Cameron Carpenter: The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll – Some Zzzzz’s

CamOnce again we find ourselves at the end of the alphabet. Some Z songs for you at the end of the article.

After the fun reunion with Slaughter who knew my next major show would be Black Sabbath. I received a text from my rock’n’roll brother Stephane Drolet asking me if I would be interested in going to the show with him. Steph was coming in from Montreal as the band was not going to be performing there. Of course there is a Slaughter/Ozzy connection as Slaughter’s Dana Strum is the man who hooked Ozzy up with Randy Rhoads.

Bier MarktWe met on the afternoon of the show at the BierMarkt on The Esplanade and by 5 PM all the bars along the strip were awash with a sea of heavy metal tee-shirts. Next stop was Real Sports where we were meeting some record company friends and some folks from Converse who had our tickets. After a couple more pints we were off to our fourth row seats and the DJ set from Andrew “Party Hard” WK. He did a good job warming up the crowd and I was rather pleased he was DJ’ing and not performing with a band. Let’s face facts, 98% of the crowd only would have known one song. The set list was classic Sabbath and Ozzy was in good voice. About half way through the set we swapped seats with Steph’s pals Luc and Yannick who had come to the Sabbath in Torontoshow from Montreal and their tickets were pretty far back at the ACC. After the show we headed backstage to meet with the touring keyboard player from Sabbath as he knew Steph and Johnny O. from Converse. Over the course of a little beer and wine conversation it casually came up that his father was Rick Wakemen. Very cool.  The night was still young so it was off to The Bovine Tiki Bar and Cherry Cola’s.

The ProclaimersLast Friday night Wendi-Jane and I headed off to the opening night of the CNE to see my old pals The Proclaimers. After a bit of a panic getting there via the always diverting TTC coupled with a massive line-up at the Dufferin Gates, we managed to get to the seats in time for the third song (although we heard the first couple as we bobbed and weaved around strollers and general human traffic). After we were nice and settled the boys played their first hit “Letter From America” and dedicated to me by saying “That song was for Cameron Carpenter and we never would have got off the plane without his support”. I was moved. Later in the set they dedicated a song to Erin Kinghorn who put over a dozen years of work with the band when they worked with Nettwerk and Frontside. After the show we ran into road barenakedladiesmanager and soundman Tom Oliver who took us backstage to say hello. Tom has been working with Craig and Charlie since 1988 and we first met at the El Mocambo where the Proclaimers performed their first ever Canadian show. A group of buskers performed outside the venue that night that would ultimately become The Barenaked Ladies, and, a friend of mine had a hot date with an aspiring actress by the name of Kim Cattrall.

As always the boys headed over to the merch table and signed every autograph and poised for every picture as we watched the very diverse audience wander off into the land of Cronuts.  As the backstage area cam and-wendi-janewas devoid of alcohol we planned to meet back at the Westin Harbour Castle for a post-show beverage. Wendi-Jane, Erin and I had just settled in when we were joined by Craig Reid, Tom Oliver, drummer Clive Jenner and guitarist Zac Ware. For the next few hours we traded rock’n’roll stories, as there was many a veteran at the table, as well as a few football updates and I learned the history of the “Sunshine On Leith” movie which will be premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9th at 6:00 PM at The Ryerson Theatre. Here is the trailer:

There are a few screening during TIFF and both Craig and Charlie will be in Toronto for the premiere. Ticket information and screening times can be found here:

There still are a few more western Canadian dates on The Proclaimers tour and dates and venues can be found at Great show, highly recommended.

Now, on to the Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.

“Zip-A-Dee-Doo Dah” – Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans

From the 1946 Disney film “Song Of The South”. A classic Phil Spector recording that features Darlene Love.

“Zurich 17” – The Hollywood Brats

A little slice of glam powerpop from The Brats. Lead singer Andrew Matheson would record “Zurich 18” on his “Night Of The Bastard Moon” album almost 20 years later.

“Ziggy Stardust” – David Bowie

Speaking of glam, this is the song (and the character) that defined the entire genre.

“Zou Bisou, Bisou” – Jessica Pare

The little song (and scene) that made one of the stars of “Suck” into an international sensation. From vampires to madmen Jessica has left her mark.

“Zaz Turned Blue” – Was (Not Was) featuring Mel Torme

How can you not love a song about a ginger suffocating when Mel Torme croons it? From the brilliant Was (Not Was) album “Born To Laugh At Tornadoes”.

“Zero Hour” – The Plimsouls

Perfect powerpop from Paramount, California and featuring the wonderful Peter Case.

“Zombies” – Cobra Ramone

A little sultry rock from Vancouver’s Cobra Ramone. Cobra has a song in the new (and last) Cory Monteith film “All The Wrong Reasons” which also premieres at TIFF this year.

Ed. Note: Sorry…no video available for Cobra Ramone’s “Zombies”…so here’s a picture of a hot girl with a zombie..

Hot Girl and Zombie

“Zero” – Smashing Pumpkins

The band close to the height of their power. Also launched a semi-iconic tee-shirt.

“Zerox” – Adam & The Ants

Back before Adam got all “goody two shoes”.

“Zip Gun Boogie” – T. Rex

From the late great Marc Bolan. Why they never really made it in North America is beyond me.

.The ABC’s Of Rock’n’Roll are proud to be presented by The Bovine Tiki Bar. The bar and BBQ opens daily at 4 PM and the BBQ rocks until 10 PM. Cocktails available after 10. It is the coolest rooftop in downtown Toronto and if you miss the BBQ head next store to Rock Lobster who are keeping late night old school Shanghai Cowgirl hours. I miss the chicken fried steak but a fresh lobster can be a tasty treat at 2 AM.


Follow Cam @CC59 on Twitter.

Cam’s column appears every Thursday

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DBAWIS ButtonCameron 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, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.


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