|Dec. 8th, 2009, 23:54|
| - Okay, so it happened again. I let time pass by without updating the website for a while, and this time it may have been noticeable, as it's been, like, sixteen months.
- I was keeping track of things by posting blogs on MySpace & Facebook, but seeing as I actually pay for this site, I should try to cover the past quickly... and then discuss the present and the near future. Let's start where I left off, following July of 2008.
- Let's see; August 1st of last year was my 39th birthday, which we happily celebrated by headlining a concert at Coronation Park in St. Boniface, Winnipeg. I think we may have gone to Hooters for supper afterward (what are the chances?) with Fan Club president Karen. Shortly thereafter, we released German as drummer, who subsequently tried to sue me for gas money to practices, gas money that in truth he owed to Elio; the lawsuit was dropped before being laughed out of court. Labour Day weekend was to be Mike Strelczik's debut behind the kit at a private outdoor function south of Brandon, where we endured a leaky stage roof during a rainstorm. Meanwhile, Elio had been disappearing to Ontario for weeks at a time, and wouldn't be seen again until the spring.
- With Mike on drums and a new bassist we opened the annual BandJam For Cancer; said bassist left due to career obligations shortly thereafter. Meanwhile, the business partnership known as FlashBack Music & Collectables opened, and I began hosting regular jam sessions in the store's mezzanine.
- During this time I began performing in Winnipeg with Jane Carson & Craig Wilson, and started putting together another band in the city. At Christmas, I organized a food drive and marathon jam sessions at FlashBack and at The 40 with the Mike Sacharko Band.
-FlashBack had been doomed from the very start (opening the same time the recession was announced), I'd just been unwilling to see it. While I was killing myself driving to my store 100 km away, and sleeping up to 4 nights in a row on a futon in the showroom, my business partner had actually tried to kill herself, right before the business' debut at RFM 2008. Between her mental instability, her lack of work ethic, her addictive personality and her insipid pawnbroker boyfriend, the closing of the store was a blessing, although there is still the matter of her illegally removing the vast majority of jointly-owned property and her theft of thousands of dollars of my personal property, some of which was recovered by the Brandon Police Service, although I am still awaiting the B.P.S. and Crown Attorney finishing the job that was started.
- Deciding to move on, I played a couple of sets at Chapters Polo Vista in Winnipeg, and then suffered a massive concussion while at home Easter weekend. I spent the next several months dealing with a loss of concentration, short-term memory and equilibrium.
- Finally, I said screw it. I knew I either had to start playing again or just give up. So I played one original song ("Santa Ana") at a fundraiser thrown by Kat Kennedy at the legendary Windsor Hotel in downtown Winnipeg. Following that, I jammed at the Pony Corral, the Palomino, and the Marion, receiving encouragement from the likes of Kat, Chris "The Hat" Davis, Marc LaBossiere, and Chris Bigford.
- I auditioned prospective musicians; meanwhile, a band had placed an ad looking for a new singer/lead guitarist; stylistically they called themselves "punk", although I consider it more "garage band". Within a few months, we started playing out under the working title Beauty School Dropouts. Later it morphed into the latest version of The Blue Devils.
- The most exciting show we performed was, of course, on the Main Stage in the big room at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, during the annual Central Canada Comic Con, held on Halloween weekend (October 30-November 1st, 2009).
- After nearly two years of being self-employed (which the bank considers the same as unemployed), I had submitted a few articles for consideration by the Neepawa Press. Thinking I was being called in to discuss regular freelance work, I was instead given a job as reporter & photographer (photo-journalist) for The Press and The Westman Journal.
- And this week, the single "Peace For Christmas" was released to radio nationwide by our friends at Indie Pool in Toronto.
- The song, as you may know, was written to pay tribute to the men and women in Canada's Armed Forces serving overseas, and their families waiting for their return home.
|Alan Gillies, Ph. D.
"the Blue Devil"
|Dr. Alan Gillies|
|- So, while the band carries on in Winnipeg, with our distributor in Toronto, I'm writing the news in Neepawa. Stay tuned & stay in tune.|
|John Lennon: "And So This Is Christmas..."|
|Snowball In Hell|
|Back On Stage|