GWNtertainment #41 by JAIMIE VERNON

Rock and Roll is currently going through an unprecedented death spiral. The music lives on as vibrant as it ever was, but the heroes that created it and evoked so many memories for a generation of Boomers and GenX-ers is currently losing its founding fathers at an accelerated rate of two or three a week. Last week the world lost legendary keyboardist Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, while Canada mourned the loss of Sadies founder Dallas Good – a second generation music maestro, guitarist, and musical genius from the Good Family whose patriarchs are the much beloved country legends The Good Brothers. Dallas has left an indelible stamp on the psyche of audiences and a peer group that includes Gordon Lightfoot and Robyn Hitchcock.

This week we lost someone less well known, but whose impact on the way albums looked back when album art was, in itself, an art form no less significant. Ted Jones passed suddenly on March 1 in Halifax. For those unfamiliar, Ted was an accomplished graphic designer by trade and his dream to be an album cover artist came to life in 1975 with his muse: Klaatu. As a friend of the band’s Terry Draper, Ted was commissioned to create a cover for the band’s debut album – ‘3:47 EST’ – based on suggestions from the three band members. An anthropomorphic sun shining down on a planet coming to life with the promise of a better, natural world. The beneficiary of that sunlight would be a small mouse on the cover – a mascot that Ted would carry over into all subsequent covers for the band over the next 30 years. His efforts would earn him a JUNO Nomination in 1977 for ‘Best Album Art & Design.’ BTW – The butterfly on the same cover would be used for the label art of Frank Davies’ Daffodil Records (to which Klaatu was signed in Canada).

Ted painted the covers to four of the band’s five studio albums – becoming synonymous with them as Roger Dean had with Yes or Storm Thorgerson with Pink Floyd. The third album, ‘Sir Army Suit,’ was given to Hugh Syme by Klaatu’s record label as they’d noted Ted’s excessively long production time; he was meticulous to a fault which would disrupt productions deadlines on occasion. Hugh, knowing Ted’s importance to Klaatu’s public image (as they refused to reveal their  secret identities for their first five years together) and graphic mythology, actually put Ted on the front cover leading a parade of people towards his very own smiling sun.

I met Ted in 1996 when I was attempting to lure Klaatu into re-issuing their catalogue on my Bullseye Records label. Terry Draper had brought him along to our first meeting as I pitched my plan to not only remaster the audio, but beef up the visual packaging. The road to that vision coming true would take another five years – but Ted was already designing the cover for Terry Draper’s first solo effort ‘Light Years Later’ which I would release in February 1997. He invited me to his modest studio apartment in Don Mills, and he showed me not only the album cover painting, but his portfolio of other art he’d done that had yet to find a home. Had I the money at the time, I would have bought one or two pieces. He would design a gaming package for Draper’s children’s album called ‘Can You Pretend?’ which included a game board, playing cards, and a growth chart for young children. Such a great imagination and creativity.

In 2005, after he helped supervise the art on the Klaatu studio album re-issues, we tackled the Klaatu boxed set along with Terry Draper as supervisor. The three of us spent several nights at Ted’s rustic century home studio in Brechin, Ontario hashing out ideas over food and drinks. And Ted had a million ideas he whipped up in a few hours. Once he got the thumbs up he set to work on painting an ancient pyramid motif with exotic foliage and other-worldly features. It was true to form. And so Ted in its execution and beauty. Ted’s graphic design work also allowed him to create the packaging, booklets, and label art for the box itself and a 12″ vinyl release which he was grateful for as it allowed us to show off his painting as had been the standard back in the 1970s.. He also supervised the printing.

Ted Jones was a dream to work with. He was very affable guy, often interacting with fans at annual gatherings in Toronto. We are going to miss his friendly nature and view of the world through alien eyes. Rest in peace, sir. You have made our classic rock journey a memorable one.

* Randy Bachman‘s ‘Vinyl Tap’ is back. After a long run on CBC-Radio, the show was cancelled last year but has now been resurrected as a syndicated terrestrial radio show on the following stations across Canada.

Q107  – Toronto (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

CHOM 97.7 – Montreal (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Cool 106.3 – Sarnia (Sundays 4:00 – 6:00pm + 10:00 – 12:00am)

Cool 95.1 – Chatham-Wallaceburg (Sundays 4:00 – 6:00pm + 10:00 – 12:00am)

Cool 94.5 – Wingham (Sundays 4:00 – 6:00pm + 10:00 – 12:00am)

Moose 100.1 – Fort St. John (Saturdays + Sundays 7:00 – 9:00pm)

Q97.9 – New Glasgow (Saturdays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Q103 – Moncton (Saturdays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Q104 – Halifax (Saturdays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

The Rock Q88.9 – Saint John (Saturdays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Q107 – Calgary (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Big 96.3 – Kingston (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Rock 101 – Vancouver (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

FM96 – London (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Big 101.1 – Barrie (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

107.5 – Dave Rocks Kitchener-Cam-Waterloo (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Power 97 – Winnipeg (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Boom 101.9 – Cornwall (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

Y108 – Hamilton (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

The Chuck – Edmonton (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm)

101.5 The Wolf – Peterborough (Sundays 9:00 – 11:00pm

* We saw, and heard, a lot from Victoria, British Columbia Folk artist Kele Fleming in 2021 and she’s back in 2022 to gives social media a dressing down in “Echo Chamber.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjmRJlDsGqs

* Pandemic musical juggernauts , San Francisco/Toronto-based, Douglas Von Irvin’s Carnival brings us their first offering for 2022  with “Attack of the 50ft Woman.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRkK-Mq8ALE

* Toronto-based singer-songwriter & composer Wendy Irvine is urging us to “Make Time” for love, connection and Community with the release of her new single from the album of the same name coming this Spring. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m5_PhwVgYs

* Toronto Pop-Rockers The High Loves bring us  a new single/video for “Sure of It.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDDzui0bZog

* As the brainchild and sole member of Winnipeg’s The Dirty Beat, Warren G. Funk channels the energy of rock while telling tales of triumph and despair. All of it can be heard on the new track “Birds.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=icHeDO2LWlE

* Two-time JUNO Winner Donné Roberts is celebrating city life and neighbourly love with the single “Seheno” from the 2022 JUNO Award nominated ‘Global Music Album of the Year’ entitled ‘Oya.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQjbblyVpTg

* Phantom Woes is a duo consisting of Whitby, Ontario musicians Pete Nickerson and Gary Gahan. Together they’ve released their debut album ‘Forever And Ever’ featuring a dozen special guest musicians. https://barnudio.bandcamp.com/album/forever-and-never

*Ottawa Christian pop artist Danah-Lee pulls back the curtain on her journey back to God in her cello-studded, piano-infused new single, “Home To Myself” from the forthcoming album ‘Made In Thy Image’. “For years, I grappled with being a Queer within the Church, and carried tremendous guilt – eventually deciding to stop worshipping God through song, because I did not feel worthy as a Queer,” she shares. “After choosing to love myself as a child of God, I rediscovered my faith and I believe there is a place for everyone in the kingdom of God.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2TjPu0_ou4

* Canadian progressive-pop artist Chris Sunfield rises through adversity and wrangles existentialism in his new and empowering feel-good anthem, “Tomorrow’s Here (Far Away Objects Mix)” from the new 4-song EP ‘Far Away Objects.’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMhPDeLLzds

* Multi-instrumentalist Rob Christian gives us a new track that’s been featured in Ontario Lottery & Gaming promotions. The instrumental is called “Golden King.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7p8HexWals

* Jordan Zadorozny has assembled an odds & sods collection of rogue and orphaned tracks from his project Blinker The Star with the 14-song collection ‘Rock’n’Roll Tapes Volume 1.’

https://blinkerthestar.bandcamp.com/album/rocknroll-tapes-volume-1

* Dayna Manning brings us a new song and video for the song “When I Love You.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlskFum1hm4

* From what appears to be a return from the wayback machine, the re-emergence of Aldo Nova is at hand. April 4th he will release the EP ‘The Life And Times of Eddie Gage.’ Two focus tracks have already been released.

“Free Your Mind” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLIy2gPvARs

“Burn Like The Sun” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhreywTvRsM

* While hair metal fans await the next studio album from Oshawa’s Harem Scarem, lead vocalist Harry Hess has teamed up with Swedish drummer/producer Daniel Flores as First Signal for their fourth studio album ‘Closer To The Edge’ coming April 8, 2022. The new  single is called “Don’t Let It End.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5IKzAzhsjg

* Beta One has a new track featuring locul called “A Galaxy of Stars.’ Check out the lyric video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Bk1ppRF0ZI

* Steve Goldberger has emerged with a new solo album entitled ‘All Roads Lead To You.’ It’s on Bandcamp ahead of its official release on digital platforms. It’s available as a download or you can pre-order a CD copy from the site. https://stevegoldberger.bandcamp.com/album/all-roads-lead-to-you

* Jann Arden‘s new album is ‘Descendants’ and the lead-off track is “Was I Ever 13.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neGpR0YEbPk

Bongo Man has collaborated with Chloé Leclerc for a cover of LMDS’ “Une belle histoire.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep55w7yC8ws


SEND US YOUR STUFF!
This issue was brought to you by: Putin Softener Laxative – You’ll Be Russian All Day.Send us your news, views, and all manner of CANADIAN musical releases to promote and wave a flag for. Join the GWN Facebook page and drop us a message: https://www.facebook.com/gwntertainment

Keep up the fight!
Jaimie Vernon, 2022

=JV=

Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 41 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 24 years. He is also the author of The Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and editor of “Sunny Days: The Skip Prokop Story.” Available through Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Jaimie+Vernon

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