Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll Goes to a Garden Party

A little bit of a review of the past couple of weeks.

Thanks to reader Steve for sending us the link to The Rockaderos. It brought back a lot of great memories for Bob and I. Would love to hear the other two tracks…Also thanks to Mykey for the tip about iRepair. They are a lot cheaper than Apple servicing and hopefully they can get the old classic up and running.

Once again it was a fantastic group of people who attended the annual  Dave Charles-Gary Muth hosted “old school music industry” garden party at the home of noted local musician Paul Armstrong. I was honoured to be invited for the second time and hopefully will be able to attend the event another time in the coming years (the guest list rotates every year as the party keeps growing in stature and acclaim). Segarini, Doug Thompson and I represented DBAWIS.

The first familiar face that greeted me was Doug Chappell the legendary former member of Richie Knight And The Mid-Knights. I am too young to have ever seen that band but I first dealt with Doug when I was hanging around with Segarini in the late seventies at the Warden Avenue offices of A&M Records. Doug was one of the best promo guys in the business and along with A&M publicist Jim Monaco helped find me some work writing bios for the label (Chilliwack, Jerry Doucette) and the liner notes for the first Segarini Band EP. Doug went on to become President of Island Records and Virgin Records.

The next person I ran into was radio great John Donabie. Best remembered for stints at Chum-FM, Q-107, CFRB and even one time Toronto country station CISS, Donabie has always been one of the best liked guys in radio. About 12 years ago I was coming out of a restaurant in downtown Toronto when I heard his distinctive voice call my name from across the street. We shook hands and he then said “Cam I couldn’t let you walk by without saying hello and introducing you to my friend Steve Cropper”.  I was stunned. As you are well aware Cropper is a giant in music (Booker T. & The MG’s,  Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and The Blues Brothers to name but a few) and the fact that Donabie took the time to introduce me has never been forgotten.

It was nice to see former BMG co-workers Tim Williams and Jim Campbell as well as MCA alumni’s Ross Reynolds and Sarah Norris and my old boss at XM Radio Ross Davies.

In the shot above (taken by musician and promoter Bill King) is an interesting group of characters. In the front are David Marsden and Doug Thompson.  David Marsden is a true giant in Canadian broadcasting and I believe was the only party attendee who is in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. He is remembered by many as Dave Mickie from CKEY in the early sixties and as the TV host of “Music Hop” on CBC. Who did he replace on that show?  Who is Alex Trebak?  In the early seventies he was one of the most distinct personalities on CHUM-FM when they were at their rock’n’roll best.  I recall listening breathlessly one Friday night with a group of high school friends as he premiered “Physical Graffiti” by Led Zeppelin. Later that decade he moved to the old yellow schoolhouse in Brampton and spearheaded the pioneering CFNY. From Elvis Costello, The Spoons, Teenage Head and Ultravox they changed the sound of radio in this city. Although they were not on the playlist Rush penned “The Spirit Of Radio” in honour of the station.  David is still going strong and can be heard on 94.9 The Rock in Oshawa (www.the Beside David is Doug Thompson who shares his radio memories with us right here at DBAWIS. In the back row are CFNY legend Don Berns (who still occasionally spins at raves as Dr. Trance and can be seen acting on stage and television), Kevin Drew, yours truly and Richard Flohill. It was interesting to see Kevin at the event (he won the award as the youngest participant) and he arrived with Andy Kim. The Broken Social Scene founder has long been a contributor to Andy’s annual Christmas charity music show so it all made sense. It was great to hear Kevin and Marsden discuss records that made huge impacts on them. Last but not least is one of the finest publicists of all time Sir Richard Flohill.

There were too many others to mention but it was great to go to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends. Thanks again to Dave Charles, Gary Muth, David Farrell and Paul Armstrong. Photos by Bill King

It was nice to see Mike Levine, Gil Moore and Rik Emmett have so much fun doing a Q+A with lucky Q-107 winners prior to the screening of their new DVD “Live At Sweden Rock Festival” at the beautiful little theatre located in the magnificent Corus headquarters in Toronto.  The band spent twenty minutes with DJ Al Joynes talking to the audience and then, after the screening, met with the 1oo listeners and posed for pictures with all of them.  A fun night and great to see the rock’n’roll machine back together again.

Although I shied away from most TIFF events this year I did manage to host a NXNE Encore Film Event during the festival. For the second year in a row NXNE took over The Bovine and ran a movie in the back and bands in the front room.  Die Mannequin fittingly headlined as the band starred in Bruce MacDonald’s “Hard Core Logo II” and they tore it up at the packed to capacity cub. Helping us out for the second time were “A Primitive Evolution” who have just released their new EP “The Prize” and performed as a stripped down three-piece. Both bands rocked The Bovine. In the back we screened the great Danko Jones documentary “Bring On The Mountain”.  Looking forward to doing it again next year. By the way submissions are now open for bands and filmmakers for NXNE 2013. Details at

After their successful sold-out cross Canada tour with The Cult my favorite band from Halifax are heading back across the country with their pals The Stanfields taking the east coast all the way to the west and back. Two great bands you should check out while you still can see them in a club. Details and

Finally our band M.T.L will be playing a special free show with Sean Paul and Down With Webster on Saturday September 29th at Quai Jacques Cartier at Vieux Port de Montreal. Three great bands, one great price and no Habs game to interfere.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

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Cameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, NXNE Magazine, The Daily XY and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.

One Response to “Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll Goes to a Garden Party”

  1. agree 100% about the Stanfields and Gloryhound. these bands are going to skyrocket very soon so see them in a small venue while you can! guaranteed to be a killer performance.

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