Classic Rock (A)Live and Well in Waterloo

Well, that was fun. Classic rock cover bands in Kitchener-Waterloo seem to have continued after my old band, Bil Weber and the Glum Bunch (ca 1988-92), in which I played keyboards and sang about half of the lead vocals. The Waterloo Open Streets Festival just featured Neil and Friends (OK, they definitely need a better name!) playing very similar stuff to what we did, and with similar attention to how things were performed on the original recordings.

Both groups played Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” and Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing.” We, however (because we had keyboards, instead of a second guitarist), played the Doobie Brothers “China Grove” instead of Neil etc.’s version of “Listen to the Music” and (at least at one gig, combined with another band) Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla” instead of Neil etc.’s version of Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love” (both originally involving Eric Clapton).

I introduced myself to Neil and Friends, but they were a bit freaked out that I was talking about my band from 20+ years ago. (They are probably all IN their twenties, though perhaps in their early thirties.) However, they did seem impressed that I had done my dissertation on Rush. They didn’t play any Rush songs, and the Bils were from so long ago that what we played also predated my academic work on that band (so we didn’t, either). However, they did play some CanCon via April Wine’s “Say Hello” and (sort of, via) Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Our late-60s pseudo-CanCon (and more keyboard-oriented) equivalents were Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Born to be Wild.”

Maybe I should get in touch with them and offer to play keyboards and contribute some vocals! I’ve moved so often over the past 25 years that it’s been very difficult to get around to that sort of thing again. These guys all have jobs in the area and just play for the enjoyment of it, so there wouldn’t really be any pressure, presumably.

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