sought me out. I am deeply moved by the courage of each artist who has entrusted me with entry into the highly personal sphere of their creative life. I thank each of them for the significance of our exchange. I know that by addressing our deepest concerns together we have strengthened our community and contributed to the vitality of our art form. I am honoured to accept the George Luscombe Award for mentorship in recognition of the value of our work together. Kudos to TAPA for establishing and sustaining this important award.

Thank you.

Peggy Baker


True To His Own Spirit


Listening to Jim Morrison’s father and sister is surprisingly moving and beautiful. I remember reading he said his father was dead and I assumed his father and him disliked each other but now I think he had other reasons for saying that, theatrical rock star reasons useful to his time and place.

I like this bit of Jim Morrison poetry

I can make the earth stop in
its tracks. I made the
blue cars go away.

Rock singer Jim Morrison of the Doors posing in front of red and yellow psychedelic backdrop wearing leather head-to-toe.  This was a LIFE magazine assignment taken at the Second Avenue Theater according to Yale Joel


I’m lucky I had my older brother’s record collections when I was a pipsqueak. I listened to My Wild Love at least 11 million times while my contemporaries in junior high were gushing over Aerosmith or 10cc. ugh.


This is kind of special too. Jim Morrison saying in the future people might make music out of electronics and maybe one person with a lot of machines…