Origin: Kelowna - Vancouver, British Columbia, 🇨🇦
STRANGE MOVIES was from Kelowna, British Columbia, but moved to Vancouver. They were around from about 1967 to 1973. They released two singles on VAN Records.
A long time ago… 1965 to be exact, Gerry Deshayes and Don Burnett started to make music in Gerry’s infamous shed on Woodlawn Avenue in Kelowna, B.C. Canada. The same moment in time another band was looking for a drummer and approached Don to see if he was interested in the job. With Gerry’s blessings Don went on to become a member of “Jimmy and the Rebounds”
The Rebounds was a top 40’s group consisting of Robert Daniel on bass, Jim McGuire on vocals, Bob Gaitz on Guitar and vocals, Rodger Law on guitar and vocals and Gerry Stolz on drums. Gerry made a move to Vancouver to attend school and in early 1966 Don Burnett joined the band to take his place. Don’s first gig with the group was in Westbank on February 13, 1966. The group went on to play numerous times up and down the valley for about two months at which time Jim and Bob decided to move on.
Meanwhile, at the same time, Bill Campbell and Gerry Deshayes had formed a group called the “Urban Council” This was a good top 40’s band that came a long way over a short period of time. The Rebounds meanwhile were looking to fill the spot left by Bob Gaitz and so approached Bill. After a couple of rehearsals and some discussion a new band was formed. Martin Place, an art student and close friend of Rodger Law, thought up the name “Strange Movies” and designed the first poster for the band.
Thus was born the first version of the band consisting of: Robert Daniel on Bass, Rodger Law on Guitar and vocals, Bill Campbell on and vocals and Don Burnett on Drums. This group played a dozen or so gigs before Robert decided to head out to university and Rodger headed to Vancouver to seek his fortune.
In Vancouver Rodger soon joined “Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck” and toured across Canada several times with them. This is now the summer of 1966 and Kelowna has started to “turn on” to long hair and the “hippy scene”. The members of the band had a feeling there was a sort of revolution happening and time has proven them right. It was a time of hippies, greasers, love beads, hitchhiking and love-ins. Don and Bill were anxious to continue their musical endeavors so they invited Jim Wilson and Gerry Deshayes to form the next version of the “Movies”. This new version of the band wasn't interested in playing top 40 material and under the tutorship of Bill Campbell, began playing the Blues. Dances became more or less concerts with heads bobbing up and down in front of the band listening to tunes by John Mayall, Cream, Paul Butterfield, and Robert Johnson.
A local disc jockey named Dave Alan noticed the group and started talking about it on CKOV radio where he had the all night show. It wasn't long before Dave became the bands manager and helped with the first recording. Dave had great goals and it wasn't long before he was asked to travel to Radio Luxembourg in response to some audition tapes he had sent over. Dave became a hit in Europe as “Kid Jensen” and now as David Jensen is a member of the Capital Gold team in England. It's wonderful to see David has reached such lofty goals; it seems only like yesterday we could hear him on CKOV radio advertising “whole or shank halves” for Gordon’s Super-Value.
The band then met Lloyd Eldstrom a local school teacher who managed the band for the next two years. During this time the band entered and won several “Battles of the Bands” in the Kootenays and other areas of the province. The band became popular in many cities and towns and was in demand for concerts and school dances.
In the summer of 1968 the band moved to Vancouver and rented a house on Marine Drive and Fraser. Some of the prestigious venues the band played in were “The Big Mother”, “The White House”, "The Village Bistro” and many high schools. They also played at the Forum in the PNE grounds.
Within a few months after getting established in Vancouver Jim Wilson decided to leave the band and join another. Gerry Deshayes decided to go back to school so Bill and Don were left on their own again. Meanwhile another Kelowna musician named Dan Ferworn had moved to Vancouver with a band called “Times Children”. Don and Bill approached him and he joined Strange Movies to create the final version of the band. Strange Movies became Vancouver's first power blues trio and started to perform regularly to sell out crowds.
At this time the band started to record and produced two 45’s that did well enough to be noticed by a club owner in Bermuda. After very few negotiations the band was flown over to play at the “Ace of Clubs” in Hamilton, Bermuda and was fortunate to be asked back again the following season.
In between gigs in Bermuda the band played in New York and Toronto. It was now the fall of 1972. After the two seasons in Bermuda the band had to make up its mind as to what to do and Don Burnett decided to come home to Kelowna to pursue a career in horticulture with his Dad.
Bill Campbell went on to play in New York and Toronto and now works as a legal assistant in Toronto.
Dan Ferworn has followed a career in the health community.
All still play their instruments on a regular basis and it has been a delight to get the quartet together for reunions a few times over the years. The trio hopes to get together in the next couple of years to complete the circle.
-Don Burnett, February 2010
Don Burnett: drums, vocals
Bill Campbell: guitar, vocals
Robert Daniel: bass
Gerry Deshayes: bass
Dan Ferworn: bass, vocals
Rodger Law: guitar, vocals
Jim Wilson: guitar, vocals