I’m looking forward to working Shawn Klush again in October. Shawn is the closest you will get to seeing Elvis Presley. I was playing the intro to Bridge Over Troubled Water on the 12ft grand piano at Red Robinson Theatre when Shawn began to sing, I got shivers down my spine. For a brief moment actually felt like I was on stage with Elvis. In the photo below Donny Edwards, Danny Vernon, myself and Shawn Klush hold a limited edition print of my painting of Elvis called “The Spirit Lives On”. The framed print was prize at one of our shows. The original painting of Elvis won the “Fan Favorite” award at Graceland.
Since the Timeline feature was mandatory for Facebook, my social media coach insisted I go and dig around in my history vaults.
I’ve started with some of the key milestones in my life, one of which was helping Paul Janz, put a Canadian band together. I originally met Paul Janz in Europe when he was touring with a band call “Deliverance”. They had a song on the radio called “Leaving LA” which was very Bee Gees like. My dad is a singer and he was touring Russia with Paul’s dad. I had to stay behind in Germany and was invited to ride along with the Deliverance entourage as they toured Germany. When Paul eventually moved to Canada he used me as his point of contact to put a band together.
The Go To Pieces video was directed by David Devine and filmed in Toronto. The record company hired a gal to do wardrobe and she bought me a pink shirt and back combed my hair. I looked like a lion.
Steve Drake (The Odds) opted to get wilder with his pink tank top and beads. I’m glad I got wear my favorite black jacket. The video took hours to shoot and we spent the full day (and more) in that fake smoke. I can still smell that acrid, oily mist that made the lights look so cool. I remember my feet were burning like a hockey player’s in overtime. I had these suede boots on with no ankle support and thin soles. The excitement of making a video was enough to overcome any minor irritations but it’s funny the little things that stick in your mind.
I did a gig at the Anza Club in Downtown Vancouver for a group of film producers that were fundraising for a documentary they are shooting in Zimbabwe, Africa. I think my cover music was a little dated for the crowd but when I performed my original songs they really came alive and paid attention. I infused some stories with the songs and that made all the difference. I’d like to know if they ever finished the movie.
I just recently found this clip that was shot from the crowd in Lac Dubonnet Manitoba. I’m singing “All Shook Up” and Burton Cummings is playing piano. Donnie McDougall of The Guess Who is singing background vocals with Burton. Vance Master is drumming with Bill Wallace playing bass and James Creasy on lead guitar.
Once again I was the musical director for the Legends of Rock and Roll production of Elvis Elvis Elvis. This tour kicked off at the Red Robinson Theatre in Coquitlam and the production features my buddy Donny Edwards doing an amazing job as the young 50’s Kid Creole Elvis, Danny Vernon bringing back the 1968 comeback special and the incredible Shawn Klush stunning us with the Vegas years. In the video I am playing keyboards to the far left.
I received a wonderful random telephone call from someone who had listened to my “Closer To You” CD while on vacation this summer. Both him and his wife played it over and over again at the lake and it’s become one of their favorites. You never know when a song is going to strike a chord and hit home to someone. I humbly thanked him and when he asked me when I would release something new, I actually had a positive answer! I’ve been in writing sessions working on new songs for my next release and will be recording some of the first tracks this week.
It’s a hectic month as I prepare to tour with Larry Branson (Roy Orbison) at the end of the month and get a new band together. It’s been a wonderful summer but it’s time to get back to business. If you are a songwriter reading this, it’s a thought to keep in the back of your mind that you never know when your music will touch someone. Keep recording it so it can be shared!