One of the first albums I ever bought with my own money was a K-Tel mix record I found at a swap meet. Chilliwack's 'Crazy Talk' was one of my favorite cuts on that record and I realize now that before I really even had a full concept of what a band was, I was already a Chilliwack fan. Not only did my parents play their albums in regular rotation at home, but I also had found them in my own right.
Additionaly I had the unique opportunity for a short while to know Bill Henderson's daughters Saffron and Camille as we all went to the same dance school together. Though we were not in the same classes, we were sometimes in the same performing troupe which was a select group of kids who were asked to perform at public events.
Now here is a little-known scoop for you all, we used to do this 'Breakfast with Santa show' back in the day and Saffron and I both held the lofty honour of playing Rudolph's butt. And while I can't honestly say that I've thought an awful lot about my position as Rudy's rear-end over the years, I was fondly reminded of it just a couple of summers ago when I found myself once again sharing a stage with Saffron Henderson. Thankfully on that occassion our stage time found us up there with a rock band and people could actually see our faces. Suffice it to say we did have a good laugh over our shared memories.
Ah memories, it's amazing how music can bring them back so easily. Chilliwack celebrated 40 years of hits with an amazing concert at the River Rock Show Theatre last weekend and it really was a journey through time. From the first incarnation of the band, the Collectors..... all the way to present day, the band knocked out hit after hit and told their story with masterful renditions of the songs we've all grown to love.
It wasn't just a concert, it was a bit of a history lesson as there was a wonderful audio/visual component where archives from interviews, music videos, and behind the scenes footage from over the years were shown and explained in great detail. Props were also used to great effect, Brian (Too Loud) MacLeod's famed Fender Strat guitar which had been sold years ago was sought, found and brought onstage to represent the now deceased but one time integral band member and it was a moment that left countless people feeling very touched by the effort taken to represent him. Several special guests were brought out onstage throughout the night as well and past members of previous band line-ups joined in to take part in the songs they helped bring to life. Even second generations were present to support, pay tribute and/or honor past and present members who could not be there as well as those who could. Every effort had been made to somehow represent everyone that had been a part of the landscape of the bands history. And I was deeply impressed.
Brian (Too Loud) MacLeod's strat. (thanks to Al Barret from Calgary for letting us all enjoy the guitar)
Ab Bryant (bass) 1979-1984 line-up
Howie Vickers (Vickberg) 1966-70 Vocals the Collectors
Claire Lawrence (keys/sax) Collectors line-up!
Doug Edwards (bass) current line-up
Jerry Adolphe (drummer) current line-up
Ed Henderson (guitar vocals ) Current line-up
Bill Henderson (guitar lead vox)
On a personal note, part of the reason I decided to do this blog is because of an event that happened the week before. You see it just so happens that our girlfriend Cathy St. Germain had a chick singer clothing swap a week or so before this concert and while I sat and chatted with Saff and Camille about their wicked new blog the Motherboard (based on two sisters navigating their way through parenthood) I snapped on an idea and asked them if Kelly and I could do an All Access Pass piece on them and maybe follow them around as they prepared for the concert. I just think it is a really cool thing they have cooking, this blog and parenting show, and I wanted to support it as well as take the opportunity to show what's behind the curtain when we get to perform in this kind of sparkly event. It only took just a day or two to get permission from all the right places and before I knew it Kelly and I had a date to go hang out backstage during sound check with our girlfriends. I needn't say an awful lot more because the video hopefully speaks for itself as do the wonderful photographs so graciously donated by Dee Lippingwell (without a doubt, Vancouver's premier photographer to the stars). Thank you Dee~
To close I offer a very heartfelt Thank You to the whole cast and crew of the Chilliwack 40th anniversary concert, for being so open and welcoming and allowing me to share a peek of life behind the scenes. Thanks to Paul Baker who did the sound, sound guys don't ever get enough credit. :) I also want to send a shout out to Bill for not only for making sure I had an All Access Pass that allowed me to attend both shows but also for (along with his wife) nurturing some amazing daughters and for showing by example how to live, love and be a full time family man after he takes his rockstar hat off at the end of the day. I think that he raised a couple of women who are an excellent examples in their own right and they are totally on the right track to put themselves out there with their blog and upcoming parenting show. So do feel free to watch for them and share this link with the Mother's that you love so that they too can connect with the girls and get in on the ground floor of this new parenting community as it grows and flourishes.
See you soon...