On Apr 23 of this year Parachute Club drummer Billy Bryans lost his fight with cancer. 11 days after I won mine. Needless to say the news hit me hard. Billy and I were fixtures on the Queen St West music scene of the early 1980s and had collaborated on many music projects. Most notably the art-rock band "The Government" and "V", Billy and Lorraine Segato's project band that you, today, know as "Parachute Club" ("Rise up, Rise up")
As part of our collaboration I documented a lot of band performances along Queen St West during the early 1980s. With Billy's death I wanted to draw from that material and do a tribute. But going through my archives I didn't really find anything that suited. My recording of V's "Alien-Nation" is clearly a precursor to the Parachute Club version, but I cannot bring anything new to it.
I finally chose "Joan Crawford", a The Government recording from Nov 1981. It's a great band line-up, with Andrew James Paterson and the late Robert Stewart fronting the band they co-founded, Billy Bryans doing his awesome percussion thing that later artists such as Manu Katché would take to new heights, and, of all people, Jeremiah Chechik, director of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, on scratch guitar. Those were interesting times my friend.
Here is my mashup, with The Government song "Joan Crawford" illustrated with public domain and fair use images of the ultimate Hollywood glamour queen, Joan Crawford.
Bye' Billy. We hardly knew ye.
Joan Crawford Live at the Cabana Room Nov 14, 1981