1: In the Beginning..
In 1982 I
took a position as Principal of Strathclair School, a K-12 School with
about 220 students. Being a small school I also had to teach part time.
My band Legacy had disbanded and once again I was “retired”.
come as no surprise that I was approached to teach guitar as soon as my
interest in that instrument was discovered.
first students were Mark Parypa, Max Waddell and Trevor Wareham, and it
wasn’t long before they were interested in working as a group. We
recruited a drummer, Brett Wareham and a singer, Sheri Dymterko. I
treated it as an extra-curricular activity and kept my involvement to
showing them songs, and opening the school on Sunday afternoons so they
could rehearse. We had our debut at a Talent Show where they played
three songs (White Wedding, Talking in Your Sleep and Your Daddy Don’t
Know) and backed up Geoff and I for two songs (Cuts Like a Knife and I
Did it For Love - also Geoff’s Rock n’ Roll debut at age 7).
By the time
we moved from Strathclair in 1985, they had been joined by Scott Watson
a recent Strathclair grad and were a functioning rock band called
Patrol. I took a job at Cypress River and sometime in 1987, Mark, who
was just graduating gave me a call and asked if I was interested in
working with he and Scott in a new project.
So much for
I spoke to my former
and Ken from Legacy, and Connexion was
formed in the fall of 1987.
The first gig was New Year's Eve, 1987, at Hamiota. The attendance was
great and the rest is history!
Bookings - 1988
- opening for Kenny Shields
BU's "Hot Winter Night" social
- Brandon Fair
- Spats on Brandon's North Hill
- opening for Chapeau Rouge at the first (and Last) Virden Rock Fest
Brandon Fair 1988
Kenny left the band in 1988
hours of auditions the band chose Dave Laco as the their new drummer.
Ken Storie, Sharon White,, Dave Laco Mark
Early Years (With Sharon)
The Cult : Love Removal
ZZ Top : Stages, Tush, Gimme all Your Lovin'
Pat Benetar : All Fired Up
Whitesnake : Here I Go Again
Heart : Bebe Le Strange, Rock n' Roll, Who Do You Run To? Nothing at
Luba : When a Man Loves a Woman, Little Salvation
Allanna Myles : Black Velvet
Honeymoon Suite : Bad Attitude
Haywire : Black and Blue
Glass Tiger : Still Searching
Barney Bentall : Something to Live For
Roxette : The Look
Billy Idol : Mony Mony
Bob Seger : Old Time Rock n' Roll
Annie Lennox : When Tomorrow Comes
Mountain : Mississippi Queen
Vixen : Edge of a Broken Heart
Joan Jett : I Hate Myself For Loving You, Light of Day
Aerosmith : Rag Doll
Glen Burtnick : I'll Follow
The Call - Let the Day Begin
Red Rider : Untouchable One, Big League
Bob Jovi : Ninety Nine in the Shade
Def Leppard : Animal, Pour Some Sugar on Me
David Lee Roth : Just Like Livin' In Paradise
Stones : Mixed Emotions, Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, Jumping Jack Flash
Hooters : Johnny B., Satellite
Streetheart : Snow White, One More Time
April Wine : Rock Myself to Sleep,
Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter
U2 : Red Hill , Pride, Desire, Helter Skelter
Van Halen : Where Have all The Good Times Gone? Finish
What Ya' Started
Part 2: Up and Rolling...
summer of 1988 we were a pretty well-rehearsed machine, constantly
learning new songs and reasonably busy. We had three singers sharing
the vocals, (four after Dave joined) and could cover a wide range of
material. Stage presence was developing. Brad White, Sharon’s husband,
started doing sound for us, bringing consistency to that aspect of the
production. He knew our material and, above all, cared about the
result. As musicians, knowing that he was there allowed us to focus on
playing and performing. When I cut into a solo I didn’t have to worry
about the volume and mix, I could just fire away.
Bookings - 1989
Jan 5th - 7th - Bronco's
& Steakpit (Melita) Brad and Sharon were unable to attend on
Friday Night due to a snowstorm.
Feb 10 and 11 - Carberry Motor Inn. The band blew a breaker getting
ready. The bar manager was not happy.
March 17 & 18 - Minnedosa Inn - first trip with the new blue bus!
April 8 - Hamiota Hall (School Dance). The band got an open liquor
charge - caught drinking in the bus between sets! (We were too lazy to
walk across the street to the bar!)
April 14 and 15 - Nelson Inn in Swan River. Audience
requested Hank Williams Jr. all night.
July 1 – Waterhen. Swam in the river. It was a bad day for Dave. Let
left his snare drum in Minnedosa. He passed out on the way home and
Brad Gurr filled his hat with shaving cream. Then Mark left him in the
bus when we got home and he wouldn't wake up.
August 6 - Band Blast for Charity in Oak Lake.
25 - Minnedosa - Outdoors at the Beach.
Lots of bugs! Sharon was on maternity
leave and Danika
Gustal filled in.
Nov 3 & 4 - Melita Inn.
Saturday night Lisa and Jo-Lyn were the only 2 in the bar when the band
Dec. 8 & 9 - City Centre (Brandon). Karyn just about got in a fight
about winning a game of pool!
Dec. 23 - Glenella - Christmas Social. Great Crowd.
&10 - City Centre
March 23 & 24 - Hamiota Bar. The band got a double encore on
April 12 & 13 - J.J. Shooter's Bar - Minnedosa
May 12 - Glenella – Social. Sharon's last time with the band - with the
second child on the way - she took the early retirement package. I
would work with her again.
band decided to go on as a four
piece. They purchased PA equipment and hired Scott's sister, Patti, as
then there were four...
June 24 & 25 - Gilbert
Plains. Brake failure on the bus!
July 20 & 21 - J.J. Shooter's at Minnedosa
August 11 - Deloraine – Social. The planet of the beautiful women.
Sept. 29 - Glenboro Hotel. First time with Calvin as the sound tech.
October 13 & 14 - City Centre
November 14, 16 & 17 –
Boissevain. Bottineau Night on Wednesday –
attracted College kids from across the line where the drinking age was
November 23 and 24 -
Bar. Mark's first (and last?) try at bourbon!
December 21 & 22 - Gilbert Plains Bar.
It's 40 below all day and
someone (Me) didn't make sure the bus was properly plugged in. Started
at 11:30 and had a great time. The manager was surprised that we showed
at all. Someone served Jonah a coke with rum in it. He noticed.
After having some photos taken we came
up with the homemade poster on the left, then opted for a commercial
production using the photo on the right.
Jan. 25&26 - Neepawa Bar
Feb. 1 & 2 - City Centre. Mark dedicated a song to "4 lovely
ladies", one of whom turned out to be a guy!
Feb. 15 & 16 - Carberry Bar
March 23 - University Social
April 12 & 13 - Carberry Bar
By 1991 the band was very
with performing, with each other - and had settled into a routine.
There was a market for the basic Rock n' Roll we provided, a sort of
"circuit" of bars and socials that appreciated live music and the show
that goes with it.
elaborate light show. Calvin Kelly became the sound tech, ably filling
the spot vacated when Brad left. His knowledge of the material and
music in general was a big asset.
- Sound Tech and Party Animal
Storie signed on to man the lights.
wireless units to
allow the guitar players more freedom to interact with the audience.
The set list had developed to the point where the band's strengths were
We met each Sunday afternoon for
rehearsal at the famous "Shack" at
the Ken Daniels Estate and Rural
Into it.. or What?
Was the real purpose of the
fog machine to
hide the drummer? We're not admitting it.
Or was this another case of spontaneous
Dave Laco is in there
Sometimes, when he's wrapped up in the whole
thing, Scott thinks that he is Eddie Van Halen. Maybe he is?
If I was standing on a table
or chair out in
the middle of the bar, chances are it was during the solo to "Love
In this era our show
followed a script
and we had given it quite a bit of thought. We changed things up as we
added new material but the general framework of a show remained. We
usually grouped songs in threes and kept the pace by either quick
transitions or segues. For a time we opened with Everybody Wants
You with its catchy guitar riff, and followed it up with Holiday and
Surrender. We were making a statement about what the audience could
expect, then we changed the pace with things like Angel of Harlem. The middle set would be a mixture, while the
last set headed into Judas Priest and AC/DC territory. For a long time
we closed with Led Zeppelin’s Rock n; Roll.
Nazareth : Holiday
Billy Squier : Everybody Wants You
Cheap Trick : Surrender
U2 : Angel of Harlem , Pride, Helter Skelter
Led Zeppelin : Immigrant Song, Rock n' Roll
Foreigner : Dirty White Boy
The Knack " Rocket of Love, My Sharonna
Andy Curran : No Tattoos
Judas Priest : Another Thing Comin'
AC/DC : Shook Me, Dirty Deeds
Guns n' Roses : Sweet Child
Sammy Hagar : Can't Drive 55 , Eagles Fly
Northern Pikes : She Ain't Pretty
In May of 1991 the
band put together their first demo tape with the help of Bob Simmons
and the equipment at Assiniboine Community College. The tape contains 7
of the songs from the current repertoire including the first original, "Wine and Whiskey" a Scott Watson composition.
July 26 - Abernathy Sk.
Calvin, Jonah and Maureen missed the turn and ended up in Yorkton!
August 2 - Shilo Bar. Booked the band on Monday to play on Friday
August 3 & 4 - Sandy Lake Crazy Golf Tournament. Sang some songs
with Bundy a CKND TV personality?
October 31, Nov 1&2 - City Centre. A girl dressed up in a Saran
Wrap dress for Halloween
December 6 & 7 - Boissevain Bar
On December 21, 1991 we
social in the Shoal Lake Rink. The crowd was young and ready to rock.
The big stage and big room gave us a chance to stretch a bit. Looking
back I see that show as a bit of a highlight – a sample of what was
So it’s a bit sad that just
as things were going well for the band, I was getting ready to move on.
I was now over forty years old, and the rest of the guys were much
younger. Maybe I was just tired and maybe I wanted to branch out
musically, and perhaps I felt that I had done all I could do.
In any case,
In January of 1992 both Dave and I left the band. Randy Smith joined on
guitar and Terry Stouffer was recruited on drums.
claimed that the new lineup was better looking. That may be, but change
also encourages growth, and Connexion definitely kept developing as a
David Lee took over on
drums when Terry left.