Ken Storie, Paul Solon, Mike Kotyk, Leigh Moore - From a Brandon Sun article, shortly after I joined.

Blind Justice formed in the summer of 1970.  The original lineup was: Leigh Moore, formerly of The Children of Stone, Paul Solon and Mike Kotyk formerly of The Rayle,  and Del Krauchi, 16 year old guitar whiz.

Del quit in Jan of 1971 and I had to audition to get the gig. On one of my first rehearsals with the band a reporter from the Brandon Sun came to practice to check us out and interview us. I was nervous.

Our first gig, after only a few rehearsals, was at a BU Pub. I was still nervous!

That was followed by a busy winter of high school dances throughout Westman.

Blind Justice was a new experience in several ways. Although just a four piece, Leigh’s versatile presence at the organ and his deep understanding of the music, allowed us to do things other bands weren’t doing – in terms of material and interpretation of that material. Both Leigh and Paul were good singers allowing for harmony and vocal flexibility.

That led to an interesting set list.

One has to keep in mind that in those days a live rock show was still a relatively new thing, and deeply appreciated. And by live rock, I don’t mean three guys in bad suits and cheap guitars stumbling through Rock Around the Clock.

We might not have been able to sound just like Led Zeppelin or the Allman Brothers, but we were pretty sure that being loud was the first step.  Our crowds had never heard those bands live. They were happy with what we doing and cut us a lot of slack. We didn’t play a string of hit pop songs, we played what we liked. As long as it was loud, in tune, and you could dance to it, the audience was content. Extended solos and jams happened without plan. We often opened with an entire side of the first Santana album featuring long instrumental and rhythm passages. I remember like it was yesterday playing the extended middle part of Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ by the Stones in the Rivers High School Gym. We slipped into a groove and just ran with if for playing off of each other taking it somewhere else.

I had an SG just like the one Clapton and Pete Townsend were using and a Garnet BTO nearly as tall as I was. Leigh could play anything he could hear on a record and I was able to learn from him.


Ken Storie, Paul Solon. Mike Kotyk. Leigh Moore

Two shots from a performance on Canada Day at Curran Park, 1971

By the spring of 71 we had settled into a routine, which included consistent weekly practice at the North End Community Centre, where we had the use of the hall in return for playing an annual dance. We took what we were doing seriously, and worked hard on arrangements and getting a tight sound. Leigh was a perfectionist.

Mike Kotyk left the band and was replaced briefly with John Morgan, then Jamie Durward. I remember playing the fair (a televised live 1/2 hr set) with Ian Haslen filling in on drums.

I have to say again that the spirit of the times encouraged us to expand out horizon. We didn’t have to learn the latest pop song to get work, we were busy as it was. What was cool was to be seen as progressive or original.

It was that summer of 1971 when we decided to expand the band. Bands like Blood Sweat & Tears and Chicago were taking heavy rock basics and adding horns. Santana, one of our favorites, also recorded with horns. We had always liked Santana and the Allman Brothers and adding a second drummer seemed like a cool thing to do. 

Mike Burtch was attending university. We'd jammed with him a few times, and I believe that was the start of the idea of expanding the band.

We could also hear saxophone used by bands like the Stones and when we met a high school student from Deloraine who could really play rock and roll, we added him to the band. We met Dave Hasselfield through his brother Bart, who I'd met while playing in Deloraine with the Eighth Street Bridge and Clown. Dave was only sixteen when he started. We also asked Bart to join, intending to used a full horn section but he declined. He did hang out with us and always was able to offer good musical advice.

By fall we had added a trumpet player, Mike Pettit, another university student, and started working on songs by groups like Chicago while we added horn parts to much of our older repertoire.

We had always done two songs by Ontario band Mashmekhan, so when they came to Brandon we were in the audience. Their opening act was a vocal quartet featuring a teenager from Virden, Gaye Harry. She could sing like Janice Joplin. We added her to join the band and expanded our options even further!

By that fall our set list was miles away from where we had started. I loved the latest stones album, and Brown Sugar had a sax solo! Leigh liked horn sections and painstakingly charted trumpet and sax parts for Dave and Mike. Gaye added harmonies and sang solo on some of the newer female rock. Horns added punch to songs like Joe Cocker’s Delta Lady.

More memories.

Sometime in the winter of 71-72 we went to Winnipeg to see the Ides of March whose horn-heavy hit, Vehicle, was big. The opening act was a group from Minneapolis called Gypsy that no one had heard of. They were talented but unremarkable except for one very hauntingly powerful song called Gypsy Queen. We found the album and wrote a horn part for the middle section.


How about the motto on the card! Size mattered!


  Equipment Notes

At some point, likely the fall of 71, local guitarist Tom Cornett approached me with an offer to trade his nearly new SG for my older one. This was long before anyone thought of these instruments as being potentially collectable.  Gibson had replaced the original Les Paul with the slimmer, lighter, SG because it was more modern – and it wasn’t until a decade later that rock guitarists re-discovered the Les Paul and it went back into production. Tom's newer SG had a brighter sound and seemed nicer to play. He liked the more traditional model for the blues music he was interested in at the time. I made the trade and the new SG served me well – but with the hindsight that a few decades bring, I wish I had kept the old one. 

One my first priorities upon joining the group was getting a better amp. Cam’s Musical Supplies in Winnipeg was the music store in the city. At some point the owner Gar Gillis began making guitar amplifiers and local heroes, the Guess Who used and endorsed them. Randy Bachman popularized the B.T.O., a huge rig with four twelve inch speakers, a horn, and a built in fuzz tone / distortion unit called the “Stinger”. In Manitoba, in 1971, that was the amp to have.

I had acquired a reel-to-reel tape recorder somewhere and the folks at Garnet were always willing to deal. I was very short of ready cash but they helped me out by taking both the tape recorder and my old Traynor amp on trade. I soon bought my first Wah Wah, which, because the distortion effect was built into the amp, was the only other effect I used.

On another trip to Winnipeg Leigh purchased a Hammond B3 with a 122 Leslie  – the ultimate rock n’ roll organ to replace the M1 he had been using. He also purchased a Hohner Clavinet. Later he added a Lawrence Audio electric piano. Both the B3 and the piano were clumsy things to haul but they added a new dimension to our sound.

We used a Garnet PA, then had Brent Tuff from Virden build us Voice of the Theatre boxes. Later we then bought a Kustom P.A. (And matching Bass and Guitar Amps - Metal Flake Blue!)


Our other purchase was the school bus. Here it is at Kemnay Hall where we rehearsed during our final year.

For the first while we had used cars and U-Haul trailers. I remember one incident when the four of us were crowded in Mike Kotyk's mom's Cougar on our way to Inglis. We were stopped by the cops while heading west on the Trans Canada. When asked where we were headed Mike told him and he replied, "You're going the wrong way aren't you?"

We became concerned until we realized that he thought Mike had said “England”!  Smart ass hippies.


Ken Storie, Paul Solon, Dave Hasselfield, Mike Pettit, Mike Burtch, Gaye Harry, Jamie Durwood, Leigh Moore

Rehearsal in the North End Community Centre

We were now an eight piece band who traveled with a driver (Matt McCarty whom I met while working at Beaver Limber in the fall of 71.); and we had two high school students, Brent Chamberlain and Wayne Bjarski as roadies. We also we had a ton of equipment. We equipped the bus with couches and mattresses and we were set. We would role into town for a gig, help unload Leigh’s Hammond and the piano, which were too much for two to handle, and then while the roadies unloaded and set up we’d step into the nearest bar.

While we were playing the roadies were free to chase girls and drink beer in the bus. I believe we paid them $10 each per gig. 

I'm sure we all remember the bus trip from hell, otherwise known as Gilbert Plains. We were returning from a mid-winter gig and the bus radiator kept freezing up. It would heat to a boil, Matt would pull over and let it cool, then take off again for another few miles. We limped in to Onanole where nine of us piled into one motel room.

(In my recurring collection of twists of fate I have to add that decades later Gilbert Plains would figure in another band trip from hell - or more accurately this time - to hell). 

Other memorable trips included the trip to Winnipeg where we were supposed to play a street festival. The gig was rained out but on the way home we picked up 12 hitchhikers. 

We did gain some distinction and people took note that we were not just you run of the mill rock band. One highlight was playing the Vibrations Club in Winnipeg.  Who could forget the luxury rooms in the St. Charles Hotel. Despite the accommodations, it was a performance highlight for the group.

Another was being the “House” band at Danceland at Clear Lake for a summer.

More lineup changes,

The eight piece band didn’t last long. In hindsight, or even at the time, one could see that there were too many conflicting ideas. Mike Burtch and Gaye left within the year. Mike Pettit left in the spring of 72. We replaced them with Barb Good a high school student from Souris on sax, and a young trumpet player from Brandon, Garth Scott. That lineup lasted through the summer, but I think the experiment was over.

In a sense perhaps the band had run its course. Leigh and I were both finishing our degrees at BU and careers loomed. 

Some of us were ready to return to a basic four-piece rock lineup so when Dave lerft the band, that’s what we did. Through the fall of 72 we went back to basics, bringing in local drummer Marty Old. That winter Leigh left for Ontario and we brought in Garth Dandy. I do have fond memories of our last winter with that lineup. The money was sure better.


From an Earl Oxford School Yearbook

At the end of the winter of 73 I was ready to begin a teaching career and had to move away to do that. Paul and Marty carried on for a while before turning to other projects.

Some Songs

Santana - Album 1 Side 1 (Evil Ways Jingo Etc.)  Soul Survivor, Black Magic Woman, Hope You're Feeling Better, Oye Como VaStones - Brown Sugar, Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Mashmekan - , As Years Go By
Joe Cocker - Feelin' Allright, Delta Lady
Janis Joplin - To Love Somebody
Delany and Bonnie - ?
Chicago - Medley (Make Me Smile), Lowdown
Gypsy - Gypsy Queen
Bloodrock - Whiskey Vengeance
Three Dog Night - Liar, Instrumental?
Allman Brothers - Don't Want You No More / Ain't My Cross To Bear
Led Zeppelin - Thank You, Your Time is Gonna Come
Mandrill : Mandrill, 
Rhinoceros : Apricot Brandy 
Jethro Tull - We Used To Know
The Blues Project -
Deep Purple - Smoke on the Water
Sha Na na - Rock Medley
Sly and the Family Stone - Take You Higher - Medley

More Photos.. 

I hadn't seen these pictures until Leigh Moore passed them on to me recently. He received them from Jim Durwood. I think they may have been taken in the Souris Hall, but I'm not sure. The time is likely the fall of 1971. Mike Burtch had joined the band on percussion and Dave Hasselfield on sax.  Before long Mike was bringing a complete kit plus the congas.


Leigh on his clavinet. Before he purchased the electric piano.

Me with the SG I got from Tom Cornett


Paul with his Telecaster bass


Jamie Durward


Mike Burtch

Dave Has

And More Photos..  

Another Brandon University "Pub"


Ken, Paul, Leigh, Garth, Jamie, Barb and… Dave was off to the right


Barb Good (Now Barb Falloon) was teaching at Souris School, where I worked for 12 years.

Leigh lives in Prince Edward County, east of Toronto where he plays with "The Fade Kings" It was cool to re-connect with Leigh and exchange e-mails after all these years. 

I've lost touch with Mike Kotyk, Gaye, and Mike Pettit.

Mike Burtch recently found this site and contacted me. He recently retired from his position as Curator of the Art Gallery of Algoma (Sault Ste. Marie). He was just completing work on a very interesting film project: Painted Land: In Search of the Group of Seven.

Jim Durward also contacted me recently and it was nice to hear from him. He's written and directed a few movies.

Dave was playing jazz in (and coaching football) in Winnipeg last I heard - I'm connected with him on Facebook.

Paul lives in Brandon and is still playing. I spoke to him recently, and saw his current band a Beatles tribute.