Smash ‘83 Cassette

I don’t really know too much about this except I bought it on ebay due to the fact that there was a very rare version of Rheostatics doing “Thank You” by Sly And The Family Stone live at the Cabana Room in 1983. It is a very eclectic yet very interesting mix of late period punk and early new wave from a variety of Toront bands, most of which I have never heard of. Some of the more interesting cuts are the formentioned Rheos cut as well as 2 live cuts from the band Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos, The Sturm Group who’s quite interesting history can be read about at Punk History Canada.

Here is Alan Murrell’s account of the Kinetic Ideals song on the tape:
“So here’s a short history of the song. The song is called Statue Stare and was written during a period when Jon Davies our original drummer had left the band. We actually were on Mannequin records before this demo was recorded. Our previous releases with Mannequin were a 7″ single in 1980 called “Life in Shadow” and then an ep in 1981 called Reason and another ep in 1982 called Angular Sky. In late 1982 we decided to go with a drum machine instead of finding a new drummer so we picked up a Roland 606 and wrote a batch of new songs Statue Stare being one of them. I believe we went into Sheridan College to record it as I was in Media Arts at the time. We really enjoyed writing with the 606 as it never got tired while we were trying to come up with songs. I think most of the songs on our next release A personal View were written using the 606. We eventually decided we wanted something a little bit more beefier in the drum machine department so we ended up selling the 606 (to Dave Howard of the Dave Howard Singers fame) and getting a DMX. Dave Howard still uses the old 606 he bought from us! We ended up dropping the song from our sets as it didn’t fare too well with the DMX.”
Kinetic Ideals were on Mannequin Records - home of Ceramic Hello and the first Spoons single.

This tape may not be your cup of tea but from a historic perspective this is a really interesting piece of early 80s Toronto music history. The full cover and instert are copied below.

1. David Howard Singers - What Christmas Means To Me   4:57   
2. Rick Robertson - Belong To Love   2:47   
3. Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos - Standard Toy   3:32   
4. Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos - I’m A Part   5:19   
5. Big Deal - White Christmas   2:37   
6. Dead Brezhnevs - I’m Not In Love   1:31   
7. Disband - One Man Army   3:08   
8. Diatribe - Apocalypso   3:21   
9. The Sturm Group - Die Sher Bin Stasse   3:27   
10. The Bayview Village People - Merry XMas Everybody   3:20   
11. Lucky Strikes - Put Your Cat Clothes On   2:32   
12. The Young Lions - Pray For Julie   3:37   
13. Deadlines - Saccharine   2:43   
14. Cult Of Reason - Initiation   3:25   
15. Fatal K.O. - Inside Scene   1:50   
16. The Points - In The Park   2:26   
17. E.B.S. - Glass Slippers   5:07   
18. Ugly Motels - Not For Me   1:31   
19. TBA - Through My Fingers   2:27   
20. Toybox - Kiteboy   2:32   
21. V-Necks - Sand Overdose   2:29   
22. Space Phlegm - Holiday   3:10   
23. Dr.Limbo - Stack Of Dollars   3:05   
24. Mark Malibu And The Wasagas - Wasaga Run   2:30   
25. Crash Kills Five - Oddy Knocky   2:13   
26. Rheostatics - Thank You   5:19   
27. The Young Lions - Folsom Prison Hardcore   1:24   
28. Kinetic Ideals - Statue Stare   6:27   
29. Tape Rewinding   0:59   
———————————–
Total Time: 1:29:34

Download Album

Smash 83 Cover

Smash 83 Cover

Static Journey Volume 9: 2067, Covers and The Last Whale

So after 197 tracks over 11 hours and 41 minutes of Rheostatistory where do we find ourselves? Well in 2067 of course. The final stop on a journey which began Dave and Tim deciding on the name Rheostatics in Chemistry class at Kipling Collegiate. I have read that the band decided prior to making this record that they really wanted to go all out and make a record they felt had as much impact and importance as anything they had done previously. It is a funny thing. Many albums which bands make late in their careers that are as definitive as those from the earlier parts of their career always seem to take longer to reach the same heights in the eyes of longtime fans. 2067 is such a record. In hindsight it is a perfect bookend to the band’s recorded output.

It is an album that is as strong in songwriting, playing and production as any album the band produced; one which saw each band member bringing their very best to the table. Dave with Little Bird, Little Bird and Try To Praise This Mutilated World, Martin with Shack In The Cornfields and The Latest Attempt On Your Life. Tim in particular brought some of the strongest songs of his career to the album with Marginalized, Here Comes The Image and Making Progress. It has humour and seriousness in equal measures – for every Latest Attempt On Your Life is a Shack In The Cornfields, for every Ozzy Ozbourne is a Mutilated World, for every Making Progress a Tarlek. Fittingly the album ends with the real career bookend. Where their first really serious album – Melville – began with Record Body Count (not to minimalize Greatest Hits but it is not in the same league as their subsequent albums) – their final album ends with a techno version of the same song. A futuristic, 2067 version of itself.
Here is the original tracklisting for the album prior to it’s release:

Try to Praise this Mutilated World
The Tarleks
Cornfields
The Precious Art
Polar Bears and Trees
Marginalized
Making Progress
Little Bird, Little Bird
Monkeys, Will Come
I Dig Music
Power Ballad for Ozzie Osbourne
Who Is this Man, and Why Is He Laughing?
Hands Off Our Schools
Here Come the Images

The band toured the country a few times after its release and then as chronicled in Dave’s book Around The World In 571/2 Gigs (much like the first breakup was chronicled in On A Cold Road), Tim decided to leave the band. They toyed with the idea of continuing and then a few weeks later Michael Phillip Wojewoda followed suit.

The final show (and events surrounding it which are all archived on my goodgonedead.rheostaticslive.com site) was planned for Friday March 30 2007 at Massey Hall in Toronto. Word started to get out that this might be the last Rheostatics show – The Last Whale as it came to be known to some. By the day of the show, it was a sold out affair filled with many Rheostatic lifer fans, some casual fans and many more lamenting the fact that they were missing it from their corner of the world. From Florida to Victoria and from San Diego to St.John’s the Greensprouts traveled to Shuter Street for one last final bittersweet night. I won’t try to explain what it was exactly because I’m sure it was different for every person who was there. For the devout, however it was the end of something wonderful that most will never likely experience again in their life. The most poignant part of the show, however was the final song. Moving down into the audience as they had done at a hundred other club shows at 3 in the morning, with only a vocal mic and an acoustic guitar the band played Record Body Count for the last time. The audience sang along, many crying as they sang. And a group of unnamed fans created a human pyramid behind the band while they were playing. It really, truly encapsulated in those few minutes what the band were all about. The live connection with the audience. The humour. And everyone feeling like they were witness to something really special that can’t quite be articulated but the feeling would be engrained in them forever. I’m glad I had the privilege of being one of their fans and that I didn’t have my moment of Rheostatics clarity on March 31 2007 or any day thereafter.

They weren’t Good – They were the best.
They aren’t Gone – They are eternal.
They aren’t Dead – They’ve just gone to seed.

In the words of Haddon Strong - “Well, if you don’t break up, then you can’t have a reunion, right?”

Static Journey Volume 9: 2067, Covers and The Last Whale

197. Canada Day Chat - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – March 25 2000
198. Monkeys Will Come - Toronto Harbourfront Stage – July 1 2000
199. Hands Off Our Schools - 2067 Outtake
200. Stage Banter - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – November 29 2007
201. Shack In The Cornfields - Upstairs Cabaret Victoria BC – October 26 2004
202. Little Bird, Little Bird - 2067 GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
203. Marginalized - Sugar Victoria BC – November 17 2005
204. Banter Modern Life - The Casbah Hamilton ON – November 12 2005
205. The Tarleks - The Casbah Hamilton ON – November 12 2005
206. I Dig Music - Halifax NS – August 27 2004
207. Power Ballad For Ozzy Ozbourne - The Casbah Hamilton ON – November 12 2005
208. Crazy Talk - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 22 2004
209. Here Comes The Image - Sugar Victoria BC – November 17 2005
210. Who Is This Man And Why Is He Laughing? - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON GSMW – December 10 2005
211. The Latest Attempt On Your Life - 2067
212. Polar Bears And Trees - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 21 2004
213. Making Progress - Massey Hall Toronto ON – March 30 2007
214. Try To Praise This Mutilated World - 2067
215. Banter Dancers - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – November 29 2007
216. Pornography - Boo Radley’s Guelph ON – December 3 1999
217. The List - Boo Radley’s Guelph ON – December 3 1999
218. Last Good Cigarette - Sugar Victoria BC – November 17 2005
219. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session
220. Bud The Spud - Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000
221. Paul Myers talk - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 22 2004
222. Radios In Motion - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 22 2004
223. Sting Sucks talk - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 22 2004
224. London Calling Reward - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 22 2004
225. Time Fades Away - Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000
226. Life During Wartime - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 21 2004
227. Takin’ Care Of Business / My Generation - The Media Club Vancouver BC – October 21 2004
228. Stage Banter - Massey Hall Toronto ON – March 30 2007
229. Record Body Count - Massey Hall Toronto ON – March 30 2007
230. Applause - Massey Hall Toronto ON – March 30 2007
231. Don’t Say Goodnight - Hamilton ON – February 21 2001

Download Volume 9
Running time 2:07:25

Thanks again to Noah Campbell for his assistance in refining this volume.

Here is the Video for The Tarleks:

Here is a live video of Power Ballad For Ozzy Ozbourne:

Here is is a live version of Making Progress from Massey Hall:

Here is a live version of Record Body Count from Massey Hall:

Here is another live version of Record Body Count from Massey Hall – Great angle – last word is missing:

Also I put together a giant video montage from the final show. The original post for it is at my GoodGoneDead site. It is 1 hour and 16 minutes long and is about 570MB in size. It can be downloaded directly from this link as well - http://www.goodgonedead.rheostaticslive.com/Video/Rheos-vid.mov

Hope you all enjoyed this project as much as I enjoyed making it.
Leave comments. They prove you were here!

Static Journey Volume 8: Night Of The Shooting Stars

So with 4 left turns we end up at The Night Of The Shooting Stars, the most straightforward album in the entire Rheostatics catalogue. It was in some ways a reaction to the complexity of putting together Harmelodia which took several years to complete. Ironically that album itself was a reaction to the rock showcase of touring with The Tragically Hip which is detailed in Dave’s excellent book On A Cold Road.

The band initially started working with Ian Blurton, formerly of Change Of Heart and Blurtonia, to try to get a straight up rock album sound. After a few weeks of working together the two parties returned to their respective benches. Alun Piggins and Michael Phillip Wojewoda took over and aided in helping the band achieve the sound they were looking for but hadn’t yet achieved with the recordings they had done.

Many of these songs had been played live for several years during the recording and promotion of the Harmelodia album. The album included a rocked up version of Song Of The Garden which originally appeared as the final song on the previous album as well as a new version of Junction Foil Ball which saw first light on The Nightlines Sessions. It also contained one of Martin’s most simple and accessible songs, PIN, which was criminally ignored by radio. The video for the song was an amazing XTC/Beatles technicolour wonder. Mumbletypeg and The Fire are other standout tracks from the album.

This volume features a few live curios including the all acoustic take on Song Of The Garden from the Vickie Gabereau show, a Canada Day version of We Went West with extra verses that would not make the final album, and a somewhat rare live airing of Remain Calm.

In the words of Dave Bidini from a 2001 NOW magazine interview “I think you have to have a record where you throw together a group of songs every now and then. If only so that it will lead you to more complicated or challenging places.
“In a way, this record being a bit more straight-ahead might be a bridge to doing something wilder than Harmelodia.”
Those words would prove to be prophetic with the release of their final studio album 3 years later. In hindsight NOTSS kind of straddles the “simplicity” of Harmelodia and the more diverse aspects of 2067. That being said, however, it could never reach completely normal territory with lines such as “I chipped my eyetooth on the back of a urinal” and “there’s a Lenny in my Kravitz that must be removed”.
This would also turn out to be the final album with Don Kerr who had joined after the departure of Dave Clark following the Introducing Happiness disc. The version of The Fire from The Commodore Ballroom show is a curious foreshaddowing of events which saw both Don and Michael Phillip Wojewoda playing double drums when their schedules happened to cross in Vancouver. Michael had previously played with the band the month before, adding keyboards and effects to their Canada Day 2000 show at The Toronto Harbourfront outdoor stage.
Here is a review from Chart Magazine documenting Don’s final show at Ted’s Wrecking Yard on May 30 2001, nine months after that show.

Static Journey Volume 8: Night Of The Shooting Stars

179. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
180. CCYPA - Toronto Harbourfront Stage – July 1 2000
181. Song Of The Garden - Vickie Gabereau show – November 18 2000
182. Mumbletypeg - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
183. P.I.N. - Night Of The Shooting Stars
184. Super Difficult - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
185. Banter JFB - Mrs.Robinson’s Kitchener ON – December 20 1997
186. Junction Foil Ball Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000
187. GO7 Interview - CBC The National
188. We Went West - Toronto Harbourfront Stage – July 1 2000
189. The Fire - The Commodore Ballroom Vancouver BC – August 17 2000
190. In It Now - Centennial Square Victoria BC – July 18 2001
191. Here To There To You - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
192. The Reward - Boo Radley’s Guelph ON – December 3 1999
193. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
194. Remain Calm - Centennial Square Victoria BC – July 18 2001
195. Intro To Satan - Call The Office London ON – November 8 2000
196. Satan Is The Whistler - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001

Download Volume 8
Running time 1:05:44

Thanks again to Noah Campbell for his assistance in refining this volume.

Here is a the Video for PIN:

Here is the Making of PIN video:

Here is is a live version of PIN from Massey Hall:

Here is a live version of Song Of The Garden:

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 9: 2067, Covers and The Last Whale

Static Journey Volume 7: One Night Only, Nightlines and The Stories Of Harmelodia

Following the two earlier left turns of the Whale Music OST and Music Inspired by The Group of Seven, we arrive at 1997. This set starts off with a Green Xmas which was retooled as The Music Room for The Story of Harmelodia. This is followed by a nod to the Double Live album with a short interview clip and Good Canadian which appeared on the album. It is followed by Record Body Count which is what actually followed it at The Bathurst Street Theatre show. I have included it here as it is the slowed down version which the band played for a few years around this time. Double Live is considered by many (myself included) to be one of the best live albums by any band. I voted it number 3 in my all time Canadian Albums for Bob Mersereau’s Top 100 Canadian Albums book.

Next up is left turn number 3 after Whale Music OST and Music Inspired By The Group of Seven. The Nightlines Session was actually the final Nightlines session and was recorded the night that Princess Diana died. It is a strange assortment of bizarre songs which I can’t really explain. If you ever saw the band open up for themselves at one of the Green Sprout Music Week shows – dressed up like wizards and other crazy characters playing crazy songs – it is kind of like the soundtrack to one of those shows. It starts with This Is Nightlines which features Dave spewing out the obscenities. There are 3 live songs from the album. The gem of the album is Stolen Car. It would become one of the band’s most popular live songs. I have put it at the end as it was often a set closer. Majorca was played quite a bit during this time but seldom after. The Pooby Song, I have never heard live apart from the version included here. Frank from the album is also included as it leads thematically into Harmelodia. If you never noticed, the bridge of the song was reworked into I Am Drumstein. I’m not sure if Baby, I Love You is serious or not but there is an element to it which makes it quite a nice song, while from a different perspective it could by totally corny. Finally is Bees which is a Harmelodia song that didn’t make the album.

The Story Of Harmelodia was created as a reaction to the big rock shows the band were playing, opening up for The Tragically Hip on the Canadian Trouble At The Henhouse Tour in 1996. The Rheos were supporting The Blue Hysteria and they would release Double Live after this tour.

I have bookended Harmelodia with live versions of The Harmelodian Anthem and Song Of The Garden from the band’s performance with the Centennial Secondary School Choir/Band. The Harmelodian Anthem I don’t think I ever heard played live and Song Of The Garden, never using the album arrangement. I think it is important to note that at the request of Dave Reed, the teacher from the school who was putting together a stage production of the album, that the band went to the school and played a full show with the performers. The full show can be heard here. It speaks volumes of the bands ethos.

They really were the most approachable group of professional musicians I have ever met. Often they could be found wandering in the crowd before shows, they would invite people up on stage during shows (as can be heard on the version of Home Again included here with Julia Pietrus who I believe was also the girl who would always show up to shows with a stuffed, mounted chicken) and play from the audience at the end. It always seemed that the audience, for the band, was as important to the performance as the band were. That in itself is a big part of why they were loved by so many. When you went to a Rheos show you were a participant, not just an observer. You felt like you were at an event, not just a rock show. They were masters of breaking through the fourth wall.

Apart from the live versions of the album cuts, there are also a few Harmelodia demos provided by Rob Pingle, including the Drumstein Speaks track which was cut from the final album.

Lastly, there are three criminal aspects to The Story Of Harmelodia. First is the fact that the album was not nominated for Best Children’s Album at the 2001 Juno Awards. Second is that the album lost the Juno for Best Album Design to The Tea Party’s Tangents album. The artwork/presentation of the album is one of the best I have ever seen for any album with its painted book format. The third most criminal aspect of the album is that as of right now it is not available for purchase – it is $99.57 from Amazon.com …. Used!

This fourth “left turn” for the band would lead them back into rock ‘n’ roll territory with their next album Night Of The Shooting Stars.

Static Journey Volume 7: One Night Only, Nightlines and The Stories Of Harmelodia

149. Green XMas - Greensprouts Meet Delilah
150. CFNY Intro - Edge 102 Double Live Launch Interview with Dave Bookman
151. Good Canadian/Record Body Count - Bathurst Street Theatre Toronto ON – April 5 1997
152. This Is Nightlines - The Nightlines Session
153. The Pooby Song - The Icehouse Victoria BC – July 18 2001
154. Frank - The Nightlines Session
155. Majorca - Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 22 2000
156. Baby, I Love You - The Nightlines Session
157. Bees - The Music Hall Toronto ON – May 2 1998
158. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
159. The Harmelodia Anthem - Centennial Secondary School – November 30 2000
160. I Fab Thee Intro - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
161. I Fab Thee - Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 22 2000
162. Easy To Be With You Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
163. Monkeybird - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
164. Radiosonic Interview - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
165. Invisible Stairs - Boo Radley’s Guelph ON – December 3 1999
166. I Am Drumstein - Call The Office London ON – November 8 2000
167. Drumstein Speaks - Harmelodia Demo
168. The Music Room - Harmelodia Demo
169. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
170. Wingophone - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
171. The Sky Dreamed - Club Vertigo Victoria BC – January 22 2000
172. Loving Arms - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW Toronto ON – November 8 2001
173. The Bee Sky Opus In Magenta - The Story Of Harmelodia
174. Father’s Sad Song - Harmelodia Demo
175. Home Again (w/ Julia Pietrus) - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
176. Song Of The Garden - Centennial Secondary School – November 30 2000
177. Edge 102 Interview - Harmelodia Launch Interview with George Strombolopolis
178. Stolen Car - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000

Download Volume 7
Running time 1:37:32

Thanks again to Noah Campbell for critical evaluation.

Here is a live version of Song Of The Garden:

Here is is a live version of Easy To Be With You:

Here is the video for Stolen Car:

Here is a live version of Stolen Car:

Here is another live version of Stolen Car:

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 8: Night Of The Shooting Stars

Static Journey Volume 6: The Sevens

The Sevens. There are two of them here. Perhaps this should be two volumes but the title works so one volume it is. It is 2 and a quarter hours long, though.

The first is the Group of Seven. While the first three studio albums (Whale Music OST excluded here), solidified the band’s status as harbourers of the Canadian experience, it was The Music Inspired by The Group Of Seven which put the nail in the beaver dam. In 1995 the band was commissioned by The National Gallery in Ottawa to create music to accompany the Group Of Seven exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of the GO7. The band, in their own unique way managed to fashion an album seeped in Maple Syrup, from the clanging Railway sounds of Weiners and Beans to the cool cello of the revamped Northern Wish. This was the first album to feature Don Kerr on Drums, replacing Dave Clark earlier that year. It really is an amazing musical suite. Due to the fantastic recordings of the National Gallery performance and Radiosonic in Session, I have used mainly selections from those shows. The exception is Yellow Days from Calling Out The Chords which is for Noah Campbell who also helped with critical evaluation of this volume.

The second Seven refers to The Blue Hysteria which was the band’s 7th album. It is an album which divides some fans. Some have criticized it for its production and sometimes for not being quite the album that Melville, Whale Music and Introducing Happiness were. Whatever your opinion, I defy 99% of any musician to come up with an album even close to The Blue Hysteria. Fat, Sweet Rich Beautiful Mine, All The Same Eyes, Bad Time To Be Poor, Feed Yourself, A Midwinter Night’s Dream. Every one is better than any song I’ll ever write. I remember talking with Gord Downie at one of the post Harmelodia Green Sprouts Music Week shows at Ted’s Wrecking Yard on College Street in about 2001. He was blown away by that anyone could write a song like Four Little Songs. I gave him my band’s CD. I doubt he listened to it.

Also included in this edition are Secret Red Canoe from the Truck Songs compilation and a live version of Bread, Meat, Peas and Rice which was written around this time (according to Dave). They provide a nice transition from GO7 to The Blue Hysteria. There are some fantastic live versions of epics like Fat, SWBM, Four Little Songs, A Midwinter Nights Dream, and First Rock Show as well as some seldom played selections such as An Offer, The Idiot and Connecting Flights. I must say, on a personal note that when I think of Rheos live, the first song that comes into my head is Fat opening the show at The Horseshoe Tavern in Feb 2001 with Don on drums. Must have been something in the beer.

Here is an extra special treat courtesy of Noah (who I believe got it from the infamous Mayor Perry). A 2.5 hour live video from The Horseshoe Tavern - February 16 2001. I was at the show and it was filmed for a webcast. It is well shot, multi angle and sounds great. It is, however, only in Real Media format. I’ve tried to convert it to other formats but without success, to date. Download the video here or your can just try to load it directly by clicking here. If you can help with the conversion to other formats let me know at info@rheostaticslive.com

Static Journey Volume 6: The Sevens

119. Group Of Seven Interview1 - CBC Video
120. Kevin’s Waltz - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
121. Earth - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
122. Weiners and Beans part 1 - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
123. Weiners and Beans part 2 - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
124. Blue Hysteria - Radiosonic In Session – November 18 2000
125. Cello For A Winter’s Day - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
126. Snow - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
127. Northern Wish - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
128. Biplanes And Bombs - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
129. Lightning - The National Gallery Ottawa ON - Group Of Seven Live
130. Yellow Days Under A Lemon Sun - The Horseshoe Tavern 2004 – Calling Out The Chords Volume 1
131. Group Of Seven Interview 2 - CBC Video
132. Secret Red Canoe - Truck Songs Volume 1
133. Bread, Meat, Peas and Rice - Vertigo Victoria BC – January 22 2000
134. All The Same Eyes - The Music Hall Toronto ON – May 2 1998
135. Motorino - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – January 17 1997
136. Fat - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – May 23 1996
137. Banter – Alan Thicke - Mrs.Robinson’s Kitchener ON – December 20 1997
138. Bad Time To Be Poor - Massey Hall Toronto ON – March 30 2007
139. Sweet, Rich, Beautiful, Mine (with Tamara Williamson) - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
140. Four Little Songs - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
141. An Offer - Bathurst Street Theatre Toronto ON – April 4 1997
142. Banter – Song Requests - Spiral Club Guelph ON – December 18 1997
143. The Idiot - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – February 16 2001
144. Connecting Flights - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – May 23 1996
145. Feed Yourself - Call The Office London ON – November 8 2000
146. The “You Are Very Star” Journey - The Blue Hysteria
147. A Midwinter Nights Dream - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000
148. First Rock Show - Ted’s Wrecking Yard GSMW Toronto ON – March 25 2000

Download Volume 6
Running time 2:14:41

Here is the a CBC The National documentary on the Rheos work on the Group Of Seven project:

Here is the a Radiosonic In Session version of Weiners And Beans:

Here is the a Radiosonic In Session version of Martin’s Waltz:

Here is a Live Clip of Bread, Meat, Peas and Rice from The Horseshoe Tavern

Here is the video for All The Same Eyes:

Here is the video for Bad Time To Be Poor

Here is a live version of Four Little Songs

Here is an E! Now interview with Liz West from 1997

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 7: The Stories Of Harmelodia

Static Journey Volume 5: Introducing Happiness

It is exactly as it says on the box. This is the album which really catapulted Rheostatics into the periphery of the public conscience. Claire was their one and only top 10 single (originally written by Tim for the Whale Music Soundtrack and rejigged for this album). It also earned them a Genie Award for their effort.

Introducing Happiness is the hat trick of iconic Canadian Music, starting with Melville in 1991 and continuing with Whale Music in 1992/1993. This is definitely their most colourful album and also one of their toughest nuts to crack. I can’t imagine what the average listener would have thought of it after hearing Claire on the radio and settling down at home to hear Monstrous Hummingbirds. It really is, however, a masterpiece of an album. No other album in their catalogue covers such a broad range of styles. From the childlike punk of Fan Letter To Michael Jackson to Pop perfection in Claire, Wings influenced Uncle Henry, latin tinged Alomar, beautiful Row and Take Me In Your Hand, and the Progressive Rock of Onilley’s Strange Dream. It is all over the musical map but it holds together like a beautifully weaved tapestry. You can tell that the band were at a creative high and having a recording budget (having signed with Epic) allowed them to travel to the Bahamas to record, the effects of which can be heard all over the album. It is fun, sunny, happy and colourful music the likes of which we may never have the luxury of hearing again for the first time. It sounds like a Canadian vacation.

This album is an epiphany kind of listen. It is the album that is difficult to absorb all at once and upon first listen does not give up its secrets (at least for me). Over time, though, it seeps in until … bang … like hearing Saskatchewan live … it hits you just how amazing it is. I hope one day I have the pleasure of hearing another Canadian album as original, inspired and creative as this one. I don’t think I will, though, which is OK as it will always be as unique an experience as the band was as a whole.

By the way if you haven’t figured it out yet, Happiness refers to Tim’s cat.
The version here of Fan Letter is epic at 11:10 in length. All the complaints of it not appearing on Double Live can be sated with this version. There are some great Demos included as well as guest vocalists Gord Downie and Paul MacLeod. Here is a live version of Earth/Monsterous Hummingbirds from Barrymore’s Jan 17 1997. I couldn’t add to the mix due to the skipping. It is awesome, for what it is, though. I had the pleasure of hearing the band play this song 1 time in the 50 or so shows I saw them perform. I remember it because I could not believe they were playing it. You can sub it in if the recording problem doesn’t drive you crazy.

Static Journey Volume 5: Introducing Happiness

96. Interview - Radionsonic In Session
97. Fan Letter To Michael Jackson - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – May 23 1996
98. Introducing Happiness - Introducing Happiness
99. One More Colour - Hillside 2003
100. Genies Award - Gordon Pinset presenting 1994
101. Claire - Mrs.Robinson’s Kitchener ON – December 20 1997
102. Stage Banter (Ramones) - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – May 23 1996
103. Digital Beach - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – January 17 1997
104. Earth/Monstrous Hummingbirds - Live (unknown date) - Greensprouts
105. Clouds - Row Demo – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
106. Full Moon Over Russia - Bathurst Street Theatre Toronto ON – October 7 1994
107. Take Me In Your Hand (with Gord Downie) - Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – GSMW November 8 2001
108. Intro To Jesus - The Casbah Hamilton ON – November 12 2005
109. Jesus Was Once A Teenager Too (with Paul MacLeod) - Casbah Hamilton ON – November 12 2005
110. Me and Stupid - Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000
111. Fishtailin’ - Demo – Greensprouts Meet Delilah
112. The Woods Are Full Of Cuckoos - Introducing Happiness
113. Cephallus Worm – Uncle Henry - Rock 101 Vancouver 1993
114. In This Town - The Horseshoe Tavern Toronto ON – March 29 2007
115. Alomar - Bathurst Street Theatre Toronto ON – April 5 1997
116. You Are A Treasure - Introducing Happiness
117. Onilley Intro - CBC Realtime - March 8 1997
117. Onilley’s Strange Dream - Vertigo Victoria BC – January 21 2000

Download Volume 5
Running time 1:21:55

Here is the a live version of Fan Letter To Michael Jackson from Much Music:

Here is the video for Claire:

Here are some clips of Claire from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Here is a clip of Me And Stupid from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Here is a video of Alomar from Massey Hall March 30 2007. It features all three Rheos Drummers – Dave Clark, Don Kerr and MPW along with Ford Pier and Chris Brown.

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 6: The Sevens

Static Journey Volume 4: Whale Music OST and Greensprouttakes

The album Whale Music was named after the Paul Quarrington novel of the same name. After the release of the album, the Rheostatics were asked by Quarrington if they were interested in recording the soundtrack to the movie which was in production in Vancouver. This would prove to be the first among many interesting turns the band would take over the course of their career, including the Group Of Seven project, Touring with The Tragically Hip, The Story Of Harmelodia, Canada Day 2000, and 14 consecutive nights at The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto.

By the time the band started on this project they had already produced what would be considered by many to be two of the finest Canadian albums of all time in Melville and Whale Music. It was the Whale Music Soundtrack, however, which provided the band their one and only “hit single” in the form of Claire which was written for the film and originally featured on the soundtrack. Claire brought the band to the attention of a much larger audience which eventually led to them being asked to do the Music Inspired By The Group of Seven project, a national tour opening for The Tragically Hip and eventually their “children’s album” The Story Of Harmelodia. It also won them a Genie award.

The Soundtrack is a bit of a lost child in the cannon of Rheostatics albums as is the way with many movie soundtracks. A closer look, though, reveals it to be a real musical gem. It was written around the time of Introducing Happiness which would explain the fragments of Oniley’s Strange Dream and Jesus Was Once A Teenager Too which appear in Song Of Congregation and Song Of Courtship respectively. Self Serve Gas Station also makes an appearance. Song Of Flight and Torque, Torque would end up being standard songs in their live repertoire until the end.

The first half of this volume is dedicated to the soundtrack album. It contains some album tracks, outtakes and live songs, and also shows the deconstruction (or partial construction) of both Claire and Song Of Danger (the real lost classic of the album). It is great music, albeit different than a normal album.

The second half of this volume is really a mix of songs which never made it. The sound quality suffers on many but I have tried to salvage them as much as possible. Some are lost gems and some are just lost, but together they weave a part of the picture seldom heard. They are what I call Greensprouttakes. The last song leads nicely into Volume 5. Enjoy!

Static Journey Volume 4: Whale Music OST and Greensprouttakes

65. Interview - Radionsonic In Session
66. The National Anthem - Maple Leaf Gardens November 26 1992
67. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - outtake from Borrowed Tunes (Neil Young Tribute) with The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir
68. Vancouver Whale Music Inteview - Rock 101 1993
69. Paul Quarrington Reading - The Horseshoe Traven GSMW – Whale Music Night December 14 2005
70. Song Of Congregation - Music From The Motion Picture Whale Music
71. Torque, Torque - Barrymore’s Ottawa ON – May 23 1996
72. Acapella Claire - Whale Music Outtakes
73. Martin’s Guitar - Whale Music Outtakes
74. Dez’s Lament/Claire - Music From The Motion Picture Whale Music
75. Song Of Flight - The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto ON – March 29 2007
76. Vocals - Whale Music Outtakes
77. Stop - Whale Music Outtakes
78. Song Of Danger - Music From The Motion Picture Whale Music
79. Wish I Wasn’t There - Whale Music Outtakes
80. Song Of Courtship - Whale Music Outtakes
81. Song Of Sadness (full mix) - Whale Music Outtakes
82. End Title - Music From The Motion Picture Whale Music
83. Forever Lover - Whale Music Outtakes
84. And I Cry - demo 1987ish
85. As I Was Going Down The Stairs - demo 1989
86. The Promised Green - demo
87. Manhattan - demo 1991
88. Martin’s First Day Of School - 1992
89. Triangles On The Walls - 1992ish
90. Joey II (The Royal Albert) - 1993
91. Dead Is The Drunkest You Can Get - 1993
92. Floating - 1993
93. Joey III - 1993
94. Burn Slowly Burn - 1993ish
95. Strange Dream Of Jenkins Mavety - (early version of Onilley’s Strange Dream) 1993

Download Volume 4
Running Time: 1:18:33

Here is the video for Song of Flight live from The Horseshoe Tavern March 29 2007:

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 5: Introducing Happiness

Static Journey Volume 3: Whale Music

For many Rheostatics fans Whale Music is the top album in their catalogue. For most it is probably in their top 3 (for many along with Melville and Introducing Happiness). Kind of their middle child in the Trifecta of Canadian music at its pinnacle. If you are reading this at all, then there is no need to explain what Whale Music is. I’m sure it is different for every fan. For me it was the first album of theirs I heard back in 1992. It didn’t sink in until years later after I had my live epiphany moment during Saskatchewan opening a show at The Horseshoe in 1997. I had seen them before this, but I’m sure every fan has their moment where you suddenly “get it”. From there, there is no turning back – you’re a lifer from that point on, regardless of the fact that the audience was always made up of mutant giants who seemed to congregate at their shows. I’m not kidding, I have never seen a band with more people over 6 1/2 feet tall! They all must be relatives of Don and Martin.

Anyway part 3 of 9 (which I could really make 10 parts at this point) is all about Whale Music. It is comprised of live shows from Fredericton NB to Victoria BC and includes demos, interviews, and Radio shows along the way. There are also a couple of album cuts. I’m sure not everyone will be happy with the studio cut of Self Serve Gas Station but for me it is a spectacular studio cut and sets the tone for the whole album.

Static Journey Volume 3: Whale Music
41. Whale Music Promo -1992
42. Self Serve Gas Station - Whale Music
43. California Dreamline - Guelph ON - Hillside 2003
43a. Rain, Rain, Rain - Toronto ON – Bathurst Street Theatre – November 14 1992
44. Queer Interview - Green Sprouts Tape #4 1994
45. Queer - Spiral Club - Guelph ON - The Spiral Club December 18 1997
46. First Rock Show - Guelph ON - The Spiral Club December 18 1997
47. Queer Reprise - Toronto ON - The Horseshoe Tavern March 29 2007
48. King Of The Past - Whale Music
49. RDA - Fredericton NB - April 8 2005
50. Blitzkrieg Bop - Fredericton NB - April 8 2005
51. Song Of The Garden - Fredericton NB - April 8 2005
52. RDA cont’d - Fredericton NB - April 8 2005
53. The Headless One - Greensprouts Demo
54. The Beat Interview - Greensprouts
55. Legal Age Life - Vancouver BC - The Media Club October 22 2004 - Night 4 of the West Coast Green Sprouts Tour
56. What’s Going On Around Here? - Greensprouts Demo
57. Shaved Head - Video Version
58. Whale Music Stage Banter - Victoria BC - Club Vertigo January 21 2000
59. Palomar - Victoria BC - Club Vertigo January 21 2000
60. Soul Glue - Whale Music
61. Beerbash - Greensprouts Meed Xmas Brown
62. Who? - Greensprouts Tape
63. Interview - CBC Brave New Waves - February 1987
64. Dope Fiends and Boozehounds - Toronto ON - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW March 25 2000

Download Volume 3

In voting on the top 100 Canadian Albums for Bob Merserau’s book, I ranked Whale Music at number 1.

Here is the promo video for Shaved Head

Here is the promo for King Of The Past

Here is the band live at Much Music playing Soul Glue

Next Week Static Journey Volume 4: Whale Music OST and Greensprouttakes

Static Journey Volume 2: Melville

OK so there are 8 weeks until the 1 year anniversary of the last Rheos show. Sunday March 30 will be the final installment. This week is Part 2 of 9. All about Mellville.

It includes some interviews, some stage banter, some studio tracks and some great live versions of songs. Not all songs are included from each album but I have tried to include either a studio version or live version of “most” people’s favorite tracks.

Many of the live versions of the songs included in this 9 part series were provided by Lucky Budd who contributed many of the best sounding shows found on the rheostaticslive.com site. Pretty much every show on the site from Alberta or British Colombia is superb sounding and is likely a Lucky Budd Production. Thanks Lucky!

The live versions of songs found in this project were selected based on a variety of factors including overall sound, interesting version or just rarity of being played live. In some cases I had to select from 20 to 30 live versions. In other cases I only had access to a single version live. In other cases, for flow, a studio version was used. FYI The Hillside Festival recording from 2003 is amazing. On the other hand some tracks may have glitches that are present. Sorry about that. If you notice any glaring problems, email me (Darrin) at info@rheostaticslive.com and I’ll try to add a fix.

Static Journey Volume 2: Melville

24. Interview - CBC Morningside w/ Peter Gzowski May 1991
25. Woodstuck - The Moose Compilation 1991
26. Melvillius - 1991
27. Record Body Count - Melville 1991
28. Stage Banter Aliens Intro - Massey Hall March 30 2007
29. Aliens (1988) - Club Vertigo - Victoria BC January 22 2000
30. Northern Wish - The Icehouse - Victoria BC July 18 2001
31. Saskatchewan (w/Kate Fenner) - Mrs.Robinson’s- Kitchener ON December 20 1997
32. Horses - Hillside Festival 2003
33. Christopher - Club Vertigo - Victoria BC January 22 2000
34. Chansons Les Ruelles - Kingston ON July 7 1991
35. Lying’s Wrong - CBC Brave New Waves February 1987
36. It - Melville 1991
37. Stage Banter When Winter Comes Intro - Massey Hall March 20 1997
38. When Winter Comes - The Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto ON February 16 2001
39. The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald - Green Sprouts Music Week Night 7 - Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto ON December 12 2005
40. You Are Very Star - The Horseshoe Tavern GSMW - Toronto ON March 25 2000

Download Volume 2

Here is the video for Record Body Count:

Here is the video for Aliens (1988)

Here is Christopher from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Here is Northern Wish from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Here is It from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Here is a magical moment during When Winter Comes from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Next Week - Static Journey Volume 3: Whale Music

Static Journey Volume 1: The Beginning

There are nine weeks until the first anniversary of the last Rheostatics show which took place on March 30 2007 at Massey Hall in Toronto. The curtain came down on the best band ever to come out of Canada.

After the last show I started to put together an idea for a Rheostatics Box Set. Really a journey through the history of the band. A Static Journey if you will. I listened to live songs, albums, demos, tapes, stage banter and interviews and came up with my own idea for “The Static Box”. Over the course of 156 individual files I managed to tell the story of the band. What made them great, humble, funny, quirky, and untouchable. Some of the material is very poor quality as it is from old tapes which have seen better years. The essence of it, though is the Journey Through The Past.

Each week I will post a part of this for people to listen to. Most of the material is from live shows, demos, Greensprouts Tapes and Interviews which can be found on my rheostaticslive.com site. Also included are some album tracks scattered throughout. It is not meant to be a definitive look at the band. I think it is an interesting one, though. I hope you all enjoy it. Some people may complain about my song choices but at 9 1/2 hours in length it is still 4 1/2 times longer than Double Live so chances are I got most of what you might want to hear.

Static Journey Volume 1: The Beginning
Instead of going through the details of every song I think it better just to listen to it and you can work out your own narrative.

1. Intro – I’m A Rheostatic by Dave Bookman and Steve Stanley from Massey Hall March 30 2007
2. Saskatchewan – Massey Hall March 30 2007
3. Green Sprouts Theme – Greensprouts Cassette
4. Brave New Waves Interview – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
5. On TV – Early Rheostatics Demo – First Statics 1979-1980
6. Suburb Shuffle - Early Rheostatics Demo – First Statics 1979-1980
7. Radio 80 Fantasy - Early Rheostatics Demo – First Statics 1979-1980
8. Letter To The President - Early Rheostatics Demo – First Statics 1979-1980
9. Interview
10. Satellite Dancing – 1st Rheostatics Single 1982 – A side
11. My Generation – 1st Rheostatics Single 1982 – B side
12. National Pride – Trans Canada Soul Patrol – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
13. People Get Ready - Trans Canada Soul Patrol – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
14. Brave New Waves Interview - Trans Canada Soul Patrol – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
15. The Ballad Of Wendel Clark Part 1 & 2 – Greatest Hits
16. Brave New Waves Interview - Trans Canada Soul Patrol – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
17. Crescent Moon – Greatest Hits
18. Public Square – Greatest Hits
19. Brave New Waves Interview – Greensprouts Collection#3 Summer 1993
20. Good On The Uptake – CBC Brave New Waves – February 1987
21. Interview – CBC Brave New Waves – February 1987
22. Crystal Soup – CBC Brave New Waves – February 1987
23. PROD – CBC Brave New Waves – February 1987

Download Volume 1

Here is an interview and some footage of The Trans Canada Soul Patrol

Here is the video for The Ballad Of Wendel Clark Part 1 and 2

Here is Saskatchewan from Massey Hall March 30 2007

Next Week Static Journey Volume 2: Melville

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