A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Friday, December 07, 2007

Men for All Ages

They were men for all ages
Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones
They were men for all ages
Somehow evil was overthrown
They always strove for honour
Never fought for gold
Live long and prosper
Never really got old
Live long and prosper
Never really got old

Joe Keithley, Falling Apart Songs, SOCAN

I received an invitation from Joe "Shithead" Keithley to attend his band's (Band of Rebels) CD release party and fund raiser to help Marc Emery in his US court costs. The show was at the Plaza on Granville and Smythe. The Plaza used to be a movie theatre and its conversion was a happy one. It was an excellent venue with a very good and very loud (naturally!) sound system.

Even though I was in my pijamas and in bed by 10, I managed to get dressed and showed up at the Plaza, an hour later, with an element of anguish, dread and caution. Would I enjoy myself? At 65 am I too old for this sort of thing?

I was wrong on every count. The band was excellent with lots of variation. They would have a sax and trumpet or they had an extra drummer or a female vocalist. The band count was anywhere from 6 to 10 members at any given moment.

And the songs! The songs! I heard the ultimate rock paean to the original Star Treck (Men for All Ages), and a pop song I will be humming for a long time called People Power.

But what was the best was to run into faces from my past. I could have taken a digital camera along (there were many with digital cameras there) and show you what they look like now after 30 or more years.

But I think I did well to leave my camera at home. I would rather remember them as they were, in their prime (although Joe seems to be from a Punk Portrait of Dorian Gray and has weathered very well).

If I am 65 then DOA's original manager, Ken Lester would be close to my age. An old man he was with a smile on his face, all excited about the band's performance. "Alex they have rehearsed for about 6 hours for this and they never had all the band members in place at any given time." They sounded great to me. Ken is seen in the colour photograph sitting at Christmas dinner in a black tux. The little boy was and is Bev Davies's (read below) son.

The scary (but never scary in real life) Randy Rampage (below) with his long bleached blond hair and his motorcycle boots gave me a hug and placed a copy of the CD in my hands. "I am relinquishing my $0.14 royalty by giving this to you," he said.

Jumping around, pogo style, up front was a stubby man with a smile on his face. It looked like former singer (The Subhumans) and former bassist (DOA) Wimpy Roy (in top b+w photograph second from left). But it couldn't have been Roy because of that smile. But it was. I tapped him on the shoulder and he beamed at me. At one time I would have treated him with a touch of fear and respect.

The band was so loud that I had to resort to the old trick of chewing on a VISA receipt and making a couple of moist little balls which I forced into my ears. The low frequencies sort of disappeared and I could hear Bill Runge's sax and John Korsrud's trumpet.

When the concert was over there was enough clapping that the band came back for an encore. And that's when the fun really began. The first encore was my fave People Power and then Joe's "bunch of reprobates" including Randy Rampage and Wimpy Roy jumped on stage and joined in for killer renditions of Goodnight Irene and Born to Be Wild. It was then when I spotted ex-punk photographer Bev Davies (sorry I don't have a picture of her) and the lovely Susanne Tabata (below, right) who is working on a documentary on Vancuver's punk scene of the 70s and 80s.

I had my picture taken with them and I felta bit old but I kept thinking of all my friends there who surely must be Men for All Ages. After all these years they have stuck to to their guns and unwavingly have stuck to what they do best which is to entertain us while making us aware of the inhumanity and greed of our times. Ah! If we only had a little help from:

Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones

When I got into my car I slipped the CD into the player and I am happy to report that this is one "punk" record that is clean, hummable and the lyric sheet included is not really necessary. It's that clear.


Previous Posts
It's A Wonderful Life, Dean Paul Gibson's Touch & ...

Norval Morrisseau The Grand Shaman & His Hungarian...

Noël Coward, Hycroft & The Mystery Bassoonist

Grasshoppers, Butterflies & Snow

James Barber, 1923 - 2007 & French Onion Soup

Christopher Gaze - In My Room

Cameron Ward - Robin Hood, Not

Jane Rule - & Other Scary Lesbians Charmers

Carmen Aguirre - Vancouver Bombshell, Actor, Direc...

The Cultch - Vancouver's High Church Of Culture

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010