It was late 1979, and at the age of nine, I had developed a pretty good knowledge of all things Rock & Roll. When I wasn’t busy playing hockey like a normal Canadian kid, or taking Hammond Organ lessons (unlike any other normal Canadian kid), my free time was spent flipping through stacks of my parents’ classic rock albums, reading Circus Magazine, Hit Parade, Rolling Stone, and scouring the dusty shelves of the local library looking for anything on The Beatles, Stones, or The Who.
I was well versed in all things ranging from AC DC to ZZ Top, but it was an honest mistake on my mother’s part that altered the course of my musical journey going forward. Given that my younger brother Rob and I hadn’t even cracked the double digits yet, and were too young to take public transit on our own, we had become accustomed to sending our very indulgent matriarch to A&A Records to purchase albums, generally paid for with our allowance money or ten-dollar birthday cheques from grannies, aunties, and godparents.
The mission was simple; my mother was to pick up the album Dream Police, by Cheap trick, the band that the Japanese media had dubbed “The American Beatles”. But what she came home with that afternoon, was something entirely different: Regatta de Blanc, a new album by Britain’s soon to be kings of the “new wave”, The Police. While it wasn’t the album we had been waiting for, something about the three cocky blokes on its sleeve intrigued us. So we tore through the cellophane and had it spinning on our Grundig turntable faster than you can say, “We Sold Our Souls for Rock & Roll”.
This album, was something completely different than we had heard before, track after track it was a delicious mix of rock, punk, and reggae. Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon, Bring on the Night… it was exciting, dangerous, and kicked the doors open to the 80s and the figurative “Master’s Degree” in “New Music” that I was about to embark on. These were the kinds of surprises that kept us on our toes and eager to discover the next big band or shift in the music landscape. A passion that still has me in its hooks to this day.
While I never did pursue mastery of the Hammond organ and assume my rightful place as the second coming of Ray Manzarek, my love for music and all things entertainment pushed me into a career in broadcasting. This year I celebrate my 21st anniversary working in that discipline
When I’m not in the edit suite cutting TV promos or doing the voice for a radio spot, I still spend much of my time reading rock bios, checking out new artists at local bars, or doing the summer concert circuit with friends, family, and my fiancée Belinda. Music has truly enriched my life. On the worst of nights, a good song can bring you to your knees, but on the best of days, a great song “can save your life”, as they say. Music, at least for me, is that profound and powerful.
Not long ago, as I was lying in bed reading one of business guru Tim Ferriss’ best-selling books for entrepreneurs, I was suddenly inspired to make the hastiest yet most instinctive decision of my life. I was going to celebrate my love for Rock & Roll by launching an online Rock T-shirt and merchandise store… ACME Rock Shop. By noon the next day, I had purchased “acmerockshop.com”, all the related social media handles, and a designer had been dispatched to create our company logo.
On Tuesday, April 11th, 2017, my fiancée and partner Belinda and I launched ACME Rock Shop. Who knows where this new passion project will take us? It could end up being a fun hobby that helps pay for a few concert tickets here and there. Or, it could end up allowing us to spend our winters scuba diving in Costa Rica? Who knows? It’s early days and we have a pretty good learning curve ahead of us. I’ll continue to write about our journey and the bands that have inspired our story on the ACME Rock Shop blog page. We hope that you will pop by to see what we are up to, and pick up one of the many rock tees we have curated for your pleasure. Until then, Rock on!