Archive for October, 2010

The Return of Stretch Marx

Posted: October 29, 2010 in Rock n Roll
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I haven’t forgotten the website, oh no! In fact, tonight I uploaded a truckload of old Sparkling Apple photos to the “Stringbean Years” section, back when we had VERY long hair. Several of the newer photos show us at the Port Coquitlam Rec Centre in 1975, along with a couple of photos of us at Ian’s Cabaret in Nanaimo in 1976. What was interesting about Ian’s was that it was an old mansion on the Island Highway, and each week’s band would be given accommodations in the upstairs bedrooms. Getting to the gig was just a matter of coming downstairs to the nightclub, rather than having to drive miles in the dark (and yes, we’ve done that one, too).

Also very telling are some photos from a 1976 soundcheck at Alta Lake Lodge in Whistler (LONG before it became a world-class ski resort). The lodge itself was a 150-seat room, but we’re shown putting our HUGE new Sunn amps through their paces. No wonder I’m deaf now! Sheesh!
By the way, this is one of the only photos in existence of the One and Only Rocky Bongo in action (at the Answer nightclub in Chilliwack, BC, December 1977).

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Young Fresh Fellows

Posted: October 23, 2010 in Rock n Roll
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More old newspaper clippings and ads have been added to the Clipping and Posters section of the Sparkling Apple website. Most of the old ads are definitely vintage, with misspellings and 70s-specific information typical of that era. “They’re fun, they’re exciting… (or should that have been EXITING!), and “there’ll be a Sparkling time at the Rail Cabaret.”  I mean, PLEASE! Jeez, I remember 70s newspaper advertising used to consist of “dance and drink to the solid rock sounds of…” Yikes!

The poster for the 1976 OG Boogie is particularly interesting in that the promoter — a Charlie Manson-lookalike if ever there was one — absconded with the gate receipts after the Saturday night show! If memory serves, Sparkling Apple did play on Saturday, as well as Ram and Mother’s Creation (the drummer later joined the K-Tels!). No bands played for the Sunday show, though, due in part to the fact that there was now no money for payment, and secondly because of the rainstorm. Actually the one band that did play on Sunday at that festival was Joe Staples and his band, Midnite City. Joe played with us in 2010 at the Donegal’s reunion — it comes full circle, doesn’t it?

What was the Buddy Holly song… “Reminiscing”? Yeah!

Interview with Gary Taylor

Posted: October 17, 2010 in Rock n Roll

“New” video from 1979 has now been posted on our website! (When you’re at the video page of the Sparkling Apple website, scroll down, because it’s the last video at the bottom of the page.) In this blast from the distant and dissonant past, Gary Taylor, owner of Gary Taylor’s Rock Room in Vancouver, interviews Sparkling Apple, one of the bands who played at his nightclub. All present are completely sh*tfaced for the benefit of Internet users viewing this video on YouTube thirty-one years in the future! This was taped immediately following the filming of the videos for “It’s Criminal” and “Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye”, which were recorded just steps away from where Gary is interviewing us. Now all I’ve got to do is find the video of Sparkling Apple performing on “the Vancouver Show” (with Pia Shandel and Mike Winlaw) back in 1976!

Meet the Press

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Rock n Roll

I’ve just added to the Sparkling Apple website (a glorified online scrapbook, if nothing else) with some newspaper clippings and media coverage from the Neanderthal period. Click on “Clippings 1” to see some compelling examples of 80s journalism. (I decided not to use the category “Press”, because some folks might press on their computer screen to see what happens!)

Love Tom Harrison’s article stating “Sparkling Apple’s most endearing quality is that it does not take itself seriously…”! Some of the articles appeared in such diverse publications as the Georgia Straight, The Province, The Vancouver Free Press, The Vancouver Courier, and will be updated as long as my scanner holds out.

Poster World

Posted: October 14, 2010 in Rock n Roll

The Sparkling Apple website is continually “Under Construction”, being as how it’s a work in process. Just yesterday I’ve started adding vintage band posters, and shortly there will be a “Press” section featuring old newspaper clippings and advertisements. As they say, “stay tuned”!

Oh what fun it is to ride!

Posted: October 12, 2010 in Rock n Roll

Truth be told, I’m not exactly an HTML/Dreamweaver-type web designer where I write my own code! Far from it: our Sparkling Apple website is created and updated via iWeb, part of the Apple “iLife 09” software. But it works for me so far, and does what it’s supposed to do.

Speaking of which, the music video for “Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye” has now been posted to the website (www.sparklingapple.ca), although we must advise that the sound quality is not up to 21st Century standards. Probably if I was using Final Cut Pro or some professional audio editing software, I could clean up the sound on this particular video, but in the interest of “historical perspective”, the video is presented as-is, warts and all. In any case, this video is somewhat of a historical document!

It should also be mentioned that “It’s Criminal” and “Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye” (Side A and Side B of our then-current single on RadioActive Records) were both written by Buzz Constantly, who coincidentally is lead vocalist on both videos.

In the spirit of a world-class archeological expedition, the video for “It’s Criminal” has been unearthed after languishing in Colin’s basement for 31 years! Yes, this video is now viewable on http://www.sparklingapple.ca, as well as on YouTube. The audio on the original tape was sucessfully substituted with a board tape recorded by Ding himself, and although the video certainly shows its age, the audio is none too shabby. Hey, “just like the record”!