Rockin’ for kids!

Posted: February 17, 2014 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll
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Colin stands beside the poster created for this event by Captain Maniac Graphics.

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Photo by Jack’s Camera

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Photo by Jack’s Camera

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Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

Sunday, February 18, 2014, marked the return of the Rock For Kids fundraiser after a 20 year absence. As mentioned in a previous post, 15 — count ’em, 15 — bands appeared onstage at the Point Pub in an all-day marathon fundraiser for the Variety Club. To say it was a successful day is an understatement: a pantload of cash was raised to benefit the children. The entire event was put together by the extremely talented (and patient) Annette McArthur of Pitacharoo Media with her tireless staff of all the volunteers who took care of us and treated us like rock stars!  The MC for the entire day was the wild and crazy Scott Barratt, and our awesome host at The Point was Jamie Slater, who doubled as sound tech.

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Photo by Aniko Mathieson

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Photo by Aniko Mathieson

As Sparkling Apple was the first band of the day, I was there from 11:30 AM, and despite the fact that I’m now a legal senior, I lasted until around 7pm, when my tapioca pudding and slippers were beckoning! Yes, the legendary Sparkling Apple — well, we’d had some exposure in the hot-rodded & stripped down version of the band when we played at the Freakrock Jam a few days ago, so we were primed and all set to inflict some collateral damage on the unwary audience. Despite the early hour (the crack of noon), we did actually have an enthusiastic audience in attendance.One of the early birds was our friend Cindy Caverly, who’d seen us at a noon-hour sock hop at New Westminster Secondary some 40 years ago, and now wished to have some closure! Also in the audience was one of our first employers, Paul Bartram, who in the 70s ran Somewhere Else nightclub as well as The Dungeon (now the Giggledam Theatre) in Port Coquitlam — one of our first gigs in front of actual humans! (I told Paul the story of how Heart played at the Dungeon back in those days, and during a break, I went up to Heart’s table and said, “Great flute solo, Anne” — 40 years later, I’m asking myself, “Just WTF was I thinking??”).

Our set was much the same as the Freakrock Jam, mainly because our time slot allowed us only five songs. I played drums on the first two tunes (Get Off the Stove, You’re Too Old to Ride the Range and Shakin’ All Over), and then became front man for Crazy For Your Love, Roadhouse Blues and Sin City. Once again, Kelly Stodola played drums. Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid was still out of town on an environmental research project, so lead guitar was handled admirably and dependably by the always amazing Kevin Swain (often known as Kevy Ramone because of his black leather jacket). On bass guitar was the sensational and impeccably tailored Larry Pardue.

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Photo by Rob Snopek

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Captain Maniac on the drums! Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

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Sparkling Apple at Rock For Kids event. Photo by Annette McArthur, black & white tint by Kevin Swain.

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THIS is rock and roll! Kevin on guitar, photo by Lisa Freakrock.

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Kevin and Colin, with Kelly Stodola on drums. Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

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Kevin, Kelly and Colin. Photo by Lisa Freakrock.

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Rock For Kids version of Sparkling Apple — photo by Cindy Caverly.


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Captain Maniac in rock star mode! What a shot — thanks, Lisa!

We haven’t yet posted a play-by-play and post mortem review of our recent Sparkling Apple jam at the Point Pub in Port Moody BC —  so finally, here it is in all its inimitable glory! (All photos, every one of them including the video, by Lisa Freakrock.)

The incriminating video: http://youtu.be/o0FB76bHN48

Yes, as we threatened in our last blog post, we were the “host band” on February 5, 2014 at the weekly Freakrock Jam . And truth be told, it went extremely well, considering we had to make do without our guitarist, Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid. Art, as we mentioned previously, was out of the country on a “rest and relaxation” seminar, so we performed the show with substitute players. As Rosie mentioned, we had to replace him with two people, but the stand-ins we chose were of high quality and impeccable calibre. Kevin stepped up to the plate and played lead guitar, Johnny Ramone-style (complete with ripped jeans and black leather jacket), and in HIS place, the bass guitar duties were handled by the incomparable Larry Pardue, a rock n roll veteran if there ever was one. As seen in the above photo, I sang lead vocals out front on a few tunes, so drummer extraordinaire Kelly Stodola was hand-picked to be guest percussionist.

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Kevin channels Johnny Ramone!

First out of the gate was the Sparkling Apple classic, “Get Off the Stove, You’re Too Old To Ride the Range”, played in the style of  The Who (Kevin admitted that he had a brown Les Paul just like Pete Townshend, so he was comfortable in this role). Larry had only just heard this song on the Hard Core Apple CD, and Kevin had never played this tune on lead guitar before, but we were pleasantly delighted by the final outcome — it rocked beyond belief! Next, the old chestnut “Shakin All Over” segued into the familiar “feelthy” version of “Gloria”, followed by the Rolling Stones/Chris Farlowe song “Out of Time” (Lisa’s favourite song), with the unparalleled Larry Pardue on lead vocals.

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On bass, the incomparable Larry Pardue (ex-Idle Eyes)

The jam then commenced, and several amazing players entertained us, including three actual bands (The Nerve being the highlight of the evening, in my not-so-humble opinion). At about 9PM, Sparkling Apple returned to the stage as “host band”, this time with Kelly Stodola on drums and Captain Maniac fronting. Three songs were performed featuring the peerless vocal styling of Captain Maniac on “the only song I know”, “Roadhouse Blues”, AC/DC’s “Sin City”, and our latest single, “Crazy For Your Love”. For the enjoyment of all concerned, no rap music was performed, and at no time were any animals harmed.

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Sparkling Apple Jam

Posted: February 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

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New for 2014! Sparkling Apple will be hosting the Freakrock Jam at the Point Pub in Port Moody on Wednesday, February 5th., and all jammers and fans are invited to attend — admission is absolutely FREE! At the outset, we must advise you that Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid will be unable to attend this event due to the fact that he is undergoing solar rehabilitation in sunnier climes, but in his place we have deputized two worthy substitutes. For this jam, Kevin Stuart Swain will be playing lead guitar, and we will be joined on bass by former Idle Eyes bassist, Larry Pardue. On the songs where the inimitable Captain Maniac is out front doing lead vocals in his unique song stylings, the amazing Kelly Stodola will be on lead drums. Join us, won’t you, for a wild midweek party in Downtown Port Moody!

Rock For Kids 2014

Posted: January 30, 2014 in 21st Century, Rock n Roll

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It’s back! A rock ‘n roll fundraiser for Variety the Children’s Charity and the Variety Club Telethon! Sparkling Apple has been chosen to kick off the 2014 Reunion of the popular Rock For Kids event, held this year at the Point Pub (2524 St Johns St, Port Moody, BC). Joining Sparkling Apple is a star-studded roster of local rock bands in a 12-hour marathon of talent, including bands which played at Rock For Kids twenty years ago. Admission is only $10 for a full day of fun, and of course all proceeds will benefit Variety the Children’s Charity. We’d love you all to be there and help make this day Party of the Century, while at the same time helping a great cause.
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Kevin Stuart Swain with Sparkling Apple at the 1992 edition of Rock For Kids!

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Time for an update! Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop, we are hereby updating our old RadioActive Records logo, first designed in 1978. The new 2014 logo features a glowing lime green radioactivity symbol as well as the “Dirty Ego” font from dafont.com. Use it in good health!

2013 in review

Posted: December 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year’s Eve update

Posted: December 6, 2013 in Gigs, Uncategorized

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New Year’s Eve is almost upon us, so we thought we’d give you an update on what’s going on in our pathetic lives!

First and foremost, this event will be dedicated to the memory of our old friend, Joe Staples. Prior to his passing, Joe was the lead vocalist and bass player for the classic rock band House Party from North Vancouver, BC. Earlier this year, Joe had arranged for House Party and Sparkling Apple to perform at Donegal’s Irish House in Surrey for the annual New Year’s celebration there, and big plans were underway for this festive occasion/bash. However, things definitely went disastrously sideways this summer when Joe was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour. Joe spent a considerable length of time in Lion’s Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, and tragically spent his remaining days in the nearby hospice. Sadly, he died on on November 24, 2013 with friends and family by his side – but is forever in our hearts.

The show must go on, as they say, so the New Year’s show at Donegal’s has NOT been cancelled. House Party will perform without their leader, and Sparkling Apple will be rockin’ as usual. Joe would have wanted it that way.

While we have your undivided attention… if you’d like to be a part of this uproarious and celebratory gathering, do yourself (and us, of course) a huge favour by joining us on December 31st, 2013 for a New Year’s Party Like No Other. As of this writing, a few wristbands are still available for the low low price of $25.00 each (which includes appies, champagne and TWO incredible rockin’ bands). Get yours from your jovial hosts, Rosielynn Crosby (604-588-8548) or Colin Hartridge at captainmaniac@gmail.com. if you’re friends of Kevin Stuart Swain and Lisa Freakrock, luck is on your side because they have a few wristbands for sale as well.

This one’s for you, Joe.

“And, in the end.. The love you take is equal to the love you make.”

A Rockin’ New Year’s Eve…

Posted: October 28, 2013 in Gigs

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The band that won’t leave us alone! Yes, what’s a New Year’s Eve party without Rock n Roll All the Way From Mars courtesy of the legendary Sparkling Apple? This year we are returning to the Scene of the Grime, namely Donegal’s Irish House in Surrey BC. We are hereby giving you advance warning of this soon-to-be-infamous event, to be held on (for those of you keeping score) Tuesday, December 31st, 2013.

A gala evening of rockin’ tunes and merriment, featuring not one, but two classic rock bands! Along with the highly questionable Sparkling Apple, we will once again be celebrating the New Year with North Vancouver’s own House Party. House Party was the last band to play at the notorious Lynnwood Hotel in North Vancouver, and for all we know, they may still BE there!

Donegal’s has graciously agreed to the ancient custom of “Champagne at Midnight” (I think this may have first been Guy Lombardo’s idea back in the 20s), and appies will be served at 10:30 PM. The party starts at 7pm, so get your advance tickets now while we’re still in a good mood. Tix are already going fast at the low low slash-your-wrists price of $25, which is a screamin’ deal for TWO bands, grub and bubbly in a convivial atmosphere with your closest friends. Hell, *I’m* going!  Oh wait a sec, I HAVE to — well, that’s not only besides the point, but a minor detail.

Tickets will be definitely be available at the door, but we advise you to purchase advance tickets good and early to be assured of the best seat (one near the dance floor). Of course, I always say that the best seat in the house is on my lap, but then that would be highly inappropriate, wouldn’t it? Advance tickets can be obtained from the inimitable Rosie (604-588-8548), any band member (email us for preferred seating), and of course at the Lost & Found at your local Home Hardware Store. (OK, just kidding on that last one.)

So bring along your football helmets and your bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol (you’re gonna need it), and if we don’t see you in the future, we’ll see you in the pasture.

Captain Maniac

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Sparkling Apple shirts a-plenty! Left to right: Scott Young, Michelle Yu, Captain Maniac itself, Rick Mearns and Lisa Freakrock. Also wearing a Sparkling Apple shirt was Kevin Stuart Swain; he’s not shown in this photo because he was onstage playing when Jack’s Camera snapped the picture!

Just in case you mistakenly thought that we were finally out of steam and out of commission, here’s proof that the band brand lives on. Last Sunday, September 9th at The Point Pub in Port Moody, BC, the jam formerly known as Kevin & Lisa’s Freakrock Jam was temporarily renamed for one night only as Captain Maniac’s Birthday Jam. Participants were encouraged to wear their Sparkling Apple t-shirts, and as seen in the photo above, several friends complied with this request. An enthusiastic and well-received jam session was the highlight of the day, featuring the usual suspects. Captain Maniac played drums on three songs with the house band, The Freakrockers, and later proceeded to do the Jimbo routine once again on a rousing & Philips Blue Buck-fuelled version of the only song I know all the way through, Roadhouse Blues.

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Later the following evening, Captain Maniac made a live appearance on the radio show, Lisa Freakrock Live, broadcast on the Internet on www.radioamplifire.com. A grab bag of headbanging hits (Captain Maniac’s personal choice of favourite tunes) was presented, as well as humorous anecdotes about the songs being played.

And yes, we caught the typo in the dialogue balloon, “Beter care of myself” – but YOU didn’t, did you? Har har!

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New Bandcamp players up!

Posted: June 14, 2013 in 21st Century, New CD

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Seen below is one of the brand new Bandcamp players (I picked the LARGE size), featuring last year’s Hard Core Apple CD by the legendary Sparkling Apple. This player will of course only play the songs for your audio enjoyment, but if you wish to purchase a CD, by all means please do so by using this link.

In other news:
Stay tuned for a new Sparkling Apple 45 coming soon. Yes, you heard me the first time, a 45 rpm 7-inch vinyl single, complete with centrepiece adaptor for your turntable. Oh, I know not too many people own turntables anymore (CD players either, come to think of it), so this will obviously be an item targeted towards the lucrative collectors’ market. Recently an old fan told me that he still had a vinyl copy of Its Criminal which he purchased from the band at Scottsdale in Delta back in the 1970s. I told him that he was a lucky bastard, because that same single in mint condition is worth upwards of five dollars (as much as $5.50 with the picture sleeve).

They’re flying out the door as we speak:
Due to popular demand, limited quantities of our CD are still available online.  Fans all over the world (in Canada, Sweden, Holland, England, Australia, USA, New Zealand, etc) and throughout the galaxy are rocking to the highly questionable sounds of Sparkling Apple, but stocks are increasingly in short supply. We therefore advise you to buy now to avoid disappointment! The Sparkling Apple CD Hard Core Apple can be purchased here.

Thanks for your support! We now return control of your computer to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to — The Official Sparkling Apple Blog!