Friday, November 19, 2010

2012 Rock Concert - Story update

Story by Norm Richards

Those buddies I wrote about in my book 'Greening of a North Boy' are invited to re-group and entertain for the big Saturday night concert on the August long weekend 2012. Next summer is coming up fast. I bought new drums to commemorate the event. But, wow, each of us are rather long in the tooth by now. Although, my mind remains as if it was yesterday. I left The Pas as a full time resident in the fall of 1968. Our lead guitar player, although a phenomenal player is three years younger than me. That year he was under the stiff influence of his mother's rule. She played piano and her husband was an excellent fiddler. They both knew what it was to play public performances and the temptations that went with being the new sex objects of a generation and rock stars to boot. I had few illusions myself. Mom played in a family band for thirty six years. She accompanied several local band leaders while I was still a youth. So it was, we offspring would find each other in the fog and the storm of the sixties. We were melded together with the medal of music and passion for music like no other generation. We would be of the first rock bands of our century and there was no stopping us. God knew us and wouldn't let us go. We would be what we would be. It feels now like such a brief moment in our lives that we played in our town's most favorite rock band but why shouldn`t we be that which we became.

There were two groups then. There was the first and then there was us. I started with the first, largely in spirit. I wanted to drum more than any other sexual being of my time wanted sex. Sex was a backseat driver for me. Love and emotion came with the power of music for me. It was sex itself. I shared that with few others. Then, some young guys went through seasoning in garage bands and then we met. The Beatles had skiffle, we had them and everything else rock, such as it was in 1966 when we formed a group for the first time. The Symbols of Sound was heard first on CBC Radio which was our very first performance, although we were uncomfortable with the sound compression radio imposed on us. We did the show anyway. Parent heard us on the airwaves for the first time and local kids did too.

We spend the next few year after that performance getting louder and louder playing for dances. Amplification was what it was all about. Today, everything is mixed through a public address system. In 1967, we made a wall of sound with raw non mic'd amplifiers and man it felt good. The first group I started with had dreams and ambitions but they weren't mine. So, a new group, the Symbols of Sound made my day! We won! We felt that triumph together. We've often celebrated it in conversation over the years but never reformed to re-live it. A small jam with three of us in 1989 produced a recording and that in itself felt good but I think we collectively wondered if it would ever happen again. Well, maybe in the summer twenty months from now those yernings will become a reality again. Jack, Garry, Patrick and Norm will mount a very large stage under hot lights and do it again. Wish us luck and satisfaction. Much like Tom Jones and Rod Stewart today, we believe we're still sexy enough to perform a concert and hold our audience's attention. Get your tickets now! Better still bring a tent, it's probably the only accommodation you'll get!