Back in the day

Back in the day in Vancouver British Columbia I had the honor of working with a drummer from a small town in British Columbia. His name was Larry McGillivray and from 1967 up through 1982 he was a major influence and participant in my career. Larry was a fiery kind of guy in a good way. Easy going, quick to smile and laugh at a joke but also quick to call bs when he saw it. We had our first band together in 1967, it was called the Iron Light and was Composed of Larry on drums, Jimmy Vivior on bass and Dave Quinn on keys. We covered a lot of the classic rock of the day from the Mothers of Invention to the Dead, Stones,some r&b. We had a lot of fun together. The band eventually broke upas Larry went off to college, Jim and Dave got married. 
Whenever Larry came back to area we would get together to hang out or do some playing. After he graduated from UBC he stayed in Vancouver and we hooked up again. He played with a group called Brain Damage and an off shoot of that band Ridgerunner. Together, along with bassist David Rutter we worked Nigel Pickering who was a founding member of Spanky and Our Gang. Nigel was a hard task master who had been in the business forever. He drove us hard, practices were long and often intense session as he endeavor end to teach us the complex harmonies and arrangements of quite a few tune from the Spanky songbook. We worked out butts off. I wasn't much of a lead guitar player. Prior to moving to Vancouver, Nigel and his family had been in Holland where Jan Ackerman was Nigel's guitar player. Big shoes to try to fill. Eventually, that group ran its course and we all moved on to different projects.  
Sometime around then I made a solo trip to Alberta and when I came back I put together Cameron Molloy and Black Elk. Larry came on board as my drummer and we picked up a couple of brothers from Calgary, Dick and Brian StGoddardt on guitar and bass. We played a few dates around Van city and over on Vancouver Island then loaded Larry's Chevy Van with all our gear and went to Prince Rupert and back. Stopping in Burns Lake and Terrace along the way. By the time we got back the band was broken and I wanted to shut it down but my manager insisted we honor a signed contract so we headed to Nelson, against my better judgement where we imploded on stage. Lasted two nights in our hometown. Bad taste for sure. I went off to do solo work for the next several years and Larry went on to play with quite a few Vancouver groups most notable of which were Doug and the Slugs and Blue Northern. 
After the release of my first album on CBC Radio Canada International I decided to put together a band again and Larry agreed to come on board once more. We had quite a run for 4 years. Eventually egos,mainly my own started cloud the judgement of the group and one of our key members decided to quit. It broke up the band. It was not a particularly amicable split. When a band reaches the end of its run and by mutual agreement , you play one last gig, throw a party and everyone's goes their own way. When a band breaks up and there is a lot of animosity it's like a divorce, only you are divorcing quite a few people. In this case there was 5 members of the band, 2 members of the sound and light crew, the couple who made our tshirts, buttons etc and the wives and girlfriends of various member. Probably 12 or 14 folks. Not including agents.
it was very difficult. The toughest part was that Larry and I had been friend for almost 15 years and we eventually lost contact with each other. 
I moved out to Calgary because there was more work out there. My partner Valerie left our relationship to pursue her own career and eventually we went our separate ways on a personal level too. 
Sadly, Larry passed away last week. I never got a chance to sit down with him again, we went on with our lives. We reconnected on Facebook a few years ago but some things are best said face to face.  I didn't know that he had been concerned about me, I just found that out yesterday. We never got to say goodbye and that hurts. The moral I guess is if you need to say something to someone say it, don't let those opportunities slip away. Larry and I hadn't seen each other since 1987 or 88 but today I find myself missing him more than ever. God speed my friend I am ever greatful to have had the opportunity to share in your journey through this life. 





 

19 comments

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    Glad to see you still layin' 'em down Cameron. Do you still remember to "Tell them Willie boy is here"?

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  • Cameron Molloy , The Drivin' Wheel
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    Hi Rick! How are you doing? Yep , I am still out here from time to time layin em down. Haven't played Willie Boy in years although I have been thinking about introducing it to the folks I play with back here in Pennsylvania. Are you still in the business? I have thought a couple of times I wouldn't doing a nice kind of laid back gig for the Stampede but it has been so long that I don't even know who to contact anymore. How is the rest of the crew, Gordy and Al. It has been a very long time. Great to hear from you!

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    Cameron Molloy , The Drivin' Wheel
    Contact info?

    Contact info?

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