Stills from our CKX TV Special - 1982

Lawrence Hicks, Ken Storie, Sharon Bugg, Jamie Axford , Ken Sowiak

In 1978 I was playing with Cabaret and getting comfortable with my teaching position in Melita School. As I explained earlier, I considered myself grown up. I played in a band that catered to a mixed crowd at small town socials and weddings. We made good money and were busy. I had to learn some unfamiliar music, but I really enjoyed playing any kind of music. We did a few Creedence songs and even some “modern”,  or a least recent, rock by bands like the Doobie Brothers, the Powder Blues Band, as well as some old rock that I liked. I learned a bit about older music that served me well later.

At school, I started offering guitar lessons and my next band Legacy came about when several of my students wanted to move on out of the band room and into the bars. (Well not the bars right away, but soon enough.) 

Sharon Bugg and Lawrence Hicks were in my Grade 8 Language Arts class in my first year at Melita School. I believe that it was Sharon who first asked me about guitar lessons. Lawrence was soon involved as well.

I had never taught lessons before and I have no real musical training. My approach was to show them the chords and work through a beginners guide which offered the usual simple standards selected for easy of playing. To supplement this I quickly added chord patterns and intro licks to current and standard rock songs.

That caught their attention. Because I taught the lessons in small groups we were soon playing songs together, one strumming the chords and others playing a melody. It was sort of like playing in a band.

I think the word spread and I was approached by Jamie Axford who was two years younger than Sharon and Lawrence. Before long the three were taking lessons as a team and showing an interest in learning whole songs like a band. We had four guitarists (counting me)  so Lawrence opted to try bass. From then on we worked on songs as a team with me filling in any missing parts or just leading. The next step was getting a drummer.

When I tried to steer them towards creating the band with me acting as advisor, supervisor etc, they rejected that and asked that I play as a member.

Local School Band drummer Jay Morrow came on board. Although I soon learned that both Jamie and Sharon could sing, they were busy with their guitars so we recruited two singers as well. I remember Alana Lindbloom and Alana Loucks singing with us.

Jamie was 13 and Sharon and Lawrence were 15 when we first performed at an event at the school. 

After a few lineup changes Greg Loucks became the drummer, Sharon and Jamie took over the singing duties and we were performing at socials and high school dances throughout Westman under the name "Sound Barrier".

It is hard to describe how much fun I was having with this. I was re-introduced to playing modern music after an extended hiatus. I thought that because I was a teacher and family man, those days were over. Now under the guise of helping young players I was back at it.

On the Lord Selkirk

Jamie's dad, Jim, got us a deal on the Lord Selkirk. We did it twice.

These photos our from our first visit in the late summer of 1880

Jim also let us use his van and trailer and found us bookings. The free cruise for us and our families in return for two nights of entertainment was an excellent opportunity.  We did it twice.

I had certainly never stopped enjoying the new music I heard on the radio, and it was both a challenge and a joy to figure it out and play it. Since leaving Blind Justice in 1973, I’d followed the appearance of new groups such as Heart, Styx, Foreigner, April Wine, Toronto, Loverboy, Journey and Streetheart, now I had a chance to try that material.

At first, an important part of our target audience was the multi-age group that attended socials. We mixed our modern rock songs with a few old standards and did some pop stuff such as Abba, and party songs like those by The Irish Rovers. For high school dances we had a full set list that was edging towards serious rock n, roll.

Ken Storie, Lawrence Hicks, Greg Loucks, Sharon Bugg, Jamie Axford

When Gregg left for college we added Ken Sowiak, from Brandon, on drums.  Ken had played with CP Express. CP Express was a project started by guitarist and teacher Jerry Perkin out of Crocus Plains High School.  It was an amazing program that introduced countless aspiring musicians to Westman audiences and beyond. CP Express played in the Melita gym as part of their annual tour of high schools and we made contact with Ken. Del Clark who also worked with CP Express became our sound tech and we struck some sort of deal to use their sound system.  Along the way the new name was "Legacy"

With the new name and new lineup came some new equipment. Backed by some pretty solid earning potential we bought matching Peavey amps. Sharon upgraded to an El Degas guitar and Jamie who had already bought his Ibanez Iceman, added a red Strat. We bought a Korg synthesizer to be better able to imitate the synth-heavey groups of the day. Sharon and Jamie each learned a bit about keyboards. It was one of the early synths that would only play single notes, but it had a great range of sounds and effects (Think helicopter sound for the start of Streetheart’s “One More Time”, or the spacy line in the Car’s “Just What I Needed”

For a while we had another keyboard, I remember playing it on a Bryan Adams song, and remember Jamie playing it on a Journey song. Before long I bought one of the first Roland Guitar Synthesizers and that allowed me to play some keyboard parts on guitar.

Jamie quickly became a very precise and intuitive guitar player and a good vocalist. Sharon had a good grasp of the rock vocal style of the times – able to wail away at Heart’s version of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock n’ Roll” and doing an excellent job on Pat Benetar songs.  Her version of “If You Think You Know How to Love Me” (youtube link) which we recorded for a CKX TV show, is just great. Lawrence also had a natural feel on bass. Quiet on stage, he was our Bill Wyman. Ken Sowiak continues to be a powerful and precise drummer.

Recording with Del Clark at a Crocus Plains. spring of 1882.

We used the recordings for our CKX TV special later that spring.

Clips from our 1982 CKY TV Special
are available on youtube:

Find Another Fool
The Breakup Song
I Love Rock n' Roll
If You Think You Know How to Love Me

Writing this reminds me of how much we all loved the material we were playing, and how we brought a bit of individuality onto the hits of the day. My background in what is now classic rock perhaps, mixed with the interests and pop culture savvy of my much younger band mates, made us a little different from the run of the mill early eighties cover bands in the region. 

Highlights of those very productive years 1981 & 82 include our many summer gigs at Kenosee Park, our Summer "Tour" to Winnipeg Beach and Portage, regular stops at both bars in Roblin, two years at Brandon Fair, the Boissevain Turtle Derby Social and high school dances across Westman and southeastern Saskatchewan.

Brandon Fair - Our second appearance.

Sharon is still very active in the music industry as a singer / songwriter - find her at:

Thanks to Ken Sowiak for his photos ....

More from his collection

Samples from the Song List

Heart : Bebe le Strange, Rock n' Roll, Even It Up, Magic Man
Loverboy : Jump, The Kid is Hot Tonight, Working For the Weekend, Little Girl
Harlequin : Innocence, Can't Hold Back
Toronto : Your Daddy Don't Know, Even the Score, Silver Screen, Let's Spend the Night Together
Patti Smith : Rock n' Roll Star
Greg Kihn Band : Breakup Song
Quarterflash : Find Another Fool
Streetheart : One More Time, Teenage Rage
Suzi Quatro : Breakdown