Bob Presents Peter Kashur – The Segarini Band Legacy and Bar Tab

Peter Kashur is an annoyingly talented Renaissance Man from the unlikely womb of Thunder Bay Ontario, whose Culinary, Artistic, and Musical gifts cast a pall of inadequacy over his small circle of friends who tolerate his genius because his Oysters Rockefeller, Beef Ribs, and Vesper Martinis are to die for. He is my number one choice as my favourite companion for sitting on the porch drinking Bourbon, complaining about everything, bemoaning old age while being giddily thankful for it, and yelling at clouds. Mr. Kashur (known to his cadre of hooded followers as ‘Shew’) has been whining about the following for years …so I have decided to let him share his rage with you, thinking I would have the day off. Nope. Just repairing his lack of Capital Letters, random punctuation, and libelous rantings, kept me up most of the night. He has been a trusted and necessary musical compatriot and partner for 40 years. This is the least I can do. Seriously. I checked. It is the Least.

Please let me know if all the trouble was worth it. Anyway …here’s Shew.

Ok, I’m getting mighty fekkin’ gruffed, (gruff: adj. abrupt, bad-tempered, blunt, brusque, cantankerous, coarse, common, crusty, curmudgeonly, curt, discourteous, grouchy, grumbling, grumpy, harsh, hoarse, husky, ill-humored, ill-humoured, ill-tempered, impolite, moody, morose, peevish, plain-spoken, rough, rough-cut, rude, snappish, snappy, sullen, surly, testy, uncivil, uncouth,, and vulgar).
It seems that whenever an article (with a noted exception below) appears that deals with the Toronto music scene from 1977- 1981, the part that Bob Segarini and the Segarini Band played in the musical landscape is either overlooked, or purposely written out; case in point:
#1… http://tthenandnowtoronto.com/2014/10/then-now-the-edge/
During 1979, Segarini appeared at Egertons’ (the Edge) 5 times, each time to capacity or over capacity crowds, including opening for the Ugly Ducklings (we were added as an opening act because of our drawing power). We also had rockabilly legend Jack Scott sit in…Garwood Wallace’s Twitch would also play shows with us … it was Bob’s policy that all acts on a Segarini booking would receive equal booking, nobody ‘headlined’…..btw…The Police played the Edge to shy of 20 people….so truth be told, Segarini had better drawing power at the Edge than the Police at that time; that the Police played to a room of empty seats is a curiosity that amounts to a footnote rather than a chapter in the history of that room, unless the historical significance of that room is built on empty seats. Artists are regularly given short shrift in Canada.
“As a friend of mine, rocker Bob Segarini said sometime in the 1980’s –- “How come it takes the Toronto Star one line to say ‘Bob Segarini plays boring music’ but a full page with a picture to say ‘The Eagles play boring music’”?Jim Henshaw.

#2… http://indie88.com/5-historical-toronto-concerts/

Much is made of the Ontario Place riot, for good or for bad. but the truth is that Segarini was the opening act on that bill because Segarini had demonstrable drawing power (in just over two years, we rarely played to a less than capacity crowd, (an odd Monday night in Brampton – where we performed our Bugs Bunny/Loony Tunes set perhaps being the exception, so, while Teenage Head headlined, a substantial number of people who overwhelmed Ontario Place that evening were Segarini fans …just not the ones who started the riot ;-).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvVUKIMrgU
A more accurate sense of the entire dynamic of that event comes at the pen of Geoff Pevere….http://m.thestar.com/#/article/entertainment/2011/06/10/toronto_pop_chronicles_a_riot_of_our_own.html

As an example of the favour we held with the local media, (they even found ways to make editorials written about other bands), in this case, Teenage Head, after the riot, about the Segarini Band. This picture is from an editorial in the Toronto Sun following the riot. it says it’s Teenage Head, but in fact it’s Bob and the boys. Thank you, Jonathan Gross.

Teenage Head? Nope. Los Segarinis

Editor’s Note ‘ We thought we heard booing. We didn’t …just the riot out front. This is from a cassette recorded during our set.

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Toronto, Take a Shot at being No.1 on the Pop Scene 
Toronto Star, Saturday August 8, 1978


“Bob Segarini is angry. He’s a long-time rock musician and he says this city could be Music Capital of ’78 – but radio and recording bosses are stuck in the ’60’s” 

Now the Bob part of the Toronto story started even before Gotta Have Pop was released with a full front page, two page article in the Toronto Star which championed the Toronto punk/new wave scene and admonished the local media for not promoting the it, courtesy of Peter Goddard, the Entertainment Section editor of the Star at the time. The media got behind the article, and young writers like Cameron Carpenter, Warren Kinsella, Jonathan Gross and Wilder Penfield, Alan Neister, and radio jocks such as Bob Mackowycz, and owners such as Gary Slaight, Moses Znaimer, and club owners and bookers including The Garys, (Topp and Cormier), the El Mocambo’s Mike Baird, and Ira Bluestein and Al Mernick at the Hotel California and Nickelodeon, got behind and contributed to the evolving vibrant club scene that easily rivalled New York and London.
At the time, the Segarini Band was one of the Agency’s top acts and during the early part of our existence we (Bob who?) were managed by the owner of the agency, David Bluestein. Goddo and Mclean and Mclean were the only other acts Bluestein took such direct involvement in. and we benefited with constant bookings in ‘A’ rooms throughout Southwestern Ontario, from when we first started booking full time in support of Gotta Have Pop, until we stopped performing.

From January of 1979 through March of 1981 we played approximately 350 club dates which we consistently filled to capacity. As I mentioned earlier, the Segarini circus used our status to continue to introduce and promote local talent including Rex Chainbelt, Twitch, and Willie English. I seem to recall Colin James in Ottawa and Blue Peter at the El Mo, but Bob can’t confirm. Comedians Howie Mandel, Mike McDonald and Lou Dinos shared the bill at Segarini bookings, and we were the first act to introduce comedians to rock audiences in the clubs we were booked into. At one of our frequent appearances at the El Mocambo upstairs, where we were offered and turned down a residency immediately after our first appearances in June of 1979, we still played the upstairs stage a total of 12 times from june 1979 to february of 198. We were popular with club management because bar sales during our appearances were better than any other act. One night at the Elmo, billed as the Segarini Summer Solstice Celebration, we were joined by Garwood Wallace’s Twitch, the Cameo Blues Band, and nine comedians including Simon Rackoff, Steve Shuster (son of legendary comedian Frank Shuster), Lou Dinos, Mike McDonald, Lawrence Morganstern and others.
Howie Mandel opened for some of our shows at Hotel California, and once introduced his friend from Calgary, Dennis Taylor, an IDENTICAL to Steve Martin comedian there, and within minutes (thanks to calls from our Road Manager, Clay Harding to the media via the payphone in the entrance) there was a lineup and standing room only inside to see “Steve Martin”.

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We could (at anytime) be joined on stage by whoever stopped by. Brian Greenway, Gary Moffet, Steve Laing (past and present April Winers), Burton Cummings, Jerry Doucette, Ronnie Hawkins, Johnny Paycheck, Brian Smith (Trooper), Tom Lavin, Charity Brown, Joe Jackson, his band, and other luminaries.
Our crowds were peppered with other local entertainers when they weren’t working, and artists passing through town curious about the buzz; Queen’s Roger Taylor, members of Supertramp, fledgling Platinum Blondes, Dan Hill, Joe Jackson and his band, Doug Riley, Debbie Harry, Dom Troiano, Brian McLeod and more.

Burton and the Boys Elmo 1979

Just one year of Gigs – From the Kashur Kollection

We played –
⦁ 59 schools and colleges,
⦁ 26 concerts, tv appearances, and other venues including 7 opening act appearances, (actually 6 and one headline at Centennial Hall in London). Our demographics in London were second in that city only to Supertramp and we were booked to headline a concert at Centennial Hall with Saga as the opening act. Ever the pragmatist, Bob determined that if we switched off the headline spot with Saga, and split right after an opening set, we could be back in Toronto for last call at Bemelmans …so we did. In fact, the ‘headline act’ was ordering drinks in Toronto as the ‘opening act’ was finishing their well received set back in London…

⦁ 60 days in the studio recording Goodbye LA, Vox Populi, It’s Christmas….and some things with Greg Godovitz….Segarini made in the neighborhood of 500 appearances of one sort or another…

⦁ we were one of the first Canadian bands to produce a non-performance music video. The long-lost video for our second single, Don’t Believe A Word I Say, filmed at the Hard Rock Cafe, was screened at Cannes and would later be referenced during the conception of Much Music, according to Radio Executive/Consultant/Producer Warren Cosford…..

From Warren Cosford…

“I was co-Executive Producer with Moses Zanier of The CHUM-FM/CITY-TV Simulcasts of Music Concerts…..a commitment Mr. Waters had made to the CRTC at the time he purchased CITY. 
From almost every standpoint, beginning with Production, we were still trying to figure out just exactly what we were doing. There was really no template. 
Someone suggested we do a show with Bob Segarini. I immediately agreed. Although I’d never seen Bob Live, I’d met him a few months earlier at a Jack Scott
Soundcheck at The Edge. I figured any musician who would turn up to watch Jack prepare had to know something about performing.
Segarini showed up at our first Production Meeting with a Videotape. He said it was a “dramatization” of one of his songs from “Gotta Have Pop” called “Don’t Believe a Word I Say”. Conceptually, Bob said it was inspired by what ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith had been doing with “Elephant Parts”. Elephant what?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elephant_Parts

We inserted Bob’s Video into the performance of his Live Show for The Simulcast. It was the first “Music Video” on CITY-TV….and would quietly launch what would, a few years later, become MUCH Music.Warren Cosford

⦁ the first item in the rock memorabilia collection of canada’s first Hard Rock Cafe was a hot off the press copy of Gotta Have Pop as payment of a bar bill as told by owner Nick Bitove.
⦁ The only band to be jumped over by a motorcycle daredevil (ok so maybe it doesn’t seem like such a good idea when you’re sober, but still, you can’t accuse us of being dull)


⦁ One of the first ‘Q’ cruises aboard the Thomas Rennie…and since we didn’t drown the first time, we went back for another kick at the old bucket.

Drago, Bob, Mark Bronson, Garwood Wallace, and Drew Winters Adrift at Sea

⦁ Hell, there was even a segarini cover band out at the time.
⦁ Bob was signed to A@M, Bomb, CBS, and Anthem and we had releases in Europe and licensing throughout Europe, Australia and Japan.
First, First, First.

…and today, Gotta Have Pop, (still considered a cult classic) is totally ignored by local media …and Juno award nominee Segarini is shut out of the telling of local music history, in which we were dominant, by people who are paid to know and should know better.

“At this year’s Juno awards there were two occasions in the evening when the assembled beautiful people came up with honest-to-goodness cheers from that one spot of humanity left somewhere inside.
one was when Hamilton-born rocker Jerry Doucette from Vancouver won as the most promising group and the other was when Bob Segarini was announced as nominated for best producer”.John Kiely – Kitchener/Waterloo Record.

Here’s Amazon’s Take on Bob’s Classic Album:
A long-lost power pop classic, Gotta Have Pop remains the peak moment of cult-hero Bob Segarini’s career, a joyous resurrection of classic AM radio sights and sounds highlighted by ‘Love Story,’ one of the finest and most affectionate Beatles tributes ever recorded.
The 1996 reissue includes the bonus track ‘Groucho Marx,’ as well as a number of unlisted cuts including early demos dating back to Segarini’s days with the Wackers.”WC

AllMusic:

While Bob Segarini has often been called “the Canadian Nick Lowe,” in many respects he seems more like the Great White North’s answer to Don Dixon. Like Dixon, he has a soul man’s voice but also possesses a wicked sense of humor, and though he likes tough, hooky rockin’ pop tunes served straight up, the former Wackers man goes for a more elaborate production approach than Lowe, and the eclecticism of his first solo album, Gotta Have Pop! recalls Lowe‘s superb debut, Pure Pop for Now People (not to mention Dixon‘s Most of the Girls Like to Dance but Only Some of the Boys Do). Gotta Have Pop! boasts ten great songs ranging from the purposefully smarmy “Don’t Believe a Word I Say” and the punky “Dressed in the Dark” to the melodramatic “Hide Away” and the twisted high school lament “Steady Eddie,” and at every turn Segarini hits a bullseye as a songwriter and vocalist wherever he aims. Segarini can sound honest and sincere on “I Don’t Want to Lose You” and transform himself into the ultimate sleazeball a few moments later on “Don’t Believe a Word I Say” with equal skill, and while he gets a polished, widescreen sound out of his band on these sessions, the album is admirably free of clutter, with a limited number of instruments going a long, long way. And perhaps the only Beatles fan to sing about the Fab Four‘s breakup with the same care and intelligence as Segarini manages on “Love Story” was one Ringo Starr, on his B-side “Early 1970.” It’s hard to imagine anyone who likes rock & roll not finding something to love on Gotta Have Pop! It’s a tribute to the dear old days when hooks ruled the airwaves and evokes a number of lost eras without sinking into nostalgia, sounding as vital as anything recorded last week. This guy is a cult hero because he’s smart, funny and talented, but in a better world, his cult wouldn’t be the only ones paying attention. – Mark Deming

A personal moment I must share

As is the norm with Bob (Segarini), he is always plugged into the musical zeitgeist, with what is happening on the street, the ‘new music’, and so early on in my pop indoctrination he had me listening to the same, including the british pub rock movement, which would evolve into the british new wave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EbzzN2Y7-0
brinsley schwarz would give us nick lowe and ian gomm.… and duck deluxe (the segarini band recorded two versions of Please Please Please) ….. so one night between sets, bob grabbed me and we headed off to the El Mocambo to check out Ian Gomm who i was a big fan of. when we got to the club, Ian was on break, (wouldn’t you know it) so Bob and I headed upstairs to the green room, knocked on the door and told the person who answered that Bob Segarini wanted to say hello…. i didn’t know what to expect and was more than thrilled when Ian showed up at the door singing Gotta Have Pop. I was downright giddy when he grabbed my hand and greeted me by name, “one second guitarist to another”…..i immediately reverted to my best fan boy and got him to sign the same on the closest thing i could find. good times.

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We did it and for better or worse, never warmed to the idea of becoming a nostalgia act. Apart from a very rare appearance to celebrate some event or other, we never could muster much enthusiasm for ‘putting the band back together’…we did what we did. We did have t-shirts, tho’ they probably wouldn’t fit as well now. We had vinyl albums, cd’s, tumblers, buttons, and all the rest, so whatever other skeletons are in the closet, and whatever bridges were burned, and considering our relatively short tenure in the history of the Toronto music scene of that time period, any proper research would easily show up the significant role the band had in the musical landscape of the time.
Others may remember things differently, but this is part of the true three year legacy of time and place that Bob Segarini and the Segarini Band earned, no matter how writers, who either weren’t there or writers who should know better choose to spin history, you can ignore us if you will, but that was our journey, and if you don’t remember us, you weren’t there, and if you weren’t there, you were square. …and you missed it.

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Any Questions or comments, please write them in the Reply Section below.

Your Comments Are Welcome

Segarini’s regular columns appear only after the devouring of a Sacrificial Pot Roast Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and a decent bottle of Pinot Grigio 

dbawis-button7giphyBob “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.

7 Responses to “Bob Presents Peter Kashur – The Segarini Band Legacy and Bar Tab”

  1. Knob Knobelli Says:

    I wasn’t there but I am more cube like. Nice piece of writing Peter…

  2. This was worth every painful comma and period. I WAS there….and in the studio making food runs over to the Patrician Diner on King…..think that was Goodbye L.A. (I so remember the typewriter). I loved the band then and still do to this day. Thank you Peter for clearing all this up. The Segarini Band were dynamite, dangerous and especially fearless…..all part of their appeal. The music is timeless and the boys in the band, including Segarini 😉 incredible musicians who knew to have (and share) a good time and great music. Fryfogles was one of my favourite places to catch you guys. It has been my great pleasure to know Bob for coming up 44 years and you for 40 and to call you both friends. Love you!

  3. Frederick Harrison Says:

    I remember the gigs at Erindale College, Mississauga (now U of T Mississauga, though always part of the U of T) . Even did a radio show with Bob on CFRE Radio Erindale – he introduced me to some great stuff. Now where did I put those pictures….

    • I have a shitty audio cassette of the show we did …wish I had a good one. If you have one (and pictures! really?) please send me a private message on Facebook at Robert Segarini. Thanks. That was a fun show we did ….lots of great Power Pop.

  4. Ray Furlotte Says:

    My comments are quite similar to the above. Thanks for an excellent article. I’ve always wondered why Bob Segarini hasn’t been given proper recognition for his contributions to Canadian music. I too was there. I’m sure I saw him every time he performed at Fry’s in London (the premiere rock/blues club in Ldn). In fact got to meet him at an after performance party at a local music promoters house. I can honestly say I have only met one person funnier and quicker with the one-liners then Bob Segarini, and that was Ronnie Hawkins. I still give Gotta Have Pop, and Vox Populi ! a spin. Absolutely timeless, I sincerely Thank You for some incredible performances and music.

  5. Jim Chisholm Says:

    I was there . . . at a distance. I stumbled upon a couple of early singles in a record store around 78. Then some time later, on the radio in Calgary I heard a delectable song called When The Lights Are Out and I knew right away it was Bob. Gotta Have Marble Vinyl.

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