Pat Blythe – Just stuff…..and music

Saw the hip doc yesterday….time for a checkup. After 14 years my bionic hip is still in rock solid shape. Yes, there’s a little wear and tear but after all this time I can still do the hippy hippy shake. I’m extremely fortunate it’s lasted this long and the doc ….he’s smiling.

I decided to walk from Queen and Victoria over to Sherbourne and Bloor (downtown Toronto). I haven’t strolled around these parts in years. It evolved into a walk down memory lane. Chris and I moved into our first apartment together on Sherbourne between Dundas and Shuter. It had brilliant orange balconies and we were situated on the top floor. Complete with sunken living room, 12-foot ceilings and a huge bedroom we were set. We hunkered down there for two years before we became Beach residents.

Isabella Hotel

I walked past the old CBC building on Jarvis where Chris worked on a renovation job with his friend Ray Nadeau. This was the summer of ’79 and Chris was living above Cottingham Sound in the west end of Toronto. I remember lighting a few candles and waiting at his rooms upstairs for him to come home while listening to one of my favourite albums Plateau, specifically the song Journey. I still have that album today and all the musicians are still with us….Peter Crowley (bass), Howard Strutt (vocals), David Beatty (lead guitar and who also owns QED Media in Hamilton), Robert Connolly (keys, guitar, synth, moog, etc.), Frank Russell (drums).

The old CBC building on Jarvis St.

Weaving in and around all the side streets I passed buildings I remember and spaces where many are no longer standing but I can still see them in my mind’s eye. The Isabella Hotel, the old Comfort Inn, the Executive Hotel, Hotel California, George’s Spaghetti House, Hooker Harvey’s (which I can’t believe is still there), the old Simpson’s warehouse that is now fancy condos, the gorgeous, stately old mansions on Jarvis where some of the wealthiest people once lived….memories of the past 40 years in this city and seeing both the beauty and decay with fresh eyes.

For the second year I’ve attended Jazz Vespers at Christ Church Deer Park with a very good friend and listened to music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Performed by John Sherwood (piano), Scott Alexander (stand-up bass) and Brian Barlow (drums), this jazz trio brought me to tears with the music and their performance. From my very very favourite Christmas movie, to hear the music performed live just made my heart burst.

O Tannenbaum – Vince Guaraldi Trio

A Charlie Brown Christmas, an animated Christmas special, was written by Charles M. Shultz, commissioned and sponsored by Coca-Cola, scripted in just a few weeks, produced in six months and aired in time for Christmas in 1965. It was a children’s movie voiced by children. The movie score is a mix of traditional Christmas music and original jazz written and arranged by Vince Guaraldi. Unorthodox at best. One particular piece, Linus and Lucy, was to serve as the theme. No one was sure if this movie would fly….it not only flew, it soared. Fifty-four years later it’s still going strong and is the heartbeat of many Christmas’s around the world.

Linus and Lucy – Vince Guaraldi Trio

I hope to continue this tradition as it begins the Christmas season with a sense of purity and peacefulness. To me the beauty of both the music and the story of love, friendship and hope are part of what Christmas is all about.

In other news……

I had the opportunity to photograph a very scaled down ONES show at Zoomer Studios on Monday. It was more of a taste or teaser of the much bigger show at the Meridian Centre on December 7. For those lucky Zoomer fans who were invited (or won) their seat(s) to the showcase it was an hour of pure bliss by the looks on their faces. Robbie Lane was the host with the most (the man has a wicked sense of humour) and the band, including strings and horns put on a dynamite show. Even the show’s narrator, Al Joynes, was in the audience.

League of Rock held one of their live coaching sessions at Cherry Cola’s November 20 and the club was packed with supporters. Seven bands had time to play three songs each before the next band took the stage. After each performance the coaches would comment on everything from interactions with the audience to what was required musically. It was interesting to watch and listen to what the coaches had to say. Following League of Rock were two female-fronted bands, Beyond The Cage and Killer Virgins. Both fantastic, powerful performances. Included in this week’s music lineup is a brand new release by Killer Virgins, Karate Girl.

l-r- TJ Cage, Tracy Brett & Greg Plant of Beyond The Cage

Sam Weinstein of Killer Virgins

I am persistently, constantly, continually, incessantly, unremittingly late with my column these days. I think I’ve taken on way too much of whatever I’ve taken on….and then there’s all those photos I still have to review and edit. What with keeping a house (and my shit) together, having a social life WITHOUT the camera, club hopping and festivals, managing and providing services to artists, actually working to earn some coin and lord knows what else…’s a busy life. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop and my editor is waiting for this column. The rest of Indie Week wrap-up will have to wait (it’s all those damn photos!) but I will include some of the artists in the music that follows.

Song of the day!!

The Original Mah-Na, Mah-Na – Sesame Street

Journey – Plateau

Another One – The Lad Classic

Figure It Out – The Lad Classic

We Stole Your Head – Mountainhead

Take A Lot of Pain – The Redhill Valleys

Young and Fearless – Secret Broadcast

The Secret Garden – Suzi Kory

Bills To Pay – One In The Chamber

Midnight Fact – Fortunate Losers

Watch Me Burn – The Crooked

Karate Girl – Killer Virgins

Life is indeed fabulous!! Until next time…….


All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe A Girl With A Camera


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!

One Response to “Pat Blythe – Just stuff…..and music”

  1. Love the nostalgia for time gone by and your sense of romance.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: