Growing up, my mother had the AM radio on, and I was always listening to country music and real early rock and roll. The first real bands I saw were at the Oak Bay Junior High dance. There was band called ‘Blues Union’ and I thought they were just fantastic. From that point on, any time there was a band playing and I had an opportunity to see them, I would go and enjoy the music, but not standing in the back and trying to run around chasing girls, I was the big, tall guy in the front row, literally in the front of the stage.
My genes and my family background tell me that if you can’t figure it, out make it, so I started renting halls, and I got liquor permits, and I made posters up and started hanging them all over the place, and just started being a promoter.
Suddenly, I’m a booking agency with about a dozen bands and I’m putting on dances all over town. I’d never done this before; I had no formal training, and I was doing it by the hip.
Out of nowhere, I’m representing a recording act, “Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band.” They are still all good friends of mine to this day. Wonderful cats. They still take the band out, knock the dust off, and take it around for a cruise once in a while every few years. They are just a wonderful genuine group of guys.
I really wanted to go to Vancouver because I was told that if you want to have a career and be in the big time, they don’t bring you from Victoria, you’ve got to be living in Vancouver so that they know you’ve made the commitment. By my third month there, I got a phone call from Sam Feldman’s saying, “We’ve had a change and we’d like to invite you to come and work for us.” I thought they were kidding, and I hung up the phone. I got a phone call back from one of the guys I knew that worked there and he said, “Man, he just offered you a job! It’s really happening!”. Boom! I’ve hit the big time. I’m working for the largest agency in the country booking bands!
That was about the same time the Rocktoria series started, so there I am right in the middle, even though I didn’t really want to be in the music business again. It was kind of neat being around the musicians again and watching the process of all the young ones coming in and trying to get trying to get a record, and then rehearsing, and showcasing, and getting picked as one of the contestants going into the studio.
The next day I got a phone call from the archive department at the University of Victoria saying that they would like to have a meeting with me to see if I would like to donate my collection.
I brought the whole community back together in one place for the whole day and everybody had fun.