Prairie-born and Okanagan-raised, music didn't play much of a role in my early years, unless you consider listening to my parents play Dean Martin and Bert Kampfert over and over again, on the "Hi-Fi". In about the sixth grade I registered (late) for the school bandthe only instrument not assigned at that point was the bass horn (tuba).now it didn't take me long to figure-out that this cumbersome instrument was not in my musical vision of the future it did however give me my introduction to formal music training and sheet music.
In my early teens, and well after the demise of my tuba career, my father arrived home from one of his business trips with an old, well-worn, acoustic guitar. This clearly had the potential to be far sexier than the bass horn, and I spent hour upon hour attempting to master C, F, and G, which was, in my mind, pretty much all you needed to know to play popular music in the early 60's!
Shortly thereafter, Jeff Boyne and I struck-up a friendship and we began to discuss music. Jeff owned a pair of bongo drums which caught my attention. We agreed to swap instruments, and shortly after, the idea of putting a band together was born.
The result of that vision was the Mark IV, which included Jeff, and I, Brian Anderson and Don Siemens. We were a successful local band from Penticton playing B.C., Alberta and Washington State. The music in the mid to late 60's was primarily that of the British invasion with new hits hitting the airwaves every week it seemed. We prided ourselves on always having the most recent hits in our set-list, and did our best to look like the bands that were appearing on Ed Sullivan each week, wearing suits, stylish "long hair" and even sporting the pearl grey Ludwigs, just like Ringo.
In the late 60's decisions needed to be made regarding university, and that brought about the end of the Mark IV..we closed in August of 1968 to a sold-out house in the Penticton Peach Bowl. (which is where we played again this August, 37 years later.to a sold-out house!)
I moved-on to university, a career in the food business, and retired on the 54 7/12ths plan as a corporate executive in Toronto. During my business career, my music involvement consisted of listening only, with a couple of "sit-ins" on someone else's kit, usually at one of my sales meetings. A couple of years prior to finishing-up in the food business, my wife surprised me with a set of Yamaha Digital drums.and the "re-birth" was under way!
Upon our return to Vancouver in 2004, I re-connected with Jeff and Brian at a dinner at Jeff's home. We moved out to his studio after dinner to see if we could still manage a song or two from the past.well, the magic was evident.and the net result was the resurgence of the Mark IV as The Crosstown Bus (Jeff and Brian's band from the 70's). The addition of a rare talent in Diedre La Croix on keyboards,and vocals, rounded-out the group.
Today, I am thrilled to be playing a Yamaha studio kit with three rack toms, two floor toms and a spectacular 3" Yamaha snare. Up top, I work with 16" and 18" Paiste Crash cymbals, a 19" Armond Zildjian signature sizzle ride, and a 20" Zildjian ride.
Down in the basement I play a DW 9000 with a Pearl back-up.
Because of my musical sabbatical of nearly 30 years, I have been working with one of Vancouver's bright drum talents, Jay Deachman (www. jaydeachman.com) to speed-up my re-entry.
Nothing that I have done in the past 30 years is as much fun, nor as satisfying as being re-connected with these three other great musicians, and playing music that has a magical effect on the crowds.and we think that shines through in our on-stage performances
"You can play loud when you play loud or you can play soft, but don't lose the intensity of the beat..once you lose the intensity, all is lost."