The SEEDS OF TIME Story (Abridged)
We started a band at high school in Vancouver, BC Canada in 1965. None of us were proper musicians except that our organist had suffered through some piano lessons in his youth. But, those blokes in England could do it so why couldn’t we? I was fifteen years old – I thought I was going to be a dentist – I had no idea I was going to spend the next fifty years playing drums in a rock band.
The pre-hippie days of the mid-sixties were really the golden age of pop radio. There was the British Invasion, Motown and all those beach boy bands out there in California. Hit singles poured from the speakers like Margaritas on Spring Break but generally they only lasted a week or two because there were hundreds of great songs pushing their way up the charts every day. We didn’t need to study music; all we needed to do was listen. It all seemed so easy, so innocent. Then the Summer of Love hit us and my teenage life became one long psychedelic acid trip.
Our band’s endless stream of silly names came to a conclusion when original singer, Bob Kripps walked into rehearsal with a science-fiction book of short stories by John Wyndham titled, the Seeds of Time. Guitarist Frank Brnjac, bassist Steve Walley, organist John Hall and I all agreed that this was to be our name.
At first we learned songs note-for-note off the record. It was just like paint-by-numbers; we didn’t actually know or comprehend the musicality, it was just copying the sounds. A monkey could have done it (probably better). But when vocalist, Geoff Edington replaced Kripps and guitarist, Lindsay Mitchell took over for Brnjac we became musicians. We began experimenting with music. We did our own thing. If Geoff had heard a song he liked he kind of strummed the chords and guessed at the melody & lyrics and we all played it any way we felt like it. We never copied a song off the record again; we just made it up. Somehow our repertoire of Elvis, Procol Harem, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, the Doors, Donovan and other diverse artists melded together into some kind of a cohesive style all our own.
It was 1967 and the SEEDS OF TIME hit the road. It almost killed us ... the drugs, the booze, the sexy girls and five guys in a van hurling along treacherous mountain highways in the dead of winter. It was glorious!
We had a band house. It was one of those hippie communes you may have read about ... a so-called utopian society where everyone was equal and you were allowed – no, encouraged - to do what you want. There were no rules in our lives and no game-clock. I never owned a wrist watch; didn’t need one. Even when we gave up the house and scattered like rats we still abided by our mantra, “Fun! Not boring!”. Inevitably, that led to heroin, cocaine and alcohol addiction ... not really a lot of fun. But, the never ending wild sex was pretty cool!
Somehow, we managed to write and perform some very good rock & roll. Recording was a bit of a problem though as it required organizing and scheduling (not strong suits for the SEEDS OF TIME). Still, our first single, MY HOME TOWN, was released in 1969 and was a modest hit across the country. Later, CRYIN’ THE BLUES, did even better (the B-side, BABY DOLL BETTER BEAT YOUR ASS BACK HOME enjoyed patchy success with radio stations willing to broadcast “ass” all over Canada). But, that was it.
By 1975 drug & alcohol abuse took its toll. The band didn’t break up; fittingly, it just OD-ed.
I re-configured the band with keyboardist, John Hall and two new guys, guitarist/vocalist, Jerry Doucette and bassist/vocalist, Rick Enns and we called ourselves the ROCKET NORTON BAND. After a couple of years and a few personnel changes that band also dissolved without achieving its potential even though Doucette went on to some success as a solo artist.
Like some cheezy fairytale, there was a happy ending for Hall and me as we rejoined Lindsay Mitchell and became PRISM; a group that produced 16 charted singles and sold over 2 million records in 6 short years. (PRISM came crashing to an end too but that’s another story).
The SEEDS OF TIME Story (Abridged)
For the whole story plus some kind of an explanation as to what happened in the sixties and seventies and, of course, the meaning of life (just kidding about that part ... you’ll have to consult Monty Python’s Flying Circus or figure it out for yourself; whichever turns out best for you) please take a look at:
ROCKET NORTON: LOST IN SPACE
It can be found on Amazon Kindle or at http://www.rocketnorton.com