A piece of Canadian music history via Burton Cummings

What a cool posting from Burton Cummings...and a great peak at some Canadian music history....

This was a great little place to live from 1970 till late 1972...some of my favourite co-written songs happened in here...had my old Nordheimer upright already (which I still have), and Kurt was comfortable in this house. He came over quite a bit and usually played my Gibson acoustic. We'd sit side by side at the old upright and have ice cold Canadian beers and usually by one or two in the morning there'd be a brand new song or two...We wrote Rain Dance here. And Broken. And I finally turned that piano riff from Albert Flasher into a song, with verses and solos and everything...finished Sour Suite here...this was the little house we came home to after Kurt and I sailed back over the North Atlantic on the Carmania in December of 1970. I had grabbed a brand new, just released vinyl album of John Lennon's first solo album with all those great, starkly arranged songs on there...Mother, Isolation, I Found Out, Well Well Well, Love, and God...Kurt and I sat in this house and listened to that Plastic Ono Band album for the first time together. I'm not sure if it was actually available yet in Canada. She Might Have Been a Nice Girl, One Man Army, Do You Miss Me Darlin', Smoke Big Factory, Guns Guns Guns, Back To the City, Your Nashville Sneakers, and Those Show Biz Shoes were all written entirely in this house. I think I was messin' with that piano lick from Orly in this house too, but never finished the song before we moved. There was almost never any sleep in this house. And when I say that, I mean it in a very literal sense. Not that we "slept very little"...no...I mean there was almost never any sleep for almost three full years...the music was endless. The stereo was on the best possible wall it cold have inhabited. There was a whole large yard outside that side of the house before the house next door. The same family lived there in 1970 that had lived there since I started Kindergarten at Luxton. Some things change more slowly than others...or USED TO, at any rate. I had had Gar Gillies, owner and inventor of Garnet Amps build me one hell of a hot-rod of a stereo...and so it was...the house only cost a little bit more than the stereo. Sounds like a joke, but it sounded pretty incredible...Gary MaClean and Kurt Winter never complained, in fact they were quite impressed with the stereo. And because our band was traveling almost all the time, I was bringing home boxes and bags full of vinyl albums. While we were riding high on the charts that entire summer of 1970, RCA was kind enough to send me their entire "Vintage" catalogue...my goodness...here I was a 22 year old from the North End and this box comes one day from New York and it's full, absolutely full to the brim, of RCA's Vintage library...from the goodies in that box, I learned about Fats Waller...Jelly Roll Morton...the Lambert Hendricks and Bavan album Live at Basin Street East (from which I later learned Shiny Stockings and recorded it) The Vintage series had Isham Jones and Duke Ellington...from a Fats Waller album I eventually learned "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" and "Lulu's Back in Town". You could have knocked me over when I heard Eric Clapton doing "My Very Good Friend the Milkman" last year. I thought I was one of the very few people of my era that knew that one. In 1973, when I did a couple of one man show stints at the Paddock in Winnipeg (it used to be directly across Portage from Polo Park, Peggers) I used to do Lulu's Back in Town, which I'd learned from the same lp. RCA couldn't have sent me a better gift...absolutely couldn't have topped that if they'd tried. I got virtually the whole RCA Vintage catalog...opened my head up to players, singers, arrangers, and writers that I might otherwise never ever have heard... The Universe tosses us great stuff from time to time, often when we least expect it... HI-HO..

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