Roxanne Tellier – On The Occasion of Robert Segarini’s Birthday

Roxanne

Started writing these reminiscing’s on Friday morning, as the world awoke to the dawning of our Fearless Leaders 70th year on the planet. Trying to finish writing them while still nursing the remnants of a hangover, 48 hours after the Birthday Boy’s bash.

For Friends of Bob (aka … FOB’s)

the Moustache

Waaaaay back in the day, when Fred and Barney’s Flintstones cars were powered by foot, I was a young girl in Montreal. The Moustache was a hot spot for teens – the beer was cheap and the staff wasn’t too picky about checking i.d.’s.

23. Bob and Randy Moustache Club 1971

Bob and Randy upstairs at the Mustache 1971 – 72

So, I was probably about 17 the first time I saw Bob perform. The Wackers blew the joint away. Randy Bishop brought the glam, and Bob Segarini, in his skinny black jeans and turtleneck, brought the louche. The bravest amongst us would flirt with the California boys and Montreal embraced the music and the band. Many years of good times and great music ensued.

“But for that memorable couple of years, at least, they were ubiquitous in this city. Lauded by the local press, including The Gazette, promoted by tastemakers like CHOM and adored by fans starved for actual rock’n’roll in an era largely defined by mellow singer-songwriters and bombastic progressive rock, the Wackers were, arguably, our best-loved band of the era. The Wackers

Bob, Kootch, Randy, and Ernie Old Montreal 1972

“The Wackers were going against the pretensions of the British musical scene at the time. We didn’t have pedal boards and distort our guitars. Randy and I prided ourselves on being able to write a fairly decent pop song — and that’s what we built the Wackers around.” “

http://montrealgazette.com/entertainment/music/the-wackers-a-great-montreal-band-that-deserved-better

70s fashionYouth ruled Montreal in the early seventies. Our fashion was up to the minute, and we expected our music to rise to the occasion. The city found any excuse to capitalize on the scene. Both the erstwhile hippies and those looking for the ‘next big thing’ attended clubs and ‘festivals in the park.’ The Wackers perfectly fit the bill.

 

Somewhere around 1971, I was browsing through a delete bin of LPs, and found a record by a group called “Roxy.” Bought it for less than a buck, and loved every track. And could I ever relate to the idea of running away to a Rock n Roll Circus …At some point I made the connection between the Segarini in Roxy and the Segarini in The Wackers.(roxy cover.jpg)

My life took a detour from rock n roll fantasies during the early 70’s. Got married, had a daughter, tried to be a ‘straight,’ with not much success.

rox wedding to Michael 002

The First Time Around for Rox 

Meanwhile The Wackers were livin’ it up, and going from strength to strength.This song became a radio hit that kept me boppin’ around the breakfast table.

Fast forward … now in Toronto, pursuing my own rock muse.  The late 70’s were Nirvana for Toronto music lovers … bands rockin’ out on every corner, six nights a week. And lo and behold … there was a new band in town, “The Segarini Band.” Same guy, new group, this time a bunch of fresh faced young’uns.

Bob Facebook Segarini Band

Peter Mikey Mark Bob Drew and Phil The Segarini Band

Twitch albumBob was everywhere.Recording, gigging, talking up Bomb Records.  And if he wasn’t gigging, he was out promoting his act, and a lot of young talented kids with great musical chops, like Twitch, a power pop trio, led by Garwood Wallace, with Bryan Pratt on bass, and Stefan Leroux on drums (Stefan was later replaced with Steve Feldman.)

From Jamie Vernon’s Canadian Pop Encyclopedia.

“Segarini became something of a mentor to Wallace resulting in Wallace playing guitar and singing on the sessions for Segarini’s second solo album ‘Goodbye L.A.’ At one point, Wallace asked Segarini to attend a Twitch showcase at the Nickelodeon on Yonge Street in Toronto. Segarini was impressed enough with the energetic band that he had them open a show for him and his band that same night across town at the El Mocombo. Thus, the very first Twitch gig in front of a live audience was on June 2, 1979 to a packed house. This resulted in a lot of attention from local promoters and the media and Twitch quickly established themselves on the Toronto music scene as a fast, loud power-pop band specializing in nervous rock’n roll. They became the “house opening act” at the El Mocombo for much of the summer of ’79, doing shows with the Ramones, Link Wray, John Lee Hooker, and the Tourists, among others. Segarini also recorded a Garwood Wallace song, “Rock ‘N Roll Moment” for the ‘Goodbye L.A.’ album.”

Here’s Twitch’s version….

I got a taste of the Segarini magic when he produced two of Performer’s songs for an EP that never got released. (Still trying to find a copy of Sharon Kaid’sGirls on Top,” one of the two.)

performer-1982

Sharon Roxanne Sean Performer 1982

But this was the early 80’s. Bob was everywhere … literally …

…and so many commercials…. 

Our paths kept crossing over the years; I’d call him, or he’d call me. Shawn and I dropped into Q one night for a chat when he was dj’ing. We’d bump into each other now and again. We played a benefit gig together, he with Cats and Dogs, I with Delta Tango.

Cats and Dogs Promo Picture

Rick Paul Peter Bob Drew Suzie Fitz Karen Gord and Yvonne

Bob Greg Anger Blues on BelairWhen we moved to Scarborough, he let me  know he was playing up the street at the Black Dog Pub with Greg Godovitz … hadn’t seen him in years at that point, but as always,  the years don’t matter, and I trotted up the street for a beer and a chat. Friends are friends – always glad to see each other and share a laugh.

I’ve wanted to cover this Cats and Dogs song since I first heard it.

I came late to the Facebook party, but when I did, Bob and I reconnected, and were soon trading stories and barbs, and discovering our mutual affection for the-bobcastshows like BunHeads, and the artistic sensibilities of the Algonquin Round Table crew. One day he asked me … or more likely informed me … that I was going to co-host a new project he was working on  …The BobCast.

And so it came to pass that I met a lot more of Bob’s friends. The kids in Xprime, the “box of puppies,” were our house band, and watching them grow into their musical abilities while retaining their boisterous innocence and charm was a joy. We interviewed radio personalities, actors, musicians, and sometimes each other. It was a crazy year, but the show still lives on, hidden on the Internet and in the memories of all involved.

There’s even one on YouTube….

So here it is … more years later than I’ll usually admit to. It’s been a long time since a small girl from Montreal met a rocker from Stockton.  We still get together to yak, toss back a few bevvies, and laugh so loud (ok .. it’s usually me laughing too loud,) that we’re in imminent danger of being ejected from an event or bar. Guess it’s always gonna be that way.

Bobcast Bob and I

 

His Bib’s may be 70, but he’s still a “Juvenile Delinquent” at heart.

On Friday he was holding court at Cherry Cola’s Rock and Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, welcoming his daughter Amy, her husband Tim, and their kidlets Tilda and Marshal, and the many friends who came out to help him celebrate a life well lived. Pat Blythe will have a plethora of pics from the party on Wednesday, I’m sure.  Be assured, a good time was had by all. Some of those good times I even remember.

Looks like we’ve come full circle ….

bob-january-2012-small3

“After a post-Wackers album with The Dudes, Segarini released four solo records, including the excellent Gotta Have Pop, and two by another project, Cats and Dogs. He also did a disc jockey stint on Toronto’s CHUM-FM and Q107 as the Iceman, and worked in television and satellite radio. A Toronto resident, he continues to observe pop culture and music on his Don’t Believe a Word I Say blog, which also features other contributors, and hosts The BobCast podcast. The blog can be found at bobsegarini.wordpress.com.”

Wishing a very happy birthday to Bob Segarini, our very own Mr. Benchley, from his long-time fan, Mrs. Parker.

bob-and-roxy-joey-cees-party-january-2013

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Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. She has also been a vocalist with many acts, including Tangents, Lady, Performer, Mambo Jimi, and Delta Tango. In 2013 she co-hosted Bob Segarini’s podcast, The Bobcast, and, along with Bobert, will continue to seek out and destroy the people who cancelled ‘Bunheads’. 

3 Responses to “Roxanne Tellier – On The Occasion of Robert Segarini’s Birthday”

  1. Beautifully done!!! A loving tribute to an long-time friend.

  2. Happy Happy from Stockton, Ca. Bob

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