Rhinoceros’ Apricot Brandy: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

When you hear that “Tele“(Fender Telecaster) digging in on that intro, you know that you are in for a very hip ride. After all these years, I never get sick of RhinocerosApricot Brandy (composers: Weis/Fonfara). It grooves, bites and stings sooo good.

Rhinoceros: That Famous Cover

Talk about sum of all the parts, this baby fits together like a 3 dimensional jigsaw puzzle. Although it’s all about the guitars, the Hammond B3 floating over the drummer’s quarter note punch, for me, really pulls it all into focus. You definitely do not have to blow the dust off this one!

Let’s groove, go back to 1968 and dig in to RhinocerosApricot Brandy.

Personnel as determined: Danny Weis Guitar; Doug Hastings guitar; Michael Fonfara organ; Jerry Penrod bass; Billy Mundi drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.

Advertisements

David Clayton Thomas & The Shays’ Take Me Back: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

Take Me Back (composed by: G. Fleming), is one of the most near and dear to my heart tunes of my youth. I played it in a group more times than I can remember and I am very sure I wore out a few singles of it.

Roman Records: Duff (aka The Duffer) Roman Owned The Label & Managed The Band. He Was Also A Very Popular DJ At CHUM AM In Toronto.

I am a HUGE fan of David Clayton Thomas from the beginning of his career on; next to his voice, I really loved Fred Keeler‘s great guitar sound.

Let’s set the wayback for 1965; Yonge St. is alive once again with the great Toronto Sound. Get into David Clayton Thomasintense, controlled growl backed by that driving force of the Shays…

Personnel as determined: David Clayton Thomas vocal; Fred Keeler guitar; Gord Fleming organ; Scott Richards bass; John Wetherell drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.

Luke & The Apostles’ Been Burnt: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

I remember seeing Luke & The Apostles when they opened for Jefferson Airplane at Okeefe Centre, July ’67. They were so excellent and so big time up there as support for Gracie (Slick)! We loved the Airplane but Luke & The Apostles were local gods to us!

As an aside, my father had a very upscale custom tailor (Henry Faber) store on Yonge St. and in the early days, when suits were in as band uniforms, I believe he actually made Luke & The Apostles a set.

What a gutsy vocal; I love Luke Gibson‘s take no prisoner attitude in this! Been Burnt has all the rock/bluesy elements that we all loved to listen to and emulate playing. That kind of stop time feel thing going on over the continuous drum groove, Mike McKenna‘s wailin’ guitar and that beautiful cut time feel change electrifies your ears every time you hear this tune; even to this day. I’d say they definitely carved their niche in the Toronto Sound with this one!

Let’s do it! We’ll set the way-back to 1965, and get into Luke & The Apostles playing Been Burnt

Personnel as determined: Luke Gibson vocal; Mike McKenna guitar; Peter Jermyn organ; Jim Jones bass; Rick McMurray drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.

Dee & The Yeomen’s A Love Like Mine: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

Dee & The Yeomen were kind of a mysterious entity to me. My father had a friend who dumped a bunch of records on me when I was about 13 years old. After going through the the singles I was familiar with, I saw that iconic teal colored REO label on a 45 with the tune A Love Like Mine by a group I had never heard of. I spun it…

Being infatuated with The British Invasion, I naturally enjoyed this tune; they sounded very British Invasionish and with good reason- leader Graham Dunnett‘s English roots and pro experiences. I then started noticing their name all over the club scene of the Toronto Sound. I regret that I only saw them on tv and never experienced them live (being 13 years old). However, their pedigree into the future, evolving into the Yeomen Rock Show and then into Max Webster surely gives them a distinction of note in my cherished Toronto Sound.

Checkout that cut time section near the end of Dee & The Yeomen‘s A Love Like Mine; very jam buttie…

Personnel as determined: Graham “Dee” Dunnett lead vocals, guitar; Terry Watkinson organ; Len Lytwyn vocals, drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.

Grant Smith & The Power’s Keep On Running: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

Grant Smith & The Power Was One Of The First “2” Drummer Bands I Ever Saw

When I saw Grant Smith And The Power‘s double drummers, I flipped out! It was amazing; actually the original drummer (of the doubles as well), was Charlie Miller. I took some lessons from him at Mason’s Music on Eglinton Ave. HUGE group=HUGE sound!

Hard hitting, brass punchy, with a great soulful vocal puts Grant Smith & The Power‘s Keep On Running ahead of all the other versions of it, in my music mind. I am crazy for that bari-sax intro! This era of Toronto Sound made me fall in love with horn sections. Also, listen for that Toronto Sound Fender Telecaster guitar cutting through; Tele is HUGE with me!

Come witness The Grant Smith & The Power freight train as it roars through Toronto in 1968…

Personnel as determined: Grant (Ellis Grant) Smith vocal; Val Stevens organ; Mike Harrison bass; Wayne “Stoney” Stone drums; Jon Palma guitar; Ralph Miller trumpet; Steve Kennedy tenor saxophone; Brian “Otis” Ayres baritone saxophone.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candlecausing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t.I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical rootswith this blog.

The Ugly Ducklings’ Gaslight: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

The Ugly Ducklings are huge in my Toronto Sound memories. They sounded like they took all the great qualities of the British Invasion Sound, mixed them into a blender with ice, poured and played. All of a sudden, it was old but new, British but Canadian, London but most of all, TORONTO!

That Familiar Yorkville Label!

I loved how Gaslight was quite sophisticated lyrically and form-wise including a polished arrangement/score with strings and horns. This was a serious effort, different from their other tunes. It contained all their raw bad-boy qualities but ran rather deep; it was poignant. For example:

I’m walkin’ around talkin’ to myself.
I don’t know where I’m at, half the time.
I look at her picture, I see her face,
I think of what she is, and I start cryin’… Gaslight!

The Ugly Ducks Doin' What They Do!

I played this song a lot as a kid. It holds very special memories for me every time I hear it. Being a sucker for strings, I still get chill when we hit the second verse; check out when those strings come in. Click back with me to the summer of 1967 and dig on Gaslight performed by some of the baddest boys of the Toronto Sound…

Personnel as determined: Dave Bingham lead vocals, harmonica; Glynn Bell rhythm guitar; Roger Mayne lead guitar; John Read bass; Robin Boers drums.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.

The Stitch In Tyme’s Got To Get You Into My Life: 1960s-70s Musical Canadiana; Hear Where I’m Coming From?

The Stitch In Tyme: Slick Pop Fun Swimming In The Yorkville Music Pool.

I used to run up and down Yorkville sticking my head into the clubs to catch glimpses of the bands. I wasn’t quite old enough to get in but, I loved the scene. I remember sticking my head into The Flick and seeing The Stitch In Tyme; they looked and sounded so good. Doing Beatle tunes, which I thought very classy, they had great vocals and a polished presence; to me, watching them was a real “big time” event.

Showing: The B Side Of Got To Get You Into My Life, Dry Your Eyes

The amazing vocals and carbon copy arrangement that we could all identify with (they even had the echo trick when the vocal hit “LIFE”), will remain in my music mind forever. Click (Flick?) and journey back to 1966 with me…

Personnel as determined: *John Yorke vocals; Grant Fullerton vocals, guitar; Bob Murphy vocals, keyboards; Donald Morris vocals, bass; Pinky Dauvin vocals, drums.

*Of special interest: Bruce Wheaton would replace John Yorke on vocals/guitar just after this record was made.

*I have absorbed, inhaled and envisioned every note of this music; this music which has allowed my musical candle to burn incessantly for decades; a musical candle causing a burn that feels so GOOD; a hurt allowing me to create until I can’t. I gratefully acknowledge my Canadiana musical roots with this blog.