IN HIS OWN WORDS:
Here's a brief recap of what I remember of my career in broadcasting:
I was brought into the CHUM fold by Brian Skinner and Larry Solway who was kind enough to hire me as Music Director at CHUM-FM to help in the conversion of CHUM-FM from a classical music station to one of, if not the first, Canadian free-form FM station. I was lucky enough to succeed Murray the K at on the evening shift. CHUM-FM and similarly free-form radio stations came to be known as "progressive rock" stations and that's when they started making on-air staff use play-lists a la AM radio. So much for "free-form" where we played everything - rock, jazz, classical, world, etc. When CHUM-AM tried to force CHUM- FM to let AM have the Beatle interviews you referred to in my bio, I knew that it was time to move on.
The Beatle interviews were proof that FM rock radio was becoming a force. AM radio ratings were slipping so they wanted CHUM-AM to morph into something that was closer to CHUM-FM and visa versa. I think Duff Roman was brought in at that point as station manager to replace Garry Ferrier. That's about when I took the CBC offer and went to London to do interviews a bunch of rock and blues musicians.. Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker (CREAM)(, Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, drummers Charlie Watts and Keith Moon, Blues legend, John Mayall, Steve Winwood, Jon Lord (Deep Purple) Robin Trower (Procol Harum), Chris Wood, Jim Capaldi (Traffic) George Martin (producer of the Beatles), Jimmy Miller (producer of the Rolling Stones and Spooky Tooth), John Lennon and Yoko Ono and probably a few others that I have forgotten.
I came back to Canada and got involved with Brower-Walker who were producing The Toronto Pop Festival and subsequently the Toronto Rock 'n' Roll Revival where we got John Lennon to come over and play. Eric Clapton, Alan White and Klaus Voorman and of course Yoko Ono were part of his newly minted Plastic Ono Band, Both events were staged at Varsity Stadium. The Eaton boys, Thor and George were the $ behind both events. When Brower and Walker split, John Brower and I produced a couple of shows together, Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Stevie Winwood - one of the early "supergroups".
The not so grand, as it turned out, finale for me in the music business before ultimately winding up in the film business was the TORONTO PEACE FESTIVAL that John Lennon and Yoko were heavily involved with before flipping out in Denmark. That and the determination of the Ontario government (remember the Big Blue Machine? That wasn't the name of a band) that this event was not going to happen on their watch. Woodstock and Altamont in the summer of '69 might have had some thing to do with their determination. After being legislated out of twelve different sites by their town councils,after having been terrified by and then aided and abetted by the Ontario AG's office with ready made by-laws to get rid of us, I finally decided that I'd had enough of the craziness that passed itself off as a business. The rest of my life has been somewhat less crazy so far..........
Looking forward to speaking with you soon, Bud and getting together for a drink or meal.
All the best,