Sunday, December 30, 2018


Sometimes it was great. Sometimes, it wasn't. But as 2018 ends, I choose to bring to mind these events that were my mountaintop experiences. I tried to narrow it all down to a Top 10 list, but I couldn't. I suppose that's a good thing!

Somewhere near the top of the list is the most recent event - a trip to Columbus OH to
see House Of Heroes, perform their first show in 2.5 years, to a hometown crowd. And, 
it was their third album "The End Is not The End" start to finish. I attended with 
my friend Billy Chase. The 2-day get away was one of 2018's best moments.

Recording Tom Roe's album "Are You Ready" with
Andy Horrocks in Kitchener. Tom wrote all the songs and every song is great!  I played
shakers and tambourine on several tracks. It was pretty cool to oversee this record with
Andy and moreso, fun to watch Tom grow as a performer.

I am blessed to have a wife who is still with me after 37 years of marriage. We love to travel, see concerts, cruise,
walk our dog, relax and so many things.  This is the best photo of Janice in recent memory and it reminds me
of the happy times with Janice.

Although I've worked out all of my adult life, this year I was a bit more aggressive and it's been very fulfilling nearly every day. I'm pretty fortunate to be in this shape at age 61 - every day I feel lucky.

Another recording session - this time a modified version of "Your Daddy Don't Know" with Jackie Smith who was the leader singer of Little Sister - my first band. Davey Hooper and GI Holm of Anthem For Today played guitars.
Producer Andy Horrocks on the left.

Any time I get to go biking in Ottawa is a great event. In June, Andrew Haverson joined me. This guy blesses me frequently.

Here I am playing percussion for Ian Holm, leading worship at Gateway Worship Centre in Gravenhurst. My relationship with Ian goes back to Anthem For Today. I wasn't expecting him to play with exhilarating passion on a Sunday morning. It was the best Sunday all year!

Biking - I rode more in 2018 than previous years, which wasn't easy considering the number of gigs I was performing. I discovered a new route from Midland to Waubaushene along the water. I rode is several times.

January in Edmonton during GMA Week. I booked Luke Langman to perform at the Breakforth Convention at the Shaw Centre. He invited me to play percussion with him. It was a big venue with an A-level production crew. Ahhhh yes.
My 15 minutes of fame.

Playing percussion at Catch The Fire church in Barrie. I only played oncebut my bandmates were pro musicians and it was electrifying to play beside them. Every once in a while God tosses me a gift, like this.

Another GMA Edmonton experience. Steve Bell and I have known each other for many years, but only via email. Finally, we met, one on one for an hour, sharing ideas and experiences. It was one of the best hours all year.

A bike ride from Peterborough to Lakefield. My favourite location with my favourite people - Todd Gale, Tom Roe and Andrew Haverson.

Together again!  I never thought this would happen. It was an Anthem For Today reunion in my house. The four boys came over to hang out for an evening before Pip Lucas departed for a new life in Calgary.

I have a great life. I am blessed to travel and meet people and participate in many activities and one of the biggest reasons is that I have a great staff at LIFE 100.3 in Barrie to look after things. Talented. Reliable. Happy. This is the best staff - ever!

Luke Langman and his band performed in my living room. What makes this one of the highlights of 2018 was because of two songs. Luke performed "La La Land" by All Star United. And blew the audience away with his version of
"A Hard Days Night".

Nashville. Recording at The Holiday Ian. Me, producer Ian Eskelin and Luke Langman, working on "Let's Go Christmas Caroling" which we released in time for Christmas. How does it go from buying records by your favourite band and end up going to his house - to work?

Several times this year I played percussion at Simcoside Lifepointe Church in Orillia. What  makes this church music fun to play is the format, which Icall "rockin' worship", led by Matt Fox. The monitors are loud and they never feed back!

June 10 at Wasaga Beach United Church we held the "CD Release Party" for Tom Roe's album "Are You Ready". All of my experience with bands and radio gave me the creativity to produce this event and bless Tom with what is probably a milestone moment for him. We brought in sound and lights and backing musicians to fill it out.

A brilliant music medley arranged by Luke Langman was turned into a music video. Luke asked us to dress like hoe-downers as Terry Molinaro directed and produced "The Gospel Medley" video. Shot in Phelpston in a barn.
We did about 40 takes from different angles.

I am very fortunate to live along Lake Simcoe, with amazing more sunrises and beautiful summer nights. Here, Janice and I and Summer spend a quiet summer night together. One of my favourite things to do.

No question. This was the number one event for me in 2018. Visiting the venue of the last performance by Buddy Holly in Clear Lake Iowa and the location of where his plane crashed near Mason City on February 3, 1959. Below, the location of the crashsite.
It was a 2-day adventure I have waited decades to do. Upon returning home, I suddenly felt changed. Sort of like I now knew something special or secret that nobody else knows. Maybe that's an exaggeration but one thing I can tell you. I've been as close to Buddy Holly as anyone can be - in 2018.