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

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