Sunday, May 29, 2011

North for Visit & Hometown Rock Rehearsals

story by Norm Richards

I return home with my drums for the first time in forty three years. It's a bright sunny afternoon as I roll by the town welcome sign.  I drive past the Dutch Drive In and A&W on into town. The place seems vital today with people out and about. To make time we used to leave late and arrive late. Today, I drive to my sister's house where I will stay for the weekend. In prior years my wife and I went north to visit our folks. I never stopped to jam except once. My musical life was kept to the city. 


















My wife's folks lived in Flin Flon which today is a bit over eighty miles further north. The distance was shortened in the last forty years with curves reduced to just a few. The old road swung around lakes and rock formations. It was an obstacle course of curves before ever seeing the town's edge. People lost their lives rushing the trip to and from Flin Flon. We used to think of the distance between towns as one hundred miles. 
Today, my children are grown, have their own families and we all live separate lives. 

The guys I played in a band with in the sixties have been invited to reform and return home to play the town's Centennial Birthday Bash next August long weekend. This is the reason I find myself pulling into The Pas with a car load of drums. I'm intrigued by the possibility of this happening. A full year ahead of the planned event we start rehearsals. By six PM my DW 'Performance Series' drums are set up in a garage studio, mic'd as we begin. Over three days we hammer out the best of our sixties set list.

We played top forty radio hits of the day when I lived at home. The best of the best! Two guys sang, two guitars, keyboard and drums were our makeup. We rose to the top of our egos by playing for hundreds of kids in a low ceiling dance hall made for rock music like no other. Next summer we will try to replace that experience with an arena size performance under hot lights and the biggest sound to hit town. For me, I can't wait. I've made an investment in the experience and I'm committed. others may think of it as just another gig but I don't. It's a milestone for the four of us. Tickets will go on sale for this event. I'll let you know when.   

I missed Three Hairs and a Hat but I did see Out of the Blue get together in past years. Now, it's our turn. Symbols of Sound will live again. Other groups will be on stage before us. The prior night will feature folk and country acts. The show will be professionally recorded. No doubt, low grade recordings will show up on You Tube before we see a finished product of our own.