Archive for the ‘Gigs’ Category

Shakin’ All Over!

Posted: September 24, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

These same photos are on Facebook, so if you’re a denizen of that particular social network, chances are that you will have already seen these pics. Nonetheless, if you’re a free-thinking non-conformist and never go NEAR Facebook, then here are some photos “never before seen anywhere at any price”. To see larger versions of the photos, just click on each one.

The occasion was Rosie’s 52nd birthday, so the band converged on Donegal’s Pub in Surrey in order to celebrate in the manner to which we have become accustomed — with several adult beverages! The band that evening was The Shindiggers, featuring Scott Young (our producer and engineer) on drums, and after a while, Art & Kevin got up onstage to perform Roadhouse Blues, minus Captain Maniac (I was in Langley enjoying the Barracuda concert at the Cascades Casino, so I didn’t show up until about 10:30).  It was after they’d finished the song and returned to the thankless task of being bar patrons that yours truly walked in the door of the pub!

Being the generous souls that they are, the Shindiggers asked me to do a tune in the last set, which I naturally & eagerly agreed to. When I got up on the stage to sing (with Scott playing drums), it was determined that the song I wanted to do (Shakin’ All Over) was not one that Carl the bassist was familiar with (or did not wish to play!). However, Scott volunteered to be substitute bass player instead, so I sat down behind the drum kit and was vocalist/drummer!

Thanks to Michelle Yu for some great photos!

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.

Live and Impersonal

Posted: August 30, 2012 in Gigs, Rock n Roll

Sparkling Apple promo shot for appearance at Frenzy’s in Gastown 1980 (Vancouver BC). Photo by Simon Gunn.

Another free download! The sound quality is “not up to present-day community standards”, but in any event this song is included here due to its historical significance.

The link below is a live recording of Sparkling Apple from the “C-FOX Live At Eleven” broadcast on August 13, 1979. Monday nights, local radio station C-FOX would present a live broadcast from Gary Taylor’s Rock Room, Vancouver BC, and the resulting tapes would be edited to create the very first C-FOX Vancouver Seeds album (shown below). The track “Get Off the Stove You’re Too Old To Ride the Range” was NOT included on the Vancouver Seeds album, and is presented here for the first time anywhere in Low-Fi Sludge-O-Rama ®.


Taken from the back of the record’s sleeve:

“November, 1979: “VANCOUVER SEEDS” represents the culmination of efforts by C-FOX-FM99 Vancouver and Gary Taylor’s Rock Room. Our intent was to showcase live concerts, featuring as many Vancouver artists and relatively unknown groups as possible and to give them an opportunity to be heard on their FM rock station, then be released on record. “VANCOUVER SEEDS” is a complilation of some of the best performances during “Monday Night Live at Eleven”, recorded at Gary Taylor’s Rock Room over the Summer and Fall of 1979. Special thanks are due to Gary Taylor and Cal Woosnam of Challenger Sound.”


Side One:

1. KARROLL BROS – I Need Your Love
2. KARROLL BROS – If I Can Fall In Love
3. SIX CYLINDER – Strong Woman’s Love
4. FOREMAN-BYRNES BAND – I Had Your Love In The Palm Of My Hand

Side Two:

1. POWDER BLUES – You Been Mean
2. SPARKLING APPLE – Midnight Flight [an edited version of this song can be found on “Hard Core Apple”]
3. SPARKLING APPLE – It’s Criminal

Recorded off the radio, so the voice you hear at the start is that of radio DJ Ellie O’Day, who can also be heard at the beginning of “Two Time Affair” (from “Hard Core Apple”).

Lots of great old Sparkling Apple tracks can be found on our new CD, Hard Core Apple – but here’s a recording that was dropped from the final song list. It’s Switchblade Rock, a rockabilly/metal hybrid written by drummer Captain Maniac, performed here at the fabled Scottsdale Pub (Delta BC) in August, 1979. Played here in its entirety, the tune features the 1979 lineup of Captain Maniac (drums and lead vocals), Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid (lead guitar) and Buzz Constantly (bass guitar). This highly-collectible song is registered with SOCAN, but has never been released anywhere until now. A free download, kids!

© 1979 RadioActive Records. No unauthorized duplication is permitted without the written consent of the author an/or a case of Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager, delivered promptly to our ivory tower.

Dress Rehearsal!

Posted: June 7, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

To prepare ourselves for our July 22nd CD release party, we are embarking on our official Steel Wheelchairs Rehab Tour! First stop is a “special guest” slot at the highly-steaming and venerable Lynwood Inn in North Vancouver BC, site of many a festive occasion and social gathering, or so I’m told. On Friday, July 6th, Sparkling Apple will be co-billed with North Vancouver’s own House Party, featuring the frenzied guitar stylings of the frighteningly talented Joe Staples. Tickets for this event can be obtained by contacting Joe Staples himself at 778-999-3069. Good luck and may The Fart be with you…

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)


Posted: May 10, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, New CD, Rock n Roll

Great news — we now (pardon the pun) have a sponsor, namely our trusted community newspaper, The Surrey Now. Thanks to Now publisher Marlyn Graziano, we are now able to advertise our CD Release Party in the Now Newspaper. Now of course, I do work as a graphic designer at the Now, so I imagine I had a bit pull there. What I do for a living can be seen HERE. So, as far as seeing my name in the paper, the ad at the end of this post will run in the Now at least once a week.

Now, then… for those of you who haven’t been paying much attention to this blog, this is our opportunity to reiterate:

Sparkling Apple will be releasing our brand new CD “Hard Core Apple” this summer, and to celebrate, we will be holding a gala CD release party on July 22nd at 2pm in Pancho’s Cabaret in Surrey. “A CD?” you say, “Aren’t CDs obsolete now that you can download tunes on the Internet”. Our response is a simple “Hell, yeah!” We never got to release a CD before, so why should their disappearance from the marketplace spoil our fun and influence our decision?” Judging from the sales of our 45s on eBay , these silver platters ought to become collectors’ items in no time anyway — we will naturally be selling these on our website as well as at the merchandise table at our upcoming appearances.  However, in order to get one of these puppies early without the hassle of shipping costs and postal delays, we urge you to come to our CD Release Party in  Beautiful Downtown Whalley.  For the insignificant cost of a ten-dollar ticket, you will not only receive entry to the party, but a shiny new Sparkling Apple CD as part of the bargain! In addition, the fabled Sparkling Apple will stumble to the stage and perform an ancient form of music not heard in these parts for many years — rock and roll! Plus, we will be offering free food as well as all the sights, sounds, & smells of the Whalley Experience.  The bar is officially open, and will remain so until Art’s supply of Budweiser is depleted.

So where do you get tickets? I’m glad you asked that — tickets are available on our Facebook event page, right here on the Official Sparkling Apple Blog (leave a comment on here and we’ll get back to you ASAP), or from Captain Maniac himself at At this point, tickets are threatening to be sold out soon, so get yours while they’re still available. Hey, you could grab a pantload of tickets cheap and then be a scalper in the Flamingo parking lot, flogging these for 50 bucks a pop! Who says there are no jobs left in today’s fragile economy? (Jeez, I should get a Canada Council grant just for coming up with that suggestion.)

OK, we’re done here. Have a good day, and keep on rockin’,
Captain Maniac

Tickets are now on sale!

Posted: April 30, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, New CD

CD Release Party tickets — get ’em while they’re still up for grabs!

Tickets are now on sale for our July 22nd CD Release Party, held at Poncho’s Cabaret in Surrey, BC. Due to fire regulations, we are only allowed a specific number of patrons to cram into the club for this event, so our advice is: Don’t Miss Out! Join us at the Party of the Century while tickets are still available. Once ticket sales reach room capacity, tickets to the CD Release Party will no longer be obtainable and latecomers will be required to camp out on King George Boulevard in order to listen to the band. Rumour has it that you’ll be able to do that anyway, which is why we’re holding this shindig in the afternoon –don’t want to wake the neighbours, don’t you know!

Anyway, because we want this to be a local event, we have decided not to sell tickets online. Instead, head over to to our CD Release Party event page, and indicate whether or not you’re going and we’ll take it from there. Even if you’re *not* going, stop by our Facebook page and say hi, won’t you?

Sparkling Apple onstage at the Bow Fiddler, Langley BC in 1978. Photo by Stolie Sylte.

Buzz Constantly at 1981 photo shoot.

Art onstage at the PNE Gardens, 1979.

Kevin at the North Vancouver Rec Centre, 1993.

As promised, our new CD is being released on Sunday afternoon, July 22, 2012, and we hereby invite you all to our CD Release Party for what is technically our debut CD, “Hard Core Apple”! That’s right, the last Sparkling Apple release was on vinyl, mainly because (as we noted earlier) CDs hadn’t been invented yet! Join us, won’t you, in the luxuriously-appointed and decidedly notorious Pancho’s Cabaret, located behind the Flamingo Hotel in Beautiful Downtown Whalley, in Surrey BC. The cabaret in question used to be called Pancho and Lefty’s with a country music policy, but because Lefty left, this establishment is currently a no-holds-barred, over the top rope, no disqualifications rock & roll nightclub, featuring some of Surrey’s best tattoos.

We will be printing tickets in advance of the party, so pre-sales will go online soon — stay tuned for ticket info, which will appear on this blog as well as on the Sit-On-My-Facebook event page . Click HERE to access it and to see who else is brave enough to make an appearance.

As of this writing, we are considering charging a nominal fee for entry to the party, for which you will also receive a free CD as well as directions on how to escape from Whalley before things get ugly. Once the party’s over, you’re on your own, dude! <ha! Just kidding!> The bar will definitely be open, serving all your favourite adult beverages for your responsible consumption (yeah, right). Sparkling Apple will be playing a medley of our hit, live on stage, and the fun begins at 2 pm (so that aging rockers can get home in time for the 11 o’clock news and our tapioca pudding) . Rumour has it that there will be free food and hot girls, but this has so far been unsubstantiated.

At this time we wish to make it clear that any gate receipts, pre-sold tickets or CD sales will be used to pay for CD manufacturing costs and studio time. At no time will any proceeds be divided among the band members (although I *would* like a new Lamborghini to sit in the driveway of my palatial estate – but that’s not important right now).

Let the games begin!

Sparkling Apple in 1978, with Buzz Constantly, Captain Maniac and Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid.

Art at Gary Taylor’s Rock Room, 1979. Photo by Dee Lippingwell, altered in Photoshop by Colin Hartridge

Here’s yet another chapter in our Return to the Fray, featuring more photos taken by our resident photographer, Lisa Freakrock (OK, that’s not her real name: her real name is Helen Wheels (or is it Amanda B. Reckonwith? Maybe it’s Eileen Dover? Not sure!) Anyway, here are some more Friday the 13th Sparkling Apple photos at Amber Jack’s in Surrey (April 13, 2012). Three To Get Ready, now go, cat go…

Sparkling Apple in an artsy-fartsy black and white shot!

Mindless Boogie

Because we know what to do with it

Power Play

Live in Technicolor and 3D Sludge Sound!

Rock n Roll All the Way From Mars