Segarini: Seg’s Scrapbook – Snapshots and Stories for Modern Men and Women

Well, hello there Dudes and Dudettes. Time for another stroll down memory lane to visit the past so we can embrace the present. Some of you may have seen this before (around 3 years ago) when I first published it in a slightly different version in a long-gone blog called FYIMusic. I’m sure for most of you, this will be something new. If, like Homer, you cringe when Patty and Selma bring over the slides from their vacations, you may be excused, grab a beer, and watch some television. For those of you who like to sit on the couch and look at pictures in a dog-eared scrapbook, pull up a chair and lean in. The stories start now…

Seg’s Scrapbook

Snapshots and Stories for Modern Men and Women

A Few Family Photos 

I was about 3 years old when this was taken. That’s me, my mom, and the family dog, Spotty…a Water Spaniel my dad bought as a hunting dog, but who ended up being my babysitter most of the time. Somewhere, there is an 8 millimeter home movie of him dragging my ass around the backyard at 464 E. Ellis by my diaper, but I have yet to find the box where all those old Kodak movies are tucked away. We were in Long Barn California, a curve in a 2 lane highway in the Sierra Nevada’s on the way to Pinecrest. Sorry for the blurry image, but apparently no one could focus a camera until the late ‘80’s…and even then it was a crapshoot. Being an only child (and adopted at that) Spotty was my only and best friend for years

This is my dad (in the middle) my cousin Bob Gray (on the left) and my Uncle Al playing Liar’s Dice on the living room floor at 4 East Monterey in Stockton. This pastime was my father’s favourite second only to blasting the shit out of unarmed deer, pheasant, ducks, and other animals that sat regularly on our dinner table when Pop had a good hunt.

My cousin Bob was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War and had the enviable job of transporting celebrities and dignitaries to and from various and sundry meetings, USO Shows, and photo ops. Among his prized possessions, a pair of cufflinks presented to him by Bob Hope, dozens and dozens of great stories, and a Vietcong produced American dollar bill with a picture of a woman sucking a dick on it instead of George Washington’s stiffly grimacing face.

One of the great stories I have since heard from other sources was first told to me by my cousin. Bob flew then President Richard Nixon and Louie Armstrong to a destination in Vietnam, and Louie, a proud and veteran user of wacky weed and marching powder had a stash in his trumpet case. Walking to customs, Armstrong asked President Nixon if he wouldn’t mind carrying his trumpet so Louie could manage the rest of his luggage. Nixon reportedly said he’d be honored, and Satchmo’s stash made it to and from Vietnam without incident. Nixon not only opened the door to China and ended the Vietnam War…he made sure Satchmo was comfortably numb for our fighting men and women overseas. Thank you, President Nixon. Thank you.

Speaking of my dad, this is a snapshot that Amy’s mother took the first time my father saw his granddaughter. It was love at first sight for both of them. My dad had a habit of keeping a lot of change in his pocket. He jingled when he walked. When Amy was old enough to walk, she used to follow him around when we’d visit and try to stick her hand in his pocket to get at the coins. My dad would give her a silver dollar or a fifty cent piece for her trouble. She could have gone to college with the amount of money she got out of his pockets when she was a toddler.

Fear of being struck by lightning didn’t keep me from Amy’s baptism. Apparently, the Catholic Church is very forgiving, and I emerged unscathed. The Holy Water did burn a little, however…

This is my then wife, Amy’s mom, Cheryl, and my cousin Eddie, the infamous Steady Eddie from the song of the same name. A free spirit and a lover of life in the extreme, Eddie now divides his time between homes in Squaw Valley and Cobo San Lucas, surfing or skiing with an old friend, John Bossi, and staying out of trouble, or not getting caught, I’m not sure which. Ed is one of my favourite people. So is Cheryl.

 Extended Family Photos…

When I moved to Toronto and started working on what would become an EP for A&M records, this kid was going to Centennial College and wanted to be a journalist. He asked me for an interview and I gave him one. I also took him out to A&M and introduced him around. Over the next several years we became great friends, made the rounds to check out all the local bands at the clubs, listened to and discussed the latest ‘New Wave’ and Punk records, stayed up many a night laughing and drinking and amusing (and pissing off) either his mom or my wife no end, and even took up golf. He has gone on to become a mainstay in the Canadian Music Industry and a man whose extraordinary taste in music makes him a formidable ally if he and partner Todd Arkell decide to manage your band. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Cam Carpenter.

 

After the A&M EP, the label dropped me with the explanation, “We don’t know what to do with you.” These two thought they did, and financed and finished the Gotta Have Pop album. One of them had his own pet project, Battered Wives, while the other championed my band through 3 albums and a couple of years of great times, and would later bring me on board to launch a dot com that was a decade ahead of it’s time, Musicmusicmusic, Wolfgang Spegg. His partner on the left, is Phil Lubman. This picture was taken at Amy’s 2nd Birthday party in 1978.

Also at that same party, Pete Kashur, seen here getting a look of disdain from girlfriend Kerri. I cannot explain the Dunce Cap. Pete?

 Different party, same goofy grins. Hedley, one of the Segarini Band’s trusted and crackerjack road crew, and the future Mrs. Mark Bronson, publicist, promoter, and dear friend, Colleen Irwin. God, there were a lot of parties at the little house on Armadale Avenue…

Some Musical Memories…

Cheryl and I at the Junos in 1979. I was up for producer of the year for Gotta Have Pop and lost to Joe Vanelli for brother Gino’s deserving LP. It was so weird to be there as a participant, and weirder still to hear a bunch of applause and woots when my name was announced. We were the indie underdog, the Bomb Records family and I, and it felt fantastic just being nominated.

Me posing with the incredible Wurlitzer Jukebox that Bomb bought and sent out to tour the front windows of record stores across Canada to promote Gotta Have Pop. Wolfgang promised me the Jukebox when it came back off the road after the tour. Legend has it that Phil Lubman picked it up at the airport in an old VW pickup and accidentally dumped it out onto the 401 swerving to avoid another vehicle. I have always suspected that it was only rented and given back, a lie along the lines of the one my parents told me when Spotty passed away. For years I thought he had been taken to a friend’s farm so he could chase rabbits. The lens flares predate JJ Abram’s Star Trek by decades…

The Segarini Band opening for Teenage Head at the much missed Forum in Toronto. We are on the revolving stage in front of 15,000 people who are waiting to see Frankie and Company. All in all a great gig if you ignore the burning, overturned Police cars and being trapped in the dressing rooms for hours. Nice night for a party, wasn’t it? 

I was working at Q107 as The Iceman when I got a call from some old friends who were in town to play a club in Toronto. As always, getting together with Mark and Howard turned into a night of debauchery and laughs. Here we are on stage at Nag’s Head North singing their signature tune, Happy Together. I just love these guys, and try to see them every summer that they come through town.

These are not just some little girls we’ve taken to Canada’s Wonderland to ride the rollercoasters and eat funnel cakes. These are the sisters from The Jets, who should have been the next Jackson Family and whose song, All Over Him, is still one of my favourites. My friend, Don Williams, is lurking in the back. We took Amy there to see the band live and they were amazing. I have a great picture of Ames with the group, but of course, I can’t find it.

This picture of Bruce Allen and I was taken at the after party in the basement of Massey Hall when Bryan Adams shot a couple of videos for his latest album. I have known both Bryan and Bruce for a long time, before either one of their careers exploded. They remain completely unaffected by their success. Both are as nice (and as talented) as they were at the outset, and to this day, both of them always find the time to spend a few minutes when we run into each other.

I was in New York with a group of people for a series of Jays games with the Yankees once, and the organizer of the trip and another friend and I had drinks in a little upscale restaurant/bar behind the Loews Hotel in a laneway off of 57th street the night we got in. The MTV Music Awards were taking place on the same weekend, and the area was crawling with rock stars and fans alike. After running up a sizable bill, Joe, the organizer of the trip, went to pay the tab with a Canadian Traveler’s check and was told by the bartender, “We only take real money here”. Canadian money just made him laugh and roll his eyes. I looked around to see if I might know anyone (Little Steven and a couple of tall blonde ‘fans’ were at the table behind us), and when I glanced over at the cash register, I noticed Bruce Allen paying his bill. What are the odds in a city the size of New York? I asked him if he could help us out. Without hesitation, he cashed one of Joe’s traveler’s checks, gave us some backstage passes for Bryan’s show at MadisonSquareGarden the following night, and disappeared into the night after a nice conversation about how great the food was.  At the party this picture was taken at, they ran out of beer. Bryan, not asking a roadie or someone else to do it, went out to one of the tour buses and brought back another case of beer from the onboard stash. How many rock stars would do that?

A great Polaroid test shot for a magazine article about yours truly that I think was taken by legendary rock photographer, John Rowlands. I forget the magazine, but I will never forget that guitar. John, help me out here. Was it you…and whose guitar was that?

And finally…

Every now and then the stars align and a night to remember happens without warning or planning. The Anger Brothers, an underrated and ridiculously fun band that started out as a side project for Greg Godovitz and I, was playing at Jeff Healey’s fine basement dive one night when two old friends showed up with musician friends in tow. One was Warren Cosford, who brought legendary singer/songwriter Jack Scott down to the club, and the other was long time friend Miguel, whose oldest and dearest friend, Jose Feliciano, was in town for a visit. Mutual friend Kim Everest who owns Powerhouse Casting in Toronto was with Miguel and Jose.

It was enough that they were in the house, but having both of them come up onstage and sit in was an honor. We sang backup (along with Warren) on some of Jack’s biggest hits (The Way I Walk, What In the World’s Come Over You) and sang along with Jose on a handful of great classic Beatle tunes and played behind his amazing version of Light My Fire. When it couldn’t have been any better, Jeff Healey joined us onstage and everything went up another notch. Here’s a picture of Jack, Me, Jeff, Jose, Miguel, and Kimmie. Those grins are the honest result of good friends and a great night of music.

May you all have nights like these…

 =0=

Segarini’s regular column appears here every Monday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

 

 

One Response to “Segarini: Seg’s Scrapbook – Snapshots and Stories for Modern Men and Women”

  1. Love the Satchmo/Tricky Dick story

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