League of Rock on Breakfast Television,
session four begins!
A few weeks ago myself and a band assembled from past League of Rock members got ourselves out of bed before the crack of dawn to go and rock some tunes on Vancouver's Breakfast Television. (To see the BT feature click here and wait for it to load)
Host Greg Harper (pictured at top) and his BT audience got a little look at all things League of Rock and it was an exciting morning to say the least. We talked about our rearsals at NAL jamspace where bands come together and rehearse and prepare for thier final showcase at the Yale, and how they do this with the assistance of guest pro and celeb coaches such as Mick Dalla Vee (pictured) who is a member of rock legend Randy Bachman's band which is currently on tour with Bachman and Turner (who by the way just released an outstanding new album this past fall ). Mick also records/produces my original music and if you are a singer songwriter looking for a studio I suggest you get in touch with him here.
So for Breakfast Television host Greg Harper gamely played some drums and walked the viewers through the process of being in the league, the band played some tunes and we talked about recording in studio which is something all the bands are able to do in week 9 of each session before the final live showcase. To hear all the fantastic recordings from past Vancouver and Toronto League of Rock sessions please click this link.
Going into studio and performing are often activities that are 'a first ever' for new members and I have to say, I love that part of the LOR, witnessing all the firsts people get to experience. It was such great fun morning (even if it was early and I did have gig the night before) and it helped kick off the fourth session with a terrific bang. A session, I am happy to report, is already on its way to full swing.
Our first Join a Band draft event is where everyone shows up and is put into their band, then they break off into groups to discuss names, music, songlist etc...... it was held at NAL jamspace. It was really nice to see so many friendly faces from the past sessions (dear Stephen (pictured), my pal since session one was a delight to see after such a long busy summer away ). The energy was so good in the room that the brand new members felt welcome right away and I noticed there was considerably less nervous energy in this group compared to previous sessions. This I attribute to the fact that so many of the members have gone through the league before. It seemed to me that them knowing what to expect, left them without that persistent sense of fear and in its place was only anticipation and excitement (with a few butterflies thrown in for good measure). This is how it is supposed to be really and is one of the benefits of using a universal language like music to connect people. It is exemplified in every session I observe, I see that not only through music do these people become friends, but they learn to really hold one another up so that the rest may blossom. It's so frikken cool.
So people jammed a little, ate pizza, talked music, socialized a lot and we all walked away with each others email and contact info. Everyone set out to communicate throughout the week and prepare for our first real rehearsal date the next Wednesday. Which also went beautifully. Never before have I see bands gel right away like this. It's truly remarkable and a real pleasure to be a part of, I can't wait to see it all evolve.
(above pics, observing the bands is our fantastic award winning keyboardist/composer guest coach Simon Kendall (Doug and the Slugs), chillin out with the members and giving advice to the bands on week one~!)
Big thanks go out to past members Wayne Oberst, Lory Senft and Kara Bently for handling most of what it took to pull this whole thing together this session. It takes a lot of time and dedication to get the word out and let people know how much genuine fun and benefit the League is for this here hidden population of music, the unsung heros of rock. I think they are testament to the fact that this League is about the people in it as much as it is about the music they make when they are together. So thanks go to them for what they do, for each to help support 4 bands through this process as well as play in a band themselves...not to mention run their own lives.......its really something. I am proud to be able to M/C host the west coast League of Rock and am I glad so many great musicians are a part of it. I also love that I can turn to LOR members if and when I am looking to assemble bands for charity events next summer.
So, go get your instrument and practise.