(Note: I have a follow up note to this post. I found the original cassette recording of the Calgary Beatles Tribute. On the label is the date, July 29, 1977. Someone… maybe it was Art or Jon, sent it to me originally which I then had transferred to CD.) New updates are [bold in brackets].
I have consulted with Ken and Art about our Canadian tour. Nobody seems to remember how long we were up there or when it took place. I believe it was the summer of 1977, but I could be mistaken. A mind is a terrible thing to waste!
Our manager, Art Smart Stenstrom, got Silver Laughter booked in 4 clubs [actually it was 5 in 5 cities] 4 cities in Canada. Take a look at a Canadian map and you will see how much we had to drive to each of these spots. Nobody seems to remember if we were booked 1 week or 2 weeks at a time. Ken thinks we were up there for a couple of months. That would be about 2 weeks in each place. But Art thinks it ended up being only a month.
I know our first stop was the Assinaboia Club in Medicine Hat, Alberta. There were 2 types of clubs in Canada. One was a bar where there was no dancing. This was one of those. The other was a cabaret where dancing was allowed. This is where we met a million British soldiers, all who had personally known the Beatles… or so they said.
I do remember Dolly whose group would fill up the little round tables with glasses of beer, or “piss” as they called it, and he would do his John Wayne movie imitation. First he was the Indian. With two fingers behind his head to simulate a headdress, he would pretend to shoot an arrow and then become John Wayne grabbing his chest where the arrow hit. He would then open up the message which always said, “F%$# off!”. These guys loved Americans who loved Brits, so we made a lot of friends. Our Beatles Tribute was a HUGE hit all over Canada.
As for the second stop, I think it was Lethbridge, Alberta. I don’t remember the name of the club we played [The Place], but I think it was a cabaret. I do remember being locked in the club at night as the sleeping quarters for the band were upstairs from the club. We were constantly worried about, “What if there is a fire!” At least I was, and I am sure others thought it too. I think we finally found a way out through the roof so we could escape and have fun. This is where we met a local television talk show host, a good looking blonde woman who came to one of our performances. She had us on her show for an interview. It was a lot of fun. Ken wishes they had invented VCRs by then so we could have had a copy.
Another memory I have of Lethbridge is Ken and I playing golf on one of the longest courses I have ever been on! Remember the train trestle scene from the movie “Silver Streak”? The course was right under that LONG bridge. I’m sure we had both been drinking, so I know I didn’t play very well! But we did laugh a lot.
Next stop (I believe) was Calgary, Alberta [The Tradewinds] during what I seem to remember they called Rodeo. This was our biggest and best stop by far. We were treated as if we WERE the Beatles. Our tribute #1 is on CD which I had transferred from cassette tape with us coming back for a couple of encores, including two of our own songs from each of our albums; “Don’t Feel Bad” and “Take My Money”.
[Note added 5/18/13 – Apparently there was a fifth place called The Steakhouse Lodge in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. I found this information on the back of the promotional brochure I posted elsewhere on this site.]
Finally we finished the Canadian tour in Regina, Saskatchewan [at The Paddock Theatre]. If memory serves, this was the coolest reception we received of the 4 places [5 places] we played. The cabaret was small, and the stage was poorly located.
One last word about the food in Canada. Their pizza was not so good! Other than that we had a GREAT time.
You should have tried our Poutines (French fries, cheese curds and gravy)! Much better than our pizzas 🙂