Segarini – A Baker’s Dozen of Obscure Treats
My apartment is a mess. Like I am living in the warehouse at the end of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark‘ after everything has been moved around, stacked up helter skelter, and left in piles as far as the eye can see. There is a verrry unqualified man who, starting in January, will be forcing us down a path unwalked, chosen by him based on Lord-Knows-What, and foisted on a concerned planet…and a Legendary Canadian Icon has declared it’s Closing Time, and gone home for good. 2016 has been a nightmare. Will 2017 be any better? …and people wonder why I drink.
Fuck it. Let’s listen to some rock and roll….
Today’s column is short, bittersweet, and may be of interest to music fans who are familiar with my work, but even more interested in hearing some rarely heard, and some never heard music I have had the pleasure to help create over the years.
The rest of you can either dive in and see if there are any tunes here that meet your approval, or you can go back to Facebook to either whine, or gloat.
I love all of you regardless, whether you stay…or go.
A Baker’s Dozen of Obscure Treats
The Wackers – I’m Bored
“Well, Dylan is old
The Stones are cold
The Beatles are gone
And it’s making me yawn
The Wackers – Funky Vegetable/Riot (Live)
Before Teenage Love, there was the Funky Vegetable, an instrumental based around a riff I came up with at a little dive bar in Eureka called the Squeeze Inn. We would jam it out in the late set every night until I finally wrote the Teenage Love lyrics, which are not in evidence here at all. The tune it segues into here is Michael Stull’s powerful, Riot, which for reasons I have never understood, remained unrecorded when we were in the studio. Stupid Wackers….
The Wackers – I’m In Love
The version of this song that is on the Wackering Heights LP is a slightly different take that was sped up by our producer, Gary Usher, to ‘give it a sheen and some excitement’. Here is the un-sheened, non-excitement version (which I quite like). Track courtesy of the Spencer T. Earnshaw Collection.
The Wackers – You Really Got a Hold On Me
So it’s 3:00 in the morning. We have snuck into Andre Perry’s Le Studio Quebec with the assistant engineer on Hot Wacks, Nelson (Captain Canada) Vipond, to record a half a dozen songs we were not being allowed to record on the LP. This Smokey Robinson chestnut, ably warbled by the aforementioned Mr. Stull, was a band (and audience) favourite. Our version didn’t mimic the original, OR The Beatles versions. We were whiter than the Miracles and blacker than The Beatles. We was Wackers.
The Wackers – Love the One You’re With (Live)
William “Kootch” Trochim steps out front and totally OWNS this Stephen Stills classic. It showed up on stage one night in the middle of “On the Way Up“, and stayed there every night thereafter. This recording took place in Berkeley California in November of 1971 and this song’s inclusion came as a surprise when Kootch decided to throw it into the set in the middle of On the Way Up, which was being recorded that night as part of the live LP we were working on with Creedence Clearwater Revival engineer, Russ Gary. Sooo glad he did. The Wackers never rehearsed, we just played live and shit happened. You can say that about every band I have ever put together up until Cats and Dogs…and the biggest reason Cats and Dogs rehearsed was because it gave us an excuse to get together and play. And drink. We always rehearsed in front of an audience at Miguel’s fabulous much-missed bar, or Drew Winters’ basement in front of his two kids, one of which always managed to fall asleep in the middle of the room after running around in circles like a 5 year old. He was five years old.
The Wackers – It’s All Over Now
We didn’t get this track from the Rolling Stones. We got it from The Valentinos, Bobby Womack’s recording group. Bobby wrote this gem. We sped it up.Yay, excitement.
The Wackers – Don’t Be Cruel (Live)
Also from the Spencer T. Earnshaw Collection, I had no idea there was a live version of this track in existence. We covered Elvis before it was fashionable. Ditto with The Beatles. We kind of didn’t care what was fashionable at the time, plus, we were either drunk or high…or drunk and high.
The Wackers – She Loves You (Studio Version)
We were advised not to play Beatle songs by everybody. We did anyway. Closing our set at Carnegie Hall with this song got us a partial standing ovation and a mention in the New York Times the next day. There is a live version that some of you have heard before, and is a bonus track on the Wack and Roll album. This is the hastily recorded studio version from the 3:00 am sessions at Le Studio Quebec.
The Wackers – Ride
Written by Steve Lalor from fine Seattle band (and good friends) The Daily Flash, Randy (Bishop) and I had sung backgrounds (along with Rita Coolidge) on the Flash’s version in L.A, and always loved the song. When The Wackers were formed a few months later, Michael Stull‘s powerful vocal made it a mainstay in our live shows. Another studio take from the 3:00 am Sessions.
The Dudes – Linda
Linda was our Montreal photographer, Peter Kruschelenski’s wife. She was always on my case about my hair. My response? This song. I added all the shit EVERYBODY was always on my case about, and this was the result. Music as therapy. Works for me.
The Dudes – Sugar
All the Young Dudes took over from The Wackers as the ‘must see’ band in Montreal when the Wacks folded their tent. Two Wackers, two April Winos, and two new kids on the block, Wayne Cullen and Brian Greenway. More magic that manifested itself without trying. David Henman wrote and brought this one to the table and who could say no to this infectious groove and down-to-earth lyric. Not the Dudes….
The Segarini Band – I Wanna Get to Know Ya Better
I was ping-ponging back and forth between Montreal and Toronto twice a week on the Turbo (train) with Marty Melhuish, who had conjured up some studio time for me in a little 8 track room in the basement of Thunder Sound in Toronto. Four of the songs ended up on my first solo EP on A&M, and this is one of them. I wanted to make a live recording of something that sounded like Wilson Pickett meets the Beach Boys. Wrote the song, got the vibe, but live was impossible (this was not a band yet, and the players on this, (BB Gabor, Keir Brownstone (future Parachute Clubber), David (guitarist/producer) Bendeth, and Mark Bronson (a future segarini Band member) weren’t available for gigs. The crowd was spliced together by engineer Brian Fitzgerald from other people’s gigs…but I got the effect I wanted and the song needed.
Roxy – (We’ve Gotta) Stop the War
Wrote and recorded right after the events at Kent State and only released to College radio stations, this song holds more water now than it did then. My one and only anti-war, anti-president, anti-bullshit song. Fingers crossed it doesn’t become necessary to update the lyric a bit.
In remembrance of those who have given their lives over the years so that we may live ours in peace. To our veterans, to their families, Thank You.
Segarini’s regular columns appear here whenever Harry tweets Sally
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Bob “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, continues to write music, make music, and record.