Archive for August, 2012

Captain Maniac at Donegal’s jam. Photo by Marko Ibarra.

I know we’ve already mentioned that Sparkling Apple’s new album “Hard Core Apple” is now available for download on iTunes (sorry, kids, it’s huge around our house, as in EPIC). Now talk about stuffing the ballot box, but can you guys do us a huge favour? If you like what you hear — and to paraphrase Mrs. Seinfeld, “how can anybody NOT like them?” — could you kindly leave a short review of your thoughts on iTunes for us? We’d *like* that! AND, even if you can’t stand the music, the band or life in general, please leave your thoughts on there *anyway* showing that someone took time out of their busy social schedule to actually listen to what we have to offer. Like Elmer’s glue for a change of paste. Thanks in advance, and now we return you to the Official Sparkling Apple Blog, already in progress…

Sparkling Apple at Vancouver 80s Rock Reunion in 2012. Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

Kevin Stuart Swain on the bass! Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

If you’d like to help us greatly by writing a short review, and hopefully downloading individual songs from the extensive Sparkling Apple back catalogue, click on the iTunes logo!

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Gary Walchuk at a family gathering in 2012.

Between the years 1975 and 1978, Sparkling Apple consisted of Captain Maniac on drums, Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid on guitar, and Stringbean on bass (real name Gary Walchuk).

From 1975 promo: “On the Fender Bass: the amazing STRINGBEAN. This master of ohm-burning thunder on the basso profundo has levelled nearly every bar on this planet.”

So aging relics from those thrilling days of yesteryear have asked us, “Whatever happened to Stringbean?” The last time we saw hide or hair of him was at Rosie’s birthday party two years ago at Donegal’s in Surrey, where Sparkling Apple reunited for a couple of sets. Stringbean was in the audience, and we invited him up on the stage to jam with us on “Boney Maronie”. This was a song he used to sing when he was in the band, but as he’d forgotten the lyrics, Art had to improvise! The Bean reminded us of an old cartoon that I’d drawn years ago, featuring Sparkling Apple as frail and decrepit seniors in the future, complete with wheelchairs — rockers with walkers. He announced, “And now that day has come”! For photos of that occasion, go here.

Well, after considerable medical issues, Stringbean is alive and well in Hatzic, BC (near Mission), where up until recently he was the proud owner of a Corvette (seen below). He was recently at his brother’s wedding (Walt Walchuk of the Free Time Band, although we knew him as Wally!).

My question is: does the “Mud-1” license plate refer to Mudbone (from the Richard Pryor character)?

Gary Walchuk at the Surrey Arts Centre in 1975

Gary Walchuk at the Stardust Roller Rink in 1975

CD Baby told us they’d get our album “Hard Core Apple” on iTunes, and true to their word, HERE IT IS!  Physical CDs are still forthcoming on CDBaby as we speak (translation: not yet available), but as of this writing, the Internet is alive with Sparkling Apple downloads. You can download individual songs (and the entire album if you so desire) from the actual CD Baby site, or from iTunes. The cost of downloading a Sparkling Apple song from either source is the low low price of only 99 cents each. That’s right — where can you find a smokin’ deal like THAT anywhere else on the planet?

What are you waiting for? Get over there toot sweet, boys and girls, because we’re discounting *everything* here on the Official Sparkling Apple Blog. For those of you who require an actual CD before it goes online at CD Baby, you can get one from the Official Sparkling Apple Store for the insanely low price of only $10.00 each. Profusely illustrated with archival & live photos, painstakingly researched liner notes written by world-famous journalist Colin Hartridge, and a free frisbee. It’s already gone plywood in Grand Prairie, as we mentioned in an earlier blog post!

An edited version of “Midlife Crisis”, one of the newly-recorded songs from the new Sparkling Apple CD, “Hard Core Apple” (RadioActive Records 2012). Co-written by Kevin Stuart Swain and Ray Roper, this song features Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid on lead guitar and vocals. Drums on this track are played by the mangy-maned artillery unit, Captain Maniac, with basso profundo by Kevin Stuart Swain. Additional vocals by the amazing Sarah Flanagan. Produced and directed by Scott Young and Kevin Stuart Swain. And what a stunning photo of Captain Maniac!