Cam Carpenter: Rock’n’Roll Rewind – High School Confidential
This week we rewind to high school in more ways than one. Buried deep in a box of rock memorabilia I stumbled upon a collection of my high school newspapers. Calling them a newspaper is a bit of a stretch as most of them are four or five sheets of mimeographed white or green paper and almost faded into obscurity.
I attended Malvern Collegiate in the Beach as did my parents and my children. If you weren’t a Catholic it was the official school of the neighbourhood. A group of us started the paper and I penned the music column. Somehow I had convinced the Donnie at Record on Wheels to donate a promo copy of an album every few weeks which I gave away to the winner of my music trivia concert. We also started an alternative school paper, using pen names, which was more political and allowed us to swear. Pretty racy stuff for the seventies.
In real life I will revert to those days this weekend when I take my now very grown up son to see Alice Cooper and Motley Crue at the ACC. I remember taking a very excited 13 year old Kyle to first see Alice at Massey Hall on October 30, 2003. He was a fledgling drummer at that point and a fan of Alice’s original drummer Neal Smith.
After purchasing his “Billion Dollar Babies” tee-shirt we settled in for a rockin’ set from local lads The Illuminati and then the main event. Due to the kindness of long time Alice associate Toby Mamis we were lucky enough to go backstage and for Kyle to meet Alice. Toby then took him to another dressing room where he got to meet Alice’s drummer Eric Singer (who Kyle knew from Kiss).
When I was 13 I would have killed for that opportunity as my walls were covered in Alice posters and I owned every record from “Pretties for You” on. Later in life I would have the opportunity to work with Alice during his Kane Roberts years as well as becoming friends with the legendary Bob Ezrin who produced the classic Alice albums that influenced me the most.
I am pretty sure that the 13 year old boy in both of us will be in full effect this Saturday night. Makes me feel old but I just saw that Segarini’s granddaughter is attending the show so I feel a little bit better.
I have a bit of history with Motley Crue as well and just couldn`t pass up the opportunity to see their farewell tour. Cut from the Alice cloth they have always put on a hugely theatrical show.
Let`s go back to high school shall we?
“Sound Waves – September 1977
Hello and welcome to my first music column in the Malvern paper. I will be covering concerts, bar-room appearances, record reviews and other interesting topics so stay tuned!
First of all; FM at the Chimney, Monday Sept 19, 77. I went down to the Chimney expecting to hear a good progressive Toronto band. What I heard was three exceptional musicians who didn’t fit together with each other. They used more electronic devices than General Electric and during one point of the evening the violinist “Nash the Slash” put his synthesizer on automatic in order to frequent the men’s room. (He told me not to print that). The other two musicians are Cameron Hawkins on bass and keyboards and Martin Dellar on percussion. The music was science-fiction, with such songs as “Slaughter in Robot Village” and “Phasers on Stun.” The lyrics were just as meaningless. If this band ever breaks out of Toronto’s protective market I’ll be surprised, because its all been done before and much better.
ALBUMS: This week City Boy put out its third album “Young Men Goner West.” Like its predecessor “Dinner at the Ritz” it is a semi-concept although this one is based on ladies of the evening, not dinner. This music sounds like a cross of Sparks, 10CC and The Eagles. There’s something for everyone in City Boy’s “Young Men Gone West.”
Also recommended are the Little River Band – “Dimantina Cocktail,” middle of the road but interesting easy listening, contains the hit single “Happy Anniversary.” Be Bop deluxe, “LIVE! In the Air Age” shows the British rock combo at their best, comparable to “Frampton Comes Alive” but with more sincere lyrics and classier guitar playing. An bonus E.P. is included.
RUMORS: Robert Plant ready to quit Led Zeppelin? Iggy Pop to play Toronto Oct, 9 and Hamilton Oct, 10? Ramones to play the El Mocambo in November?
A feature of this column will be a weekly record give-a-way. All records given away have been donated by Records ON Wheels, 629 Yonge Street-931-3319, with the best prices in the universe! They support us so please support them! To win an album all you need to do is place your answer (on the form below) to the Rock Quiz question and place it along with your name and home form, in the Aunt Amelia box in the library. The winner will be drawn from all the correct entries submitted.
ROCK QUIZ?? Who is Robert Zimmerman?????
Next Wek – Rough Trade”
It’s pretty amusing to look back on these. I do remember that FM show and Nash taking a bathroom break and years later when I was working for both Nash and FM we both remembered the incident. I actually ended up renting a duplex from Martin Deller (who just moved to Europe this spring) and Cameron Hawkins and I still see each other occasionally. I would love to be able to see a video from that show as I would probably be floored by what they were doing. RIP Nash.
Frampton was huge at the time and I thought Be-Bop Deluxe were much more interesting and a lot cooler. I think I reviewed a Be-Bop/City Boy concert at Seneca later in the year.
Also, all the spelling and punctuation appears as it did in the original paper.
Come request “Dinner at the Ritz” some Wednesday night at The Kensington Lodge.
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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, The Daily XY, New Canadian Music, NXNE Magazine and Don’t Believe A Word I Say.