Inspirational Friends!

This week I was inspired by so many people! I got to hang with my sister, my old manager, happy newlyweds, a bunch of my pals from The Royal Jelly Orchestra, Bonzai Suzuki and a beautiful woman who gave me terrific advice on my writing project! 

Living in Liberty Village is such a treat! Monday morning on my way to work I passed three cops on horses. I know most of the horses by name in my hood but these were all new to me. I told the cops they had the second best enforcement job in the city. The first? The cops who get to work The Police Marine Unit at Pier Four and speed around in their boats all day probably have the best gig, sez me.

c’mon…you have to admit this looks like a fun thing to do for a living!

I am extra fortunate in that I live on the West Side of Liberty Village. I love some of the new spots on the East Side like The Village Cheesemonger but it kind of freaks me out that while enjoying my favourite healthy breakfast at Aroma I turn my back and poof – another building goes up. It’s like I live in the movie Inception.

This isn’t really Liberty Village but it’s start to look eerily similar!

Soon, Liberty Village will have the same population as my home town of North Bay Ontario.

My hometown has pretty much always had just over or under 50,000 people living there. I once asked my dad, why the population never increased and he explained “because every time a girl gets pregnant, a guy leaves town!” I love going back to visit, usually twice a year, because so much stays the same. I go back to visit friends and enjoy nature, not for its diverse restaurants and wild nightlife, that’s for sure!

This marvel of architecture still resides in Lee Park, North Bay.

Wednesday, my buddy Robin Barker got “spliced”. His child-bride (I’m joking, she’s half his age but twice as smart so that makes them even!) Megan looked gorgeous and the event was held in one of my favourite venues, St. Lawrence Hall.

This shot was taken when Robin and Megan were merely dating. They are now officially hitched and over in Europe on their honeymoon. Sweet!

Knowing this is the same room where John A. MacDonald and George Brown addressed the people of Toronto back in the day is just surreal! Aside from being a “makeover king” (he’s been cutting my hair for over a decade), Robin is also a songwriter and he had an all-star band and a ton of signers perform some of his music after dinner.

Fashion that blends in with the ballroom at St. Lawrence Hall…camouflage?

It was a terrific night of music and friends.

She’s the bride…so why am I blushing?

Thursday I performed with my pop project, Bonzai Suzuki.

Bonzai Suzuki live at Painted Lady!

It’s one of my greatest pleasures in life: Making music with a bunch of my very best friends and never taking ourselves too seriously! The Painted Lady was a perfect venue for us, because the sound kicks ass and the room is small enough to fill with minimal effort. This was about having fun and not at all about making money. Still, with one pass of the hat we did make some moolah and sold a whack of CD’s. One guy ran up after a song and yelled “I need to buy a CD right now, you guys are amazing!”

Geegee and Bubz sounded fantastic at the Bonzai Suzuki show!

Such enthusiasm seemed to be contagious…everyone was smiling, drinking and by the end, dancing. Our next show isn’t likely until October…can’t wait…meanwhile we are continuing to write and record new material for our second CD which should be out in early 2013 if not before!  Bonzai Suzuki has three songs on You Tube but for some reason – not at all intentional – the three songs we chose to make videos for happen to be our strangest songs. We’ll continue to make videos for other tunes, so check You Tube now and then for an update, but don’t forget to log on to iTunes to hear some clips and download the entire CD for $9.99!  BONZAI SUZUKI ON iTUNES

For now, here is our very first, low-budget video (starring Legs Mahoney who also co-wrote it with Dave Howard and I) with big thanks to Jason J. Brown who shot and edited. Great Job!

Saturday morning I woke up to a paintball team doing a photo shoot in my alleyway. I popped down to see what was going on and suddenly found myself posing.

George Preppard had The A Team…I have The Bee Team!

I want to try Airsoft…I hear it is better than Paint Ball…running around with guns is only something I want to try, not something I will likely do more than once or twice. I’d rather be finger painting.

In the afternoon I rode my bike over to see my friends Serafin and David who just adopted a baby boy. Nicky is a really cool kid and spent a lot of time laughing while I caught up with Serafin. He’s writing music for three different recording projects and as I’m a fan of his voice and song writing, I look forward to hearing something soon!

Nicky is such a cutie!

Sunday I took off sailing for the day with Melissa Lauren who is a very talented singer/songwriter in town…and not to be confused with her porn star namesake.

The weatherman said 40% chance of showers. We enjoyed his 60% chance of being wrong. It didn’t rain till we got back!

She recently recorded a CD with some great musicians including Nathan Hiltz on guitar (the CD was produced by Eric St. Laurent, another amazing guitarist) and is called “The Other Side”. Check it out!

Melissa Lauren Website

While sailing back to Pier Four (Harbourfront) I was happy to see Slim Moore and The Mar-Kays were on the West Jet Stage.

Slim Moore played to a huge crowd at Harbourfront. The rain didn’t dampen anybody’s spirits!

Harbourfront has pretty much sucked for years, ever since they let go of Derek Andrews, who filled the stage with great music from around the world for ages. I have no idea why the stage is rarely used and why there are so few brilliant acts, but no matter, seeing Slim and the gang – in from Ottawa – was a lot of fun. (Most of the band members are in Souljazz Orchestra, one of my favourite Canada jazz bands.) Finallly on Sunday, I went up to Morton’s in Yorkville to meet a friend and enjoy some outstanding food and conversation. When I first met Heather three years ago, the first thing she said to me is “You remind me of David Lee Roth”. That got us into a deep conversation on rock stars who know how to treat women; which the led to a dozen other topics. She’s as brainy as she is beautiful, which certainly says a lot! She has written some successful children’s books…for info check out: NANA Books!

On Sunday I asked her many questions about the process of writing and she was both helpful and inspirational. What a perfect way to end a great week!

We might only have time to hang once in a while but every time I meet with Heather I walk away truly inspired!

Coming up this week: Some wild events and concerts including the CD launch for The Shuffle Demons at Lula Lounge this Thursday and a live concert in a recording studio for Pam Hyatt (aka Pamalot, aka Granny Pam, aka Senior Dame) and Peter Hill (aka not THAT Peter Hill) and this is your last chance to buy your way into the studio and enjoy a show. Contact me or Pam Hyatt on FB for more info or visit Rockethub to donate to this project on-line and order your CD in advance! Pamalot

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