Pat Blythe – OMG….Radio Free Universe….ONE WORD…..and music…..

Well…..for the first time in 4.5 years I am at a loss as to what to write. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas…’s not writer’s block. The challenge is I have too many ideas and am overwhelmed with all the other activities in my life. I like busy, then there’s crazy busy and then there’s insanely busy. I’ve reached the insane level. Not just professionally but personally….OMG, my house!! Yards need to be addressed with the rake and the lawnmower, bushes trimmed, planters cleaned out (I have managed to cut most of my herbs and they are now drying), porches swept and so on.

Then there’s the inside. If anyone gives me the “white glove” treatment I’m doomed! I sit here on my “couch office” surveying my “domain” and sigh. Even the brick walls need to be vacuumed. I’ve been letting things slide in part because of the construction that surrounds us. (that’s my excuse) Even with all the windows and doors closed, the dust filters its way in unobtrusively, until I manage to slide my own finger along a surface and voila, DUST!!!!  Dust in places where there shouldn’t be.  Dust on my drums! Dust inside my cabinets! Dust in my bathroom of all places!! I’m actually glad for the rain….keeps the dust down.

….and don’t get me going on the seasonal wardrobe swap…..and the ironing…..and then there’s (dare I say) Christmas coming…..

Thanksgiving was fabulous!! Too much food with wonderful friends….a small gathering of four. I always roast a turkey, not simply because I love turkey but also in memory of Chris. Fall was his favourite time of year and Thanksgiving was his favourite holiday. He was in his element when creating with food….especially for a large gathering. His happy place was in the kitchen and I learned so much from him. Yes, I’ve always been able to cook and my specialty is baking. But Chris experimented with herbs and spices, flavours and colours, foods that you wouldn’t think to eat together, different cuts of meat, making stock from the bones, baking his own bread and of course……coffee…..yes, there is a precise way to make an excellent cup of coffee. I am an official coffee snob and those who have partaken of my liquid energy understand completely.

Thanksgiving 2019 – l-r – Karl Anderson, moi, Craig Riddock, Paul DeLong

But I digress. I love being with people I love and Thanksgiving dinner was just that. Put three professional musicians and a music lover together at a table with good food and a wee bit of drink and there is no lack of conversation and burping. Two different generations with two different perspectives and experiences, the crossovers, the knowledge, the insights… was one of the most delightful and fascinating dinners I’ve hosted. The four of us would kill at Music Bingo!!

I’m going to quote a good friend, Frank Zirone, who frequently shares his thoughts on FB, I have noticed that when people are listening to music together they lose all perception of the differences between themselves and focus on what they have in common. We need more music.” This is also true when talking about music. We reminisce….our favourites, “do you remember”, live concerts, the first time you heard a certain piece of music, worst song ever, the state of music today…..the list goes on. Music is the one thing, no matter our differences, that brings us together in perfect harmony. Speaking of which……

Radio Free Universe……

l-r – Vincent Sciara, Ashton Norman, George Panagopoulos, Steve Pelletier, Ryan Davie

April, a band I co-manage with Karl Anderson was invited to perform on the same bill as Radio Free Universe. The first person I noticed in the show poster was Steve Pelletier whom I knew as Julian Taylor’s bassist. Recognition is key when you’re unfamiliar with a particular band so I was very excited to see April perform on the same bill with RFU and to hear Pelltier with an entirely different band. Pelletier is a bassist’s bassist and elicits some very smooth sounds from that bass of his. He’s so far in the pocket I think he is the pocket as he glides up and down those frets so effortlessly.

George Panagopoulos

Steve Pelletier’s bass

Adam Neumann

This new band configuration fits together seamlessly. They are George Panagopoulos on lead vocals and guitar, the aforementioned Steve Pelletier on bass, Adam Neumann on lead guitar, Ashton Norman on drums and Vincent Sciara on keys. The 2010 birth of this Hamilton-based band began with Panagopoulos, Norman and guitarist Ryan Davie. The band has since morphed into its present configuration that just seems to belong together. It’s like raising a child… just takes time. To hear their latest single Circle, click here

Even Angels Fall – Radio Free Universe

Regarding last week’s column on words….a very good friend mentioned to me that he “immediately began thinking of all the ‘word’ songs he knew.” It made me realize I hadn’t added one single ‘word song’ so guess what’s about to follow. Oh, and my friend’s band is called ONE WORD and they happen to be performing this week, October 17, at The Rex. He’s a pretty amazing drummer and the band is superb!

I give thanks everyday for my family, the wonderful, beautiful people in my life, my wee hoosey (as my Scottish nana would say) and the fact that I wake up every morning and get another chance to do what I love. I thank you ALL for choosing to be a part if my life and welcoming me into yours. I am truly, truly blessed.

More Than Words – Extreme

Words – Hawk Nelson

The Trashmen – Surfing Bird – Bird Is the Word

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word – Elton John

One Word – Mahavishnu Orchestra

Words – Bee Gees (1997)

Words – Bee Gees (on the Ed Sullivan show)

One Word (demo) – Golden Earring

Famous Last Words – Tears for Fears

The Word – The Beatles


People Just Love to Play With Words – Men At Work

A Thousands Words – Savage Garden

Famous Last Words – Finger Eleven

Word Up – Cameo

Peace is Just A Word – Eurythmics

….and yes, there is a precise way to make a good cuppa tea too….and that’s NOT reheating it in the microwave!


All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera unless otherwise noted Paul DeLong photograph ©2019 Neal Burstyn

Thanksgiving ©2019 Karl Anderson


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-buttonIn “real” life Pat Blythe has spent the past 32 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry. After an extended absence Pat is now heading back to the GTA clubs, immersing herself in the local music scene, tasting what’s on offer, talking to people and writing once again — sharing her passions and her deep love of music. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda Little Red-headed dancing girland the Imps, Plateau, Buzzsaw, Hellfield….) as well as national and international acts,  Currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, Pat is currently compiling a photographic history of the local GTA music scene from 1975 to 1985. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES  to dance!

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