Home Forums Ask Billy 20 year old me is geeking out

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    Back in 83 a buddy let me borrow his cassette of GUTF. It blew me away, and in short order I had the LP, and although I missed the T-Rex cover, it was okay. I had the album. Back then information was scarce, and I later found out about your Nazareth connection, but it was this album that rocked my world. I actually thought you were Canadian for a long time due to the little postage stamp sized pic of a kid in a bloody Toronto jersey. Being from Vancouver, this was unfortunate, but in terms of jerseys back then the Canucks one sucked.

    I remember looking, and looking for the follow up. Still looking, but it’s not clear from the notes whether or not A&M actually put it out.

    Then life moved along, but I never lost my love of your first album. I did find your site a while ago, and in the Vault I found out more, and “it was good” – who doesn’t love a good old Bible quote?

    Fast forward and we refinished our basement and I was allowed two rooms. One for my guitars and studio (which is mostly full of crap, but all the gear is there) and the one where I set up my old stereo and started to reassemble my vinyl collection (much to my wife’s chagrin). Which is where I am now, and you’re asking me where am I now? I’m in the basement, thanks for asking. So along with blasting out the debut, which still makes me feel like its 83 despite the passage of time, I started to digest your site. Good lord, you’ve set a high bar for storytelling and frankly showing the passion and warts that is music. My take away from all your notes is that you seem to be married to the same lady for 40 years, and this above all made me really happy.

    I read in one of the posts that you’re not playing much as you’ve had damage to the right hand. That sucks.

    I learned early on that you’re a Scot – Not Canadian, but you know about April Wine, Little Mountain Studios (gone now, I spend a little time their with a buddy when the Payolas were recording with David Foster … I waved at him) so I’ll give you a pass and grant honourary status. Frankly you seem like a guy who’d be fun to have a drink with. If it counts for anything I spent a week at Iona a couple of years ago, and every night we drank at the pub, used the dodgy wifi and then walked back to the monastery where we were staying.

    Thanks for all the memories, thanks. I’ll stop my ramblin’ for now.

    PS broke my heart to read both of the Washburns are MIA. Maybe one day on storage wars someone will get lucky, and wonder what the fuck they’ve found.

    Geeking geek out.



    Wowzers and Holy Shit Jevon! Firstly, thanks for the compliments, especially the “being married for 40 years”. I will be sure to mention this to Mary though I suspect she may not share our enthusiasm. Women, huh?
    On a more serious note and as mentioned on this site, A&M did not release the follow up to GUTF despite having financed the whole thing but “Crankin” was briefly released in Japan by CBS records.
    You can download an extended version and my 3rd album “Shake” with all the artwork etc for free right here cos as I’ve said “Life’s too Short”.
    Thanks also for granting me honorary status cos I was a big fan of The Payolas due to Mick Ronson producing one of their albums which was first pointed out to me by Loverboy’s drummer Matt Frenette when he cooked us all dinner during Nazareth’s time at Little Mountain.
    Don’t be too down about my lack of ability these days cos if it hadn’t been for all my Pete Townsend windmill impressions my right hand would still be useful for something!
    I hope you sort out your basement and yes, I did get the “Where Are You Now” reference. Nice one!
    The recent death of Meat Loaf who “murdered” two of my songs has once again made me realise it’s not always who you know but who knows you.
    If you ever make it back over to Scotland or I find myself in Vancouver, let’s have that drink.

    Cheers, Billy.


    I have been working through a number of the folders on the vault, and it’s pretty impressive.

    The Payolas were a nearly big deal here. I remember as a kid when “Eyes of a Stranger” was breaking big here and there was an entertainment news thing about them on the TV about the boys being able to maybe quit their day jobs. That song in particular as well as “Where is this Love” (one of my personal favourites) still hold up. But the market in Canada is pretty small, and frankly their choice of name was poison for getting any play on the radio. They did try real hard when David Foster (who only gets a pass because of his stellar work with the Tubes) produced what was to be their break out effort – that stiffed, and frankly I wanted to like it more than I actually did. Bob Rock of course would be fine out there on his own. Paul not so much.

    Matt, is a hell of a drummer, and I’ve loved his playing since the first Streetheart record he and Paul Dean were on before Loverboy.

    I appreciate the reply. Funny how your gesture meant so much, which is weird and cool all at the same time. The things that were special in one’s youth carry a disproportionate weight as one gets older.

    If the stars were to align, yeah I’d like that drink, but not too many.

    I know I could geek out for a long time about music and influences, and trying to connect the musical dots across the continents to see where the common ground is would be fun, but I don’t want to wear out my welcome.

    Slainte – I do have a quaich, but I’m thinking that was something the tourists buy because it looks cool.




    Cheers Jevon, you’re welcome to geek out here anytime.
    Stay safe.



    Hey Billy, hope you’re well. I was saddened to hear the news about Dan McCafferty. Probably one of the greatest voices in rock.

    I don’t know if I sent you this link to blog of meanderambling, but I featured your record back in September of last year.

    Anyways, I have to go do the dishes before I get in trouble from the wife.

    Take care


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