If you are a music fan and you have not heard The Kings’ ‘This Beat Goes On / Switchin’ To Glide‘, shame on you.
It has been forty years this month since that song hit the Billboard Top 100. The Kings were ( for all intensive purposes) a one hit wonder. August 23rd, 1980, The Kings also marked history by closing the now-legendary Heatwave Festival in Toronoto. The Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, The Pretenders, Nick Lowe and Rockpile, Teenage Head, the B-52’s, and The Kings.
That story is of a hard-working band hailing from Vancouver, BC and Oakville, ON that appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, was nominated for a JUNO Award, named ‘Most Promising Group’ by Cashbox Magazine, hit Platinum-selling status, and has released five studio albums, two live albums, a live DVD, an anthology, a documentary, and numerous hit singles — including “another rocking two-fer,” “Circle of Friends / Man That I Am.” The 2018 single was somewhat like arriving full circle; it was mixed in Nashville by industry legend Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS), who also helmed the same role on their 1980’s debut, The Kings Are Here, and sophomore follow-up, Amazon Beach.
Their midnight appearance at the now-storied Toronto-area festival — produced by John Brower–that’s inspired the exclusive release of The Kings: Live at Heatwave, a 30-minute concert movie
“The Kings and Teenage Head were the only bands that gave permission to be filmed,” recalls founding member Dave Diamond. “As Teenage Head’s audio has disappeared, this is the only surviving, authentic, and original sync footage from that day.”
“It was digitally restored frame by frame from its 16mm colour negative, and combined with authentic, remastered sound,” adds fellow founder Mister Zero. Sonny Keyes also chimes in: “The sound was recorded onsite by Comfort Sound’s Doug McClement on 8 track half inch analog tape and sounds amazing!”
“We’d worked hard and were ready for a gig like this,” says drummer Max Styles.
The Heatwave Festival at Mosport Park turned heads from the onset between its high profile roster, ultimate crowd size, and that it sat at a cultural turning point in the evolution of new wave music. (It was also marred with some scandal, but… Aren’t they all?)
“For some reason, they didn’t film our whole 55 minute set,” Diamond muses. “But there’s almost half an hour here, and we’re very proud of it.”
Forty -five countries tuned in to stream the live music and archived concerts broadcast on the Festival website and social media platforms
The Festival team worked tirelessly to mount the most exciting event possible, given the exceptional Covid circumstances , and it required some ingenuity, some gumption, a forward-thinking perspective, and a whole lot of creativity, but the results speak for themselves and the numbers tell an amazing story:
*Over 50,000 hours watched *60,000+ engagements during the live streams *25 million+ digital impressions on our social media platforms
The 25 performances included live sets from some of the most celebrated musicians in the world, all of whom chose to make Montreal their home (like Bïa, Dominique Fils-Aimé, the Barr Brothers, and Charlotte Cardin and many more), while archived concerts from past Festivals including Miles Davis and Sarah Vaughan were a huge draw as well.
Jazz in the street – a special project presented by Rio TintoThere’s more to come, too! Soon! Fans in Montreal who have been missing out on seeing live music right before their eyes will be given the chance to live it all anew when a series of popup events and performances will take to the streets in the coming days. Music lovers should definitely keep their eyes open and follow their ears as different neighbourhoods will be ringing out with the sounds of jazz and hip hop between August 27th and 30th… but for now, details are forthcoming. Stay Tuned.
In 1919 – The Spanish Flu cancelled The Stanley Cup finals.
The only hockey player who died from The Spanish Flu was the Montreal Canadiens’ Joe Hall.
The Stanley Cup finals in 1919 took place in Seattle. Covid -19’s first outbreak in North America was at an old folk’s home in Seattle. Just one twist of fate for The Canadiens’ 2019 -20 run for The Stanley Cup.
Please listen below to more oddities that point in favor of The Montreal Canadiens winning a championship and listen to some great motivating tunes.
Creativity within the Blues structure. Essential to creating great music.
Canada’s poet laureate of The Blues Paul Reddick applies creativity into his brand of music. It ain’t pure Blues, it ain’t pure Rock n Roll. It is a blend of all genres which makes up great Rock with a lot of Roll and a little bit Country.
Alive in Italia is the new Paul Reddick album. The Gamblers join him live on stage along with two very special Canadians.
Please listen below to some great tunes and a great chat with Paul.
Music is meant to be heard. Video killed the radio star after all.
Visually – concerts and music ‘mini films’ can be stunning. Messages from artists and directors alike can be solidified inside your psyche. Subliminally or conscientiously.
The appearance of musicians can form the sincerest form of flattery through imitation. A young child may evolve into the next Pavarotti or McCartney witnessing a magical video backed by sublime sounds.
Please watch and listen below to some great visuals and hear great new and old tunes. Should we call you an agent?
The correct lyric from Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze is ‘scuse me while I kiss the sky’.
Actually, even after knowing the authorized version of the lyric, it still sounds that Hendrix is singing ‘kiss this guy’. It is possible that he phrased it ambiguously. He certainly played around with the lyric in later live performances.
Mick Jaggerplays with lyrics. Often mispronouncing sounds both in the studio and live. James Brown told Jagger; “This way – if you forget the words, nobody will know …’
Please listen below to some new tunes and see if you can understand all the words?
John Oates is one half of the best selling songwriting duo in Pop / Rock history.
Hall and Oates not only conquered the seventies – they destroyed the eighties as well. Six number one hits are not part of very many songwriter’s vocabulary.
Like many musicians, Oates is layered. What you have heard within Hall and Oates is the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes – songwriters and musicians work in a genre that derives success. Why bite the guitar pick that feeds you?
Please listen below to my conversation with John Oates about Hall and Oates and his most recent project with The Good Road Band; Live in Nashville
In the words of comedian Emo Philips; ‘It’s New To Me’
Just because things have never been heard before, it doesn’t mean they were not done before. The ‘tree falls in the forest’ scenario. In music – many artists come from one place and wind up in another. Travelling the globe physically and spiritually. Antennas up, hands on chords.
Please listen below to some new tunes from Paul Reddick and John Oates among others.
The saxophone used to be an integral part of Rock n Roll music.
Fast forward to 2020 and – not so much. Along with Jazz – inspired drumming, the saxophoneadded energy and emotion to Rock n Roll. Not only did the Sax add layers – it also grounded the musician’s and listener’s souls.
Please listen below to some of the best Sax solos in Rock n Roll history.
Like Covid itself, Drive -In concerts are polarizing.
Some artists such as Kim Mitchell do not like the idea. First – a live show increases the performance of the artist. The energy between the audience and the stage is like a shot of heroin. Creativity and comfort- ability replaces the trepidation of catalogs new and old in artists new or old. People sitting in their cars and honking after a song? A definitive no -no for artists such as Mitchell. Energy cannot pass through glass after all?
Another reason artists do not like the idea in the time of a pandemic is safety.Lives before money. Health before happiness. In Kim Mitchell’s case, he is also part of the high risk category health -wise since his heart attack a few years ago. Covid’s (the government’s) effects paint many canvasses in vastly different colors. Mitchell not wanting to place himself or his audience in danger.
Therefore it is a slippery slope that folks like The Damn Truth and Evenko maneuvered. They were damned if they did – damned if they did not.
Saturday evening at The Royalmount Drive – In Theater, Montreal’s premiere Rock n Roll band The Damn Truth (along with Osheaga and Evenko), did something that Montreal has never seen or heard before. A Rock n Roll Drive – In concert.
The excitement in a punter as they approached the entrance (with the stage looming in the background) momentarily erased everything Covid. Suddenly you were fifteen again and visions of Elton John at Jarry Park danced through your head quicker than an Elton John hissy fit. Suddenly you were transported to the days in front of The Montreal Forum at Atwater Park. Part of the fun of live music is the anticipation. The people you encounter along the way to the opening chords, all with the same goal in mind, is a profound variable that sets live music apart from a turntable in a basement. The buzz in the air, the smoke in the air.The music from the ‘flavors of the day’ creating magic in the air through surrounding mega – watt speakers. Ambience 101.
Live music has no competition to fill the soul.
The staff at Roylamount Drive – In are Grade A. They politely guide you to a parking space which has been delegated two meters apart from your neighbor. Instructions to wear a mask in washrooms and any indoor space are transmitted and received. Food comes to you through mask wearing vendors while roller-blading masked females attempt to sell band merchandise. Zeppelin, The Stones and The Beatles are the violins to this initial voyage for all passengers.
‘The stage is set, the band will start playing and suddenly your heart is pounding.Wishing secretly you were a star.’
If you are going to a pandemic drive – in concert to pick up chicks or Ken lookalikes; fudge about it.
Social distancing police (aka security) have eyes on you. Step away from the front of you car into the aisles to dance or talk to a neighbor two meters away? Frowned upon. Mask or no mask – your parking spot is your home for social distancing. You better really like the person you came with or start calling a lawyer who specializes in homicide.
Life itself, day-to-day operations have many conflicting rules with Covid and a Drive In Rock n Roll concert imitates life. A non masked walk to the merchandise table or to the food vendors or to anywhere except in the aisles is allowed. You can speak to anyone along the way respecting social distancing rules with mask on face or mask (brass) in pocket. That feeling of ‘Yes sir – No sir’ sung by The Kinks many moons ago is non Rock n Roll. Rebellion and teenage (adult) angst is the prime motivator behind Rock music. A drive in concert does not allow the finger in the face of authority. For that reason – the energy from the crowd, the gas to the artist is absent. No dancing in front of cars, no screaming in front of cars and polite applause following a song is not a Mick Jagger’s grand-kids’ concert.
The Damn Truth put on a top notch show musically and performance -wise. Lee -La Baum, the lead vocalist, enthusiastic thanking everyone for coming and how much live music is missed by the band. Baum’s vocals as crisp or soft as the stages of life itself. New songs were preformed by The Damn Truth for the first time as isolation paused the band’s new record recording sessions. Isolation paused the fan’s hunger. Guitarist Tom Shemer, bassist PY Letellier and drummer Dave Traina did not display rust. A sign of a professional band is the ability to drive fast and safe – blindfolded or not.
My revolution is in disconclusion
Allegations of hope
There’s no room for people like you and me here
We’re devilish folk
The audience had great intentions as well. Pressure seemed deflated in their faces as they viewed the stage,the screen and the ambiance. A relief to be out. A relief to be doing something ‘normal’ once again.
Country music, like most of society, has lost it’s soul. You cannot sing about a love relationship complete with heartbreak if you declared a life of celibacy and live in a monastery.
That said – the new generation of Country artists do their best to add the legacy of Country music to their new songs within a modern day commercial world. You cannot blame the butcher if a cow is not well fed.
Please listen below to some of The Best New Country Songs Released in 2020