Tag Archives: canadian rock

The PUMPS – 40th Anniversary CD Reissue

 After 40 Years – GOTTA MOVE by The Pumps released on CD for the first time.
You look pretty cool,
You look pretty nice
Well let me give you a little advise
You driving me into a nervous wreck
And all I want is a little success
Just a little success
Just a little success             – The Pumps, “Success”, 1980
The music roots of Winnipeg, Manitoba run deep with more than “just a little success” with the international prominence of Neil Young, The Guess Who, B.T.O. and Burton Cummings setting a high standard. Throughout the 70s a homegrown rock sound continued to evolve in Western Canada and while acts like Loverboy and Trooper were finding international success, The Prairies would brew their own driving beats with acts like Streetheart, Harlequin, Queen City Kids and … THE PUMPS.

Formed in 1978 by taking their name from a random pick in a local phone book, THE PUMPS consisted of the unmistakable vocals of bassist Chris Burke-Gaffney and drummer Terry Norman Taylor (TNT). Joined by quirky guitarist Lou Petrovich, who was compared to greats like Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, and Brent Diamond’s tapestry of keyboards creating a lush background, THE PUMPS unique blend of infectious pop/rock and high energy live shows made them a regular on the touring circuit opening for acts such as AC/DC, Triumph and Styx.

THE PUMPS quickly signed an international recording deal with Polydor Records in 1979 and flew to Le Studio in Morin Heights, Quebec to record their debut album with British producers Phil Chapman and Jon Astley at the helm. Gotta Move was released in 1980 to critical acclaim. The powerful singles “Success,” “Coffee With The Queen” and “Bust The TV” become staples on Canadian rock radio airwaves through the 80s.

In 1983, the group signed with CBS/Portrait, changed their name to ORPHAN and released 2 more albums. The single “Miracle” was a top 10 hit. In 1991, Burke-Gaffney and Taylor briefly reunited to release one album as The Deadbeat Honeymooners.

Vocalist Chris Burke-Gaffney would go on to form CBG Artist Development to manage and develop singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, co-writing and producing her Juno Award-winning and triple-platinum album, Under These Rocks and Stones. He continues to develop new artists gaining accolades, chart success and Juno nominations along the way.

The unique story of THE PUMPS & ORPHAN was told by film maker Terry Goring in the 2016 documentary “Just Little Success.”  The group continues to perform live on the classic rock circuit as THE PUMPS & ORPHAN with Burke-Gaffney, Taylor, Diamond and Orphan guitarist Steve McGovern.

Gotta Move is finally released on CD for the first time by Music In Motion Entertainment as Gotta Move – The 40th Anniversary Edition. Fully remastered, Gotta Move includes 4 bonus tracks : An early live recording of “Bust The TV,” an equally early recording of “Steel & Iron” (which would eventually appear on the ORPHAN disc Salute), the radio edit of their biggest hit “Success” and a brand new acoustic version of “Coffee With The Queen.”

Gotta Move is licensed for distribution by Music In Motion Entertainment.
Gotta Move is available through their webstore on RockPaperMerch.com
Gotta Move is distributed to retail worldwide exclusively by Isotope Music Inc

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Just A Little Success Trailer : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpYCLir_Uf8

International Release Date : July 30, 2021Just A Little SuccessCopyright © *2021* *Chipster PR & Consulting, Inc.* All rights reserved.

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DEAN MOTTER: Album Cover Artist & Designer – Interview

Prior to becoming well known over the past few decades for his work in comics, Artist Dean Motter worked on numerous album covers, particularly plenty of classic Canadian albums throughout the ’80s. In this exchange, he touches on his early career and some of the album covers he designed or had a major part in.

Can you give me a bit of background as to how you wound up being in Toronto and working on so many covers for Canadian acts in the late 70s? 

I went to college at Fanshawe in London Ontario and studied Creative Electronics and Recording under Radio Caroline’s Tom Lodge, Marshall McLuhan’s son/collaborator Eric, John Mills-Cockell, neon sculptor Michael Hayden. My thesis for my commercial art course was my first published comic, ANDROMEDA I mounted two multimedia shows and married my lead actress. We moved to Toronto where I worked in children’s books and animation. I did work for the Silver Snail comic shop. I also worked as art director/production artist for CPI’s Cheap Thrills magazine. That led to being art director at CBS Records Canada for 3 years. When I left CBS and struck off on my own I retained them as a client, and picked up Capitol, Attic, RCA, WEA, Ready records and others. 

Did you have much an album collection growing up? favorite bands? Favorite album covers [or artists]? 

I listened to a lot of music growing up. In high school I had a sizable record collection that continued to grow over the years. Moody Blues, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd, CSNY. I later blossomed into jazz like Weather Report, Pat Metheny etc. These had my favorite covers especially Yes and Pink Floyd. 

The first album you did was Robert Connelly ‘Plateau’.   This one came with a comic  book. How did you come about on this band and what was the concept behind the story and comic?

Connelly came to me via the Andromeda comic book (vol 2) published by the Silver Snail. It was a Chariots of the Gods themed illustration. One of my first airbrush pieces. I didn’t do the comic but was friends with its creator Nick Powlieko. 

Marie Lynn Hammond – did you do her first album [?]

I didn’t do Marie’s first cover I did her second, Vignettes. It featured a hand colored Deborah Samuel photo taken on a vintage biplane. It was subtle but one of my favorites. 

Dale Jacobs Cobra (my first as art director at CBS Canada) – quite the cover shot, with the snake and arm hanging over the couch. Did you come up with the photo concept, and was it inspired by anyone or anything? Was the snake real?  

This was indeed my concept. The snake was real, but it was a python. A live cobra was out of the question, due to its fatal venom and scarcity of antidotes, not to mention insurance. One serviceman wrote me years later. He had spent time in India and was annoyed at the substitution. 

Loverboy –  this was a huge album. What do you recall of the idea behind the cover? the photo shoot? and what are the words typed over the front cover? 

I became fiends with the photographer fine artist Barbara Astman. She had a show of her work -Polaroid photos of herself that she fed through a typewriter. When I saw them I thought a love letter or Dear John letter would be a good idea for the Loverboy assignment I just received. 

Triumph – Thunder Seven –  This cover was connected to the music, correct? Can you explain a bit where that image came from and how closely you worked with the band on this. The other 2 Triumph albums you did were very different – any quick recall on them? 

Thunder Seven. I confess I never quite got the title, so the image had more to do with the hard rock trio, Yes I illustrated it. I was influenced by the work of Alien’s HR Giger. I didn’t work much with the band, more with the management this time. The others- Never Surrender was my concept illustrated by studio mate Ken Steacy, Surveillance was also my concept illustrated by another studio mate Paul Rivoche. 

Anvil – Metal On Metal, Forged In Fire [also did Hard N Heavy, Pound For Pound, Past & Present Live] ?

What can I say about Anvil? They were a favorite act of mine, They were so sincere about the music and addressed me as Mr. Motter even though I was only 30 something. But they were always there, visiting my studio with ideas. 

Santers – Racing Time [also did Shot Down In Flames, Mayday EP] ?

This was a photo taken on a runway on Toronto Island. It was then filtered and posterized. 

The Nylons – One Size Fits All, Seamless [did others] On One Size Fits All, who’s idea and where did it come from –   the shadow figures posing? very cool. 

One Size Fits All was my idea and design, it was derived from the work I was doing on Mister X at the time. Seamless had two alternate covers. One was illustrated by Jeff Jackson, the other photographed by Deborah Samuel. It was pieced together mechanically. 

Honeymoon Suite – HMS – Where was the cover photo taken?

Originally this cover was a variation on my rejected concept for Helix No Rest For The Wicked. We set it up in a furniture store. A new background was airbrushed in. 

The Tenants – Visions of Our Future –  Was this drawing based on or inspired by any place in particular?

This drawing was based on the lobby of the New York News and the art of Hugh Ferris. If you look closely you can see Mister X in the background.. 

The Extras – Bit Parts –   Did this come from the old model kit boxes?

This was indeed based on old model kit boxes. I drew and airbrushed the image. 

Manteca – No Heroes –  this one reminds me of the Nylon covers. 

These came from sitting in the Bamboo Club on Queen Street watching the band and drawing them in napkins. 

During your time in Toronto, were you involved in the music scene as far as going to shows, meeting up with bands? Any favorite bands from back then or lasting friendships? 

I loved being part of the music scene back then. My studio did posters, concert ads, concert programs etc. But as desktop publishing (design) became more common more companies could afford to put art directors on staff and the need for us diminished. I became friends with many of the clients and musicians from the time The Nylons were the closest. But also Matt Zimbel from Manteca. The whole of the Diodes . I even did an album of my music with Jeffrey Morgan soon to be released at last on Bongo records 

You eventually moved on from album art / covers? Can you touch on what you went in to [comics] and where people might recognize your work most from? 

I wrote and illustrated The Prisoner based on Patrick McGoohan’s TV series, and  my own Mister X. went on to be an art director at DC Comics for three years, plus the graphic novel Batman: Nine Lives.

For more on Dean Motter’s art and career, album covers and comics, check out his official site.


Dean Motter | Discography | Discogs

KJ, 07 / ’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 1985

Well, this is the year where things kinda took a turn, IMO. Not a huge list to choose from, and for the most part these are where bands got way more ‘commercial’ or pop oriented, more keyboards (or introduced keyboards)… Not the best from many. Considering I pretty much hated the ’90s, and there was less releases going forward; these lists may get tougher.

Rush – Power Windows

I thought “Big Money” was great as the lead off single here, and it’s still the stand out song for me on this. “Territories”, “Manhattan Project”, good songs, even if it was further into the use of keyboards, etc… but give Rush credit for always moving forward and doing something new – that is why they lasted. Released in October. I saw this tour at Maple Leaf Gardens.

Coney Hatch – Friction

The 3rd in the ’80s trilogy by the Hatch, and the 2nd with Max Norman. A very good album, though the focus on 1 lead singer lost a bit of the magic in the band. But, great tracks – “She’s Gone”, “This Ain’t Love”, and good singles “Girl From Last Night’s Dream” and “Fantasy”.

Headpins – Head Over Heels

The 3rd and final album from the Vancouver band fronted by the amazing Darby Mills, and lead by Brian “Too Loud” McLeod. This one seemed to come and go with less impact than the previous 2. Less of the heavy, a bit more ’80s pop driven, but plenty of good songs – “Stayin’ All Night”, “Never Come Down From The Danger Zone”, “Be With You”…

Helix – Long Way To Heaven

The 3rd Helix album during their heyday, released in November. My favorite one, with “Deep Cuts The Knife”, “The Kids Are All Shakin'”, “Without You”. I remember seeing these guys walking through a local mall back then – wearing their tour jackets! I got Brian Vollmer’s autograph on the back on gift card bag [I was Christmas shopping].

Loverboy – Lovin’ Every Minute Of It

The band’s 4th, released in August This one featured 2 top 10 Billboard hits, the title track [penned by Mutt Lange, who thankfully did not produce this album], and a ballad “This Could Be The Night” [with a co-writing credit to Jonathan Cain, uhg]. A bit heavier overall, another lame cover. I did like this album.

FM – Con-Test

The ‘reunion’ album w/ Nash The Slash returning. A definite more ’80s keyboard pop direction featuring a few hits like “All Of The Dreams”, “Just Like You”, and “Why Don’t You Take It”, as well as favorite “Distant Early Warning” [Ben Mink on guitar].

Kick Axe – Welcome To The Club

This Regina, Saskatchewan band’s 2nd album, and 2nd with Spencer Proffer producing. Some deliberate attempts at breaking the big time with a guest-list filled cover of The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”, but it’s the band’s own songs that I liked far better, like the ballad “Never Let Go”, “Comin’ After You” [single], the title track, and “Hellraisers”.

Saga – Behaviour

Released in August, the last to feature the ‘classic’ line up [for a few years]. Included the hits “What Do I Know”, “Listen To Your Your Heart”, as well as favorites “Here I Am” and the title track.

Orphan – Salute

The 2nd and final album from this Winnipeg band, released in the summer. Featured the hit “Lyin’ To Me”, as well as favorites “Open Up The Skies” and “Woman In Love”.

Aldo Nova – Twitch

Released in October. Not much hard-rockin’ here, with [again] way more keyboards and pop produced tunes. But, heck there are a number of very good songs, like the hits “Rumours Of You” and “Tonight (Lift Me Up)”, and rocker “Heartless”.

Other releases: Lee Aaron Call Of The Wild , Blind Vengeance Blind Vengeance , Hanover Fist Hungry Eyes , April Wine Walking Through Fire , Convict Go Ahead…Make My Day Touchdown Tricks Of A Trade

06 / ’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums Of 1984

Well, here’s my list for 1984. There was actually a lot more great albums than I initially thought, and I enjoyed going back to dig up a few things I never listened to much back then. I suspect tho, that as the ’80s went on, there’ll be less and less great albums to choose from [a few of these bands packing it in after their ’84 releases, and a few that didn’t follow these up with anything as good]. *Drop a note in the comments on yours favoes of ’84, [and Subscribe to my page!]

Kim Mitchell – Akimbo Alogo

The first full album from former Max Webster singer/guitarist, released in June. You could not avoid this album on the radio here – “Go For Soda”, “Lager And Ale”, “All We Are”, “Feel It Burn”… just an awesome album, still sounds great! Saw Kim play in Niagara Falls when this came out and again a few years ago, these songs are still highlights of his show.

Rush – Grace Under Pressure

The first time I saw Rush was on this tour, at Maple Leaf Gardens. Released in April, it boasted 3 hits – “Distant Early Warning”, “Red Sector A”, and “The Body Electric”, as well as favorites “The Enemy Within” and “Between The Wheels”. I loved Signals, and and nearly as good. The underrated gem in Rush’s catalogue.

Triumph – Thunder Seven

Released in November, this is the last great Triumph album [IMO]! Featured hits “Spellbound” and “Follow Your Heart”, along with classics “Rock Out Roll On” and “Killing Time”. Loved this album then, still enjoy it.

Honeymoon Suite – Honeymoon Suite

Growing up near Niagara Falls this band was huge, being local, and drew instant comparisons to Loverboy from some. But, a great debut album – “New Girl Now”, “Stay In The Light”, “Burning In Love”, “Wave Babies” – all hit singles in Canada. Released in July, I saw them shortly after as they opened for April Wine at the Kingswood Music Theater, north of Toronto.

Helix – Walking The Razor’s Edge

The band’s 2nd album on Capitol, in a string of 4 really good albums. This one featuring the massive hit “Rock You” [by Bob Halligan Jr], as well as hits/covers of Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ [Crazy Elephant] and (Make Me Do) Anything You Want” [A Foot In Coldwater]. Also included a few memorable band written rockers in “Animal House” and “You Keep Me Rockin”.

Santers – Guitar Alley

Toronto trio’s 3rd [and final] album released in the ’80s [a 4th was recorded but not released til the late ’90s]. Produced by Rik Emmett [Triumph]. A bit softer production, but some great stuff with the hit “Can’t Shake You”, “Black Magic”, “Baby Blue”, and the ballad “Dreaming”. Santers also scored a hit [and lots of radio play] with their version of Free’s “All Right Now” [not my favorite here].

April Wine – Animal Grace

Sadly the last from the band before splitting up [returning in the early ’90s]. This one a bit heavier than Powerplay, but it didn’t do as well. Released early in the year, it featured the hit “This Could Be The Right One” [the only track featured in the live set], as well as favorites “Sons Of The Pioneers”, “Without Your Love”, and “Hard Rock Kid.” The classic logo missing on the cover.

White Wolf – Standing Alone

Heavy ‘melodic metal’ [as it was called] from this Edmonton-based band’s debut album, released late in the year. Great hard rockers on this album with the minor hit “Shadows In The Night”, as well as cuts “Headlines”, the title track, and [anthem] “Metal Thunder”. It did crack the Billboard US Top 200 albums, and [for some reason] saw 2 different covers.

Bryan Adams – Reckless

I was never a huge Bryan Adams fan, but you couldn’t ignore the guy in the ’80s, especially Reckless, released in November, it was a #1 album everywhere, sold 12 million copies worldwide, featuring a pile of hits, most notably “Run To You” [originally penned with BOC in mind], “Somebody”, “Kids Wanna Rock”, It’s Only Love” [feat Tina Turner], and a few more.

Urgent – Timing

The lone album from Toronto based trio, released early in the year. Keyboards added by guest players [a keyboard player was added after the album was recorded]. The band featured drummer Kim Hunt [ex Zon, later of Moxy]. “You’re Not The One” [a ballad] was a hit single, also included the single “Degan (Love You, Leave)”, and excellent melodic rock cuts like “Cat On The Prowl”, “Killer Love”, and “I’ll Find A Way”. Great vocals, with guitar sound & solos. *A US band took up the name a year later.

Others: Everest Everest , Lee Aaron Metal Queen, Red Rider Breaking Curfew, Kick Axe Vices , Gowan Strange Animal, Qwest Dreamzone, Harlequin Harlequin, Nash The Slash American Band-ages, Champion Champion, Thor Only The Strong .

31 / 05 /’21

Top 11 Canadian Albums Of 1980

This was a busy year in Canadian rock, but more so in ‘pop’ . Some great albums, but not a lot of heavy releases. A memorable pair of debuts here, and a couple of final albums from bands that split up. Yeah, this is supposed to be a top 10, but I gave in to a tie for my last choice.

Rush – Permanent Waves

Released in January, the band’s biggest success until the next one, reaching #3 & #4 in Canada and the US . “Freewill”, “The Spirit Of Radio”, “Entre Nous”, and the epic 9 minute + “Natural Science”. The first of my favorite trio of Rush albums.

Harlequin – Love Crimes

From Winnipeg, Harlequin featured the voice of George Belanger [still does]. This was their 2nd and biggest album. Released in the fall of that year, it featured 2 hits [and 2 of the band’s best known songs] – “Innocence” and “Thinking Of You”., as well as favorite aor-ish rockers like “It’s All Over Now”, “Wait For The Night”, and “Love On The Rocks”. A solid album, should’ve been huge.

Loverboy – Loverboy

These guys came out, featuring one-time Moxy singer Mike Reno, and former Streetheart members Matt Frenette and Paul Dean. A huge album released in October, featuring the top 10 hit “Turn Me Loose” , as well as 2 further hits “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” and “Lady Of The ’80s”. A solid album along with live favorite “Teenage Overdose”.

Teaze – Body Shots

The 5th and final album from Windsor’s Teaze. Coming off [arguably] their best – One Night Stands, Body Shots [only issued in Canada] was a good follow up, featuring favorites “Boys Night Out” [reworked from their first album], “Sure Thing”, “Calling All Nurses” and “I’m Not Gonna Cry Anymore”. Sadly, they packed it in after this. *I did get to witness their fantastic return show in 2019.

Max Webster – Universal Juveniles

The last album by the legendary Max Webster, released in October. It boasted favorites like “Check”, “April In Toledo”, “Drive And Desire”, and most notably “Battle Scar” – which featured Rush. +David Stone [ex Rainbow] on keys for much of the album.

Saga – Silent Knight

The band’s 3rd album, and first with the classic line up, released in August. Featured the classics “Don’t Be Late” [the single], “Careful Where You Step”, and “Compromise”. One of those few early Saga albums that saw no US release til years later. Great cover art.

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush – What’s Next

Released in February, this was the last to use the Mahogany Rush tag for a number of years. Features one of Marino’s best recordings in the fast flying “Something’s Comin’ Our Way”. as well as favorites in the drivin’ “Finish Line” and “You Got Livin'”. Also includes a cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues”.

Cruiser – Rollin’ With The Times

Montreal based Cruiser lead by singer / songwriter Don Beauchamp, and featuring original April Wine drummer Richie Henman. A very overlooked album full of great tunes – very catchy pop, rock, and a bit of prog … all very well produced with favorite tracks like “No Admission”, intro “R & R Survival”, and “Incident At New World Theatre”. A 2nd album was released in 2014. Brothers Tom & Wallie Rathie would later write a few tunes for April Wine.

FM – City Of Fear

Progressive trio FM [well before the British aor band of the same name!] released their 4th album in June. The band consisted of lots of keyboards, bass, drums, electric violins & mandolin. Closest band to compare I’d say is supergroup UK [with Cameron Hawkins even sounding a bit like John Wetton on occasion] One of their best, including “Krakow”, “Power” [the single], and the excellent title track. Would be the band’s last for a few years.

Toronto – Lookin’ For Trouble +

Originally called ‘Sass’, Toronto was [is] fronted by Holly Woods, the band’s debut was released in June. It featured the singles “Even The Score” and “Lookin’ For Trouble”, as well as a cover of The Rascals “You Better Run” [a hit for Pat Benatar a month later], and favorite “Get Your Hands Off Me”.

Triumph – Progressions Of Power+

Released in March. Not my favorite Triumph album [lacking something], but it includes the classics “I Live For The Weekend” [a minor hit in the UK], “I Can Survive”, and “Tear The Roof Off”.

+couldn’t decide, so I left it a tie

Other mentions: Zon I’m Worried About The Boys, The Kings Are Here, Prism Young And Restless , 451 451, Wireless No Static, Bryan Adams Bryan Adams

*Drop me a note in the comments with anything you feel was well overlooked or recommendations, and feel free to subscribe to my page.

KJJ, 04 / ’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums of 1982

Well 1982 was a far busier year for Canadian rock albums, so it was a bit tougher cutting this down to… 11 [ok, my last pick was only an EP, so….]. A few follow-ups albums from bands that had their biggest sellers in ’81, as well as a number of great debut albums. ..*leave some feedback in the comments on albums you would’ve picked.

Rush – Signals

A big deal was made of Rush’s use of keyboards, with Signals being a change for the band, with keyboards taking a more prominent role in many tracks, released in September that year. It had been preceded by the single “New World Man”. The next single “Subdivisions” remains my favorite Rush track [fantastic video]. Also includes “The Analog Kid”, “Chemistry”, and “Countdown” [the 3rd single]

Aldo Nova – Aldo Nova

Aldo Nova’s debut album, released on April 1st, was loaded with classic hard rock and pop-rockers like the 2 hit singles – “Fantasy” and “Foolin’ Yourself”, the latter was a huge top 40 hit. A 3rd single was the ballad “Ball & Chain”, with the album making the top 10 in the US. Aldo released a new CD in 2018 featuring 6 new versions of tracks from this album.

Triumph – Never Surrender

The follow up to Allied Forces, released late in the year in Canada, but early ’83 elsewhere. This was pretty close to being just as great, with the classics “Never Surrender” & “A World Of Fantasy”, and rockers like “Too Much Thinking”, and “All The Way”.

Coney Hatch – Coney Hatch

The debut from Toronto’s Coney Hatch, released in May and produced by Kim Mitchell [ex Max Webster]. Another classic first album, with the the band’s 2 biggest hits, and best known songs – “Monkey Bars”, “Hey Operator”, plus “Devil’s Deck”, as well as a number of live favorites – “We Got The Night”, “No Sleep Tonight”, “Stand Up”….New live album is in the mail as I write.

Santers – Racing Time

Another Toronto 3-piece. The band’s 2nd album, recorded and released following the band’s cross Canada tour, opening for Ozzy Osbourne. This is the band’s best IMO, featuring a number of great rock tracks like “Mistreatin’ Heart”, “Road To Morocco”, “Mystical Eyes”, “Winter Freeze”….

Frank Marino – Juggernaut

Marino’s 2nd solo album, released in the summer, would be his biggest solo commercial success. Seems a bit more ‘radio friendly’ in places. Featured the radio hit “Strange Dreams” (complete with keyboards), the 8 minute epic “”Stories Of A Hero”, and cool rockers like “For Your Love” and “Maybe It’s Time”. Great LP cover, cool album!

Headpins – Turn It Loud

Headpins stormed out in ’82, a side project by guitarist/producer Brian “Too Loud” McLeod of Chilliwack. Fronted by the Darby Mills, the debut album received plenty of radio play and went platinum in Canada. Released in June (to coincide with a Canadian tour w/ Girlschool & Toronto); It featured the hit single “Don’t It Make Ya Feel”, as well as the classic title track, and “Breakin’ Down”. RIP Brian McLeod.

Harlequin – One False Move

The Winnipeg band’s 3rd album from June. It boasted the hits “Superstitious Feeling” and “I Did It For Love”. Very keyboard-y, but also some great tracks, notably the guitar heavy “Ready To Love Again”, plus catchy pop rockers like “Shame If You Leave Me” and “Fine Line”.

Anvil – Metal On Metal

Anvil’s 2nd album released in April, featuring the classic anthem title track, as well as favorites like “Heat Seek”, “Jackhammer”, and the instrumental “March Of The Crabs”. The first of a few produced by the legendary Chris Tsangarides [RIP].

Leggatt – Illuminations

Don’t think this LP [released on 2LPs] got much press at the time, but known for including Hughie Leggatt [bass/vocals] and Danny Taylor [drums] – both ex of A Foot In Coldwater & Nucleus. Leggatt [other brother Gordon] are also known for penning the track “White Flags” [included here], which was the single, and went on to be a hit for Blue Oyster Cult 4 years later. But lots of great music here, progressive, pop, rock… cool tracks like “Amerikan Lights”, “Rolling Hard”, and “Slipping Into Limbo”.

Kim Mitchell – Kim Mitchell

The 5 song debut from Kim Mitchell, fresh out of Max Webster in November. Great songs, and a few that got plenty of radio play in Ontario – “Miss Demeanor” and “Kids In Action”. Awesome guitar record!

Other Mentions: April Wine Powerplay, Toronto Get It On Credit, Queen City Kids Black Box , Lee Aaron The Lee Aaron Project , Streetheart Streetheart , Sheriff Sheriff, Chilliwack Opus X .

KJJ. 04/’21

Brian Greenway – An Exclusive Interview

photo- Valerie Provost

Canadian guitar player Brian Greenway jumped into April Wine in 1977, making the band a 5-piece at the time, and beginning a 7 year run of massive tours and 5 major release albums. They shared the stage with some of the world’s biggest bands, toured the US multiple times, as well as trips the UK and Europe. The classic 5 piece era came to an end in 1984 following the release of Animal Grace. Brian Greenway would go on to record a solo album a few years later, and return with a reformed April Wine in the early ’90s. The band recorded a few more albums, and Greenway remains still from those glory days, alongside the band’s founder – singer/songwriter/guitarist Myles Goodwyn. In this interview Brian talked album the April Wine albums he was on, as well as his solo album, and what he’s up to over the passed year, as the band’s touring has been postponed due to Co-Vid. *Check out the links below I’ve posted to other articles and sites of interest.

You auditioned for April Wine back in ’73?
I did. Well, Not with a guitar, I just had a meeting with Myles. and at the time I just wasn’t the person, Gary Moffett was also a consideration, and in hindsight he was the right choice.

You were in the last incarnation of Mashmakan around the same time!?Yes. The 2nd edition of Mashmakan, after Jerry Mercer and Rayburn Blake and all those guys had left, Pierre Senecal was Mashmakan.

All you guys seemed to know each other, even before you were in April Wine. You knew the Henman brothers before you were in the band.
Mashmakan had open for and toured with AW in the Maritimes, quite a few times. and I remember seeing April Wine in their first show actually, in Quebec in 1970. Jimmy Clench I knew from other bands in Montreal, and Jerry Mercer I knew. so it was just the Henmans and Myles that I got to know, really. and Richie and David are still good friends.

You just did the one single with Mashmakan?
Yes, “Dance A Little Step”, we did some other stuff… actually there was one called “Ride Johnny Ride” on Columbia, just after I joined. I’d forgotten about that.. but it didn’t do f**k-all. Pierre wrote the lyrics for it, and it was about my step-father, his name was John, and it didn’t go over so well in the house, because it wasn’t a positive song.

Interesting that he would write about your step-father.
Yeah, I suppose. He was always writing about family.

You went on to do The Dudes album.
Yeah. I got a call from Bob Segarini and he told me David and Richie Henman were going to join The Wackers [which became the Dudes], so I thought ‘oh I’ll join then’, and he told David and Richie that I was going to join – when neither of us had said Yes yet. haha

There was a lot of hype with that band!?
There was a tremendous amount of hype. We had some incredible demos, and the record companies were sort of fighting over us, and we ended up choosing the wrong record company. And the album went from being recorded badly, very badly at Le Studio.. It almost wrecked the name of Le Studio, itself! Andre Perry wasn’t happy about it. He offered to re-mix the album for free, but Columbia wouldn’t let that happen. I guess they didn’t want the album to happen, so they did everything they could to not let it happen.

At the time you got the call to join April Wine had you kinda given up on the music thing?
Well I’d got myself a day job because i needed to work. There was just nothing going on. So I was working in a warehouse, driving a forklift truck, and then eventually up to the head office, and in charge of inventory control – which is really bizarre because I’m terrible with numbers, and it was all about numbers, and there was no computers then, it was just a calculator and paper and writing it down in this card index box. there was a lot of scratch-outs!

What were sort of your first impressions when you met up with Myles about joining the band? What was the plan or how was it put to you?
Oh I thought I was joining the band, but in reality I was joining the band for the summer tour to see how it worked out, and if I’d fit in. and then I’d become a permanent member, so I was on trial for 3 months.

One thing I’ve been curious about with you guys during that era [I’m jumping ahead] – but what was the comradery like with you guys – was it all business or was there certain friendships, did you guys hang out much?
It mostly was business. I mean, Myles was married and having kids, I hung out with Gary a bit, ..Jerry was married and had kids, so there were families. Gary had a daughter that was much older. We would go cycling, but we’d never really hang out that much. Sometimes I’d see Myles at a club somewhere, and that’d be about it, but there was no plans, I’d go to his house – stop in and say Hi, you know – trying to build a friendship, and we did.

But it wasn’t a social club much!?
It wasn’t a social club, we weren’t best friends, but we liked each other and respected each other musically, and as people. But it wasn’t like ‘hey – what are you doing, let’s do this….let’s do that!’ … But, towards the end, as it is now, no one really hangs out, nobody drinks like we used to, there’s no social thing – now it’s all business. And it was also the ’70s – it was the party.

The first album you did was First Glance, and that was done in 2 studios…
Yeah. the band had already started that record, I wasn’t aware of it. But when I was brought in as a full-time member in the fall of ’77 we went in to the studio and worked on stuff like “Roller”, and “Rock n Roll Is A Vicious Game” was cut there, with Jimmy Zeller playing harmonica. and then “Roller” was actually re-recorded up at Morin Heights, at Le Studio, when we moved up there. And Nick Blagona took over engineering from Terry [I forget his name, we called him the Bearded Clam], and Bill Szawlowski. It was an upgrade.

You had one song on that album, and you also sang another song – “Let Yourself Go”. I’m kinda curious what you brought in, I know Myles generally the writer, but were you guys sort of encouraged to bring stuff in, try new things..?
In the beginning I was told that they were looking for a 3rd guitar player who could sing, write, contribute, and play additional instruments – like I can with harmonica and keyboards. So that was the attraction there, and I already had some songs, and “Right Down To It” got on the record. But Myles was the chief writer.

Did you guys regularly write more than enough for an album or was it you got 9 or 10 songs ‘let’s go with those’. !?
Well, I never really knew because Myles always plays his cards close to his chest, and we’d always seemed to have just enough songs for the record. We would never record anything more than was necessary, looking back at it I can see that it would incur extra expense on the budget of that album. So maybe there was other songs that were there that I was never aware of. I just thought of that actually.

I’m curious how a song might’ve been presented, how Myles brought it in, maybe on acoustic guitar …
He would play it or bring it in on cassette. and we would learn the arrangement and the chords for the verses and choruses, and then we would put it together as a band and create our own parts – like with “Roller”, he brought in the lick, and that worked in to the 3 part solo – that was created in rehearsal. Plus we had the extra bonus of being able to play that on the road, live for about 2 or 3 months before we recorded it. So we could see what was working in the song and what wasn’t, from the live reaction. and not every song is like that.

There was a couple of songs that went on First Glance that were in the setlist before, right?
Yes, those first 3 albums we were playing a lot, we were on the road all the time, and we would try new songs. We would rehearse on the road, and try things.
From FG, what of those songs do you recall playing ahead of time? I read a set list with “Hot On the Wheels Of Love”
Yep, I was going to say that. That was created partly in the studio too with ideas ‘hey let go try this and go try that’ – like the ‘sheriff’ part, that was my idea. And that worked in to a neat live part, we had a white bar at the side of the stage that would swing out and there’d be a hat and the glasses there, and I’d put them on and the spotlight would go on. It was a part of the song that added a bit of theater.

How would you guys develop a song in the studio – was most of it laid out, or did you have much input?
On the first few albums, everything was rehearsed beforehand, ‘pre-production’ as we’d call it. So when we went in to the studio rarely was something torn apart and replaced and re-written. One instance was “Say Hello” from the Harder…Faster album. We’d recorded it, and Nick Blagona said ‘let me try some edits’. He was very good at editing – there was tape hanging everywhere in the bloody studio. And he cut out every 2nd or 3rd bass note, and created that bass part from edits. and then he said ‘let me try something with the guitars – -Gary go out there and record each guitar note 3 times’, triple it, and then the harmony on that, the 3rd and then the 5th, and that was the guitar part, he would mute it by gating it. that song was really structured technically and with technology in the studio. He was very talented at editing.

Back to First Glance…. You wrote “Right Down To It”.
Yes. that was originally with The Dudes.
Do you recall anything about writing that one, where it came from?
No, it’s just one of those songs that sort of jumped out. The same way with “Before The Dawn”, I just had an idea, and sat down in the hallway of my townhouse, and 20 minutes later it was written. I wish I could do more of those. We were touring a lot, so I had lot of ideas, lots of energy, you know.

How did you end up doing vocals on “Let Yourself Go”?
I wasn’t intended on doing it. It was Myles’ song, and he said ‘go sing this’, and while I was singing it he was still writing the lyrics. and I finished the first verse he said ‘ok I’ve got the 2nd verse, go do it’. and Nick said ‘try to sound like John Lennon on there in places if you can, and sound softer in places’.. so I said ‘OK, I’m a good mimic’, so I did it. I had no idea it was going to be on the record, it was just ‘go try and sing this’.

“Rock N Roll Is A Vicious Game” came out well before the album, and the band were still signed to London Records in the US. So when did Capitol thing come about? Was that well after the album was done and out [on Aquarius] ?
Well, “Roller” came out on Capitol …… Well we needed distribution in the States and London didn’t want to do it any more. We always had Aquarius [in Canada]. and then Capitol came in, and nothing was happening really – towards the end of 1978, and the band was seriously thinking about moving to Los Angeles. There was just nothing going on for us in the States – nothing. And we needed to reinvent ourselves. So everybody was actually making plans of moving to the States, and It was like ‘well I don’t know if I wanna do that’, it’s a long way to go. And then suddenly “Roller” became a hit, and that changed everything. At the very end of the year a station in Saginaw, Michigan, a big reporting rock station – reporting to the charts ya know; reported that it was #1 in Saginaw, Michigan. and other stations are going ‘What!? Who’s this?’ and then Capitol, Mike Dymond out of Detroit with Capitol Records, and Jeff the disc jockey up in Saginaw, and pretty soon everybody was loving it, and it became #1 in Michigan, and then it took off, and the rest of the stations started playing it across the country. And all of a sudden we had a good record going, and then Capitol became very interested, and the ball started rolling – ‘let’s get them out on the road.’

You guys did a lot of tours – with Rush and Styx…
Yes, in ’78, ’79, and then in 1980 we started headlining ourselves, but we would do some larger tours with Nazareth, or like double-billing [or triple billing, whatever]. the market was changing, so shows with multiple acts were starting to happen.

When you guys went in and did Harder…Faster, you had “Before The Dawn” on there, and you guys also did “21st Century Schizoid Man”. Who’s idea was that?
I can’t remember… Steve Lang, the bass player (God rest his soul, who died a few years back, a friend of mine for all my life), he was in a prog-rock band before April Wine called Devotion and I don’t know if they were doing it or not, but I believe he suggested it. And we messed around with it…

I think they [Devotion] were, because a buddy of mine, Derek, was familiar with Devotion because he had a connection there
And April Wine was by no means a prog-rock band. And once we did it, we did it well, and recorded it well, and oddly enough Nick Blagona who was engineering the album at Le Studio had been involved in the original recording with King Crimson, so he says ‘I know how they put the song together in the studio, so I’m going to do it the same way they did and see how it works for us’. And it came out pretty bloody well! And when I went to sing it, because it was different, I said ‘Nick – how do I sing this?’ And he said ‘I wanna hear teeth!’ , so I said ‘OK – teeth!’. and at the very end there was this high laugh that I did a mimic of a laugh I did by a fellow who used to own a club in Montreal, and whenever he laughed he’d laugh like that, so I did it, just as a mimic.

And that became a huge part of the live set..
It still is. And oddly enough Capitol records did Not want to release it on the album. They did not want to have it on the record at all; they thought it was just terrible! But it became a staple in the States, on FM. I only found out later that Capitol didn’t want us to do it. i had no idea.

On Nature of The Beast Nick Blagona was out and you had Mike Stone in for the next few albums.
Yes. Myles wanted to change things up, so he called Mike Stone and the 2 of them hit it off, and he started to help produce it. They wanted a bigger name producing the band. Nick was great, but he wasn’t as well known as Mike.

Now, NOTB you didn’t have any songs on…

No I didn’t.

“Sign Of The Gypsy Queen” was the Lorence Hud song. Were you familiar with the original?
Oh yeah, that was a hit in Canada, in the ’70s.

Who’s idea was that one?
Myles came in and said we’re going to try to record this. but I don’t know what talk went on beforehand.

Did you ever meet Lorence Hud?
No. Never have met him. He’s a bit of a recluse from what I hear. But I remember Myles used to say ‘he’s got so many royalty cheques waiting for him, if he’d just surface’.

What do recall of making NOTB. Were you guys aware it was going to be a big deal when you were making it?
We had gone to England and recorded it at the Manor studios, outside of Oxford, which was owned by Richard Branson, and I absolutely hated it! Le Studio was close to home, it was first class, it had modern comforts… The Manor was a 400 or 500 or 1000 year old bloody building that had been added on to and added on to, and it was in the middle of nowhere. We couldn’t go anywhere, and it was too expensive, I mean the English pound was like 3 Canadian dollars for 1 pound at the time, so ya know – hire a car and go where!? I walked down the canal to the local pub every night which closed at 9pm, and then sit up and do bloody nothing.

Did you get out and see the country much or any shows?
I went to Oxford and saw Billy Connolly, that was the biggest thing. Myles and Jerry would go out and play golf, but every day we’d be working.

What stood out for you on that album?
Well, we did “Just Between You And Me” on that record, and that took a long time to record, just to get the feel right – to the point where I played rhythm guitar for hours and Gary played rhythm guitar for hours, and his was the track that stayed. So there was no need for me to play on it, so I’m not even on, except for a voice.

Did you guys ever have much input in to the album covers with Aquarius?
Yes. In-house was one of the owners of Aquarius Records was Bob Lemm, and he was a graphic artist, and he was very good. He would design all the covers.

Would you guys ever get a say in it? Was it presented to you guys…
It was presented to us and talk about it – ‘do you like this idea?’, and we would approve it eventually.

So did Bob do the lettering?
Yes, he created the logo.

Did anything change between NOTB and Powerplay? Because on Powerplay you had some outside written songs, and it seemed a bit softer, and maybe that’s the whole difference between Mike Stone and Nick Blagona.
Yes, and some input from the record company I imagine. And Myles became very controlling in that time. It started out – ‘everybody write’, and everybody did write; everybody brought in quite a few songs, and I think it probably shocked and surprised Myles because some of them were pretty good, and he said ‘No, I’m the only singer and I’m the only songwriter’. And that’s probably what the record company wanted too – because he was writing the hits, so that’s where they placed their bets. There was a lot of unproven songwriters and the record company might’ve said ‘no, we can’t afford to chance that, and we don’t want to spend the money recording it to find out.’

So there was nothing that might’ve been seriously considered – whether you had a song or Steve wrote a song…
I’d written one, but I hadn’t completed the lyrics, and it got rejected, so I just dropped it.

There are 3 outside written tracks here, which I find odd, with Myles being such a prolific writer and if you guys could contribute, why would you need outside songs. Particularly “If You See Kay” – where did that one come from?
That was from a writer in the States, and IMyles, I guess, was taken with the fact that it was a clever way to say Fuck and get it on the album. And I remember Steve Lang not wanting to have anything to do with this song.

Because of the title? Yeah. He was ‘I don’t want to be known as the fuck song band’, you know. And he had a point. And it was catchy in the same way that Billy Ray Cyrus had that first song of his, I forget the title.

And then The Beatles’ song. And I guess everyone wants to do a Beatles song at some point!?
Myles was always a Beatles baby, as all of us, and he took great interest in trying to re-write a Beatles’ song that would be a hit. He gave “Tell Me Why” the sort of same treatment as “You Won’t Dance With Me”, and that was a big hit, so maybe the record company was hoping the same thing would happen, but it didn’t.

There was a lot of good songs on it, but I think those covers made a little inconsistent. “Anything You Want, You Got it” was a great opener, “Enough Is Enough”, “Waiting On A Miracle”…
Yes, “Enough Is Enough” became a very popular song… “Waiting On A Miracle” – it was a good rock song at the time, but it was a bit dated.

And then you guys get to Animal Grace and the first thing I notice is the logo is changed.
Yes, and I and have no idea why.

And obviously there was a lot of turmoil amongst you guys during that album. You had another outside writer – Tom Lange with “Hard Rock Kid”, and then Myles wrote everything else. I actually kind of like that album but I wasn’t crazy about that ’80s production, but for me I liked the songs more than I did on Powerplay – “Sons Of The Pioneers”, “This Could Be The Right One”… I thought it was a fairly consistent album.
I guess It was, but there was a lot of internal strife, so the vibes weren’t all that good recording it.

Yeah, there was the article that came out around the time of the album, which Myles said some things that lead one to believe it would leading to the end of the band.
Yeah – New Music Express.

And when I saw you guys in ’84 at the Kingswood Music Theatre, you only did one song from that album. You only did the single “This Could Be The Right One”.
Yeah, the rest was garbage.

There was no discussion of playing any more of it!?
There was no mention, I can’t remember. There were better songs to play in the amount of time we were allotted to play.

By the time you guys were done the album was it kind of a done deal that you guys would be breaking up?
That was not known until the tour started in the spring – early summer of 1984. I was never an included business member in April Wine. I wasn’t included in April Wine Limited, the company. So at the beginning of that tour, it’s documented in books – Myles wrote and Keith Brown wrote that he demanded that everybody give him their rights or he wasn’t going to tour and it was going to cost a lot of money to the band. It was a capitulation. And he got what he wanted, and that was the end of the band there, so he was saying ‘that’s it – the band’s breaking up, I’m going on my own.’

But you came back for Walking Through Fire, which I assume was really of a solo album.
It was, but it was a contractual album for him, because he was April Wine – he owned the name, and he got some really good musicians, Jean Pelleran, Martin Simon, and Daniel Barbe – who played keyboards on “This Could Be The Right One”. and we did that at the studio at the Bahamas, in Nassau.
In the history of April Wine…. Forever For Now was originally going to be a Myles Goodwyn solo project, but it ended up being an album for April Wine. So he kept on wanting to do a solo project, and finally he moved to the Bahamas, but contractually he owed Aquarius another record, so Walking Through Fire was sort of made quickly.

How did you wind up on it?
I was never a partner, therefor I could never lose anything, other than a job. So when I was asked ‘Do you want to go down to the Bahamas? Here’s what we’ll pay you.’ I said Sure. I liked to the people, and it lead ultimately to my signing with Bud Prager and my solo record.

Now, I saw the One More For The Road show, and that was quite a lengthy show, around 2 hours, but then the album came out and it’s a single album.
Yeah. Again, it’s on vinyl right, so it was just ‘put the hits on it.’ Now, the Live From London video – that was the full show.

How did you guys like touring over there?
I loved it. I loved touring there. Especially Germany.

And you guys got kinda lumped in with all those heavy metal bands over there, seeing from some of the bands you were touring with there.
Yeah, they featured us as a heavy metal band, and maybe we were in Canada, but in England and Germany ‘heavy metal’ had a whole different meaning.

Who do you recall touring with that you particularly liked, or any friendships or guys you’ve kept up with?
Uriah Heep we played with a fare amount. We did a couple of shows with Motorhead… Wishbone Ash, there’s another band…. Yeah, Uriah Heep and Wishbone Ash, we had a good time together; we were all around the same age, and like the same things.

I want to talk a bit about your solo album. Were you happy with how it came out?
Oh I loved the outcome. Money was spent, we had great players, really great players. But unfortunately once again, there was politics involved, beyond my knowledge at the time. It wasn’t much about music at the time, it was about Bud Prager who was my manager, who was also Foreigner’s manager and also Ben E King’s manager in New York, and who was looking to become head of Atlantic Records, there was rumors’ of Doug Morris replacing Ahmet Ertegun, but that didn’t happen. So of course, all the projects that Bud had going, like me , were dropped. and although Atlantic records released it everywhere – they didn’t spend a dime on promotion. They turned to WEA in Canada, who I was not signed with, I was signed to Atlantic US. And it was ‘OK, we’ll release it Canada and see how it goes.’ And Bob Roper, who I knew well, in fact who I knew from his London Records days, he was the head of WEA at that point, and he rather unfriendly welcomed me to the office and said ‘Just because Atlantic calls us to promote you, what makes you think we have the budget?’, and I’m like ‘I don’t know, I’m just the artist’. But anyway, maybe I caught him on a bad day. But Kim Cooke, the head of WEA tried to make it work, but it just didn’t.

You had the video for “Danger Zone”…
Oh yeah, they tried. But it was expensive, but they also waited 6 months to release it after it was done. And in that 6 month window music had changed radically. and all the hits were like female and softer, like Tracy Chapman and My Name was Luka…. And I was all of a sudden very old fashioned overnight.

It’s a shame that it did, because obviously you guys had a great string of albums there.
Yeah, but we became old fashioned and out of style really quickley, all the bands did with the invention of the synthesizer and the Roland and the Yamaha. Bands like the Cars became the new wave, Elvis Costello, things changed – guitars became very unimportant, it wasn’t the sound. And the mega guitar solos like Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd had became famous for, it became old-hat, and nobody wanted to hear those any more. And the guitar became really unpopular.

Well, it eventually came back.
When you’re dealing with digital technology you can create a song without really having to play. And the guitar became something you had to sit down and learn, and spend time with, but nobody wanted to do that any more. And that lasted for a long time . The guitar slinger was unpopular. Now it’s coming back. But nobody wanted to take the time to learn. There was no guitar heros in the last 20 years… maybe 30 or 40.

Regarding Serious Business, do you have any control over that album still?
No. Atlantic owns it, and when I called them they never heard of me. A friend of mine has a label called Pace Maker Records and wants to put it out on that. He’s out of Toronto, but he also doesn’t want to get sued by them. But eventually if they don’t want to listen to us, we’ll just go ahead and do it, because sometimes it’s easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission.

Now, you had a few years off. What was the difference when you rejoined with Myles and the new line-up in ’91-92? Well, originally when we started rehearsing, it was the original 5 piece. And we were told that perhaps we could get maybe 3 weeks of shows. And just before we said Yes to the tour, Gary and Steve said No – they didn’t want to be apart of it. Steve, at that point had gone in to the financial world and he had a very well paying high position job that he didn’t want to give up, and Gary just didn’t want to do because of what had happened in the old days with April Wine breaking up. He never really said, I don’t know what was on his mind. He never really said unless he wanted you to know. But he said ‘No, I don’t want to do it’. And that is when we got Jim Clench and Steve Segal. And Myles had been working with Steve Segal. who I knew and we had 3 guitars again, but I was the bottom guitar guy, Steve was getting the solos, so I wasn’t a very happy player. and it’d changed quite a bit. and people were saying ‘oh this isn’t April Wine’ and I mentioned that to Myles, and oddly his friends said the same thing, so eventually we went back down to a 4 piece. And that’s when the band started sounding like April Wine again.

Were you happy with Attitude?
Not really.

It did pretty well, it brought you guys back a lot of attention.
Yeah, but I didn’t really like any of the songs. There wasn’t any I could really get my teeth into. I mean if you listen to the songs I had on Back To The Mansion they’re so different.

For you guys – going from playing the arenas in the ’80s and being that headlining band, then going back to playing the clubs….
We were doing anything we could. What had happened was we would go in to these smaller places thinking they were still arenas and blast the hell out of them, and not just us, but the sound technician, and people would complain and we wouldn’t get invited back. We were just too loud, and nobody wouldn’t change. People were saying we were the loudest band they ever saw, and it’s not a badge of honor. Even on stage it was too loud. Jerry at one point, used to have 15 thousand watt monitor just for the drums. It was crazy. I used to hate it. But then again I was drinking a lot, and that was my way of getting through it – I used to have 5 or 6 beers before the show, and go out, shake my little butt, and smile and play guitar.

I saw a couple of shows at Front 54 in Thorold and can attest to that. Was it a kick to the ego playing the smaller venues as opposed to playing the arenas?
I didn’t mind. I always gave the same show. As I said, I drank my way through the ’80s and mostly through the ’90s, and mostly the whole band did. And finally Myles stopped first, then I stopped 6 years ago. And then things became very clear – you just don’t go out and do that anymore. And we started working with a younger crew that would educate us on this. ‘No this is not how you do it anymore’. Plus, places we played now had decibel levels, limits that you couldn’t go over or they’d stop the show. People would complain, say ‘we’re not coming back’, and that would hurt the places we played rather than us, so people were voting with their dollars. And places were ‘there’s a 95 db limit – if you go over it you get fine heavily or we stop the show.’ It became politically correct, volume became a danger, and well so, I mean if we wanted to be that loud on stage that’s one thing, and lose our hearing, but don’t make everybody else do it.

The last think you did in the ’90s was the Frigate album. And that was kind of a mish mash …
That was done in Myles’ house, and that was a mish-mash, yeah. Once again – contractual.

There was a couple of great heavy songs, then was a couple of odd things at the end of it, there was one that was all keyboards, and you had a couple of covers…
There was one on there I called “Carrie” that I wrote, but it became something else and Myles sang it. It was a very grandiose type keyboard with a 12 string in it, it had a repeating chorus at the end. I forget what he called it. ..
“Whatever It Takes” !?
That’s the one.
There wasn’t much on it. Back To The Mansion was sort of strange too. I had 2 songs on there that I was quite proud of actually.

Yeah, “Holiday” was a great song.
Thank you. And I worked up a really neat acoustic version when I play it… well, when I used to play [haha]… when everybody used to play live shows. And the other one I wrote for my kids. It was about life experiences, but it was inspired by the George Harrison and the Beach Boys, the George Harrison song “Cheer Down” and the Beach Boys song “In My Room”.

With Back To The Mansion did you guys kind of do it like patchwork?
Yeah, we did it in between shows. We did it at Myles’ house. I would come in and do a few song, and we’d rehearse, but the rehearsal was nothing, nobody was coming up with any ideas, so it was a waisted effort and I would leave.

You also did the cover of “I Am A Rock”…
I thought that was very strange. At that point I thought you know, any song with the word ‘rock’ in it was a contender for an April Wine song.
You guys were competing with AC/DC for using that word in titles?
Yeah, or geologists – one of the two!

I thought it was a good album, but for me it lacked a real hard-rocker.
It did. The single, we were on the TV show with it – “Won’t Go There”, but it wasn’t rock though, but then again, there was no rock at that time. We were trying to fit in where we couldn’t.

Then there was the Greatest Hits Live.
It was at the Tournaments of Hearts, we recorded that live. That didn’t come out that well.

At that point you had Carl (Dixon) in the band for a couple of years, as well. How did you get along with him?
All right. It’s a funny story, Myles thought he had called somebody else, so this guy came to the door, and it wasn’t the guy that Myles thought. You know, they set up a meeting and this guy arrived and Myles says ‘who are you?’ But he couldn’t play keys that great, and he couldn’t play guitar like us, so it was kinda weird. But he did make up for it by being the band’s opener for a year or 2, so it was all a self-contained show. But he was all right. He had a terrible accident and I was happy that he recovered from it. It was just strange times the band was going through; nothing against him personally, but it was like ‘what are you doing here?’, ya know.

And since then, there was one further album, and then you guys have just been touring since then.
Yeah. And we were gaining some traction, in ’18, ’18, and ’19 we were doing bigger and bigger shows and then CoVid came along. I don’t know what will happen when we get back together; we still have shows booked, and they keep on getting postponed and put off. Ya know never in the history of music has it just closed overnight.

Brian & Myles Goodwyn on stage in Toronto, CNE. 2018. (Photo: Gordon Enright)

Myles has kind of talked over the years about doing another April Wine album.
Oh yeah, we still talk about it, and just recently too. We’ve been sending songs back and forth and trying to figure out how we can get one done before the end of the year. And I’ve got a good little studio set up now, so I could do it properly; I can send my parts out, and everybody can. So it can be done.

If there’s a new album, is there potential you’ll have anything on it?
I hope so. My whole style of writing has changed, I’ve been working on putting out a blues record. That’s my original roots, back in 1965 when i first heard John Mayall with Eric Clapton. Sort of British blues … I have a band called The Blues Bus, and I call it ‘British and American Blues served with a touch of Wine’. And I do my own April Wine stuff, but it comes off sounding so heavy, I’ve sort of brought down my intensity, I’m more like a JJ Cale.

So are you recording at home?
Yes I am. Right now, I’m working on a bucket list thing me, which is an old instrumental that was on a John Mayall album, with Eric Clapton called the Bluesbreakers, but most people ended up calling it the ‘Beano’ album. And it’s an old Freddie King song, an instrumental called “Hideaway”. And I was always stunned by Clapton’s performance on it, and I said ‘one day I want to record that’. So i sat down in the beginning of February and learnt it note for note, and I’m just working on recording it. I’ve got bass and drums down, and keyboards, I’ve just got finish getting the guitar down.

Who else plays on it with you?
A friend of mine, Lloyd, from The Blues Bus, Lloyd Dellaire is on it. He also filled in for Richard when Richard had some surgery, in 2019. Lloyd filled for a month with us. And right now it’s just a software program from Superior Drummer, but to me it sounds like a real drummer. Superior Drummer is a great program because what they did was they actually had a real drummer go in and do parts, in a very well known studio, so it sounds like real drums, it Is real drums.

Do you have a plan on when you want to get something out under your own name?
No, if no label signed, we’ll just throw it at the world or get some small label to release it, maybe through the blues world. I really don’t care at this point, I’m going to be 70 this year and whatever happens, happens. It’s just like I did when I was 17 or 15 – ‘Gee, it’d be nice if this happens but I don’t know how to do it so let’s just see what happens. I’m sort of starting over again, just having fun for the enjoyment of playing music. And during CoVid, I said ‘I’m going to learn how to use my studio properly’, so I did. I’ve learned an awful lot in the past year, which I wouldn’t have done without CoVid, . and an awful lot about myself. A lot of time to reflect. .. Well my wife went back to work, and she’s working from home and we have a 2 year old Labrador and he follows me around everywhere, and he won’t go downstairs unless i go downstairs. So everyday I’m spending most of my time dog sitting to prevent him from barking because she spends most of her time on the phone. (Dog talk ensues).

Any road stories?
Nazareth was always fun. They were so Scottish, right out of Glasgow. And we would be touring in the States, and Americans – the mid-west especially, just did not understand that thick Glaswegian accent. And I remember sitting with Danny McCafferty in a Holiday Inn once, by the swimming pool, because all Holiday Inns had swimming pools back then, in the ’80s. And the waitress came over with her little Farah Fawcett clip up hair-do and asked what we wanted, and I said ‘I’ll have a hamburger’, and Dan said – ‘[groans, grumbles..] with a sandwich’ – and she didn’t understand a word of it. So I translated for him [haha]. And i said ‘oh he’s from Glasgow, Scotland.’ And when she came back with his drink she said ‘If you’re from Scotland, why is everything on your t-shirt written in English?’ . And she walked away and he looked at me and said ‘so where are you from?’, and I said ‘well, I’m half Scottish myself’. And he said ‘you’ve lost your brogue, and I said ‘well I was born in Canada, and my mother was born in Canada, so I never had any other accent than the one I have now.’ And he says ‘I’ll tell you what, it’s real easy to get it back.’ and I said ‘how’s that Danny?’, and he says ‘it’s simple – just with everything you say – make it sound like a threat! – ‘Hey You! Git over here – Now!’ And I thought it was very funny, very Scottish. There was other times, the food fights and funny things that would happen on the road. that you really don’t want to say because they could embarrass someone, you know.

Lastly, after everything that’s gone on over the years with Myles, how do you guys get along now?
We get along OK. He’s made me angry, he’s made me sad, we’ve had some happy time. And we call each other friends, and we are after all these years – 50 together. There’s things that have happened that make me angry -still, and there’s others, but you become older and you say ‘Hey, we’ve been together for so long, let’s finish this on a friendly term, now’. So, that’s my take.


(9) Brian Greenway’s Blues Bus | Facebook

50 Years of April Wine Provides Brian Greenway With Plenty of Great Memories | 519 Magazine

Rick Keene Music Scene -April Wine’s Brian Greenway; Part of Canadian Music History – Rick Keene Music Scene


Valerie Provost Photography – Brian Greenway, musician.

Another Success For Kemptville Live – Sound Check Entertainment

one in ten words: April Wine at The Bandshell at The Ex 2018 – Concert Photos

Brian Greenway (travellersintime.com)

KJJ, 04/’21

Top 10 Canadian Albums of 1981

This year [1981] was a big year for Canadian rock, Canada’s biggest 3 hard-rock acts at the time all had their biggest selling albums – April Wine’s Nature Of The Beast; Rush’s Moving Pictures and Triumph’s – Allied Forces. So 1981 may have been one of [or the] best years in Canadian rock [!?] But I’m already thinking of 1980 & ’82 – an amazing period for bands from this country. I’ve compiled a list of a 10 great Canadian albums released that year, and that was cutting it down from a list of about 20 [ok, most I have on vinyl].

Feel free to chime in with your own favorites from 1981 in the comments… anything at the top of your list you think I need to check out?

Rush – Moving Pictures

Released in February, and would feature such classics as “Tom Sawyer”, “Limelight”, “Red Barchetta”, “YYZ”, etc…. The band would follow this up with the double live Exit…Stage Left released later in ’81.

April Wine – Nature of The Beast

This came out in January, 11 great tracks on this album, with notable hits “Just Between You And Me”, and a remake of Lorence Hud’s “Sign Of The Gypsy Queen”; plus hard rockin’ favorites like “Big City Girls” and “Future Tense”.

Triumph – Allied Forces

Released in September, and featured the hit “Magic Power”, as well as other classics “Fight The Good Fight” and “Fool For Your Love”. 40th Anniversary box set coming this summer!

Loverboy – Get Lucky

Loverboy’s 1980 debut album was huge, included 3 hit singles, and the band won a few Juno’s (Canadian music awards) from it. This follow up was nearly as big, with another string of hit singles, most notably the anthem “Working For The Weekend”.

Santers – Shot Down In Flames

Toronto hard-rock trio’s debut LP, late in the year. Featured the title track (dedicated to Bon Scott), as well as rockers like “Caught In The Wind” and “Crazy Ladies”, as well as a cover of Donnie Iris’ “The Rapper”.

Frank Marino – The Power of Rock n Roll

Marino’s first album labelled as a solo album (minus Mahogany Rush, though he used the same rhythm section and engineer) from the summer of ’81. Marino, from Montreal, influenced by Hendrix, killer guitar playing here and some cool tunes like “Play My Music”, “Stay With Me”, “Crazy Miss Daisy”, and “Ain’t Dead Yet”. This album, wasn’t a huge commercial success, but it’s follow up would be.

Saga – World’s Apart

Saga’s 4th and biggest album as well, released in September. It featured the hits “On The Loose” and “Wind Him Up”, perhaps the band’s best known songs, as well as the ballad “No Regrets”. Hugely successful overseas, particularly in Germany.

Frank Soda – Saturday Night Getaway

Frank Soda & The Imps were backing band for Thor in the mid 70s, then went off on their own to make a few albums. This, released later in ’81 was the first just credited to Frank, as it sees him re-do a number of tracks from the band’s 1979 [live] debut. If you’re not familiar – check it out,

Anvil – Hard N Heavy

The first (and arguably) the best from this Toronto Heavy metal band. Originally released independently under the band name of ‘Lips’ before signing to Attic and changing the name. Released in May, and featured the classics “School Love”, “Bedroom Game”, “Ooh Baby”, as well as the band’s metalized pounding of the Stones “Paint It Black”. A very influential band on many thrash metal bands to come.

Red Rider – As Far As Siam

From June, this cleverly titled 2nd album featured the hit singles “What Have You Got To Do (To Get Off Tonight)”, as well as the band’s best known song “Lunatic Fringe”, which featured in the movie Vision Quest, as well as a few TV shows like Miami Vice and My Name Is Earl.

Other mentions: Toronto – Head On , The Kings – Amazon Beach , Goddo – Pretty Bad Boys, Pat Travers – RadioActive, Butler – Butler , Bryan Adams – You Want It You Got It, The Guess Who – Now And Not Then .

KJJ, 04/21

Uriah Heep – In Canada, 2018!

It’s been since the fall of 1993 when I last saw Uriah Heep in Ontario, tho they played some shows in western Canada the following year, and 2 shows in British Columbia in 2001. At the time the band had yet to sign a new record deal, 1995’s brilliant Sea Of Light album was still a dream away, their last album – Different World suffered on a small label, and did not get a release over here [til mid 90s in the US, on Griffin Records] and the latest UH related release was The Lansdowne Tapes, and Ken Hensley’s From Time To Time. The first round of remastered CDs had not been conceived yet. Back then the band was part of the Total Recall Tour, with Nazareth, Blue Oyster Cult, and Wishbone Ash. They played a 45 minute set of material pre 1976, as well as 1 ‘new’ song – Words In The Distance.

The band’s 6 shows in February of 2018 are long overdue. On their last tour of the US, I attended a show in Akron, Ohio [about 5 hrs drive], as did a number of other fans from Toronto and the Niagara areas. Someone asked singer Bernie Shaw [after the show] why the band hadn’t come north of the border, and he replied ‘they couldn’t get arrested in Canada!’. huh!… Bernie’s Canadian btw. Regardless the band is finally coming here.
*Updated North American Tour dates for 2018:
heep 2018

They’re also recording a new album titled “Living The Dream” early in the new year, to be released next September.
It’s been over 3 years since the band’s last album – Outsider, and during the time the band has toured extensively, including a number of songs from that album in their live show. http://www.frontiers.it/news/10978
Mick Box & Bernie Shaw have also been part of the Rock Meets Classic Tour in Europe [a few singers and players from various bands, performing with a full orchestra]. And most recently Phil Lanzon has released his first solo album – “If You Think I’m Crazy”. https://outsiderrock.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/phil-lanzon-if-you-think-im-crazy-interview/
Shaw also appears on Alan Simon’s Excalibur IV project – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4rRmUpT3xs

So far 6 Canadian shows have been announced [hopefully more to come]
February :
06 & 08 – Ottawa, Ontario – Brass Monkey 
09 – Quebec City, Palais Montcalm
10 – Montreal, PQ – Corona Theatre
11 – London, Ontario – London Music Hall
12 – Toronto, Ontario – Phoenix Concert Theater [sold out]
and although not in Canada –
March 02 – Westland, Michigan – The Token Lounge [about an hour from Windsor, Ontario]

Heep’s Canadian Connections

*Singer Bernie Shaw is from British Columbia, and moved to the UK in the late 70s to pursue his musical career. He debuted on the first Grand Prix LP [along with Phil Lanzon], and went on to record with Praying Mantis [Stratus] . He joined Heep at the end of 1986, and has been there ever since. He also recorded a few tracks with Canadian guitarist Dale Collins, while on vacay in Canada in 1997, which was released as the “Picking Locks” EP [CD]

*Prior to Shaw though, the band had another Canadian in the ranks. Keyboard player Gregg Dechert had been in a London, Ontario based band named Pulsar, along with a Welsh singer named John Sloman. When that band broke up and Sloman had to return to the UK, he joined Uriah Heep. Following an album and UK / European tour, Dechert was flown over to audition for and replace Ken Hensley. Dechert’s time in the band was long enough to record an album’s worth of material – which never got released, as well as play on the single “Think It Over”, and do a UK tour. His time in Heep would lead to being part of David Gilmour’s 1984 solo band, as well as a few other projects, and a brief stint in Bad Company.

He would also be apart of the Heepsteria tribute project years later, with the late Rob Seagrove, covering “July Morning”.

*When Ken Hensley left Heep, he formed Shotgun [who did 1 UK tour], and the guitarist was Canadian Derek O’Neil, from Ottawa – who had previously been in the band Fury [whom supported Heep on their 1977 UK tour]. He also was part of Blazer Blazer, who had a single in the UK – “Cecil Be Devine”. Iron Maiden would cover a song he co-wrote as part of the Marshall-Fury Band – “Juanita”. He later relocated to California, and sadly passed away in 2007.

*For the last several years Mick Box has been using and endorsing guitars by Toronto based company Carparelli Guitars. http://www.carparelliguitars.com/index.php/endorsees?start=8

Looking forward to the 2018!

KJJ, 11/17