Pat Blythe: CMW — Over and Out Part 2 – Until We Meet Again

pblythe

I was overwhelmed with what CMW had to offer. So much to see and do, so many contacts to make, so much to learn and waaaay too many clubs to hit. Impossible in ten days but we all do our very best.

frank_tiefanbackRemembering….

One of my biggest thrills during those 10 days was using my late husband’s photography gear. With much encouragement from my esteemed editor I have been dubbed the “official” DBAWIS photographer. Yep….went a little snap happy and shot over 5,000 photos of the sessions, tradeshow, clubs, dinners, events, talent, etc. I had so much fun trying this one on for size. A HUGE thank you to Frank Tiefenback, a very close friend, who, in two three-hour sessions, taught me all about ISO,  AV and TV settings, apertures, how not to clean a camera, how to shoot with or without a flash, focusing, and anything else he could cram into my brain.

ThePictureTaker_England2010 2

Christopher Blythe, The Picture Taker©

My husband, Christopher Blythe, was a photographer for over 40 years and covered just about everything you can imagine, including 20 years of rock ‘n roll. He had an eye like no other. His camera and all that goes with it had remained pretty much untouched since he passed away just over 18 months ago. When I finally hauled the camera out and got it charged up I found pics from our last trip overseas. Good memories that propel me forward as I now attempt to pick up where he left off. I watched and worked with him for years so between all the remembering and Frank’s help, I think this will all work out. At the very least, I’m going to have some fun with it.

Now, picking up where we left off last week….Friday, May 8….

So the concert of the week is over and my feet are in recovery. It’s flats for the rest of the week! Okay, okay….slightly lower heels then. Vanity rules. Friday morning dawns bright and early and I don’t. Now running late for the Aussie BBQ at the Rivoli — which Roxanne manages to cover– we end up meeting at the Sheraton instead.  Just in time for lunch (I’m famished as usual), something to drink (a coffee IV was desperately required) and a beer for Roxanne was on order. Now, to figure out the rest of the day’s itinerary.

Roxanne Planning

Roxanne in planning mode….

Decision made….it’s tradeshow day. Visiting the various booths and talking with folks from Zippo Lighters (I’ve got an idea for DBAWIS), GigSalad (thanks for the information and lovely soft t-shirt), Canadian Musician, Seneca College (thank you for the CDs), Charlie Presburg from VIP Booking (in from the U.K), collecting all the various magazines, business cards, CDs, and general information — I am still searching for my desk….which is supposed to be right here!

Then it’s time for the conference we’ve both been waiting for — Brand Like a Rock Star.

Brand Like a Rock Star

An “end of the day” session starting at 5:10pm you would think attendance would be miniscule. NOT! The place was hopping….we all wanna be rock stars, let alone brand like one. The session was in a curtained off, but noisy, area so we all march in and take our seats wearing state-of-the-art, noise cancelling, headphones. The presenter is Steve Jones, VP Programming, Newcap Radio, out of California. His is the only voice you hear, crystal clear through those headphones. Jones is sharp, dynamic, chock full of excellent information and common sense all bundled together with a great sense of humour. He knows how to capture your attention and hold it while keeping us all laughing. The examples he gave of bad, or not thought-out, marketing campaigns were brilliant. I forgot about the headphones.

Steve Brand

Speaker Steve Jones – Brand Like A Rock Star

Here are Jones’s top ten key traits used by musicians and radio stations to build their brands:

  • Be Consistent
  • Start Out Small
  • Be Different — Don’t Be Better
  • Create an Experience
  • Find Your One Thing — people are willing to pay for things they feel passionate about
  • Live Up To Expectations
  • Take Smart Risks
  • Know Your Enemy — your enemies help define who you are
  • Be Real, Be Honest, Be Transparent
  • Always Turn It Up To Eleven

Buy the book if you want more information and read about his hilarious examples of branding gone bad. According to Kiss founder Gene Simmons, “Steve Jones knows a thing or two. Listen and take notes.”

DonnieSession over, notes duly taken, we head off to Greg Simpson’s yearly, dinner at Rancho Relaxo. Rancho (as I call it) is located at 300 College St. and is owned by Donnie Blais who also used to own my absolute favourite restaurant and bar in London, Ontario — Fryfogles. Fry’s was THE place to go to listen to some of the best talent North America had to offer….up close and personal….at ground level. Gladys Knight, The Segarini Band, Muddy Waters, Images in Vogue, Levon Helm, Howlin Wolf, Buddy Guy….the list goes on and on…. I celebrated my 18th birthday there, a party I will never forget. The food, the wait staff, the music….I still miss it.

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Donnie has owned Rancho Relaxo for 11 years now. It is comfortable, staff are welcoming, you can hear live music and the food is sublime. I even took a pic of my dinner….couldn’t resist. At Donny’s recommendation I ordered the short rib. Yum yum yummy!!

short rib

It was a fabulous evening spent with old friends and making new friends, enjoying excellent food, laughing and joking, hamming it up for the camera, getting serenaded by the lads from Xprime….an exceedingly fine time enjoyed by all.

A Rancho Relaxo Picturebook….

South End

South End of the table

North End

North End of the table

Middle Bob and Shew

…and somewhere in between. Cheers!

Smokers

Smoker’s Corner (whatever you were smoking)

Smokers II

L-R Bob Segarini, Gab Sid (Xprime) (peeking over Bob’s head), Al Mair, Roxanne Tellier, Steph Mercier (Xprime), Neil Carson (Xprime), Tom Williams, Greg Simpson, Phil Taylor (Xprime)

Steph Neil Rox

Steph Mercier and Neil Carson (Xprime), Roxanne Tellier

Rancho Staff

Our lovely Rancho wait staff

Greg and Jen

Our host for the evening – Greg Simpson with friend Jennifer Lacey

Thank you Greg for bringing us all together and thank you Donny for providing a wonderful place for all of us to gather.

After eating, drinking and general carousing with these folks, this song immediately came to mind since….

Segarini – (We’re All) Juvenile Delinquent

My evening, however, is just beginning….

As everyone drifted home or back to their respective hotels, this intrepid photographer headed to the Horseshoe Tavern. Tonight….Sean Lennon’s band Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger (GOASTT) at 1am and Xprime at 2am. This was going to be one of my latest nights yet.

Horseshoe_Tavern

The Horseshoe was overflowing with bodies crammed right up against the stage. I was experiencing a deja vu from the previous night. I managed to catch the last few songs of the band Fat White Family, and by the end of their set I thought the singer was going to lose his pants completely. He was already shirtless and his pants had been drifting further and further south throughout each tune. His butt cheeks were squeezing out the top. One more screech and jump…. camera at the ready…. he did, however, manage to retain some modesty….just barely….

Sean LennonGhost of A Saber Tooth Tiger….I had no idea what to expect, no preconcieved notions, but admittedly, I was wondering how much of Lennon’s music would be a reflection of either parent, especially Yoko. I was very pleasantly surprised. He’s inherited the exploratory, creative nature of his mom and the melodies and harmonies of his dad. Beatlesque with a dash of psychedelia. The band was tight, both Sean Lennon and his long-time girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl, harmonized beautifully, her’s being the sweeter of the two voices. The lady also knows her way around a bass.

The GOASTT – Midnight Sun

Here are a few pics of Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger at the Horseshoe, May 9, 2015.

ghost1

OMG!!!

Sean on stage

Onstage

ghost2

ghost3

ghost4

My spot off to the side of the stage made shooting the band a bit challenging and capturing the rest of the band members was nigh on impossible. However, I did manage to fire off some lovely pics of Muhl who was very close to where I was standing. Apparently the lighting guy’s favourite colour is red as Muhl was perpetually bathed in it.

Sean Ghost and Neil Xprime

Sean Ghost and Neil Xprime

Everyone cleared out immediately after Lennon finished making the place feel quite empty. Xprime were up next and took the stage just after 2am. The room magically filled up again and some people were…..horrors…..DANCING! I was shocked! Having attended a number of Xprime events recently people typically just stand and watch. I’ll never understand how they can remain so still and quite frankly, it drives me nuts! With these four on stage, by the second note my head’s bobbing, by the third note my toes are going. Once Steph starts bouncing up and down like a pogo stick I just can’t help myself…..gotta dance. Now, here’s the trick….try dancing and picture taking at the same time. Ha! The second peter-mchallenge is trying to capture  persistently moving targets such as these four. Among the five of us it’s hilariously impossible.

Also ran into friend Peter Montreuil. It’s always lovely to see a familiar face. Peter and I hung out, watched the Xprime show and stayed to relax and catch up with them afterwards. It was great to see you Peter and I know you enjoyed the show as much as I did.

xprime1

Gab Sid & Neil Carson – Xprime

xprime2

Gab Sid – Xprime

xprime3

L-R – Neil Carson, Gab Sid, Phil Taylor, Steph Mercier – Xprime

While waiting to have a chat with the band, I was happy to perch myself on the edge of the stage and stretch my legs out while they were tearing down to prepare for the next act. Within minutes I was blindsided by a young man — I’m going to say mid-twenties — who rushed up, put his arm around me, whipped out his smart phone and quickly took a couple of “selfies”. He then, just as quickly, disappeared into the darkness that is the Horseshoe back room. I was stunned for a minute or two but swung around off the stage and started perusing the club to see if I could find him. The obvious question…”what the hell was that all about?”

Ahhh…found him! As I walked toward him he started laughing which made me even more suspicions regarding his intentions. No one likes to be the butt of anyone’s joke and with the potential of that shot ending up damn near anywhere (some of the folks on the net can be just a little twisted) I had no hesitation asking him what his plans were for an unauthorized pic of a total stranger, and, let’s be honest here, a woman considerably older than him. Although his reasons were both flattering and his intentions apparently honourable, I’ll be a bit more guarded in the future. He then gave me a big hug before disappearing into the night.

It’s 4am.

Time for me to say goodnight and get these overtired bones home….

————————————————————————–

It’s May 9 (actually it was May 9 when my head hit the pillow) and only a scant four hours later — crashed at 5:30am and woke up at 9:45am — the sun is beaming in the bedroom window. Time to get my sorry ass in gear. Powering on barely four hours of sleep I wasn’t up to facing the public on the TTC. I’m behind schedule anyway so decided to drive. It’s time for No Dicks, No Divas, No Drama with Billy Mann, a session I’ve been waiting for all week and I don’t want to be late.

billy mann

Billy Mann speaking at Keynote session No Dicks, No Divas, No Drama

billy and larry

Billy Mann and interviewer Larry LeBlanc

Mann was insightful, candid, straightforward and completely comfortable speaking about his past and the road that got him where he is today. His career has run the gamut from street musician to recording artist to entrepreneur and music industry executive. He has  written songs and/or produced records for a wide assortment of artists, including PinkCeline DionBackstreet BoysCherKelly RowlandJessica SimpsonArt GarfunkelStingJoss StoneHall & OatesCarole King….and the list goes on.

Billy Mann – Turn Down The World

Mann is the founder and CEO of Green & Bloom/Topline, an independent music publishing company. He is also chairman of management firm Mannco. He plays guitar, piano, bass, baritone horn, flute and harmonica.

  • Session takeaways — be honest with yourself about why you want to get into the music business; understand that contract you’re signing BEFORE you sign it….don’t be pressured, learn to walk away. Thank you Billy.

I’m awake now….it’s party time! Heading west to the eOne Music soiree at the Gibson Artist Showroom where I was introduced to Eric Alper, Director of Media Relation for eOne Music Canada. We also ran into the lovely Care Failure of Die Mannequin and ace guitarist J.C Sandoval of Savannah/Die Mannequin/Secret Broadcast (he’s a busy man). There were a number of acts performing here throughout the day and I managed to catch Gloryhound on camera.

rox jc care

Roxanne Tellier, J.C. Sandoval, Care Failure

gloryhound

Gloryhound

Time to wend our way back downtown to the Horseshoe where we hook up with DBAWIS scribe Cam Carpenter who happens to be chatting with Albertan singer/songwriter Jay Sparrow (both Roxanne and I agree he is Adam Levine cloned) and Bonnie Fedrau, Executive Director of MusicNL.

jay cam rox

L-R Bonnie Fedrau, Jay Sparrow, Cam Carpenter, Roxanne Tellier

I’m starting to feel very East Coastish….so time to head over to the Rivoli and the Tiki Lounge. Digby scallops, lobster and shrimp rolls, oysters, the best clam chowder I’ve had in….I don’t know how long…. The event was hosted by Music Nova Scotia and the food prepared by chef Richard Julien of Chef Live, and his team. The place was jammed, the food line-up….long.

tiki lounge

Tiki Lounge Invite

Food, food, glorious food….

food1

food2

Chef Richard and those Digby scallops

food3

Scallops!!!

food4

A sampling of the entertainment….

ian

Ian Janes

alana yorke

Alana Yorke

The line-up of talent played on until midnight but after Friday night’s antics even 7pm was past my bedtime. The sandman calleth….my pillows are whispering my name, so….sufficiently “suffoncified”, the vehicle parked conveniently close by, Roxanne and I make our way east.

Oh Lord, I have a wedding to video on Sunday!!

…and so we bid a fond farewell to CMW 2015. Until next time…..

cmw 2015 colour logo

To  everyone who made my time so extraordinarily wonderful during CMW. …the folks at AB, Bob Segarini who arranged the media accreditation, Greg Simpson, all the volunteers at the registration desks and in the sessions (kudos to you), all the sponsors and supporters, the speakers and the panelists, Cam Carpenter for our Tiki passes, Roxanne Tellier for showing this neophyte around and all the introductions, to all the fabulous people I met and shot….merci, gracias, grazie, danke, thank you!!

Cheers!

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-buttonIn “real” life Pat Blythe has spent the past 32 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry. After an extended absence Pat is now heading back to the GTA clubs, immersing herself in the local music scene, tasting what’s on offer, talking to people and writing once again — sharing her passions and her deep love of music. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda Little Red-headed dancing girland the Imps, Plateau, Buzzsaw, Hellfield….) as well as national and international acts,  Currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, Pat is currently compiling a photographic history of the local GTA music scene from 1975 to 1985. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to

3 Responses to “Pat Blythe: CMW — Over and Out Part 2 – Until We Meet Again”

  1. peter kashur Says:

    juvenile, still, tho’ more and more delinquent…..life in the fast lane….doing 10 k under the limit, with the turn signal on…oo-ha, (cough)….great seeing you pat…and i do believe jay sparrow is a thunder bay boy….his father was a musician there about the time i left to joinsegarini’s liver destruction derby

    nice writing
    cheers, see you around

    • Hey Peter…we’re both right, born in Thunder Bay but raised in Edmonton, Alberta. I think he’s thought of as a Westerner…. but always good to let everyone know Ontario does produce some good ‘uns too 😉

  2. I love your writing style…you capture a unique perspective through the lens and through your words. Thank you for sharing your passion for gatherings, music & food and with us all….

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