Pat Blythe – All Sorts of Stuff and of Course…Music!

I think this is what 2019 is going to be all about:

“There are things you do because they feel right & they make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good” — ©2000 Brian Andreas

Kai Andreas Skye, one of my favourite authors, writes under the pen name Brian Andreas. His books touch on the realities and understated abstractions of life with simple and transparent observations told with an almost naïve honesty and sincerity of a child. His paintings and drawings are that of a five-year-old residing in a grown man’s body and yet…… His books have me laughing out loud one minute and weeping almost inconsolably the next…..”verklempt” as my friend Tracy says.  The stories, in their simplicity, speak the truth. Quirky, perceptive, truthful and insightful with the natural forthrightness and, in some cases, the innocence of one who is just learning his way in the world…..or one who has seen too much.

Falling Into Place ©2009 Brian Andreas

In his introduction for Some Kind of Ride, Andreas writes, “These stories & paintings & drawings feel like the visible ripples of a much deeper conversation. There are whispers of death & rebirth…echoes of ancient tricksters in the voices & a thin, keening sadness for worlds lost. Yet beneath it all, there is a true wonder & love for this world.”

Andreas’s approach to storytelling and his style is unlike anything else I’ve come across in the literary world. A chance wander into a bookstore at the Pittsburgh airport several years ago, drawn in by a poster I found intriguing, led me to his book, Some Kind of Ride. I fell in love with his views on life and living. I left the store with the book.

Imagining World ©1994 Brian Andreas

“Can I count on you to be there, no matter what? she said & I said no & she said what kind of friend are you? & I said the kind who won’t lie to you any time you want & I think she kept me around as a curiosity after that” — Curiosity, ©Brian Andreas

….and this about watching a young child…..

“Sitting there in your pajamas & all the time in the world & if I could keep any moment it would be this: watching you & holding my breath with the wonder of it all.” — The Wonder of It All, ©2006 Brian Andreas

Seek Andreas’s works out. They’ll have you laughing, gasping and crying all in one fell swoop.

…..and here we are

We’re now in the 20th year of the 21st century. So…..howzit going so far? Meeting your expectations? Anybody feeling like we’re going backwards sometimes? Treading water? The world, this rather small, spinning hunk of dirt tumbling around in space, is such an exhilarating and frustrating place to inhabit. Never a dull moment. Keeps us on our tippy toes, our fingers in our ears, and if social media (now there’s a oxymoron) and “fake news” are any indication, a major sandbox set to coming to a newsfeed near you. Everybody to their corners for a time out!

Today’s column (and probably the next few) is going to be a crazy and possibly unconventional hodgepodge of stuff as I collect my thoughts and whatever else I can gather up that has managed to escape my brain. Did I just hear somebody say “make a list”? (snorting laughter fills the room) Ya……….no. That doesn’t work either. I have no idea how I’m going to start each column because, well, it’s a girl’s prerogative to change her mind…..more than once. My synapses are over-synapsing! If I could just quietly close the door on my brain, gently and unobtrusively turn the lock and hide the key (but remember where I hid it). A spa day for the brain. Oh, how delightful. Like that’s ever going to happen!!!

Reorganizing and pictorial highlights…….

I’m sitting here looking at four years of photography stored on eight different hard drives. It’s getting a little out of hand. Ahhhh….the digital age. Don’t worry, everyone has their own file folders. It’s all catalogued by band/artist, venue, date and time. This is when I consolidate and find out exactly how many times I’ve taken your photo and those “oh shit” moments when I realise I have in fact seen you not once, but twice before….or was that a different band? However, the collection is getting just a little too large….at approximately 20,000 frames per year, that’s masses and masses of guitars, drums and all those damn microphones!! So, January and February will be spent perched at my kitchen peninsula reviewing, reorganizing, editing, deleting and making a complete list of who the hell I’ve photographed. There is just way too much music out there!

In the latter part of December 2018 I managed to capture C0ndu1t (private showcase), Wild T & The Spirit, Sam Taylor, Robbie Lane and The Disciples, Phantom Atlantic, Man Crush and The Human Drive on camera, party hearty at the CIMA and Gilda’s Club Christmas soirees, prep for and host my Christmas Open house, bake thousands of GingerPennies, cook a birthday dinner, attend a birthday party and two fundraisers and travel to London for a week to celebrate Christmas with my mom, sisters, sons and all the nieces and nephews (little ones and big ones). Already this month there’s been four shows I’ve shot (some hibernating….insert smirk and eye rolling here) and there are three more events coming up. I will be elaborating on these shows as well as December’s in future columns. There’s enough fodder here to keep me busy while I tidy up. So, in brief, here’s a pictorial list of the final moments of 2018.

C0NDU1T – private showcase

l-r – Alexander “Sasha” Tukatsch, Brian Hogue, Paolo DeBartolo

Wild T & The Spirit at Grossmans

l-r – Tim Gittens, Toney Springer, Guenther Kapelle

Phantom Atlantic

l-r – Ryan Stam, Kyle Brunet, Ken Grisé, Jeff Burling

The Human Drive

l-r – Adam Fini, Josh Wareham, John Burkolder (missing in the shot is drummer Nick Blue)

Man Crush

l-r – Tim, Declan O’Donnell, Antöny East

Robbie Lane and The Disciples

The Disciples w/Sam Taylor – l-r – Ed Zankowski, Ewan Divitt, Phil Skladowski, Joe Rigon, Sam Taylor, Joe Agnelo (on bass looking over Sam’s shoulder), Glenn Hill

l-r – Robbie Lane, Glenn Hill and Steve Shelski (on guitar)

My eldest son’s wedding…. She’s a damn fine vet folks so send your pets her way……(she’s gonna kill me for that).  Love you both.

Meet Aarron & Kirsten Thornton.

A grandmother’s love….I couldn’t not post this photo

The joy on Sam’s face says it all….seconds after being declared man and wife. My Toronto kids (by other mothers).

The new Mr. and Mrs. …..Sam Taylor and Maia Van Raes

….and Now…..Music Maestro Please……

Take Your Place – C0NDU1T

I’m A River – Wild T and The Spirit

Beneath Your Moment – Phantom Atlantic

Mountains – The Human Drive

Okay…..I could not resist this…..1966

The Game of Love – Robbie Lane and The Disciples

Flip, Flop and Fly, Rock Around the Clock & Hold On – Robbie Lane and The Disciples

There’s something about this song…..another band I’d love to see (and photograph live)

Live Through the Night – Dear Rouge

Thanks to Jaimie Vernon for posting This Mourning on FB. According to Vernon, With the exception of Eddie Zeeman‘s drum work on Soho ’69’s “Scatterbrain,” this might be the greatest snare sound on a Canadian record, ever.”  So, I did Chalk Circle x’s 2.

This Mourning – Chalk Circle

April Fool – Chalk Circle

A Very Brief Recap……

2018 was a year of change, new experiences, growth and learning for me. A number of “firsts” including Mariposa (Valdy, A.J. Croce, Buffy, WOTE….), Summerfolk (Suzie Vinnick, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Fred Penner, Calan….), Tom Cochrane and Red Rider, Jack Richardson London Music Awards and festival, Holland-Bloorview, Women’s March, Hootenanny on Hunter, ONEs mini-tour, discovering a collapsible travel tea kettle (and it actually works!), using a fish-eye lens, Oregon, a brand new camera, getting published in the Toronto Star. It all mixed in with the usual suspects….CMW, Indie Week, NXNE, London BluesFest, Eddie Bullen’s Jazz cruise….. Oh ya, two weddings too! A year full of music, love and fun. Yes, there were some losses, Frank Gutch Jr’s death was a particularly crushing blow. He and Chris share my camera bag together….but I prefer to move one foot in front of the other full steam ahead.

The past four years have sped by in a heartbeat, coasting along with ups and down, I’ve loved every freakin’ minute of it. I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m a firm believer in fate….that everything happens for a reason. One door closes and another one always opens. It’s your choice whether you walk forward through the door. Me? I’ll take the risk….. I’m always curious to see what’s on the other side. As Chris used to say, “I’m still at the inquisitive stage.” His favourite verse from Jann Arden’s song Good Mother:

“Feet on ground

Heart in hand

Facing forward

Be yourself”

HAPPY 2019 everyone!

WOTE… memoriam……probably one of the most shocking deaths of 2018

In Memory of Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Here’s the link to the memorial if you missed it or were unable to attend.

Mike Taylor memorial and tribute concert

©Brian Andreas

All photographs ©2018 A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”

Lyrics for Good Mother ©1994 Jann Arden


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Please scroll down and leave a comment. Thank you.

dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe – All Sorts of Stuff and of Course…Music!”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Beautiful work, as usual!

  2. Marlene Schuler Says:

    Love the pic of your Mom and son! Missed you being published in the Star … do tell. Happy 2019 Ms. Inquisitive!

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