Rock for Ages! Sparkling Apple in 1973.

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Gigs, Rock n Roll

It’s not often that we use a guest writer, but tonight is the exception. Ron Handford volunteered to be our Spatial Guest, so here’s a great story he wrote about Sparkling Apple  at UBC in 1973 — yes, before many of you were even born! For more photos of this event, visit the photos section on our website, located HERE.


“This is a story about the band’s ancient history!  It’s a Sparkling Apple endorsement!  It’s also about boy meets girl!

On this very date, 39 years ago, Friday September 21, 1973, Sparkling Apple  played a gig for the UBC Engineers at the SUB Ballroom.  It was a blow-out bash and perhaps the launching pad to the band’s fame and success!

But to back up a bit, I was entrusted several months earlier with the role of Social Coordinator for the Engineering Undergraduate Society, or then infamous EUS.  Being a great procrastinator, I took off to Australia for the summer and did nothing for the social program to come.  A date had been set for the Engineers’ first dance of the school year on Sept. 21 and the Ballroom reserved.  Upon arrival back in Vancouver in early September my mind started to turn to thoughts of organizing the dance – finding 250 or so young women who would put up with engineers or who at least liked to party, plus advertising, liquor license, ticket sales, food and drinks provisioning etc., and oh yeah, I guess I better see about getting a band.  Then a chilling thought occurred – what kind of lousy act would be available on less than three weeks’ notice? Well, I contacted an agent who gave me a list of nightclubs etc. where I could see some of his bands performing to check them out.  One band caught my eye, and ears, and I decided to plunge in  – so Sparkling Apple  was engaged. I figured at the dance I would either be a hero or a goat.

The dance night arrived, so did Sparkling Apple and a sell-out crowd of about 500 people.  The band delivered straight-up raw undiluted s#&%-kicking rock and roll and the crowd went crazy!

Once I saw that my 499 new best friends were having a good time, I decided to mingle and found another sparking apple, a young and beautiful nurse-to-be, who three years later married me and today we are celebrating the 39th anniversary of our meeting.  Thanks to Sparkling Apple  for setting the stage! And a much-belated thank you for helping us pull off a barn-burner of a dance.

I regret not having any photos (much less YouTube videos) of the dance to share, but maybe you have some in your archives.

So glad you guys are staying true to your roots and delivering high-energy rock and roll.  Rock for Ages!”

Ron Handford

Time: Friday September 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Art at UBC Engineers’ Dance, Sept 21, 1973

Captain Maniac on drums on this momentous occasion! No animals were harmed in the filming of this episode.

Rocky Rockamoto (real name Gord Higo) at UBC Engineers’ dance in 1973.

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