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Odds & Sods

I played bass on two tracks of Dan D'Agostino's excellent CD, 'Our Portrait In Song.'

When I heard 'Moment Of Seeing', I asked if I could add an e-Bow bass track. It wasn't quite Dan's style, but he facilitated my experiment.

We recorded it the day the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated across the skies of the southern USA. That fiery image, and the sound of my bass will forever be linked in my mind.

Around 1982, near the end of my band the Wayouts, I met a poet, Wayne McNeil, one of a fair crew of miscreants who hung out upstairs at The Beverly Tavern. We decided to start an imaginary band, Bikini Waldorf.

I drew up a poster and it eventually made it on air during an SCTV skit, thank you, Jules Haalmeyer.

One night, Wayne and I wrote lyrics for 'Ophelia Watersport' and I recorded a demo for it. Next, given the title by Wayne, I demo'd 'Shimmy Just Cuz.'

My then-girlfreind, Kristi Manuel, added some distinctive backing vocals, and ad-libbed a classic during a break in 'Ophelia,' for fans of 'Mutual Of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom."'

"The Last Pogo Jumps Again" by producer Colin Brunton (Schitt's Creek) and editor Kire Paputts is an outstanding documentary that depicts Toronto itself, and its quickly changing Punk Rock scene, from 1976 to 1978. Brunton's original film "The Last Pogo" documented the last of the legendary gigs Gary Cormier and Gary Topp promoted at The Horseshoe Tavern at Queen St. W & Spadina up until December 1978.

I was elated when Kire came to interview me, but when he asked if there was any period footage of Tyranna, I had to say no. Once, a completely under-exposed Super-8 clip from the Turning Point, was shot by the Forgotten Rebels' manager, but it was unviewable. 

I was gobsmacked on my way back to my seat at the LPJA cast and crew screening. Just as I stepped back into the theatre after intermission I heard my own voice and then 'Back Off, Baby' kicked on. I looked up and there was my band, Tyranna, live at Larry's Hideaway. Blazing amazing moment. 

Tyranna had first performed and recorded in July '78. Singer Vera Skye is seen smiling bewitchingly throughout 'The Last Pogo'. It might actually be true that it was at TLPogo that Vera invited Cleave to join Tyranna.


This video ad is amazing on it's own. 

Don Pyle's photographs of the Toronto Punk Rock scene, and his own commentary make for an important document of a music scene that was scorned and ignored in it's day. Remember, Teenage Head sold some 100,000 records in didn't even get a JUNO Nomination. 

Don was the first person I met in Toronto on the first day I came and rehearsed with Vera and Johnny Ziegler. He was tall, and looming and I thought he was scary, what with the knife scar on his arm.

Tyranna was so fortunate to have Don there to capture the band in those 10 days when the first Tyranna formed, played 3 gigs with The Ugly, recorded and lost a forming member. Once Ron Partridge and Cleave Anderson joined the band, we all went to Baby Point, and Don snapped more great shots that caught our style.

Don lives not to far from me so I went over there to buy a copy. We stood in his kitchen about ten minutes with me flipping pages and raving about how beautiful the book is, then I finally turned it over and saw Vera and I on the back cover. I was just suckerpunched silly.

Vera and Roger appear in the ad, and the one of Vera and I is there, as well as that ICONIC shot of Frankie Venom. I'm proud to own prints of those first two, and my pal Doug Begoray owns one of those "very few prints" Don developed in his high school darkroom. 

Don also did the artwork for the Rave Up Records Tyranna lp, icluding the insert and logo.

Despite having been shot by some talented photographers, I had never seen photos of Tyranna's shining moment - two sold out nights at the Danforth Music Hall, opening for Iggy's 'New Values' tour - until the White brothers brought out this gem. Though "Alone & Gone" covered the Post-Punk years, and Nick handled the writing in the book, it was Nick who snapped this beauty of Vera and I. The White's shared the file with me so I could have a blow-up made. 

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