Sparkling Apple Outtakes Part 4 — On the Road Again (pick one: Canned Heat or Willie Nelson)

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Rock n Roll
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As “perennial touring veterans”, Sparkling Apple would endure countless road trips to Take Our Music To The People. Seen here are some exclusive photos of Sparkling Apple on tour: the “topless” shots were taken at a roadside stop on what is now the Sea-To-Sky highway, on the way to Whistler BC. I remember this particular viewpoint (“layby” in the UK), because spray-painted on the side of one of the massive rocks was graffiti immortalizing our visit. Unfortunately, the artist misspelled our name (in all likelyhood it may have been Ding), and for many years we would drive by the same location to see “Sparkleling Apple”! With the renovation and reconstruction of the Sea-To-Sky highway, this sign no longer exists, but it was a permanent fixture on Highway 99 for years.

Gord and Art at highway viewpoint on the road to Whistler, 1974.

Art and Colin at viewpoint on Sea to Sky Highway, 1974. Tantulus mountain range in the background.

The other shot of the band was taken outside the Whistler Mountain Lodge on Alta Lake. The lodge itself was a vintage log cabin-style structure from the 40s, and band would stay overnight upstairs in the 60s-era panelled rooms. The band rooms, of course, had been lovingly christened by scores of touring rock bands performing at the lodge. As such, these accommodations were not fit for human habitation (unless the visitor played in a rock n roll band and would be well-acquainted with lodgings that looked as if Keith Moon has exploded some nuclear device within). As we were in our early 20s, however, our surroundings were taken as more of an adventure than as cruel & unusual punishment.

Whistler Mountain Lodge proved to be a popular spot for the early-70s ski crowd and assorted hippies. I recall one occasion where an attractive blonde girl was enjoying the music throughout the evening, and during a break, her male friend introduced her to me. He said, “Meet my friend, Joni,” to which I replied with the smartass remark, “Oh, Joni Mitchell, that hippie chick?”. Both of them answered in the affirmative, “Yes!”. In one swell foop, I had just insulted the real honest-to-god Joni Mitchell!

Sparkling Apple at Whistler Mountain Lodge, Alta Lake 1974

The dances held in the old lodge were rollicking, exuberant and joyous, reminiscent of the toga party in “Animal House”! Back in those days, Whistler was pretty much the Husky Station intersection, as well as cabins overlooking Alta Lake. Skiing could be accomplished at the Gondola area near what is now Function Junction, and today’s bustling Village was at that time the local garbage dump. For excitement, we’d cruise out to the dump late at night and watch the bears scrounging for wares!

An actual poster from 1974, advertising weekend dance at Whistler Mountain Lodge.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good Joni story. You painted the old whistler exactly right. Looking forward to hearing you guys at Village Faire II in Cates Park this summer. Going to be a blast with Sparkling Apple!

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