Vancouver 80s Rock Reunion

Posted: May 20, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

Sparkling Apple onstage at the Vancouver 80s Rock Reunion, held at 560 on May 17, 2012. Lisa Freakrock photo.

Talk about a Blast From the Past! On the evening of May 17, 2012, crowds of aging rockers converged on the 560 club (former location of A & B Sound on Seymour Street in Vancouver BC) for the Vancouver 80s Rock Reunion.

Ray Roper. Photo by VICTORboy.

The party of the year was organized by Lisa Poulson, Linda Eckess (a.k.a. Lovely Linda) & Darby Mills (lead singer of Headpins) and was an unqualified success. So many old friends and musicians were there for this gala event, that it’s impossible to namecheck them from memory — I might leave somebody out! But the appearance of faces from the past was like going back in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine, and big hair was conspicuous by its absence! More photos can be seen HERE and HERE.

After a typically raucous Ladies Night celebration (girls just wanna have fun) featuring some suitably endowed male strippers, the Ray Roper Project amazed the crowd with a tight and telepathic performance, followed by a storming & rocking set by Headpins. Original lead guitarist Brian “Too Loud” McLeod died of cancer 20 years ago, so his current replacement is the incredible Tony Dellacroce — otherwise the personnel was the familiar band lineup featuring Darby Mills, Ab Bryant, Bernie Aubin, with the addition of keyboardist/guitarist Alfie Gilpin. “Don’t It Make You Feel Like Dancing”, “Turn It Loud” and a monumental version of “People” brought back some happy memories.

Darby Mills of Headpins, wearing the commemorative Vancouver 80s Rock Reunion t-shirt. Photo by VICTORboy

Taking the stage after an awe-inspiring & memorable Headpins set, local legend Al Harlow (currently with Prism) proceeded to rock the house with a trio of songs that ended with Prism’s “Take Me to the Kaptin”! (Kevin Swain was deputized as bass player) A class act! Al, by the way, was once a member of the Seeds of Time, so his rock lineage goes back to the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth. And of course Sparkling Apple played on the same bill as Seeds of Time on one occasion (for the SA/SOT connection, the poster can be seen HERE.)

Al Harlow. Photo by VICTORboy

And then it was time for Sparkling Apple to sleepily emerge from hibernation and turn the evening into a celebration of RAWK! Although the rest of the musicians chose to relive their past and keep things on a serious level, Sparkling Apple were our usual playful and mischievous selves. We started off a 3-song set with the feelthy bar-room version of “Let’s Dance”, followed by a Robin Trower classic, “Too Rolling Stoned”. (At the end of the tune, Tony from Headpins enthusiastically yelled from stage right, “TROWER!! YEAH!) We ended our appearance with “Shakin’ All Over”, which lumbered uncontrollably into the Whalley National Anthem, “Gloria” (a song which had the by-then inebriated crowd singing along). For whatever reason, the club was scheduled to shut down at 1 AM – with that in mind, we cut our medley short at 12:55 so that Simon Kaos could perform the last song. We’re not sure what actually transpired at this point, as we had to exit the building & have a Seinfeld-like adventure in the parking garage across the street. (Rumour has it that Tracy Masson got up onstage to sing with the Ray Roper Project.)
A grand time was had by all who attended – might this be an annual event?

From the Vancouver 80s web page:
“A night to celebrate and remember those who passed before us with an ALL STAR ROCK JAM featuring the Ray Roper Project and your favorite 80s acts like The Headpins, Sparkling Apple, Simon Kaos and many more!”

A silent auction was held to raise funds for the BC Coalition of Music Education.)

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Lisa Freakrock photo.

Art as seen from the drums. (Colin POV)

  1. Cal Woosnam says:

    Well guys I tried, spent a few hours Sunday looking through boxes of Master Tapes and pressing masters as well, but your Master Tapes from back in the 80’s could not be found, found many others I had forgotten about. CFOX must have either held on to them, or you guys picked them up from me way back then… sorry keep up the good spirit….

    • Thanks for your effort trying to track down “The Lost Tapes”, Cal! My reaction would be, “Oh well, they must be in a safe place (which is unlikely)” — perhaps these will turn up on eBay or Antiques Roadshow!

  2. Linda Eckess says:

    Have I told you lately???….I LOVE YOU!
    What an incredible blog on V80RR!
    With Love and Respect
    Your LOVELY Maniac….Sparkling…with an APPLE..

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