Tag Archives: Canada

THE DAY BOB DYLAN WENT ELECTRIC

THE DAY BOB DYLAN WENT ELECTRIC

By  Alan Chrisman

On this day, July 20, two earth-changing events happened: Man landed on the moon in 1969 and Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, when his song,  “Like A Rolling Stone” was released on this day.  Dylan had been influenced by The Beatles and Dylan by them. The Beatles started paying more attention to their lyrics after hearing Dylan’s songs.  John Lennon’s writing, especially with songs such as “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “I’m a Loser”, started becoming more reflective and personal.  The Beatles also would soon release their folk-rock influenced album, Rubber Soul,

Bob Dylan would be booed for going electric at the Newport Festival on July25, '65

Bob Dylan would be booed for going electric at The Newport Folk Festival on July 25, 1965

by the end of ’65, with songs like “Norwegian Wood” and “Nowhere Man”.  Meanwhile, Dylan had been affected by them. Upon hearing, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, Dylan said later, “They were doing things nobody was doing,” “Their chords were outrageous. It was obvious to me they had staying power. I knew they were pointing in the direction of where music had to go. In my head, the Beatles were it.” His next album, Highway 61 Revisited also released in’65, would be all electric.
Five days, after releasing the single, “Like a Rolling Stone”, Dylan would play the Newport Festival on July 25, and half the audience, the folk purists, would boo him for going electric and leaving behind his political folk-protest past.

Dylan and the electric The Band was still booed by some folk-purists in '66 at the Royal Albert Hall, London

Dylan would continue to be booed by some folk- purists in ’66 when he played with the electric mainly Canadian, The Band, at the Royal Albert Hall, London i

And even almost a year later, when Dylan toured England in ’66 with the electric, The Band, he was still being booed for playing rock-influenced music.  But “Like a Rolling Stone” had become his most successful hit and it reached #2, right behind The Beatles’ “Help.”  And like the Beatles, it changed the direction of music.  In 1974, I saw Dylan and The Band (who are mainly Canadian) perform “ Rolling Stone” In Montreal, as everyone got up and sang along.  Rolling Stone Magazine ranks, “ Like a Rolling Stone” as the greatest song of all time.

From Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home, Like A Rolling Stone”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHOdoJDgtrk

Canadian Security Bill, C-51, many say will over-extend government's powers

Woman Bares Breasts to Expose Canadian Security Bill

WOMAN BARES BREASTS TO EXPOSE CANADIAN SECURITY BILL, C-51

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015.( a Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them.)

A Canadian woman exposes her breasts in The Canadian Parliament to protest the Conservative government’s new security bill, C-51.  During a public session of the Canadian Parliament, a woman in the visitor’s gallery appeared topless and yelled out against the government’s proposed new anti-terrorism bill.  There are currently hearings in Parliament on the new proposed legislation.

This is just one of many growing protests against the bill. On Mar. 14, several rallies were held across Canada to demonstrate against it.  The Federal government has said it is needed to protect Canadians from foreign and home-grown terrorism in reaction to the attack on the Parliament buildings and the killing of an unarmed soldier at the War Memorial last October by a single gun man.

But several groups including the opposition parties, the New Democratic Party and The Green Party leaders, as well as the Canadian Bar Association,  have come out against  the new legislation , they say, would put over-reaching powers into the hands of the Canadian security apparatus, including CSIS, the Canadian equivalent of the NSA in the U.S.  It has also just recently been revealed that like the NSA, CSIS has been collecting data on not only suspected foreign nationals, but also been compiling meta-data on Canadian citizens and their communications both outside and inside the country.  A professor at the well-respected Munk Centre for International Relations at the University of Toronto has been quoted as saying, Canadians have been used as “lab rats”, without their knowledge and that the legislation would extend these powers substantially more.

I wrote in my previous blog: “Edward Snowden:  The Unlikely James Bond”, that Snowden revealed that the NSA wanted to have (and almost got) secret capabilities on all devices sold to the public so they could listen in on all communications.  And as I said in my blog, “Canada Loses Its Innocence” written right after the attack on the Canadian Parliament last October, Canadians should not over-react out of fear.  Several activists and aboriginal groups have also expressed that new criminal legislation could also be used to stifle them as well. The woman who exposed herself at the Canadian Parliament was, evidently, a member of the Quebec Femem group, and they have used this tactic before to draw attention to other issues.  I also wrote a previous blog about the anti-Putin demonstrators and musical group who has used similar public displays in Russia, “Pussy Riot, Putin & The Ukraine.”

Russian musical, political group, “Pussy Riot” protesting Putin:

Russian political, musical group, ” Pussy Riot”, protesting Putin government’s powers

https://youtu.be/2att1HJqH2o

"12 DAYS OF XMAS", take-off comedy by bob and Doug mcKenzie

“12 DAYS OF XMAS”/ CANADIAN STYLE

“12 DAYS OF XMAS”/ CANADIAN STYLE

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

“The 12 Days of Xmas” by fictional Canadians Bob and Doug McKenzie( played by comedians Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) became a North American hit in the early 80’s.

Actually, it all started as a joke on the government requirement for Canadian content.  Moranis and Thomas had been part of the satirical group spoofing the running of a low budget TV station, SCTV. When they moved to the bigger CBC network, they were told they had to fill the remaining 2 minutes with Canadian content, which they thought was ridiculous. So they just improvised with all the Canadian stereotypes they could come up with; dressing in lumberjack shirts, wearing toques, talking about hockey, beer, and Tin Horton’s coffee. They called each other “hosers” and say, “Eh”, a lot.

But to their and everyone’s surprise, suddenly, it became the most popular part of the show.  Soon Moranis and Thomas parlayed the two dim-witted characters into a bestselling album, The Great White North, and even a movie, Strange Brew in ’83.  On their album they did a take-off on the traditional “12 Days of Xmas”, adding in their own juvenile list of items, and the fractured song also became a Christmas hit.  Another song, “Take-off”, on the album also featured Canadian band, Rush, member Geddy Lee.

Thomas along with later, Saturday Night Live’s Martin Short, Gilda Radner, and David Letterman’s band leader, Paul Shaffer, had all been a part earlier of the Toronto production of Godspell.  And Thomas (who did a great impression of Bob Hope) was, along with Moranis, in the SCTV show with John Candy, Andrea Martin, and Eugene Levy (American Pie films).  SCTV was probably the closest to a Canadian version of Monty Python. Both Thomas and Moranis had also been members of the improvisational group, Second City.  Moranis did an accurate impression of Woody Allen and would appear in several Hollywood movies, Ghostbusters, Flintstones and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  Both would also play their characters on The Simpsons.

So for something which had originally started out as complaining about a government requirement and was full of somewhat-demeaning Canadian stereotyping, it became, ironically, popular with Canadians and in the U.S. too.  They even got a satire of a traditional Xmas classic out of it, with their “12 Days of Xmas” take-off.

Bob and Doug McKenzie doing their Canadian version of “12 Days of Xmas”:

http://youtu.be/1DTwLqR071M

Scene from SCI-FI ROMANCE FILM, UPSIDE /DOWN

UPSIDE/DOWN FILM: A SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE

UPSIDE/DOWN: A SCIENCE FICTION ROMANCE FILM

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

I just saw an amazing science fiction-romance film on dvd,-UPSIDE DOWN. It was released in 2013, but it’s one that may have slipped under the radar. It stars Kirsten Durst (Spiderman) and Jim Sturgess, the British actor who made his breakthrough in 2007’s Beatles’ musical film, Across the Universe.

Poster for Sci-Fi Romance film, UPSIDE /DOWN

Poster for Sci-Fi Romance film, UPSIDE/DOWN, starring Kirsten Durst and Jim Sturgess

Kirsten Durst in scene from  film, UPSIDE/DOWN

KIRSTEN DURST in scene from her gravity-defying TOP world in film, UPSIDE/DOWN

It takes place in a world of two extremes-an upside-down planet with opposite gravities.  The Bottom is poor (where Sturgess’ character, Adam, lives) and The Top (where Durst’s character, Eden, lives). And the two worlds are not allowed to interact except for the exploitation of the Bottom’s resources. As youngsters and later teenagers, the two main characters find a way to meet and fall in love.  But the authorities find out and separate them and Eden falls and Adam believes she has been killed.

But 10 years later, he discovers she is still alive and is determined to infiltrate her UP world and reach her.  To do this, he develops an anti-gravity formula (from a secret recipe his aunt used to make flying pancakes), which the rich Top wants to use to stop aging and for facelifts. With this invention, he gets a job in the Top society so he can re-connect with her.

But she, because of the accident, suffers from amnesia and can’t remember their earlier love.  He must find and convince her before the authorities, find out.  Thus, this is a love story, defying not only society, but gravity itself.

This sets up some very imaginative situations where both Up and Down worlds are shown at the same time, with people and buildings directly upside-down from each other. Some of the greatest aspects about the film, besides the lovers’ story, are the amazing sets, photography and special effects. Its, I think, one of the most beautiful, and evocative science fiction films and it has a sweeping musical background score as well.  It is a romantic/fantasy on every level, a sort of science fiction Winter’s Tale, perhaps, which I reviewed before.  It is a joint French and Canadian production, directed by an Argentine director, Juan Diego Solanas, but it didn’t get the distribution it deserved.

If you have a romantic heart and enjoy both a visual and emotional treat, you might like UPSIDE DOWN.

http://youtu.be/3veONCcRWbw

Canada's CBC radio host, Jian Ghomeshi's shocking exploitation of women scandal

CANADA’S RADIO HOST, JIAN GHOMESHI’S WOMEN EXPLOITATION SCANDAL

CANADA RADIO HOST GHOMESHI’S WOMEN EXPLOITATION SCANDAL,

BUT HYPOCRISY ALL AROUND

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

Canadian music and arts circles went into shock recently, when Jian Ghomeshi, CBC radio host of the popular show, “Q”, was first accused of having had non-consensual and abusive sex with women.

The immediate reaction of several in the arts community was to defend him or even dismiss it.  But that changed, as more and more women came forward.  When CBC was shown a graphic video of his practices, ironically by Ghomeshi’s own side, and he still defended those practices (he thought there was nothing wrong with his behavior, which shows how deep is his problem), CBC fired him.

Now those same people, who had so reactively defended him, have dropped him like a hot potato.  After all, the icon and CBC poster boy had a hip following and was available on 170 stations in the States.  But now, perhaps, like one of those school shooters, in hindsight, everyone now says, they’ve  known for years he was “a little weird”.

But there’s hypocrisy all around. For what is the culture that allowed this predator to get away with it for, evidently, years?  The Canadian music and arts circle is very small and incestuous and so is the CBC.

He had high ratings and always got the high-profile guests, Canadian and international. He was known for his opening essays (which it turned out he didn’t write) and it appears his whole image was more a creation by the organization for their star personality. In a place, like Canada, it carried a lot of power.  Ghomeshi had the “right” coolness, the “right” supposedly cutting-edge tastes, the “right” political-correctness.  He was, as well, hosting literary events like the prestigious Giller Book awards and giving out music prizes like The Polaris.

An atmosphere was created around him and nobody would  dare say the “Emperor had no clothes”.  Until when a brave woman finally came forward and said she had been forced and punched, several more said they had been abused too and there are likely more to come.  He used his power and hipness to exploit women, even, perhaps, an Ottawa’s Carleton University journalism intern.  Unfortunately, this is not uncommon in the powerful business of our media-obsessed current society.  David Letterman had a history of exploiting interns and had to publically apologize.  Several BBC broadcasters, some even with children’s shows, have been accused of abuse.

Monica Lewinsky had said in a Vanity Fair article that even feminists had defended Bill Clinton, but she continues to be vilified and she points out the hypocrisy of that.  Liberals were willing to look the other way, because they agreed with Clinton’s liberal policies. And they will do so again in the up-coming U.S. election in 2016, with the likelihood of Hillary Clinton running.  Lewinsky has recently said, it had been consensual, but it was still a male in a high position of power (perhaps the most powerful-President of the U.S.) and a young woman intern.  Bill Clinton had a long, long history of being a exploiter of women, but again, it’s dismissed by the hip crowd.

Ghomeshi did the same thing and had in Canadian society and media and liberal circles, that same kind of power, to which, so many turned a blind eye.

As I wrote in my first reaction to it just briefly on Facebook, I never liked the guy, for admittedly, so much of the political –correctness and hip adoration around him.  My close friends, with whom I don’t always agree, felt the same.  I couldn’t really describe why back then (and of course, we had no idea just how dark he was). I found his opening essays pseudo-profound and his shallow “humbleness” grating, but I was in the minority then.

I always wondered who decided what was trendy in pop music and culture. It seemed to be determined by a tiny group of critics and broadcasters, who parroted each other, in whom was to be promoted, and those artists were often part of the same cliques. This was international in the music business, but in Canada and Toronto too, they would jump on the latest bandwagon from England or the U.S., not wanting to appear not up-to-date.  If you wanted to progress in your career, you followed.  And Ghomeshi did so dutifully and his profile ascended.

I also mentioned in that original Facebook posting how I was in line at an Ottawa’s Writer’s Fest, 2 years ago, and got into a disagreement (friendly) with the woman behind me, over Ghomeshi. The irony is that several months later I ended up in a line-up for tickets for Paul McCartney’s 1st concert in Ottawa at 5:30 a.m. for four hours (something I’d never done before) and who’s right behind me but that same woman!  She looked familiar and she thought I did too. When we realized, we both laughed, and she even let me kindly borrow her small stool for a while.  We did manage to get tickets to the fastest-selling concert in Ottawa’s history, although many behind us didn’t. McCartney rocked still at ’71 years of age.  I’d seen him before in ‘89 in Montreal.  I had been interviewed on CBC radio about why The Beatles were still so popular earlier that weekend. I wonder what that lady thinks of Ghomeshi now, as so many others.

As for Ghomeshi, he clearly needs help. Interestingly, he had earlier released an autobiography about trying to fit in, with Iranian immigrant parents, in a suburb of Toronto. I don’t want to psychoanalyse him, but his idol as a teenager had been David Bowie, himself a master of constantly changing his persona with each musical product.  Ghomeshi had learned, evidently, to play a role, and got so good at it and got accepted by Canada’s cool crowd even.  But his narcissism caught up with him finally and he’s blown it. Unlike supreme politician, Bill Clinton, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to rebrand his image, and have people fall for his charms again.  Not even a public apology and offer to go to celebrity rehab, will protect him. And he may well face criminal charges, as more victims come forward.

But it wouldn’t have happened so powerfully if there hadn’t been such god-like media Canadian adoration, and an incestuous, elitist music and politically-correct arts world around him.

 

So there’s lots of Hypocrisy All Around and that should be examined too, as well as shunning Ghomeshi.

                                                        SINCE I WROTE MY ARTICLE:

                                Toronto Star, Nov 1, 2014:  Toronto Police Investigating Ghomeshi

A third woman is now being interviewed by the Toronto police sex-crimes unit as the criminal investigation into allegations of physical and sexual assault against fired CBC star Jian Ghomeshi expands.

Police are also investigating videos Ghomeshi showed his CBC bosses Oct. 23 containing “graphic evidence that Jian had caused physical injury to a woman.”

Ghomeshi — whose whereabouts are unknown — has not yet been interviewed, police said Saturday.

Meanwhile, other women who allege they were attacked by Ghomeshi continue to come forward. The Star has now heard of incidents dating back to his time as member of the band Moxy Früvous, and more allegations from his time as host of Play on CBC television and from his time as host of Q.

                                     Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2014: A lot of People Knew

In media and music circles, rumors have circulated for years about Ghomeshi. I’ve heard them. People I know and work with have heard them. People I know have been on dates with him. So yes, it was an open secret that there was something fishy about Mr. Ghomeshi. But I think, as is so often the case, many dismissed it as just another case of a powerful man with a taste for younger women.

Clearly many knew things were much more sinister than that. While most people I know have expressed surprise about the violence, it’s evident from the reaction on social media and in blog posts like “Do You Know About Jian” that many people knew much, much more. When the story first broke, most Canadians expressed disbelief and dismay while many in music and media exchanged knowing looks.

This is really becoming a huge part of the story now as we move beyond the “did he or didn’t he” part of the story and on to the “how the hell did we let this happen?” part. Because a lot of people in media and music are asking themselves that question right now and talking with their partners and co-workers about it. This story is truly triggering some soul-searching about how and why we dismiss the signs of abuse — “Oh, sure he’s a bit creepy but he’s great as his job.” “Oh, these women wouldn’t be with him if they didn’t think they could get something from him.” “Oh, it’s not worth making a fuss about this. It’s probably nothing and it’s not worth losing your job over.” The list goes on and on and on. If something good is going to come from this, it’s that it’s going to force our industry, and others, to really start to address the cultural and structural prejudices that could allow something like this to happen (allegedly).

VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE ANSWER

CANADA LOSES ITS INNOCENCE: But A Crazy Violent Act Shouldn’t Discourage us

NO GUNS ALLOWED

NO GUNS ALLOWED

Canadian Parliament PEACE Tower, to commemerate

Canadian Parliament, PEACE TOWER, to commemorate The War which was supposed to “END ALL WARS”  Do wars ever end Wars?

CANADA LOSES ITS INNOCENCE, BUT SHOULDN’T OVER-REACT

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

I’m writing this from Ottawa, Canada’s capitol, a couple days after a shooter killed a soldier next to a war memorial and then attacked the Canadian Parliament buildings. Many have said this is when Canada has lost its innocence.

I don’t often write about politics (although I sometimes comment about social effects), preferring to try and change things through music and art. Understandably, Canadians are still in shock and upset.  And as when it happened in the U.S. with 9/11, people are reacting emotionally, waving flags, and calling for more security and surveillance.  And like then, there will be politicians waiting to exploit this upset.

But as, perhaps in the Ebola scare, (where doctors have now said the biggest fear is fear itself), things must be kept in perspective. Some have tried to characterize the shooter, for example, as a Muslim extremist (he was a convert to Islam, but was born in Canada).  But more information is becoming available about him:  He was also a cocaine and heavy heroin addict and had several criminal offenses.  At one point, he even tried to rob a McDonalds in Vancouver with only a stick so he’d get put in jail, he had said then, to force himself to kick his drug habit. He clearly was a very disturbed person and a portrait is emerging, more of a loner, with a history of problems, closer perhaps to several of the school shooters in the U.S.  He also, as far we can tell, came from a good home; his mother worked in a high-level Canadian Immigration job, and he came from a decent family, although his parents divorced.  His mother hadn’t seen him for 5 years, except the week before the tragic event, for lunch.

There had been a hit and run killing of a Canadian soldier in Quebec, a couple days earlier, by a Muslim sympathizer, so some are trying to connect the two. But people, who had talked with the Parliament attacker at a homeless shelter where he had stayed in Ottawa the past couple weeks, said he told them he was in Ottawa, from Vancouver, to try and get a passport to go Syria or maybe Lbyia, where his father had been from.  In fact, the Canadian government had been holding up his passport, because they wondered if he might have been a security risk.  So the Canadian authorities already knew about him (although they didn’t think he was dangerous).  And he may have resorted to this desperate act partly, out of anger, over that.

He might well have just been, as one former FBI profiler described it, a misfit and copycat killer, who had latched on to radical religion, to try and justify his drug habit and personal problems. We will probably never know, as with so many of these mentally-confused people, what exactly were their motivations, if any.  We can’t understand irrational individuals and acts, so we too often look for re-assuring simple answers.

But that’s not the picture, the media and politicians are presenting to an insecure public. Like in the U.S., there are calls for more guns and guards and giving the intelligence services more far-reaching eavesdropping powers.  He was killed by an armed guard at the Parliament buildings, who bravely, defended the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament and staff. The soldier, who sadly died, was ceremoniously guarding the War Memorial, but had been unarmed.  But more guns and security even may not prevent someone, clearly bent on the destruction of others or himself, from carrying out these kind of attacks. The U.S. White House, has been breached already 7 times this year alone, despite being one of the most guarded places.

The present Canadian Conservative government will, no doubt, try to use this latest incident to push through legislation for tougher security and surveillance. The Conservatives, had right before this, because of their majority status, been able to send Canadian warplanes to join in the fight against ISIS in Iraq (although it’s unclear whether most Canadians really wanted that). Canada has been long known throughout its history for it’s peace-keeping efforts to help keep conflicting parties apart.  The Conservatives had sent soldiers to Afganistan despite the earlier Liberal government not sending Canadian troops to Iraq.  Obama (despite not intervening in Syria and saying he wouldn’t allow chemical weapons- and we don’t hear much about if Assad is really complying or not, in the media these days), and now Canada too, is back in that quagmire.  It will be hard for even the opposition parties in Canada to resist in this mood of fear.  In 1970, the so-called “hippie” Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau put through the War Measures Act and declared martial law and, along with Montreal Mayor Drapeau ( the Canadian version of Mayor Daly of Chicago) used it to stifle their political opponents during the Quebec Crisis.  And Canadian politicians ( with one brave exception, Tommy Douglas)  and the unquestioning Canadian public went right along with it.  Something, which if Nixon had tried it in the U.S., would have led to massive demonstrations. The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistle blowers than any previous President.  So politicians, no matter what their leanings, will use public fear for their own advantage.

Canadian Remembrance Day for war veterans is coming up November 11 and there will be calls for supporting soldiers and the military, much as there was for the First Responders and U.S. military after 9/11. George Bush exploited that mood in America, and intelligence budgets blossomed and privacy rights were lessened. Edward Snowden revealed that at one time, the NSA wanted every device sold to the public, to be secretly outfitted with eavesdropping capabilities (and they almost got it!).

So things, as I say, should be kept in perspective. This killer, appears to have been more of a disturbed lone gunman, more influenced by personal demons, with religious leanings, and there could well be more copycat attempts, as there was after the school shootings ( there were two NYC policemen attacked with a hatchet, shortly after the Canadian incident and some authorities had labeled  it “terrorism”, but the man’s friends said he just hated police and whites, so we have to be careful not to label these copycat ‘lone wolfs’ as “terrorist”).

But all the emotional calls for more guns and tougher public surveillance laws should be tempered in an atmosphere of public unease.  The media’s and politicians’ own agendas should be examined too.  And all the flag waving and understandable emotional outpourings, now in Canada too, brought up by this senseless act, aren’t necessarily going to solve the problem.

The central structure in the Canadian Parliament buildings is named the PEACE TOWER, and we shouldn’t let a madman or our over-reactions change that.

But in that sense, yes, Canada has lost its innocence.

“IMAGINE” by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no countries

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too

Imagine all the people

Living Life in Peace

You may say I’m A Dreamer

But I’m Not the only one

Lennon’s words of wisdom on how to respond to violence:

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONG JOHN BALDRY"S Classic album, "It Ain't Easy", Produced by Rod Stewart & Elton John

LONG JOHN BALDRY: BLUES MENTOR/ROD STEWART & ELTON JOHN

(This is part of a series of blogs I’ve been doing on some of the groups and on some of the perhaps lesser-known songwriters and players behind some of rock’s classic artists and songs. So far: Tony Joe White, Harry Nilsson, Glen Campbell, Paul Revere & The Raiders, Johnny Rivers, The Rascals, Rick Nelson, Del Shannon, Badfinger, Bob Marley, etc.)

LONG JOHN BALDRY: BLUES MENTOR/ROD STEWART & ELTON JOHN

By Alan Chrisman (All Articles ARE written BY ALAN CHRISMAN), copyright 2012-2015 (A Praveen Patel has tried to hack them and claim them).

Long John Baldry was one of the first to sing blues in British clubs. His bands contained many musicians who would go on to great success; he discovered Rod Stewart and Elton John is named after him. Baldry was 6’7”, and thus his nickname, was  “Long John”.   In the early 60’s, while singing with Alex Korner’s Blues Incorporated, they recorded the 1st English blues album”, Live at The Marquee, at the club where the future Rolling Stones and Cream’s, Jack Bruce, were some of the musicians sharing the stage with him.

In 63’, he was with the Cyril Davis All Stars, which included pianist, Nicky Hopkins, who would later play on Stones’ and Beatles’ albums. Baldry had befriended the Beatles at the Cavern and appeared on their 1964 TV special, Around the Beatles.

Baldry discovered Rod Stewart, one night busking at a train stop after one of Baldry’s shows, and made him part of his band, The Hoochie Coochie Men. He creates an almost-7 minute opus song about this, “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie on The King of Rock ’n ’Roll”, for his album, It Ain’t Easy.  In 1965, the band became known as Steampacket, with Julie Driscoll and Brian Auger (later to form Trinity).  Also in the band was a piano player named Reg Dwight, who changed his name to Elton John, after “Long John” and after Elton Dean (later of Soft Machine) who was in it too. The It Ain’t Easy album, in 1971, was produced, one side each, by Rod Stewart and Elton John, and is a real classic blues-rock record, with Ron Wood, Doris Troy and Madeline Bell also on it.  Stewart and Elton John would also co-produce Baldry’s album, Everything Stops for Tea in ’72.

Baldry had a big hit in England with “Let the Heartaches Begin” in ‘67. The Elton John song “ Somebody Saved my Life Today” was about when Elton almost tried to commit suicide, after his failed relationship with a woman, and Baldry had helped talk him out of it(them both coming to grips with being gay), at a time when in England it was still illegal. Baldry was also supposedly the last person to see Marc Bolan of T-Rex alive, before he was killed in an accident in 1977.

In 1968, Long John Baldry moved to Vancouver and became a Canadian citizen. He continued to put out Canadian Juno Award-winning albums and toured and did voice/acting roles. He had another hit with in 1979 with American vocalist, Kathi McDonald, with a re-make of the Righteous Bros., “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”.  Baldry died in Vancouver in 1995 at the age of 64.

But he left behind a record of being one of the very first to do blues on the British scene and he had a big influence on a whole generation of later well-known English musicians and recorded some classic songs like his signature, ”Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie on The King of Rock ’n’ Roll”.

In that sense, as a bandleader, he was like another adopted-Canadian, Ronnie Hawkins from Arkansas, who discovered and trained the Hawks (who would later be known as Dylan’s The Band) and also The Sparrows (later Steppenwolf), and several others. Leaders, like Baldry and Hawkins, didn’t always achieve the fame of their once-recruits, but they recognized their potential talents and nurtured them.

LONG JOHN BALDRY DOING HIS CLASSIC, “DON’T TRY TO LAY NO BOOGIE ON THE KING OF ROCK”N” ROLL”:

http://youtu.be/xod14bpm3UE

SEE AMAZING JAM WITH:  LONG JOHN BALDRY, ERIC BURDON, STEVIE WINWOOD, JULIE DRISCOLL, AND ROD STEWART: (5TH ANNUAL JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL, RICHMOND, ENGLAND, 1965):

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTmlBiIRk_I