Pat Blythe – Today’s column is brought to you by……and music

That one just popped into my head as I’ve just finished posting this week’s podcast.  I’m now 36 podcasts in, 36 conversations, 36 artist voices, 1,100 downloads, 29 followers and over 3,000 “listens”. People from all over the world including Australia, Europe, UAE, South America, the U.S. and Canada have been tuning in.  The purpose was to check in with local artists. As a neophyte podcaster, I had no expectations. Ten downloads made me happy to know someone was listening. Even though I’m still small potatoes, it’s like the little engine that could….it keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Still a guppy in the ocean of podcasts; but folks ARE listening and the music is being shared.

Tom Wilson – Clockwise from upper left book launch of Beautiful Scars 2017; w/Tom Cochrane; next four Mariposa 2019; CNE Bandshell 2015

I’ve met so many amazing artists and listened to so many great stories, but it’s the conversations I’ve enjoyed the most. Discovering the person just beneath the skin of the artist….their histories, their opinions, their beliefs, how they’ve been coping, what brings them joy, little walks down memory lane, and what they hope for in the future. Wonderful, warm, funny, caring human beings that most of us only get to meet when they’re “on”.

Cathy Young

A total of 64 artists have voiced their thoughts and opinions with me, either in person or via Zoom. Most of the early Zoom calls were done when Zoom was in its infancy and millions of people were cluttering the networks and airwaves. I am saddened that too much interference, either on my end or the artist’s end, prevents me from posting those conversations. I am still trying to figure out how to dub or re-record my questions to sync up with their answers.

Paul DeLong (bottom left clip from a Gowan video; the three drummers – Paul, “Whitey” Glan & Skip Prokop; performing with Domenic Troiano circa 1977; three remaining corner photos with the ONES Show

The conversations are sometimes lengthy, but my role is to listen, encourage and “share the air”.  I write what I think or feel….they speak it. The editing will come later. I am grateful for their time, but more importantly, for their trust…..and I am honoured.

The Trews (and yes, that’s Kim Mitchell centre, bottom right and upper left)

A partial list of published podcasts to date includes: Alfie Zappacosta, Brandon Gregory (Drop Top Alibi), Cathy Young, Cheryl Lescom, Dan Clancy (Lighthouse), Davide DiRenzo (Red Rider/Holly Cole), Eddie Bullen, Ember Swift, Hot Lips (the band), John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews), Julian Taylor, Kirk Reed (The Reed Effect), Paul DeLong (Kim Mitchell/Domenic Troiano), Quisha Wint, Sarah Smith, Steve Pelletier, Suzi Kory, Tom Wilson (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings/Lee Harvey Osmond)….just a trickle of fantastic talent Canada has produced. They’ll keep you company over morning coffee or on the slow drive home. Go “hear” to check them out

THIS is a great story……

The following song is part of today’s podcast, but I felt compelled to add it in today’s column as well. What a wonderful presentation of an iconic song, and with the original author in the audience. Tower of Song was written by Leonard Cohen in 1987/88 and then abandoned. When he finally finished the lyrics, Cohen recorded the song at a Montreal studio… one take…..using a toy synthesizer. Originally called Raise My Voice in Song, Cohen recited the lyrics during his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Part of this performance video by Lighthouse was recorded live in 2012 at the College Street location of Fran’s Restaurant, one of Toronto’s oldest diners (1940). Specifically requested by Cohen to perform at his after party (Cohen had just performed at Massey Hall), Lighthouse played an acoustic version for this presentation, with Skip on tambourine. The studio recording portion of the video was added five years later following a request by Bob Ezrin to record the song with Lighthouse… the studio, with Ezrin producing. Skip’s son Jamie is on drums. (Many thanks to Dan Clancy for sharing this story)

20 College St. W.

This particular Fran’s was famous with the music crowd. It was typically the final stop of thousands of concert goers over the years, as they spilled out of Maple Leaf Gardens after a show, heading home. Nobody could leave the centre of the city on an empty stomach and Fran’s was open 24/7. I’ve lost count of how many plates of fries, or late night/early morning hamburgers, I scarffed down at that particular location.

Tower of Song – Lighthouse

Tower of Song – Leonard Cohen (live)

Tower of Song – Marianne Faithful

Tower of Song – Tom Jones

Tower of Song – The Jesus & Mary Chain

Just released in the past 48 hours…..According to lead vocalist Sally Shaar, “Truth is this is one of my favourite songs in the world and we covered it with Monowhales. I hope I did it justice as Nine Inch Nails are a huge inspiration to me artistically and musically. This is the perfect song to relate to in this new chapter of our dystopian era. It speaks to all of those who circle and prey above us, and dares to ask the collective community around us to question what exactly we plan to do about it. Will we acknowledge the cost of what it will take to bring about real change? I goddamn hope so!”

The Hand That Feeds – Monowhales (Nine Inch Nails cover)

I’m keeping this rather short this week. Lots on my plate while getting ready for a very long-awaited trip. You have your podcast listening homework cut out for you.


Photographs of Tom Wilson, The Trews and Paul DeLong (ONES Show only) are ©2015-2021 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.


“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 also 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! 

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