Another curious cameo, this one in a speedy lockdown montage video collage by a punky reggae band from London called Smiley and the Underclass and their song “We All Get Like This” from their EP “The Way To The Bomb” (Bandcamp) released July 1st / + FB & YT
It all flashes by rapidly but if you look sharp, you might see your old pal in the grain barn studio lip-syncing along to the chorus.
Bad Wougar is/was a hard rocking band in Vancouver BC with four fine gentleman who practised diligently in a room called the “the Den” which I’ve visited several times – occasionally playing some drums, especially extended jams to “Cortez the killer”. The name “Bad Wougar” came from a campfire myth about a dangerous animal which was a mix of a wolf and a cougar.
On a trail walk one day, I recorded a myth about the creature for the bands use and amusement. They then invited me into the glorious brand-new Monarch Studio (which has an origin story to share another time) to record a few snippets from the riff for the songs. In all, my voice/words appear in two tracks on this final release which was distributed on CD with a paper gatefold cover (i have 2, Mac Kobayashi has 1).
For the record, released: February 28, 2014 (noting this was a high point in an otherwise tough tough year). As mentioned, the four members of the band (including a non-related Olson) were each fantastically kind, interesting fellas as well as quality musicians and it’s a privilege to know them.
So it goes, folks have other commitments and adventures in life so they don’t play anymore but I hope this CD/album is more widely distributed in future / Kind of band that would be big in Europe.
… every time I sling this album on the stereo I can’t but feel like I’ve been transported to a wood-panelled backwoods bar where the band are plying their gnarled rock ‘n’ roll trade in such a fashion that the venue’s customers are worried that the whole place will go up in flames, the sounds so incendiary….
There’s a grubby charm to this band and its self-described brand of hard charging rock ‘n’ roll. It’s garage rock by way of the forest and you can’t really ask for anything dirtier, earthier than that.
As the stoner-like riff of final track, ‘Spoke Too Soon’, rattles the fillings out of my teeth I’m left wondering if maybe what I just listened to was part of a crazed fever dream. Then I look up and see the album cover, the eyes of the Bad Wougar appearing to follow my every move…..
This spoken kick off made me realize I was in for a fun ride, just as if I was watching a movie–and I was not disappointed. …
The album itself has a delightfully punk element to it, often mixing with elements of classic and progressive rock. It could have been released in 1984, 1994, 2004, or 2014 and reflected the music of its time period.
This boombox travelled far, abandoned like most of my possessions of the time in beloved VW bus “the Earthship”. AOT was band with friends (and i was like part0time extra member, JV if you will) in Surrey (Vancouver), BC. There is a cassette “Music to Eat Lightbulbs By” (and some photos to come in another dossier at some point) and a post at Melonville Hardc0r3 with more riffs and a comment by me (re-purposed below):
I was neighbours and friends with Kamel Gill and the rest of the band during this time. Brad Rees who played drums is next to Eric (second from left) in the photo above. This was at John Barley’s on Cordova St gastown. Eric was only one of legal age. The poster from the Bumper’s gig was DOAs first time in Surrey (Bumpers was an “all-ages” club with rockers on one side and “wavers” on the other). AOT rocked it and was a super fun night. Yeah the band was from Surrey / Whalley. Kamel lived near 96th and 124th st. Dan Walters who contrib’d the above did Terminally Stupid fanzine and i an archivist of Van punk/hardcore/whatever history. Now plays in Christ Air. I know Eric does photography and i think a CiTR show. Brad (drummer) was my best pal and great musician. I also make VOM fanzine with Kamel in 84-85 before i moved away.
The 2nd of a couple of VOM fanzines i did with Kamel / he was the ringleader, i was the “associate editor”.
This #2 had with Joey Ramone at the Commodore on the cover (bev. davies photo) and i was “upgraded” from contributor to associate editor from vol. 1 #bigtime
Vol. 2 was printed at my Mom’s real estate office on Scott rd. and ended up costing way too much to reproduce despite stealing paper from a nearby elementary school.
Along with Ramones at The Commodore, included reviews of Dead Kennedys at York Theatre, Hot Spot Dancers interview, The Dull and a big ad from Toxic Shock records which was the best part of the making the fanzine (records!) So much good music and lively scenes.
Note: (repeated elsewhere…) Kamel was a force of nature, a complete reckless maniac but just got things done and while i didn’t get “credit” so much, I learned a lot about hustling productions and rolling yer own media & used knowledge to get into loads of shows and help out bands.
One of a couple of VOM fanzines i did with Kamel / he was the ringleader, i was the ummm assistant.
This #1 includes (among interviews with bands Bill of Rights, Unknown Fibres, Shanghai Dog) a fake concert review of the “Ultimate Trendies” which was Kamel, me, Brad and Frank Baker doing a Sex Pistols air band at my church gymnasium (we didn’t win) + real reviews of actual great shows at York Theatre. #2 had with Joey Ramone at the Commodore on the cover.
Kamel was a force of nature, a complete reckless maniac but just got things done and while i didn’t get “credit” so much, I learned a lot about hustling productions and rolling yer own media & used knowledge to get into loads of shows and help out bands.
Me: Remember working on VOM fanzine in his basement bedroom while his dead grandmother laid “in state” upstairs and all the relatives came to visit. Also, riding buses to the York Theatre with him & Brad Rees many times.
VxOxMx vol 1 “masthead” – I “upgraded” from contributor to associate editor by volume two #bigtime
VxOxMx vol 2 was printed at my Mom’s real estate office on scott rd. Featuring Joey Ramone photo by Bev Davies
Dan Walters: Ha! My drawing on there…and the letraset I swiped from school. Shit, haven’t seen these in 34 years. Cheers
Me: Also Dan Walters Glad I could surprise and amuse you with those VOM artifacts after all the goodness you share out to the Internet. My time in the “scene” was obviously aborted with the move to Utah so your documentation helps me fill in the gaps that I missed out on.
PS worth noting that ending up in Utah with my punk concert experiences in Vancouver and a fake ID, made it a lot of fun. Saw & played in lots of bands, got backstage, “media” access blah blah blah
Kai Erichsen: I remember you Dave. And the photocopy fiasco at your mom’s work lol! Fuck we were all so broke but we made shit happen. Fun!
Dave Olson: Kai Erichsen i heard about that from her for yeeeeaaaarrsss – ha!
Kai Erichsen: Kamal stole the paper too… boxes of it.
Dan Walters: Kai- we broke into my old elementary school and ditched boxes of paper in the bushes, went back and got them after dark, lol.
Dave Olson: Kai Erichsen yeah we’d roll into Cedar Hills elementary school and just take it. i remember some “adult” trying to stop us one time and we just kept going – hanging with you and Kamel made me feel a lot tougher and taller!
In a message to Steve Pratt, a podcast producer and former of CBC Radio 3 who gave a stellar speech about “building the worst radio station” (at Northern Voice conf 2009) meaning breaking all the ‘norms’ to create something special (which he and colleagues did and got hosed anyhow).
Now with a podcast for brands company, he’s fantastically successful and podcasting is somehow a big deal (i was a wee bit too early and erratic) – i wrote him this note in reply to a post about “best practices” for podcasting at some point and some place. Can’t really recall where and when (not recently) but hey, here it is for the record.
Bonus:photo by Liz Hargreaves of “Steve Pratt prior to his talk Making the Worst. Radio Station. EVER. Here seen chatting with Robert Scoble and Kris Krug”
Meaning to mention: I use the wisdom gained from your legendary “how to make the worst radio station in the world” talk when making my podcasts as-in: I never bother to give a URL, no sponsors, no endless reminders to subscribe and review, no “shout outs” – much of the time I forget to even tell the title of the show… This is what meta-data is for right? I mean people are smart… They found your show after all, I don’t need to rub it in and remind them with all the self referential “meta banter”.
I think: Audiences are self-organizing, and they know what to do – so, treat them with respect, keep em sincerely interested and all the rest falls into place. Fck stats, make pods.
They named his Ray born in Thunder bay back when still called something else
Tired hard in school Not that he was a fool He just didn’t care that much
But he won 2nd place In science class His volcano was almost best
Played Junior A But couldn’t go all the way Just glad he saved his teeth
He hitchhiked east half-way at least almost made it to Labrador
Though he dug the times left the Celts behind and took the rails far west
With a coffee mug and pawned guitar he rarely missed a fest
Crossed the prairies fast hit rockies at last and kept on rolling to the coast
Grew some grass for friends and than had to make amends when the poe-leece shook him down
3 months forced rest in suburban house he was ready to make a stand
He sat in front of trucks and sat some more in courts all for bearing witness to old trees fallin to ground
Now in these older days almost twice as wise and he learned the tools to change the world
Hes got to build a life to prove it can be done sharp enough to know to hang out with the flow and think how he’s gotta turn to make life fun he doesn’t forget that to make it great you can’t leave your clan behind ya gotta be nice to others help them from time to time