25 , 2010
Victoria Day Fireworks
A few days ago, folks from the Town of Dundas called
me to ask The Relics to perform during the pre-fireworks
festivities on Victoria Day. I had in fact been waiting
for that phone call for about 25 years: when I was a
kid, they used to have live music in the band shell
at the Dundas Driving Park just prior to the fireworks.
Later, as a teen, I thought that it would be the ultimate
gig, but they stopped having bands a long time ago -
up until now.
So we set up our sound and lights in the band shell
(actually, it's the skating rink area where the Stan
Rogers Bandshell used to be). The opening acts consisted
of three Avalon Music Academy rock band classes. We
(The Relics) played prior to, and immediately following,
the fireworks. It was a great show, worth waiting 25
years for actually. They counted over 10,000 people
in the park that night.
They've already hired us for next year. This time, however,
they want the band to play DURING the fireworks, and
to synchronize the two. Not having done that before,
I'm pretty excited about the whole thing. I figure if
the TSO and VSO (Toronto and Vancouver symphony orchestras)
can do it (The Symphony of Fire), I'm sure our 4-piece
rock band can figure it out.
March 1, 2010
It looks like my contribution to the show with the NAC
Orchestra has been put off until next year or so. I
was to be arranging one song to perform with the orchestra
(in Ottawa) in May, but now we've been talking about
doing a whole show next season instead. I've got some
great ideas for it, and I'll share them here as soon
as the decision-makers get back to me. They're a good
bunch of folks at the NAC Orchestra, and anyone who
has worked with Boris Brott (who will conduct this show)
knows that he is great to work with as well.
December 17 , 2009
I have been commissioned to arrange music for the NAC
Orchestra for a concert in May 2010; Boris will be conducting.
The music itself hasn't been determined yet. I'll have
news by mid-January.
November 8, 2009
We are doing some more shows under the moniker, "Jam
Sandwich: Classic Rock for Kids (and their parents)".
The band is really an incarnation of The
Relics, with some modifications to accomodate the
fact that our audiences are under age 12. The shows
will all benefit The United Way.
December 12, 2008
It's been a busy year for gigs. I started doing shows
with Christopher Clause and the all-star group of Hamilton
musicians who put on Beatles tribute shows to raise
money for James Street Baptist Church's charity, "Out
of the Cold".
August 10, 2007
Dundas Cactus Festival – Avalon Kids’
Cactus Festival is happening soon (Aug 17-19). As usual,
a stage has been allotted for Avalon Music Academy students.
Thankfully, we have been given the Kids’ Stage,
a.k.a. the Local Performers’ Stage, a.k.a. the
Indie Act Stage – in this case situated on King
Street between Main and Ogilvie. It’s good for
our students to play on the Kids’ Stage - because
they are kids. Occasionally, the Cactus Fest booking
agent gives us the Main Stage; this is normally an honour
if you are a well-rehearsed professional or semi-professional
act. But our show really is wonderful to watch if you
are related – by blood – to at least one
of the performers. Indeed, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little
Star” is not exactly Main Stage material. See
you on Stage 1 on Sunday at 1pm.
Dundas Cactus Festival – Steve Parton Band
In the 1980’s
I performed at the Dundas Cactus Festival every year
with my band, “Eternal Red” (well, the name
sounded profound at the time). There was a great big
stage set up in the East End of King Street, right in
front of the Thirsty Cactus (which was, at that time,
Beachball’s Pizzeria, and then Rockwall’s
Ice Cream). But something must have happened while I
was away at college, because there hasn’t been
a music stage (or much of anything else) allotted to
the East End for the past eight years or so.
Mike Classen of Records on Wheels and I have arranged
for our own East-End stage, complete with a sound system
– and musicians. It will be running on Friday
from 6pm until 11pm, and on Saturday from noon until
My band (the
Steve Parton Band) will be performing on Saturday night
at 5:30pm, on the East End stage. I will be joined by
whichever other band members I can convince to come
out and play. Of course, I’ll probably call them
at the last moment – “say, what are you
doing tomorrow?”. To that end, if there are any
Steve Parton Band members reading this, can you come
to the East-end stage this Saturday a little before
To those reading this who are not in my band, don't
worry: enough musicians rally around my songs each time
I play, so a good show is assured again this year.