The book, Toronto’s Secret, began as my online reaction to things I’d been hearing about groups I’d played with that seemed to have been products of half-baked rumour. At first I was surprised that anyone would be interested in these groups at least 20 years since their hey day. I felt that as long as people had been writing and talking about them that my direct experience needed to be told.
What is now a major point of disagreement with my drumming experience, overwhelmed by a narrative akin to fable is the year The Consuls began. This starting point is distorted by band names. The group, I was in, The Consuls, played at teenagers’ dances and began as a group at Playter Hall at Broadview and Danforth in December 1957 and performed until the spring of 1959 before adults had grown accustomed to Rock and Roll. The group got back together some time later as Little Caesar and The Consuls with that name and the date 1956 emblazoned on the bass drum head as the year it began. There is now a video with a band calling itself Little Caesar and The Consuls presenting that bass drum head with that 1956 starting date and a saxophonist who I used to see with some other group when Norm played sax and I played drums in The Consuls .
This morning I was checking my YouTube video of my DIY Italian style harpsichord to see how often it’s been viewed. A Deremigis search usually brings it up along with an increasing number of files containing De Remigis’s I didn’t know existed before the invasion of mass marketing computer search engines. But today as I mindlessly ploughed through those files “to the bitter end” I discovered an Amazon file without De Remigis/ deremigis//Deremigis. I believe I saw the name Rameau in it and guessed it might have something to do with my having purchased an edition of Rameau’s harpsichord works; my guess was right. But when I opened the file I saw that what triggered it was a three star review that I had given, not of the works but for the sparseness of ornaments in this transcription which probably made the works easier to play than those in my disintegrating tiny edition which I think I bought because I’d heard about Rameau’s importance as a theorist. Musically I had assumed Bach had been the greatest composer of both keyboard and orchestral works. But for some reason I kept trying to perform the Rameau highly ornamented pieces in my 6.5 inch/16.5 centimeter high little edition from which I learned that Rameau could do what no other old European musician could do; unlike Bach, Handel, or Mozart which is to never write anything musically awkward or disturbing, for to me all of Rameau’s works seem musical without fail. Perhap’s this musicality is a result of the harmonic beauty resulting from his theoretic understanding of harmony, or simply the climax of French art.
Today media’s bombardment of well paid pop acoustical-movie celebrities has all but obliterated consciousness of the great musical innovators:
Last Toronto municipal election day: October 27, 2018, I got a surprise telephone call from Judi Jansen asking about Scott Cushnie and Gene MacLellan; whose name has never shown up in online searches but whose presence has been central to Canada’s early Rock and Blues, who comes to mind whenever I hear Jan Haust’s historical introduction to Bravo television’s Yonge Street Rock and Roll Stories linking Toronto’s pop scene to New York State. Judi was travelling that Toronto-New York pop path before we met when no one up here knew about Elvis or Buddy Holly. She even knew that pre-Dick Clarke Rock and Roll impresario Alan Fried, and Ottawa, Ontario’s Paul Anka who I was asked if I knew whenever I was in the United States.