Seeing Shows with Deb Draper January, 2018.

2017 seemed to stick in the 80s mode for me.
I got to witness the magical rebirth of
Michael Bell's highly sought after Bowie Lives, where he conjures up 4 decades of Bowie classics with his A-lister band of music makers, truly keeping the spirit of David Bowie's songs alive. I got to keep up to date with SPOONS at 4 of their fantastic shows, 1 in May at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, 1 in August in Kitchener outdoor in the rain, 1 in September at a sold-out show at Toronto’s Adelaide Hall and once again on Halloween in Brampton with A Flock of Seagulls where they raised $7,000 for Ronald McDonald House.  No matter how many of these shows I attend, it’s like your finger is on the pause button, truly never veering from their trademark sound we have come to adore.
To truly capture Bowie Lives, SPOONS and A Flock of Seagulls is like capturing an infinite measure, both a creative workbook and an authoritative musical reference. Their stage presence is profoundly moving and pertinent ones.  Their perfected measurements of rhythm and supportive harmony, play a crucial role in defining the sound of pop culture and 80's New Wave.  Congratulations to Gord Deppe on your new adventure as A Flock Of Seagull’s newest guitarist, glad to see you will be touring with both Spoons/AFOS in future.
 
Dream Into Action occurred for me at the fabulous state of the art, Avalon Ballroom Theatre at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on Oct 26, 2017.  I was blessed to have captured HOJO twice in 2 years, however, this one put the cherry on top.  I was chosen by Howard to review his show and to take photos as the ONLY outside Canadian Media Photographer!  Fresh off his Retro Futura 2017 Summer Tour with Men Without Hats, The English Beat, Modern English, Paul Young, Katrina Ex Katrina & The Waves..... "Bounce Right Back” Howard Jones surely did just that! He captivated a sold-out venue where eager HOJO fans rushed the stage, danced in their seats & showed their love with standing ovations throughout the 2-hour performance. He remastered his greatest hits & blended in an even stronger techno-pop sound, while leading a retro 80's resurgence.  Well into the 3rd millennium, all 4 acts were rejuvenating & in rare form.  Michael Bell, Howard Jones, SPOONS and A Flock of Seagulls still exude infectious adrenalines & I was thrilled to be a part of their impressive audience's responsive energy,  Never idle nearing the 40 year mark for all 4, it was magical to hear fans (80's teens now adults) singing word for word, loud & proud, totally PRICELESS!  Songs filled with philosophy, inner peace, giving fans confidence & encouragement to express their feelings. These shows brought a back to the future type feel making for extravagant experiences, all acts are valuable industry team players, with an all-around musical presence.


A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS/SPOONS HALLOWEEN CHARITY PERFORMANCE RAISED $7,000 for RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE.

Classic Bowl In Association with St. Mary School were out in support of 
Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) and hosted
 a night of musical nostalgia featuring A Flock of Seagulls with special guests SPOONS.  The event was hosted by BOOM 97.3, brought to us by
Brampton’s Ed Sousa, who organized the fundraising concert.  Ed stated, "there is so much excitement, this is the first time A Flock of Seagulls will perform Brampton's Flower City."
SPOONS got the room rocked and ready.  
To truly capture SPOONS is like capturing an infinite measure, both a creative workbook and an authoritative musical reference. Their stage presence is profoundly moving and a pertinent one.  Their perfected measurements of rhythm and supportive harmony, play a crucial role in defining the sound of pop culture and 80's New Wave.
 






What I find spectacular about SPOONS is their non-stop energy.  If you play electronica music as they do, listeners gravitate to their groovy catchy beats.  Their compelling and attractive sound inspires others as does their drive, overabundance of musical passion and dedication to not just their art, but to their fans.   


 
They are a valuable industry team player, with an all-around musical presence.  No matter how many shows you attend, it’s like your finger is on the pause button, truly never veering from their trademark sound we have come to adore all these years.  I reflect back to the SPOONS interview I honorably performed on 21st of September in 2016. 
Q) Deb: "You have been in the music industry nearly 37 years, did you ever imagine your career would unfold as it has? Also, did you ever think your songs would have influenced the world as they have?
A) GORD:”It was surprising, in many ways. We were lucky to be part of the 80s. There was nothing like it; it was a fun and crazy time, kind of like 10 years of Halloween!  We can laugh about the hair and clothes we wore, it was all part of that era, but we’re very proud of the music that came out of it.” 
 
Halloween has been an integral part of my life from my parents being married on this day and now sharing this same date with my partner Kevin Brazolot,  to always letting loose and dressing up, it's truly a magical holiday. Naturally, when I first heard that these 2 award winning iconic acts were joining forces to raise money for a cause I strongly support, the stars I felt were in perfect align and we were not to miss this spectacular splendor.  Always a pleasant time chatting with my extraordinarily beautiful friend and Gord Deppe's fiance, Meg Crockett.


Kevin and I dressed as a rocker angel and devil in leather, sporting my red halo and wings, his horns and a matching devilish red tail. Gripping Canon Rebel T's we strolled into the full house St. Mary's Elementary School Gymnasium on Oct. 28th to a sea of 80's music lovers and tons of colorful costumes, bringing back a memory for SPOONS lead guitarist/vocalist Gord Deppe as he mentioned, "this is SPOONS 1st time performing in a high school since high school."   They say 80s music ages like a fine wine, but I feel 80's music is best described as a shot of the sweetest Scotch Whiskey.  From modest beginnings, SPOONS music has grown into a richly textured and addictive sound guaranteed to excite.  Taking the world by storm 37 years ago and going strong today, never looking back, their music has stood the test of time.  They are gathering attention and adoration of new and younger generations who are appreciating the 80's resurgence.   Appropriately named pioneering innovators of their new wave 80's synth craft, their talents sit as a strong part of musical history providing their foundation for 
their success and longevity.  

Once again, I reflect back to my SPOONS interview where I asked them what they believed was your claim to fame and your secret to longevity?
A) GORD: “We’ve stayed the same people we’ve always been.  And we are as happy to see our fans as they are to see us!  It’s like a reunion of sorts, definitely not a chore. I love to meet our fans and to hear their stories of how our music affected their lives; how it brought relationships together, helped them through difficult times growing up. It makes poetry of our lives.”
A) SANDY: “I think we were just fortunate, in the right place at the right time and to have the opportunity to share our music with as many people as possible.  We have longevity because we continue to believe in ourselves and our fans still believe in us. Without our fans, our listeners, we wouldn’t be out there.  Gord and I are really good friends and performance partners.  We started out in high school as boyfriend and girlfriend but, in the end, just love performing live together.”  
SPOONS entertained their fans with Janine White filling in on keys, and Tony Ferrari on drums, never losing a beat as they spun this show into high gear, setting the energetic tone for the evening, with a song from their same-titled album Arias and Symphonies.
SPOONS, it is always brilliant to see "You Light Up" your stage as you captivate your "Nova Heart" fans while you rev us up back and forth with a combination of old then new hits, surely making me feel like I was inside "Snow Globes."  Tossing us further back in a time giving us "Old Emotions" especially "When Time Turns Around."   Their newest hit "Beautiful Trap" thoroughly engaged the audience, leading us on a magical trip along the "Waterline" as Sandy mesmerized fans while introducing her NS Double Steinberger upright Bass, then got to “Escape With You” as she eloquently showcased her full vocals.  Thus strolling us right into their signature and most enduring hit “Romantic Traffic." Gord mentioned to the audience that "The 80's were the best generation and If ever a Halloween song, this would be it," as they rocked us old school into their 1st hit "Red Light," from their 1981 Stick Figure Neighbourhood album.   This night was not only special for the fans, but the artists were feeling nostalgic too.  Remembering the 1st time these 2 music legends had joined forces and shared the same stage at the 1982's Police Picnic II at the Canadian National Exhibition.  Gord was bursting to share his big news that he was joining Grammy Awarded A Flock of Seagulls as their guitarist.  He reassured their stunned fans, that he will be juggling both acts and will continue with SPOONS as well.   SPOONS charged forward into a brand NEW dance-oriented single, "First and Last" and the crowd went crazy with excitement as Gord said, "stay young with us as this is what our music does!"  Plenty of smiling faces and voices singing loud and proud as they crowded the stage dancing to SPOONS largest radio hit "Tell No Lies." They ended with their explosive club mixed dubstep version of "Nova Heart."         
During intermission, a costume contest was held, the best costume I thought should have gone to this woman below posing with Mike Score.  She dressed up as Mike right down to the 
signature hairdo. 
A very excitable Gord Deppe made his way to the front of the stage and struck his first chords live, as the guitarist for the English New Wave Grammy Award-winning synthpop legends,
A Flock of Seagulls.  It was as if time stood still, older yes, but those punchy notable beats took you back to a simpler time, an innocent time to 1982.  They perfected their 3rd release "Modern Love is Automatic," from their debut self-titled album, making our "Hearts On Fire," even with their "Rainfall."  
I know I won't have "Nightmares" because "The More You Live The More You Love" was projected beautifully from their 3rd album, The Story of a Young Heart from 1984.  Their music stripped me of all stresses, more or less made my heart feel "Naked" and anew as they mastered "She Won't Let You Down" right into a "Man Made" and one-of-a-kind "Space Age Love Song."  "Wishing" (If I Had a Photograph of You) their 1st release from their 2nd album Listen, brought goosebumps, truly brilliant, as the audience went bizerk.  They knocked it clear out of the park with their signature hit, "I Ran" which incorporated the band's trademark synthesizer sounds and heavy bass effects.  
 
"Messages" led to "The Traveler," as a "Transfer Affection" occurred, asking us to "Remember David."  "Telecommunication"  set it over the top for me, a marvelous choice to encore with and close the night.  
 
 
  
 
 
Overall these 2 award-winning innovators of synth new wave still rock an impressive full house after 37 years in the biz.  Marching into a decade and a half of the 21st century, these notable household names show no signs of slowing down.  Totally ensuring their nostalgic sound unions with their eager legions of fans worldwide, will forge strongly forward with a futuristic feel for years to come. 
CONGRATULATIONS Gord and A Flock of Seagulls.  Thanks to all for releasing your 
feel-good endorphins in our brains, producing pure pleasure and reward.   
 A SPECIAL THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart goes to my man, KEVIN BRAZOLOT.  He drove, carried all the cameras, shot most of the show, ran around thru the crowd to capture those iconic moments. Moreover, stay tuned to his Facebook and take a peek at the 100s of shots he captured for me and for SPOONS.
YOU ROCK MY WORLD!
ROUTE69 Productions hosts a stellar production with a fantastic lineup once again.
See what's rockin' at (647) 468 7769  or  69autoracing@gmail.com   
https://www.facebook.com/Route69-Productions-264289367414474
https://www.ticketweb.ca/event/nickelbach-tribute-to-nickelback-the-rockpile-west-tickets/7766805?pl=rockpilewest
A deep collaboration of musical minds created a recording project entitled Trigger Syndrome, a 3 piece hard rockin' indie act.  They will refresh your appetite and blow your mind, as they showcase a plethora of originals come Dec. 22nd LIVE at The Rockpile West 9pm (doors open at 8 PM). 

HOWZAT, a 4 piece high energy Rock act from Forest City, London, Ontario. Their debut single and video "STORM" since release in Sept 2015 they haven't stopped getting rave reviews across Ontario and tons of airplay on college radio throughout Canada all from EP release in 2016 called, 'ROUGH CUTZ' .
Kevin Rudy ( Vocals), Greigg Fraser (Guitars), Dale Penny ( drums) and David Buland ( bass),, Howzat released there 2nd video “HOUSE OF LOVE” in April of 2016, gaining more fans across Ont Canada. 

Playing and touring consistently throughout 2016, doing opening slots for, One Bad Son, Killer Dwarfs, Sabbath Only Sabbath, and Canada's very own Destroyer, HOWZAT ended 2016 charting on numerous Canadian and American Indie year-end charts.  Howzat released their first single and video of 2017 in January titled “LUV DUST”, and were a regional finalist for 2017 CBC Searchlight, and nominated for a JRMA ( Jack Richardson Music Award). Recorded and produced by Juno award winner Siegfried Meier at Beach Road Studios. Big things are on the horizon for this Canadian rock act !!! Be Sure to follow all things Howzat  https://www.howzatrocks.com


Indirect support, one of the hottest ACDC tribute bands going strong today,  
Maximum Overdrive, featuring the vocals of Bon Scott era and beyond
https://www.facebook.com/MaximumOverdriveACDC

and headlining, nonother then Nickelbach-Canada's Best Tribute to Nickelback.



Dec. 9th, 9pm ROUTE 69 PRODUCTIONS presents - Whiskey Rose Tributes WHITESNAKE

 ROUTE 69 PRODUCTIONS presents - Whiskey Rose Tributes WHITESNAKE

A note-for-note high-energy show covering all the greatest hits of Whitesnake featuring Darren James Smith of Red Dragon Cartel and Harem Scarem also featuring:



● Battered Egos a rock alternative act from Niagara Falls, www.artistecard.com/batteredegos  https://www.facebook.com/BatteredEgos




 

E-transfers excepted as well for $15 in advance tickets. send to gary@whiskeyrose.ca or contact the  The Addiction or Battered Egos or pay $20 at the door at the Rockpile West 
at 5555 Dundas Street W. Etobicoke.
 
647 468 7769
69autoracing@gmail.com



December 2nd - ROUTE69 PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS: AEROFORCE - The Ultimate Tribute to AEROSMITH -with special guests.
The AEROFORCE history dates back to the early 90s. “Tyler” Bob Gregory and Paul G. Kramer brought together an Aerosmith tribute band of true Aerosmith fans.
The AEROFORCE mission has always been to faithfully reproduce the spirit of Aerosmith in look, sound, and atmosphere. This has provided a fun and entertaining experience for every Aerosmith fan for over 2 decades.
AEROFORCE have toured across Canada and the Eastern United States many times and have amassed a number of career highlights. There have been many festivals and shows with the likes of Vince Neil (Mötley Crüe), Night Ranger, Kim Mitchell, April Wine and Blue Rodeo.
There have been a number of Aerosmith CD release parties over the years as well. Most recently for the 'Music From Another Dimention’ CD, where Aerosmith’s own record company hired the band. On their behalf, the band has given away hundreds of Aerosmith CDs, tour shirts, videos and even a few Gibson Les Paul guitars (autographed by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry).
The band has also played several Aerosmith after show parties, special guests such as Jackyl and Cheap Trick, that will never be forgotten by the people who were lucky enough to get in to see them. Steven Tyler himself described them as “those cool guys from Canada” Check them out for yourself at The Rockpile at 5555 Dundas Street West in Etobicoke for their ALL AGES SHOWCASE featuring special guests.
 www.demolitionrage.com started out as a recording project, a meeting of minds filled with creativity and sports a wide variety of influences. This unique sound has garnered legions of fans worldwide laced with creative musicians and an accumulated 2 albums Murder by Numbers and No Room For Silence, with a 3rd in the works.  The members of this band have a musical history having the pleasure of sharing stages with Iron Maiden, Motor Head, Dio, 3 Days Grace, I Mother Earth, Kim Mitchell, Slick Toxic, Lee Aaron, Famous Under Ground with Nick Walsh (formerly of Slick Toxic), ANVIL, Killer Dwarfs and have rocked Edge 102 Fest, Tweed Trudeau Park Festival, Ontario Place (Amphitheatre) and Peterborough L.I.V.E Music Festival just to name but a few.
Hurry don't delay get your $15 IN ADVANCE tickets today from artists on the bill; at
or $20 at the door. Doors open at 8pm
Wear your dancing shoes this guarantees to get you moving and a grooving.
647 468  7769     69autoracing@gmail.com

Legendary Music Biz Photographer John Rowlands captivates with stories behind his iconic photos from the last 60 years!

 
For 6 decades, Oshawa born photographer, John Rowlands, has been one of the best-kept secrets in the music business.  Over the years he has been commissioned to take photos of popular music personalities and other celebrities, by their record labels, management or the press.  Rowlands has traveled the world and accomplished things many photographers could only dream of. Through it all he has amassed a unique collection of negatives, slides and digital files all the while becoming known as a Photographer to the Stars.   It began in Ottawa on September 26, 1960, when Rowlands’ ‘hobby’ turned into a ‘career’ in the blink of an eye and the zap of a flash bulb!  At 13, he’d bought a ticket to popular singer Brenda Lee’s touring road show, and knew as a fan, that the only chance he’d have in taking her home was on the film in his camera. Shooting a full roll of film of the show, he met her, chatted with her backstage, carried her suitcase to her station wagon, and got an autograph, her address in Nashville and a kiss on the cheek!  Without knowing it, his life changed on that day. Two weeks later after mailing the snapshots to Nashville, he received a call from her manager who requested the negatives.  John forwarded them. Three weeks later the mail contained his first photographic pay cheque of $35.  Soon, thereafter, he was photographing Sam Cooke.  As time passed the offers became more frequent and contained substantial increases in compensation. By 1963 Rowlands was known by several working editors of International fan magazines.  SIXTEEN magazine, in New York City, had become his first steady account.  By the eleventh grade, he was earning $80 an 8×10 and banked more than $10,000.  At sixteen he approached Capitol Records who had just signed an Ottawa band, The Esquires, and showed them photos he’d done of them before they signed with the label.  This venture brought forth a career shift and a key to the door of the record industry was at hand!  The rest they say is MUSIC HISTORY.  
 November 16th, 2017, was inspirational filled with magic.  Engaging music fans, creating a one-of-a-kind night to remember.  
 Legendary John Rowlands with lifelong friend and music industry's Michael Watson, brought John's up close and personal 
ROCK & ROLL MEMORIES - live and interactive slideshow 
presentation to Toronto's Balmy Beach Club at 360 Lake Front Street.  John Rowlands shared his photo collections with several hundred eager fans in the full house audience while narrating the stories behind these music legends, spanning almost 60 years.  I had the honor to view first hand and attempt to capture this icon's essence live.  Here is a short list of entertainers that Rowlands has had in his viewfinder:  David Bowie, Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Slash, Alice Cooper, Sting, Michael Jackson, KISS, Willie Nelson, Dylan & Springsteen, just to name a few.  
                                  
 
                              that John included in his photographic slide show November 16th. His website can embellish those mentioned & many many more, stop in for a visit at:                                         





www.rocknrowlands.com   

To Book a special evening of magical Rock N Roll Memories with John Rowlands, you can reach him online at http://www.rocknrowlands.com/contact-speaking 


I wish to thank the amazing John Rowlands, Michael Watson, Catherine Doyle, Terry Mason and The Balmy Beach Club for a fantastic evening of top quality entertainment and  hospitality.