Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chilliwacks 40th anniversary concert, backstage with Saffron and Camille!

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.

Tyson Froese (son of Howard Froese) 73-78, performed his Dad's solo on Baby Blue

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

Roy Forbes

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...
Rach xo

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walk for Kids Help Phone, 2010

           Kids Walk for Help Phone
On May 2nd I was privileged to sing for the Kids Walk for Help Phone. The Walk for Kids Help Phone takes place annually in more than 50 communities across Canada and is an essential service for children in need. Every day, Kids Help Phone counsellors answer calls and online questions from across Canada. No matter what the problem or concern our counsellors are there to provide immediate and caring support, information and referrals to the kids who reach out.

Together volunteers and participants across the country raised over 2.5 million dollars.
Thought I would post some pics and a video of Vancouver's event.

                            The Beat 94.5fm Street Team!

As the featured perfomer I thought it might be a great idea to ask some of the members of the League of Rock to be my band, so I put together a group made up of both present and past members and they did a tremendous job! We started playing at 9:30am while people milled about visiting the sponsor tents and filled out their registration forms.

So we played and we rocked and had a great deal of  fun and then CTV's Jason Pires got up to lead the announcements and kick off the walk.  He introduced speakers from Bell Canada and Ledcor who were there to give thanks and considerations to the many people and companies who helped put this all together. Boston Pizza came up to present a $250,000 check that was being donated nationwide. West Jet made a draw for free tickets, and then a group of energetic folks from the Steve Nash Sports club ran the crowd through a warm up before sending everyone off on their walk for good. 

As the crowd began their journey my friend the very talented Roger Schmidt  who has a newly released album you can check out by clicking on his name,  came up onstage and played his music for the VIPs, and crowd who were not walking in the event but were still there to support/donate and take part in the tent activities and BBQ.

There are plenty of people to thank for this day, all the sponsors and contributors can be seen here on the signboard below. I want to thank the L.O.R. members  for getting up early to come and shine for this event as well as Sharylin Boshaw for coming to take the wonderful photos and finally, I'll  send a shout out to Rocky Mountain sound for doing a great job at making us sound so great. The Vancouver event raised over $135,000 of the 2.5 million national total and we all have reason to be proud.

Rach xo

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

League of Rock bands take the stage~

LEAGUE OF ROCK Midway Showcases Session 3! 
Over the last few weeks the members of the League of Rock had their first midway showcases, and today's blog is a photo diary of the two performances. ( thanks as always to Sharylin Boshaw once again for the excellent photos )  These events are amongst my favorite in the league. The midway is the moment where the bands first  get their feet wet performing onstage in front of the other bands and the light in the room intensifies. The first performance was held at NAL sound in room 10, a larger rehearsal space with a raised stage and extra room for all the other bands and their guests  to sit and watch from.

Our coach for the first midway was Tal Bachman and with  keen perception Tal zeroed in on everyone's strengths and gave them props as well as  focused on the points each band had been struggling with  the most as he offered his  insight on ways they could  improve things and come together as a unit.  People were clearly very interested in all  he had to offer and members gathered around him gratefully absorbing every word that he had to share. This was also the night that  Randall (one of the fellas who won his membership from the Liquid Metal Guitar contest held  right here on my blog)  had a one on one sit down with Tal to talk shop work a few licks. Randall walked away exclaiming (rightly so) at what a nice guy Tal is and told me he really enjoyed the session and was very grateful for the time and input that was graciously given. NAL sound were kind enough to lend us a room to make this happen, so great big thanks go out to everyone, it was a very successful first midway all around! 

So after one more week of rehearsal to work on all they had learned, our bands hit the big stage at the Yale with new perspective and energy and the whole night turned into a real thrill for everyone. The bands really came together and the coaches for this workshop Shaun Verreault and Shari Ulrich did an outstanding job as usual. Shaun who had seen these bands  in their earliest days said he really saw a huge improvement and gave everyone the kudos they so deserved as well as some excellent advice they could take home with them to work on. Shari being fully enamored of this whole process gave spot on advice and just had nothing but positive energy to give to the members. I even took some advice as I observed that her  suggestion to one of the members that he needed to stop looking at the neck of his guitar was advice I really needed to embrace myself.  I looked over and said to her, "you know that is really good advice for me too", and  she responded, "It's a lesson I had to learn myself.  Your hands do know where to go, you just have to trust them".  Yes, so true. The beautiful thing about music, is that we never stop learning. Thank you Shari! xo  Shari by the way has her CD release party this Friday (May 7, 2010) at St James Hall and it is going to be a fantastic show so please consider coming out to support her!  And Shaun, I recently  heard is gearing up to open for ZZ Top on their upcoming tour......YEAH! Nice work coach, break a leg sir!!

Even past League of Rock members showed up to show their support! Hey Loralee! xo

So what's next you ask?
Next we welcome Topher Stott from Toronto, who will be flying in to produce the bands at Nimbus recording studios. All the bands will be laying tracks to their best song and mark my words, this will be a thrill for many as it is an absolute first and an experience perhaps out of reach otherwise!  So, still on the rollercoaster we ride, just another twist in the story, another rush of excitement in-store for our part time rockers  who are all real, nice, regular folks like you and me, who love to just check out of their day job once in a while to come live the rock n roll dream!  

See you soon, xoxo  Rach!