Recipient, Order of @Canada & Order of Manitoba. Voice & Songwriter: American Woman (6m+ plays), These Eyes, (5m+ plays) & Stand Tall. #BCLIVE

SISTER THE LIE

as proudest wolf he ascends to stage
sister the lie will permeate and evade
sister the lie has come to stay
her sorry victory ultimate
revealing shallow coffers well beneath a dying sun
sullied soul…
once sold, so long ago…
and cheaply, in the running, for the blood
the blood which flows past veins of caution…
he stands chesty, basked in false acclaim,
and counts the squalid fortune of the lost
even now he is the lesser of the losers,
the least of the lower…
waging in a canyon of abandon
wherein the failure echoes endless…
ascension to divine difference
i rejoice at not being that i pity
i am not that i have studied not to be
i rejoice at the lessons, many and lurid
’tis noble to stand corrected,
put right by observation
and not be tempered behind the backs
of those who smirk in silence…
to him who has failed so fully as to let me slumber
there can never be the thanks i owe…
the paper-mache general summons duteous troops,
with some compelled to belief of redemption
some compelled to pray for another chance
yet they do not…they are content…
sister the lie is able and flushed…
this and other evenings.

SHARP, SHARPER, SHARPEST

hated hun in guise of prole
winner’s wake compelled to troll
future signals deepest fear
sacred sister naught to hear
empty efforts thwarted soon
daily battles far from boon
shaky man from troubled child
seldom praised but soon reviled
stranger here his thoughts to bend
faded start to pallid end
kindest gods deny their backing
grandeur now be sorely lacking
none be hidden, none concealed
none to power, none to wield
tired phrases, less than splendid
mercifully, the joust is ended…

amen.

WORDS UP-CLEARED FOR LANDING

i sink, demeaning, reeling from my find
at one with riddle, smitten by its hand
in moody preparation for the mind
enigma i would deal to understand
but never should the option offer flight
else i will see this through another night.

that i am only lowborn is forgot
by those dispensing oddment for the flow
my vestige or my clothes betray me naught
for now they serve my patience, ever slow…
i will not hence reveal my inner way
and bleed to guttle yet another day

with word i am enabled, hear me speak
or stay and see my letters on the page
i cherish all the trodden and the weak
and send the thought to strengthen and to age
the skeptic and the seeker must amass
if sense and worthy wisdom come to pass

the hunt and celebration through the pen
in daring may entice the worldly-wise,
but drenched in circumstances of the “when”
the roving eye will miss a quick disguise
and yet another stanza, made to mourn
is sitting with its brothers, cold and worn

EDD LEONARD FENWICK

It’s a little blurry exactly when I first knew I wanted to be in a band, or had the ability even to consider it, but one certain incident may have cemented my ultimate fate. Grade Eight…Luxton School…music class with Miss Milgrom. Edd Smith and I were just about best friends, hanging out together almost constantly. He already had a cheap electric guitar and amp. We had auditioned for the Amateur Show, a local Winnipeg television deal, dreaming of winning and being asked back to perform again the following week. Our audition had deemed that we spend a certain amount of time in preparation. During those early “rehearsals” we worked up duet versions of several numbers. Edd and I, having learned these several numbers anyway, privately approached Miss Milgrom, (our music teacher at Luxton, down in the basement in Room 3) one day and asked her if we could perform something in front of the whole room during our next music class. We ended up performing “This Time” by Troy Shondell and “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles. I played piano and sang, and Edd sort of “played along” on electric guitar. Members of the whole class, particularly the girls, were seemingly impressed…the die was cast for me right there that afternoon in Grade Eight at Luxton School. I knew what I WANTED to do, yet actually accomplishing ANY of it was seemingly an impossible dream…just a daydream, really.
Edd was constantly turning me on to “ all things rock and roll” that I otherwise might have missed. I must give Edd Smith a HUGE amount of credit and gratitude concerning what he did for me during the most malleable periods of my adolescence. I might never have heard “Silver City” by the Ventures were it not for Edd. I might never have been interested enough to send money orders to England for Shadows lp’s on vinyl during ‘62,’63, and ‘64 were it not for Edd. (Edd, found out about Keith Prowse Ltd. a huge record store in London England, and somehow tutored me on how to get things from them.) In the days of “ordinary” trans Atlantic mail, I sent my money order away to England, and waited about four or five weeks to receive my coveted prize…a beautiful British copy of “The Shadows’ Greatest Hits”…it blew me away so much, when I finally had it in my hands, I took it to school at St. John’s for about three days in a row…showed it to a pile of people during the classroom changes all day…
Once in Grade Nine (our last year at Luxton) Edd’s knowledge of and enthusiasm for the rock and roll world hit me square in the face.
Shortly after Winnipeg had first gotten Channel Twelve from Pembina, North Dakota, Edd and our mutual friend Tom Laszlo started talking about the coming D-Day…I had no idea what they meant, nor that they were referring to “DEE” Day…
they were talking about the imminent appearance of Joey Dee and the Starliters on American Bandstand to lip sync something on Channel Twelve at four thirty on a Friday afternoon. All week long at school, I looked forward to that few minutes of black and white television history. Since the single of Peppermint Twist peaked on the Billboarad chart in January of 1962, this “magic week” of anticipation leading up to DEE day must have occurred during the winter of 1961/1962. Edd Smith nurtured the seeds that radio had already planted in the head of a North End kid several years eariler.
Edd and I made another Amateur Show appearance several months after the first one. This time we had a drummer with us, a Luxton school friend named Francis Kostiuk. Francis lived on Atlantic Ave, between St. Cross and Scotia…He had a great set of drums and somehow we ended up on television, just the three of us, doing Dion Di Mucci’s “The Wanderer”. As memory serves me, we rocked pretty well this time. I was still delivering papers (the Winnipeg Tribune) six days a week at this point, and I remember some of the younger girls who lived with their parents on my paper route commenting and giggling about my singing. I was about twelve or thirteen at this time, and very shy of girls. I found out quickly what power lurked there in the ability to get up and sing a few tunes, even stuff you hadn’t written yourself. The Beatles hadn’t happened yet, but I was already sold hook, line and sinker on the idea of being a singer, for real…at least giving it a damn good try…
I admired Edd, always thought he was cool. He knew about stuff I didn’t. He knew all about the Shadows and Hank Marvin. He knew that Brian “Licorice” Locking was their new bass player in the movie and on the album of Summer Holiday. He turned me on to my all time favourite Shadows instrumental, “Round and Round”. The only places this cut appears are on the Summer Holiday soundtrack and in the eight disc box set from EMI Europe mentioned earlier. Edd had a tape recorder. Edd had a Silvertone electric guitar and some kind of compatible amp. Edd was the one who showed me how to hook a Di Armond violin pickup directly to the soundboard in the back of an upright piano so I could play any of the Community Club uprights through Derek’s Fender amp. I spent countless hours at his house on Cathedral near Scotia, several times seeing things on his family’s television set that are indelibly stamped into my memory. You see, the Smiths were receiving Channel Twelve and at my house we were not. Channel Twelve brought American Bandstand into Winnipeg and it was the only station broadcasting it. Many, many days right after four we’d rush to Edd’s house and tune in Bandstand at 4:30. I saw many soulful black singers on American Bandstand at Edd’s place…even though they were merely lip syncing their hits, it gave me a chance to associate some of these other worldly voices with the faces that harbored them. The lead singer of one of the hot black girl groups of the day (perhaps the Chiffons, perhaps the Marvelettes) told Dick Clark that Ray Charles had been a huge influence on her. Forever after that I paid more attention to Ray Charles. I was motivated to get some of his LP’s, most notably the What’d I Say album on Atlantic. I still love that picture on the cover where you see this beautiful old AK 47 reflected in Brother Ray’s glasses. I really got into that whole album as a fairly young kid. What a great crash course it is for soul and blues.
I still regularly play Rockhouse, Roll With My Baby, That’s Enough, which I later recorded myself with one of the Raelets singing on it, My Bonnie, and the long version of What’d I Say. The title cut is truly a masterpiece. When it all breaks down between Part One and Part Two and the girls start answering Ray with just drums and handclaps going behind them, it’s truly invigorating… Hallmark moment.
So indirectly, even my affinity toward Ray Charles is traceable back to Edd Smith. When I left the Deverons to join the GW, the guy I really missed most was Edd, because I had known him far earlier in life than I’d known the other three.
Edd, I thank you again. Those were days of learning and dreaming for me, and you showed me a million things that helped me along…I actually can recall you and me singing “Hey Paula” in your small bedroom on Cathedral Ave. right near Scotia…You were doing the Paul parts, playing guitar chords and starting the vocal lines, and I was trying to answer as Paula, but I have never had a falsetto, so my Paula parts were embarrassing and totally unnecessary in the vast spaces of the Universe.

Blast ahead to 1965, old Winnipeg Arena, Gerry and the Pacemakers are playing…it’s absolute pandemonium, they’ve even got guard ropes up about two inches thick. I’m not exaggerating. Remember, this is 1965, Winnipeg, in the height of the Beatlemania Craze of the Sixties. The British Groups are bigger than life in 1965…so here we are at the old Winnipeg Arena…the Deverons were lucky enough to get the opening slot that night…Deverons first, then the Guess Who (at that time, Randy Bachman, Chad Allan, Jim Kale, Garry Peterson, Bob Ashley) and then Gerry and the Pacemakers. The Liverpool boys put on a hell of a show that night…trouble was, the entire crowd hardly heard a note. The screaming was all part of the British Invasion and the frenzy that the Beatles had first instigated. Gerry and the Pacemakers may have had “How Do You Do It” initially before the Beatles onslaught, but it was an isolated incident. It really was the Beatles that created that mythical “British Scene” about which we all wondered and fantasized. The competition (actually PERCEIVED competition…this “Who will beat the Beatles next?” stuff was largely invented and fueled by the media) factor was played to the hilt between the British bands, but none of this grading them against each other seemed to occur until the Beatles had first laid down their incredible yardstick, by which all subsequent groups would soon be judged. You have to go pretty far to beat something like “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, or “Day Tripper”…

A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC

(Originally posted August 2015)

A VERY PROFOUND THOUGHT JUST HIT ME. GONE GONE GONE…SO MANY PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES AND WORK AND MUSIC AND QUOTES I AM VERY MUCH LIVING.
WOW.
DENNIS WILSON…GONE…DECEMBER OF 1983. AND I STILL DRIVE AROUND LOS ANGELES, WAY OUT SUNSET PAST THE WILL ROGERS ESTATE WHICH I BELIEVE DENNIS HAD OWNED AND INHABITED FOR A WHILE. HE LIVED WITH CHRISTINE MC VIE FOR A WHILE I HEARD, PERHAPS IT WAS THERE…I STILL DRIVE PAST THERE AND DENNIS IS ALIVE IN MY HEAD.

JIMBO…GONE…I STILL DRIVE DOWN LAUREL TOWARDS SUNSET ALL THE TIME AND LOOK TO THE LEFT AND SEE THE SECOND STORY HE AND PAM LIVED IN THROUGH THOSE SOMEWHAT TUMULTUOUS TIMES. 
OFTEN I LIKE TO HAVE THE “PEPPERMINT MNI-SKIRTS CHOCOLATE CANDY” VERSE OF SOFT PARADE PLAYING PRETTY LOUD IN THE CAR AND I ROLL THE WINDOW DOWN AND YELL IN MY BEST “THREE MORE DAYS” SHRIEK…”JIMMMMMMMBOH…..”
AND WHEN I GO BY THAT PLACE HE’S ALIVE AND WELL IN MY HEAD.

AND ZAPPA…SAME THING ALL OVER LAUREL CANYON. HELL, FZ MADE REPEATED JOKES ABOUT LAUREL CANYON RIGHT ON HIS RECORDS. AND NO MATTER WHAT AGE OR ERA IS YOURS, THERE IS STILL SOMETHING OF A HOLLYWOOD VIBE…THERE’S A TIMELESSNESS TO IT ALL…PARTICULARLY THE MOVIES, BUT RECORDS TOO, TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. I SEEM TO HEAR SO VERY MANY DECEASED ARTISTS IN MY CAR WHEN THE POD IS RANDOM, AND IT HITS ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN HOW THE MUSIC HAS TRANSCENDED THE ARTISTS’ LIVES. THAT’S THE MAGIC STUFF…THAT’S THE TINKERBELL DUST.
THAT’S THE THING, THE INTANGIBLE THAT NOT EVERYBODY “GETS”…
I’VE PLAYED WITH GUYS, SADLY, WHO WERE NEVER BITTEN BY THE CHARM THE MUSIC OWNS. DID IT FOR MONEY AND RENT AND BILLS…NO MORE THAN THAT. AND I’M NOT KNOCKING THAT, BUT I BELIEVE THIS…THE GODS KNOW THE DIFFERENCE…AND IF THAT’S YOUR DEAL, YOU USUALLY DON’T MAKE IT VERY BIG. IF THE TINKERBELL DUST DOESN’T RUB OFF ON YOU, THEN YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD TO THE GODS WHO PREACH THE CHARM…SO WHY WOULD THESE SAME GODS, WHO ARE IN A POSITION TO GIVE SO MUCH AID AND INSPIRATION, EVER SMILE IN THAT DIRECTION…IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC…

THE ARTISTS WHO HAVE LEFT US SO YOUNG HAVE SOMETIMES LEFT IMAGES OF THEMSELVES THAT ARE MUCH LARGER THAN LIFE. IMPOSSIBLE WOULD THEY BE TO LIVE UP TO…BUT THEY WILL NEVER HAVE TO. WHEN YOU DIE YOUNG, YOU ARE YOUNG FOREVER.

I LIKE TO WRITE NOW…JUST LIKE THIS…TYPE IN CAPS AND OFFER POINTS OF VIEW. AND A BUNCH OF US CONGREGATE HERE AND HAVE IT OUT…JUST THE WAY IT SHOULD BE. THE TYPING IS AN ART TOO…I WANT TO PRACTICE AND PRACTICE AND PRACTICE…AS ONE OF THE PREVIOUS BLOGS (STILL THINK THAT’S A STUPID CYBER AGE WORD…SOUNDS LIKE WRETCHING/PUKING) STATED, THE WONDERMENT OF THE INSTANT-NESS MAKES THE WRITING AND READING OF THAT WRITING MORE INTERESTING IN A COMPLETELY  DIFFERENT WAY THAN THE “MASTERS” EVER HAD TO WORK WITH.
SO NOW, THE TRICK WOULD BE TO BECOME INFINITELY COMFORTABLE IN THIS NEW MILLENNIUM FORMAT OF WRITTEN WORD AND GO FORWARD FROM THERE.
BE IT RANDOM TYPES LIKE THIS OR SOMETHING MORE ALONG THE LINES OF A BOOK…I DON’T KNOW…THIS IS A BOOK IF YOU STRING IT TOGETHER. I READ “THE PHILOSOPHY OF ANDY WARHOL”, YOU KNOW, THE CAMPBELL’S SOUP COVER BOOK, AND I THINK MY KOLLUM WOULD STAND UP TO THAT ALL RIGHT JUST AS IT IS.
BUT IN FAIRNESS TO ANDY, THAT BOOK WAS RELEASED IN 1975. I REMEMBER READING IT THEN AND JUST WENT RIGHT THROUGH IT. MOST OF HIS CHAPTERS WERE SHORTER THAN THESE KOLLUMS HERE. I DON’T KNOW…
I GUESS I JUST LIKE TYPING…BUT MANY OF YOU REPEAT VISITORS HAVE COMMENTED ON THE WONDERMENT OF THE IMMEDIACY AND ALSO THE INTER ACTION VIS-A-VIS COMMENTS AND FEEDBACK. THIS IS SOMETHING THE ARTISTS OF THE “OLD DAYS” (PRE WEB DAYS) NEVER HAD. THIS IS REDUNDANT BUT, IMAGINE IF POE COULD HAVE JUST DIALED UP BLAKE’S COMPLETE WORKS TO INSPIRE HIM. WHAT WE HAVE WITH THE WEB IS THE SUM OF MAN’S KNOWLEDGE ALL FILED UP NEATLY FOR US. WE (MAN) HAVE NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE. I FEEL LUCKY TO BE AROUND AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME, BECAUSE BEING AN ARTIST, I CAN FULLY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL THAT I’VE JUST NOTED. SO I MAY INDEED BE ABLE TO KEEP WRITING FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO COME.
SOME OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS NEVER SAW AN I POD…THINGS ARE MOVING AT ALMOST INTIMIDATING SPEED, YET I JUST WANT TO BE ONE OF THOSE “ARTIST GUYS” WHO FULLY ADMITS THAT HE USES ALL THE WEB HAS TO OFFER IN THE WAY OF “AN ASSIST”.

AT LEAST I’M USING IT, AND AT LEAST I’M THINKING ABOUT IT. AFTER ALL, IT WOULD BE A SHAME IF THE WEB AND ALL IT HAS TO OFFER DIDN’T IMPRESS ME, IN THE WAKE OF ALL THE SUCCESS AND SUPPORT I’VE HAD FOR SO MANY DECADES…
IT WOULD BE A WASTE OF GOOD MAGIC…