Monthly Archives: February 2015

Some Of My Shocks




John Lennon murdered

Dylan going Christian

Robin Kuretsky dumping me the first day of summer camp

The waitress at The Mandarin inviting me to stay over

The end of cigarette smoking in public places

The Paleo diet

Of Mice And Men end scene

The 5th element opera scene

Mandela’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee

Harper’s hatred of Canada


Black and Grey



Went to the Gladstone short years ago when David Daniloff brought Karen Black to speak about her life. Her adventures were amazing. What a crazy fantastic person. Sometimes performers die and you think about the last time they came to town and you considered attending but didn’t and now never will have known them live yada yada. Glad I was there and got a sense up close and personal of who she was. Check her memorial.

The obits mostly call her the actress from Easy Rider which was 40 years ago but she did more equally awesome productions and she kept working when she wasn’t in the limelight. It’s more intersting journalism to reflect on the person’s real life but that’s how it goes, you can’t win, the most famous thing that happens to you follows you around, like it or not.

Neil Young in the newspapers was just the guy from Buffalo Springfield until Cinnamon Girl was a hit.



After James Gray died I read the headlines Former Blue Rodeo Keyboard Player Dead. Pity James would be written up that way, anyone who knew him knew those were not his fond memories. In recent years, I would run into him busking for change at Dundas West Station, right here at this bench.


Ronley Teper said he would be turning over in his grave to see himself referred to as the Blue Rodeo guy. She told me to write about it in my blog, I said I can’t because I’m also the Blue Rodeo guy, it’s too weird. Then she said “but everyone is acting about as real as Jian Ghomeshi”,  and well..I’m a sucker for a metaphor that uses Jian Ghomeshi to make a point about bullshit, so she got me.

We had a playful final exchange many months earlier when he wanted to know if I planned on attending their induction into the Juno Hall of Fame. A staff person called to offer him a free ticket (to sit in the audience at the ceremony). Kim Deschamp also contacted me with the same query – would I be accepting the invitation.

“lemme see, do I want to spend money traveling to Ottawa and back, find a hotel for a couple nights – so I can sit in the crowd and watch those guys basque in the light of a trophy honouring easy listening hits while the cameras perhaps pan for a moment on  former members suggesting we are misty with esteem for them? They’re okay to go to Afghanistan and play for the troops, okay to have their pictures taken jamming with Harper but not okay to find time to call personally and ask any of us to attend?

I think I’m busy that night.”

He laughed his short fast laugh and didn’t go.

jim and harper

Release Party


It should be swell to release Sam’s last recordings tonight with all sorts of people from the past and present but like finishing this record what pisses me off is the fact that he isn’t here to enjoy it. Now Magazine interviewed me and asked what sort of legacy I was hoping for him. I paused a long time, I’m more interested in him being alive than whatever legacy there might be.

I didn’t know what to say to the guy even though I know he meant well. A lot of people were moved by their personal experiences with Sam but the talk about a hope for his future was too weird because it’s about what we do when we’re alive that matters.

I’m glad I got to say goodbye by working with him all those recent Sunday mornings and hearing him gab and gossip and complain and cajole. Eventually he explained the health problems but he always framed it in a positive way. He had a young Doctor and he thought very highly of him.

After he died I remembered a telephone call one afternoon in 1984.
“Bob, you busy Thursday?”
“I’m getting married on Thursday and I was wondering if you would have time to come, this would be at City Hall Bob around 11:30.”
“You’re getting married? Do I know her?”
“Uh huh at 11:30 and we can go out to a little place afterward. No you don’t know her, she’s someone from work.”
“Sure ok.”

I looked her up after and found her online and wrote to her.
“Wasn’t I at your wedding 30 years ago?
“You were the best man.”
“I have pictures!”

I invited her to the release as well but she lives away and it isn’t going to work out. There are other people who live away that I contacted 5 sent me videos and we’ll screen them. Eileen O’Toole, Maria Grey, Diane Barbarash, Deb Montgomery & Thomas Sarantos. It should be a fun night.

And these people are performing

Brian Jantzi
Honey Novick
Kwesi Immanuel
Julia Rohan
Derek Currie
Robert Priest
Sarah Greene
Howard Gladstone
Brad McInnis
Johann Löwenberg
Tom St, Louis & Theresa Gregory
Lynn Harrison
Steve-Paul Simms
Kyp Harness
Don Kerr
Tony & Veronica
Glen Gary
Marianne Girard
Ben Bootsma