Roxanne Tellier – Bob Segarini ..the Man, the Myth, the Legend …
He calls me Mrs Parker; I call him my Robert Benchley.
But how did it all begin, you ask? Well, It all started at a small 5000 watt radio station in Fresno, California … no, wait ..that’s Ted Baxter’s story. Here’s what really happened …
I was an underage kid in Montreal when I first met Bob. You had to be 18 to drink in those days, but it was almost a ritual, in my circles, to head downtown on the weekend and hit the clubs, regardless of your age. If you got busted – hey! At least you got to see what it looked like inside a Black Maria, and had a good story to tell your friends on Monday.
One such weekend, the plan was to hit Your Father’s Moustache, a huge beer parlour across the street from the Forum, on Closse Street. An American band, The Wackers, were tearing up the joint. In a typical, teenaged, feigned sophistication, my friends and I pronounced them ‘pretty good.’
After a few beers, or maybe a pitcher or two, I got up the courage to talk to one of the band members, a lanky fellow with long, wild black hair, who was holding up a wall on the way to the ladies room. He was civil, if not effusive. Louche, but not a lounge lizard.We chatted very briefly, and then I went back to my friends. I had met The Bob.
Over the years I’d bump into Bob here or there, first in Montreal and then later, in Toronto. He always recognized and remembered me. My sister and I often went to see the Segarini Band in the late 70s. We cheered the boys on as they released album after album. In ’78, I bumped into him on Wellesley Street, when I was working for an entrepreneur, and he caught me up on the antics of Bomb! Records. I still have the report I wrote for my boss, advising him of an opportunity to invest in Bob and Bomb!
As I put my own musical career together, I often thought back to the ease with which he conducted himself on stage. He is and was a consummate showman, able to make audiences putty in his hands. I don’t have a fraction of his stage presence. But then again … few do.
By the time I was on the Toronto rock circuit fulltime myself, the Segarini Band had pretty much imploded, and Bob had moved on as The Iceman, first to CHUM, then Q107, and later to City TV. At Q, he was always busily turning the city on to great local acts, and my husband and I visited him at the Q107 offices, but we hadn’t any product to pitch at that time. Still, it was good to touch base with an old friend, and to wish him well.
Over the next couple of decades we’d run into each other at gigs, he’d call to let me know about some exciting new project he’d started, or I’d ring him up to invite him to events. My band, Mambo Jimi, and others shared a stage with one version of his Segarini/Cats and Dogs mashup band at a charity gig at the Berkeley Church in 2006.
Bob is the Zelig of rock, the Forrest Gump of roll. Since his early days in Stockton, he’s somehow managed to meet and interact with an enormous cast of characters, amongst them, the famous and the infamous. Name a person, place or event of the last 7 decades, and you can be guaranteed that Bob knew them, or was there when it happened. And he has a steel trap of a mind, never forgetting the who, what, or where of the tale. Bob was born to be a chronicler of life, in any form he so chooses.
Through all of the ups and downs, all the rewards and challenges, Bob’s boundless energy, optimism, humour, love for the good things in life, wisdom, his respect for his colleagues, and a surprising sentimentality, has made him a man I’m proud to call ‘friend.’ Once met, Bob cannot be unmet. He’s a true character; you may love him or hate him, but you will never forget him.
Long story short .. I know, too late … we wound up Facebook friending each other somewhere around 2008, and rekindling a friendship that stretched back four decades. Two people, with much in common, and both with wild senses of humour and prone to flights of fancy. What could possibly go wrong?
On 03/03/13, I started writing my Sunday sermons. Bob’s intro: “Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce the latest addition to the DBAWIS family. Please give a warm Don’t Believe a Word I Say welcome to a dear friend, writer, singer and songwriter, Ms. Roxanne Tellier. With Roxanne entertaining you on Sundays, I will now only be late on Mondays. And now…Roxy’s first column.”
And we were off! First the column, and then the launch of the Bobcast, a week later. Bob and I wrangled our motley crew and house band XPrime every Monday through that Spring, Summer and into the Fall, before deciding to take a hiatus to regroup. Sadly … I’m still waiting for that callback to happen.
Through him I’ve met some of the craziest, wildest, most talented, and most fun people I’ve ever known.
Meanwhile, a friendship that began when I was still a kid, and he was a determined young man with a plan, grew like Topsy, and has continued to grow to become one of the most important aspects of my life. We’ve shared thoughts, experiences, food, booze, smokes, and many, many laughs. We can finish each other’s sentences. We miss each other if a few days go by without contact. We respect each other’s opinions, even when we disagree. That’s a pretty cool bond.
He’s the Yin to my Yang; the Archie to my Veronica; simultaneously my older and wiser brother, and my twin; the mac to my cheese. We’re a dangerous duo, and a basket of puppies. When we’re brainstorming, we can’t get the words out fast enough, and 90% of our conversations could be broadcast, with little editing, and still entertain the pants off most listeners.
I’ve known him forever, and even forever isn’t long enough for an affinity like ours.
Bob’s got yet another birthday coming up, on August 28th. And we’ll all be celebrating with him on Saturday, August 27th, as we always do, at Cherry Cola’s Rock n Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, under the indulgent eye of Cherish Stevenson, the lovely owner. Music includes Sam Taylor and East End Love, Frank Cosentino, Earl Johnson, and more.
Night of the Living Bob is a chance to mingle with Bob and his many friends, and to raise a glass to our Fearless Leader. You won’t want to miss it.
I’ll be the chick hanging out by his bar stool, still as goofy and as captivated as I was all those years ago, when he and I wore younger folk’s clothes. Forty years on, the Bob I know still has the wild-eyed passion of a dreamer, and the heart of a lion. Ask him. He’ll tell you. It’s good to be The Bob.
Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roxanne 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’.