Posts Tagged ‘Early days’

As “perennial touring veterans”, Sparkling Apple would endure countless road trips to Take Our Music To The People. Seen here are some exclusive photos of Sparkling Apple on tour: the “topless” shots were taken at a roadside stop on what is now the Sea-To-Sky highway, on the way to Whistler BC. I remember this particular viewpoint (“layby” in the UK), because spray-painted on the side of one of the massive rocks was graffiti immortalizing our visit. Unfortunately, the artist misspelled our name (in all likelyhood it may have been Ding), and for many years we would drive by the same location to see “Sparkleling Apple”! With the renovation and reconstruction of the Sea-To-Sky highway, this sign no longer exists, but it was a permanent fixture on Highway 99 for years.

Gord and Art at highway viewpoint on the road to Whistler, 1974.

Art and Colin at viewpoint on Sea to Sky Highway, 1974. Tantulus mountain range in the background.

The other shot of the band was taken outside the Whistler Mountain Lodge on Alta Lake. The lodge itself was a vintage log cabin-style structure from the 40s, and band would stay overnight upstairs in the 60s-era panelled rooms. The band rooms, of course, had been lovingly christened by scores of touring rock bands performing at the lodge. As such, these accommodations were not fit for human habitation (unless the visitor played in a rock n roll band and would be well-acquainted with lodgings that looked as if Keith Moon has exploded some nuclear device within). As we were in our early 20s, however, our surroundings were taken as more of an adventure than as cruel & unusual punishment.

Whistler Mountain Lodge proved to be a popular spot for the early-70s ski crowd and assorted hippies. I recall one occasion where an attractive blonde girl was enjoying the music throughout the evening, and during a break, her male friend introduced her to me. He said, “Meet my friend, Joni,” to which I replied with the smartass remark, “Oh, Joni Mitchell, that hippie chick?”. Both of them answered in the affirmative, “Yes!”. In one swell foop, I had just insulted the real honest-to-god Joni Mitchell!

Sparkling Apple at Whistler Mountain Lodge, Alta Lake 1974

The dances held in the old lodge were rollicking, exuberant and joyous, reminiscent of the toga party in “Animal House”! Back in those days, Whistler was pretty much the Husky Station intersection, as well as cabins overlooking Alta Lake. Skiing could be accomplished at the Gondola area near what is now Function Junction, and today’s bustling Village was at that time the local garbage dump. For excitement, we’d cruise out to the dump late at night and watch the bears scrounging for wares!

An actual poster from 1974, advertising weekend dance at Whistler Mountain Lodge.

Good day and welcome to our continuing coverage of ancient artifacts from Colin’s bottomless scrapbook. This just in…

Presented for your approval, two photographs from 1973, showing Sparkling Apple performing outdoors. The occasion was some sort of barbecue/goat sacrifice/free concert at the Village Green apartments, near Guildford Mall in Surrey BC — these same apartments are still standing, but are now considered social assistance housing for low-income residents (no, I didn’t say “slum”, that would be inappropriate, right?) . All band equipment was supplied by a local rock group named Griffyn, and all bands who played that day were courtesy of Dottie Gunnarson Agencies. At the time, Dottie was our friendly neighbourhood booking agent. If you have any information about whatever happened to Dottie, please leave a comment!

Sparkling Apple at Sunbury Hall, Delta 1973

Because Halloween was a couple of nights ago, we feel compelled to present some frightening vintage shots of Sparkling Apple in “The Early Years”! Shown in this post are photos taken at Sunbury Hall in Delta BC, on New Year’s Eve, 1973. The photos are definitely analog as opposed to digital, and in those days Photoshop manipulation was considered science fiction, a thing of the distant future. Good thing the photos are “action shots” (and therefore a tad blurry), because if we were in focus you could tell that I was 23 and Art was 22! The lineup at this point in time is Captain Maniac, drums; Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid, guitar; and Rocky Rockamoto on bass. And yes, even in those days we were considered to be “too loud”! The amplifers, incidentally, are vintage GBX (one of which Art still owns after 38 years), and this show marks one of the first times that Art played the Gibson “Les Paul Recording” guitar (affectionately known as Barbara).


Rocky Rockamoto at Sunbury Hall, Delta 1973

Science Fiction Art at Sunbury Hall, Delta 1973

Captain Maniac on the drums at Sunbury Hall, Delta 1973

You just came to a New Address!

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Rock n Roll

Those of you who have used the expression “I could do this in my sleep,” will recognize that this is exactly what I’m doing in this photo from the Early 70s. Either that or “I blinked” (yeah, I’ve used that one, too). The photo, with the Fraser River in the background, was taken at a house across the street from where Art used to live on River Road in Delta, BC. Up front is Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid, behind him is Rocky Rockamoto, and bringing up the rear is yours truly, Captain Maniac.


After careful consideration, we’ve decided to move our Blog from Blogger to WordPress. Not sure if this is a wise decision yet, but time will tell! At any rate, we will always keep you updated about new and exciting developments on the Sparkling Apple website. Have we reached saturation point? Not by a long shot! More Road Stories are ready to appear, as well as archival posters and photos. And by the way: welcome to 2011!

Keep on rockin’,
Captain Maniac

Party Like it’s 2011

Posted: January 2, 2011 in Rock n Roll
Hi gang! This is my first blog entry for the year 2011, so to mark the occasion, here are some photos from a New Year’s Eve gig we did in 1973. For those of you keeping score, the date would be December 31, 1973! At this point in our fabled history, the band consisted of Rocky Rockamoto (Gord Higo) on bass and tartan trousers; Captain Maniac (Colin Hartridge) on chrome drums; and Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid (Art Kyllonen) on guitar.

At the time, the number one song in the UK was “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade!

Sparkling Apple in 1973 at the Somewhere Else Club, Port Coquitlam, BC.
Sparkling Apple on New Year’s Eve 1973 at the Somewhere Else Club, Port Coquitlam, BC.
Art on New Year’s Eve 1973
Gord on New Year’s Eve 1973
Keep on rockin’,
Captain Maniac