Left to right: Ken Lennon, Rod Rumble, Joan Harvey, Ron Hicks
In 1972, we landed in Canada (Vancouver, British Columbia, to be exact). My parents managed the Tahitian Hut for a while before moving on to manage The Waltzing Matilda, also in Vancouver. The music part of their lives didn't stop, they just wanted to expand their horizons while still performing in the club at night.
Ad for the Tahitian Hut and the Down Under Club in Vancouver
It was in The Waltzing Matilda that actor David Soul of TV's "Starsky and Hutch" fame shot parts of a little movie he made with Ron Moody called Dogpound Shuffle. Some pics from the flick via the David Soul Info Site:
That's our cheap mirrored wall in the background ...
There's one of our tables ...
And our alleyway, I'm so proud! :-)
Soon afterwards, we moved to Toronto, Ontario and the band recorded the album. They also did an extensive tour of universities and colleges in mid-west America. I spent a lot of this time in the school libraries (such an egg-head), as I'd seen the show so many times by now I could probably do it myself. The students thoroughly enjoyed going out to the football field after the show as Ken Lennon threw his boomerang ... and it came back to his outstretched hand like a charm (nearly every time!).
I know we did a tour of Holiday Inns (with their wonderful iconic signs) in Ontario around 1975 as I recall re-enacting the current blockbuster movie "Jaws" (also see IMDB and the 30-second Bunnies version) in their swimming pools :-) Very surreal tour as every hotel and restaurant had the exact same room layout and restaurant menus. It got to the point where we'd just tell the waitress, "Give us a number 3 with a side of 7." without even looking.
Publicity shot taken around the time of the album's release
Note the Boot Records logo in the left-hand corner
Left to right: Ron Hicks, Rod Rumble, Joan Harvey, Ken Lennon
Just after the album was released, we moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, where my parents managed the building which would later be the venue for their last gig. It was a converted lighthouse on the waterfront with three floors: the top floor being rented out for private parties, the middle one was a bar called The Tickle Lounge (soon renovated to become The Anchor Pub, a very popular spot) and the first floor was The Galley Restaurant. I did my fair share of pitching in on the coat check and as a busgirl in the restaurant (see my '70s page for my memorable night on duty when Elvis died). I even appeared in my first (and only) TV commercial for The Galley with my friend, Kim.
Flyer for a show at the Arts and Culture Center in St. John's, Newfoundland
Al Waxman was the host, Bobby Bare the featured entertainer
Although recorded in 1974, "Gettin' Around" earned the band a Juno (Canada's Grammy) nomination as Country Group or Duo of the Year in 1976. You can search the Juno site for past winners here (not currently listing the group, alas). Or, for a faster listing, see The Envelope. The Mercey Brothers won that year (other nominees: The Carlton Showband, The Family Brown, and Bob Murphy & Big Buffalo (some audio files here).
We could only send one member of the band to Toronto (where the Junos were held that year), and my father won the draw. Win or lose, he was pleased as punch to spend the night seated next to country superstar, Charlie Pride.
Years later, I found out from my mother that while the rest of us were crossing our fingers and hoping against hope to win, she was secretly wishing we'd *lose* so she could call it quits and return to some kind of normalcy.
One of the last publicity shots taken before Kenny left the band
Left to right: Ken Lennon, Joan Harvey, Rod Rumble, Ron Hicks (seated)
Performing at the Irish House in Jackson's Point, Ontario, mid '70s.
Left to right: Ron Hicks, Joan Harvey, Brian Small, Rod Rumble
Live performance for NTV Television, St. John's, Newfoundland, 1975.
Same line-up as above
For a time, my father wrote a music column for The Newfoundland Herald. The following two shots were included with his final column in 1977.
In his full "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" regalia
Left to right: Brian Small, Rod Rumble, Ron Hicks, Joan Harvey
With the release of the album, their fame soared. For a time, I couldn't enter my classroom without hearing a chorus of Four Ways Of Love. But the touring started to take its toll, especially with the various wives and children now on board. Had they won the Juno, the band might still be together today, but they took the loss as a sign to finally hang it up. On New Year's Eve, 1978, they performed their last gig at the Light in St. John's, Newfoundland.
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