Segarini: More Obscure Bob – Risky Business

bob 79One of the greatest pieces of advice I ever got was from a nefarious character I used to buy drugs from. You would never guess that was what he did for a living. He was always impeccably dressed and well turned out, drove a beautifully kept, unpretentious Cadillac sedan, and, though he sold a great deal of product to a wide variety of people, did not partake in said product at all.

As I got to know him over the years, I was surprised to find out that he did not have to sell drugs to make a living…in fact, he didn’t have to earn a living at all. He was wealthy. I never pried, and did not know exactly how he had become so well off, but I believe, due mostly to his demeanor, overall brightness, and well-informed outlook on life, that his financial situation was either inherited or earned through shrewd investments. It was old money.

One day, we were sitting in a pricey restaurant having lunch and I asked him why he dealt drugs. By now, it was obvious to me that the money was not the motivation. Further, he was one of the happiest people I Robert Mondavi Coastal Chardonnayhave ever known. He considered me for a moment and then answered my question with a question.

“Why do you do drugs?” He asked, between sips of the Robert Mondavi Coastal Chardonnay he was drinking.

“Seriously?” I had to think for a minute, “Well, they’re fun, (something I would later come to realize was untrue), they help my creative process, (again…not true), and they keep me out of more trouble than they get me into.” That last one, the biggest untruth of all. I picked up my Jack and Drugs_are_badCoke and took a long drink of it.

“I see”, said my friend. “One of these days those drugs are going to bite you in the ass. I hope you figure that out before they do.” (I didn’t). He continued, “You have a lot going on, a lot of good ideas. You need to enjoy the process more, the people, the ritual of what you do. You have to look for the inherent entertainment found in what you have to do in order to accomplish your goals and move forward. Life is South_Park_-_Drugs_are_badfrustrating to a fault.” He poured himself another glass of chardonnay. “You need to do what I do.”

“What? Deal drugs?”

“No…” he said, “…keep yourself amused.”

He had invited me to lunch to tell me that he would no longer be dealing drugs. It no longer amused him. He had bought a vineyard from one of his customers and was going to grow grapes until THAT no longer amused him.

He is still growing grapes….

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Risk

Skydiver-With-An-Underwear-ParachuteOne of the important parts of keeping oneself amused lies in taking risks. That was probably the biggest ‘amusement’ my ex-drug dealing friend got from his illegal activity. Some people dive out of airplanes or off of a bridge with a rubber band around their ankles, some people gluttonyski, some people stay in lousy relationships, and some people play the ponies. Me, being a coward in regard to the physical aspects of risk taking, am a veritable Iron Man when it comes to other forms of risk. I smoke like a chimney and have since I was around 9 years old. I still enjoy a drink, a big bone-in rib steak medium rare, fatty pastrami, trying my hand at new stuff I know little about, and making music. I even wrote a song about it. To me, being a Danger Guy is as dangerous as it gets….

Here are a few musical risks I have taken over the years….

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Having come off of two very successful (to a point) rock bands, The Wackers and All the Young Dudes, I wanted my solo project to have more gravitas. I wanted to challenge my ability to write music and lyrics in a way I had not explored since the Miss Butters LP.

April Wine 4During the early ‘70s when everybody and their uncle tried to bribe, guilt trip, and cajole The Beatles into reuniting, I penned this song which was finally recorded in late 1977 for the Gotta Have Pop album. Long before that, out drinking one night at Thursday’s in Montreal with the then members of April Wine (Myles Goodwin, Jerry Mercer, Steve Laing, and Gary Moffat), Myles asked if I had been writing any new material. I told him I had.

Armed with a bottle of Courvoisier and a goodly amount of illegal substances, we found ourselves at Studio Tempo after the bar closed, where the Winers were in the process of recording their latest album. With Myles behind the board and the rest of us in the studio, we recorded 4 songs live off the floor between 4am and 6am. With only one or two run-throughs to teach Gary and Steve the chords, we knocked out this first demo of one of the songs I had just written. Here is that demo.

Love Story (Demo with April Wine)

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Interviewing Sam Cutler

Ritchie_yorkeI had not interviewed anyone since my radio and television days back in the ‘80s when an opportunity arranged by old friend Ritchie Yorke was plopped in my lap. I was writing 3 columns a week for a now-deceased online magazine and thought it might be cool to have something different for one of my columns. Aided and abetted by videographer Michael Tomasek and an introduction from Ritchie, I met Sam Cutler at his Canadian publisher’s office to talk about his new book. Sam, a herder of such iconic bands as the Rolling Stones and Grateful Dead turned out to be a friendly, accommodating, engaging, and witty storyteller. This clip is from the hour plus interview we did, when Sam shared this hilarious behind-the-scenes anecdote about the Festival Express.

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Rival Sons Interview at Cherry Cola’s

Shortly after I first heard Rival Sons (thanks to Glenn Hughes and Cherish Stevenson and the wonderful Cherry Cola’s) I had written a column or two about them and had attracted the attention of a new internet startup who asked me if I could get an interview for them. Turns out, I could. So, here is that interview from 2011 in its raw, unedited form…which is perplexing and a bit tragic to me. With some editing and a little work on the sound and some pan and scan additions, this could have been a really professional looking and sounding interview with, at the time, an unknown band with extraordinary talent and charisma. Why the people who requested it didn’t bother to bring it technically up to speed and just posted it on the internet like this is not rivalsons cherrycolasonly a wee tad embarrassing, but disrespectful of the subject matter. It may look amateurish and unprofessional, but the content is anything but. Here are the Rival Sons…talking about the Rival Sons. Just wish I would have had Michael Tomasek shooting it, and access to the raw file you see here. The kitty that walks through the interview is Cherry Cola’s much missed mascot, CeeCee. Nice to find a clip of the little guy….

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/13278827

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Let It Be Me (the Anger Brothers

Anger BrothersAmong the most enjoyable musical side projects I have been involved with over the years, The Anger Brothers was (most of the time) one of the most laugh-filled and pleasurable experiences.

The Angers started out as a British Invasion trio called the Greg Godovitz Orchestra and Chorus which consisted of Greg, keyboardist Ron Christian, and myself, playing Brit Invasion classics and singing 3 part harmony. Mainly we cracked wise and drank. It evolved into the Anger Brothers when Ron left and Brad “Mr. Anger” Lovatt joined us and brought a much need angle to the wastral minstrels. Brad made Greg and I up our game, sang like a bird, and was a fine addition to an already goofy project. This track didn’t make the CD nor is it British Invasion material, but I always loved the song and it was one of only 2 or 3 songs I sang lead on. Recorded in Michael White’s basement studio in about 2 hours. Brad played the keys, the 3 of us sang.

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Stormy Monday (2008)

bob and sebSeb Agnello and I went to a charity fundraiser for the CHUM Christmas Wish foundation several years ago, and after several beers and a lot of nudging from Seb, I got up to sing a song. The one tune we all knew was this blues chestnut and, not knowing the players at all, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of music. I could not have been more wrong. Put together by keyboard player John Jameson, these guys got the groove, the changes, and the vibe perfectly. They were so good, in fact, that this is probably the best I will ever sing this song. What a joy it was…and how great that it was recorded with all the other fine performances that afternoon for a charity CD. No rehearsal, no connection whatsoever, except the love of a great song, and the talent of these fine, local, Canadian musicians.

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Late Great Movies

much musicI was working at MuchMusic as a producer on a Sunday night when an envelope was hand delivered to me while we were in the middle of the segment we were shooting. I was sure that it was to inform me that I was no longer employed. We finished the show, and, following the instructions on the outside of the envelope, I went downstairs and walked next door to Emilio’s, a great little restaurant where my boss, John Martin, the brilliant mastermind behind the day by day operations of Canada’s first and only music channel was waiting for me. He was not alone. Sitting next to him was John’s boss, Moses Znaimer.

Bob hosting Late Great Movies 1985Turns out, I was partially right. I would no longer be working as a producer at Much Music…I would be hosting Late Great Movies on CITY TV.

Starting with just me and a locked off camera aimed at my ‘office’, which was the corner of the top floor hallway at 99 Queen Street East, I talked briefly about the movies we were showing going in and out of commercial breaks 3 nights a week from 1:00 am until 6:00 Stigam. I was responsible for an hour and twenty minutes of LIVE television every week, spread out over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. I grew bored with just reciting trivia about the movies and the actors and started inviting people in off the street to interview, including two guys and their hot dog cart. I was contacted by an 18 year old kid who liked the show and wanted to come on and talk about his independent comic book, Stig’s Inferno. I invited him on. At the end of the night, he dropped some papers on my desk and said, “I wrote some skits to do between movies, let me know what you think”.

I thought they were great. Within a week he became my co-host, and we got an actual cameraman, and within a month, an intern to run master control down in the basement. The Intern, “Our Pal Paul”, was still at bun-toons-logo-small1 (1)CITY TV a few years ago, Terry Dale, the Cameraman went on to be the editor of the Kids in the Hall series, and the kid, Ty Templeton, is an award winning comic book artist and writer who works on the Simpsons, Batman, Justice League, and numerous other DC and Marvel characters. He also has a school here in Toronto for aspiring comic book artists and writers. Check out his Buntoons and more on his blog.

This clip is one of just a few that escaped erasure after we folded our tent at CITY. Somewhere, there is a reel of skits and bits from the show that I will eventually find amongst the boxes and boxes sequestered in the storage spaces of my apartment. In the meantime, enjoy my slightly wrecked, just learning, interview with the Sun newspaper’s astrologer and world known astrologist, Eugenia Last.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtcfk0_late-great-movies-bob-segarini-july-1985_shortfilms%22%20target=%22_blank%22%3E

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Cripple Gary (with Seb Agnello)

The Cripple Gary (actually, “Crippled Gary”, but I got tired of correcting people) character and song intro grew organically from a lot of late night third sets in various bands I had been in. On the occasion of Seb Agnello’s 50th birthday, he asked me to perform it. Our friends plied me with drink, so, even with Seb’s then young children in the audience, I let loose with the best version of the off-the-top-of-my-head rant I have ever done. This is just home video, so you might have to strain a little to hear and see what’s going on, but just have a few drinks or spark a fatty before you watch it and you’ll be fine…and as always, watch it in fullscreen. Now, I know it’s long, but stay the course and don’t bail out when I start singing, there is more Crippled Gary in the middle and a great solo from Seb. Unfortunately, the end is cut off, but hey…I’m grateful this exists. That’s Mike Von Steinberg on drums, and the wonderful Kim Doolittle on bass.

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Radioland (Cyril Way)

One of the songs on my “Tunes I will NEVER Get Tired of Hearing List” is this gem from Michael Martin Murphy. After losing my copy of it in one move or another, I searched for years until I found a copy I had made on a cassette that sounded like shit but at least I had a copy again.

flying circusWhen my friend, drummer Colin Walker, an Australian immigrant who had been in a band with bass player Terry Wilkins (who had also relocated to Toronto and has played with Lighthouse, Rough Trade, David Wilcox and Big Sugar among others) in Australia called The Flying Circus and who had had at least one number one record there, started playing drums for Newfoundland singer Cyril Way, he made sure Cyril and I met. A delightfully down-to-Earth guy, Cyril, his wife, and their extended family became fast friends, and CyrilWaybesides playing incredibly authentic country and ‘down home’ music, managed to introduce me to the wonders of fried baloney and other out East treats. I eventually produced a single for Cyril and his band, ‘Round Midnight’, consisting of a tune written by old friend Glenn Reid, ‘Leave the VCR to Me’, and one of mine, ‘Pour Me a Double (‘Cause I’m Single Again). When it came time to follow that single up, I dug out the old cassette of  Michael Martin Murphy’s ‘Radioland’, and this was the result. They just don’t write ‘em this good anymore….

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Pour Me a Double (‘Cause I’m Single Again)

KashurPeter Kashur, a man difficult to deny, talked me into putting together a new ‘Segarini Band’ after the demise of Cats and Dogs, and the result was a pile of good friends, great musicians, and some very cool gigs and lots of laughs. The members are name checked at the end of the video, which was shot from a locked off camera with a single microphone at the 279 Club, located on the 2nd floor of the downtown Hard Rock Café in Toronto. Recently brought to my attention by Peter, I am again grateful that these recordings exist, and very pleasantly surprised of the quality of the recordings and pleased at how Rick GunnGOOD and talented my friends are. Rick Gunn, mostly out of camera range on the far right, is not only missed as a great person and brilliantly witty and droll human being, but for his unique and engaging style on a guitar that now sits silenced. Miss ya, Bud….

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Touch Me

Bandless for the first time in my musical journey, I bought time at a little studio in Montreal called Studio Six and recorded a couple of recently penned tunes by myself and recorded all the instruments and vocals with the exception of a prototype drum machine invented by the studio’s owner/engineer. It worked by moving push pins into various holes for the kick drum, snare, high hat, and tom tom. Rudimentary and ingenious, it was a ball to program, and had its own, unique, sound. This was recorded in 1974. Did I predict Electronic Dance Music? Am I responsible for EDM? Don’t be ridiculous…who do I look like, Kreskin?

boobs1Be forewarned, though…If you are not a fan of, or are offended by Air Bags, Angel Cakes, Apple Dumpling Shop, Apples, Aspirins on an Ironing Board, Babaloos, Baby Pillows, Balloons, Bangers, Bangles, Bassoons, Baubles, Bazongas, Bazooms, Beacons, Bean Bags, Bebops, Bee Stings, Betty and Wilmas, Betty Boops, Big Boppers, Bigguns ,Bikini Stuffers, Billibongs, Blinkers, Blouse Bunnies, Bologna Bags, Bomboostas ,Bonbons, Bongos, Boobies, Boozies, Bosoms , Bottles, boobs2Bodacious Tatas , Boulders, Bouncers, Bronskis, Bullets, Bumpers,  Butterbags, Butterballs, Cannon Balls, Cans, Cantaloupes, Carumbas, Casabas, Cha-Chas, Charlies, Charms, Cherry pies, Chesticles, Chestnuts, Chi-Chis, Chimichongas, Coconuts, Cream Pies, Cupcakes, Dingers, Dinghies, Dingoes, Dinner Plates, Dirigibles, Double Whammies, Droopies, Dueling Banjos, Dumplings, Dunes, Ear Muffs, Eggplants, Eyes, Enchiladas, Fairy Pillows, Feeding Bottles ,Flapjacks, boobs3Flappers, Flesh Bulbs, Flesh Melons, Floaters, Floppers, Fog Lights, Front Bottom ,Fun Bags, Gagas, Gazingas,Gazongas, Glands, Globes, Grapefruits, Guavas, Hand Warmers, Headlamps, Headlights, Hills, Honeydews, Honkers, Hoohas, Hooters, Hottentots, Huffies, Humdingers, Jaboos, Jawbreakers, Jibs, Jugs, Jumbos, Knobs, Knockers, Kumquats, Lactoids, Loaves, Loblollies, Love Bubbles, Love Melons, Love Muffins, Lulus, Lungs, Macaroons, Magumbos, boobs4Majumbas ,Mambos, Mammaries, Mammaroonies, Mammoths ,Mangos, Maracas ,Marangos, Marimbas, Marshmallows , Mau Maus, Meat Loaves, Meatballs, Melons, Milk Bottles ,Milk Cans, Milk Fountains ,Milk Shakes, Milk Wagons, Missiles , Mogambos, Mountains, Muchachas ,Muffins, Mulligans, Mushmelons , Nancies, Nectarines, Niblets, Ninnies,Nippers, Nippies , Nodules, Noogies, Nubbies, Nugs, Oompas , Oranges, Orbs, Ottomans, Pair , Pagodas, Palookas, Pantry Shelves , Papayas, Parabolas, Party Hats, Paw Patties, Peaches, Peaks, Pears, Peepers, boobs5Pendulums ,Pillows, Pink-Nosed Puppies , Pips, Pointer Sisters, Pompons, Pool Toys, Potatoes, PT Boats, Pumpkins, Puppies, Quarts of Love, Queen Jewels, Rack , Rangoons, Rib Balloons, Rib Cushions, Rockets, Roundies, Saggers ,Sandbags,Satan’s Love Pillows, Scones, Scoops, Shakers, Shebas ,Shimmies,Shmeebs ,Silos, Ski Slopes, Skin Sacks, Smoothies, Snoobs , Snuggle Pups, Spheres, Spongecakes, Spuds, Sweater Meat, Sweet Rolls, Swingers, Tamales, Tatas, Teats, Tetons, Tidbits, Titters, Titties, Tomatoes, Tooters, Torpedoes, Twangers, Twin Peaks, Twofers, Umlauts, Waldos, Warheads,  Watermelons, Whoppers, Wobblers, Wongas, Yabbos, Yams, or Zeppelins…you REALLY shouldn’t watch this….

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And Finally….

I am not sure if I have ever shared this with you, but if I have, here it is again. Next year is Much Music’s 30th Anniversary. Seeing as how they didn’t bother to celebrate their 25th, and those of us that worked there in the beginning had our OWN celebrations, I thought it would be fun to show you just a small segment of the 10th Anniversary from 1994. Sadly, 2 of our friends in this clip are no longer with us, Kenny and Dan…but when you watch this clip, you can see the camaraderie, energy, and love of life that drove the first 10 years of Much Music’s existence. And then there’s the hair…and the padded shoulders…and the hair….

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Segarini’s regular column appears here every Friday

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonBob “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, osts The Bobcast every Monday night at Cherry Cola’s, and continues to write music, make music, and record.

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3 Responses to “Segarini: More Obscure Bob – Risky Business”

  1. Love Story… boy does that bring back Montreal memories! Had no idea you had a version around of that quality.

  2. Mark Vukovich Says:

    Well the Stormy Monday rife is one of my favorites..I’ll have to check the other ones out..

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