It’s been decades since I’ve smoked a bowl of hashish and none finer than sharing with the Bronze Liberace - Little Richard at Alumni Hall January 1971 – Queen’s University.
I was keyboardist/vocalist with Toronto outfit ‘Homestead,’ an act that caught the attention of Guess Who producer Jack Richardson in 1970. Jack understood my position with the American military and opposition to the Vietnam War and did all he could to rectify. I just made the task near impossible.
Homestead concerts were testimonials against war and degradation of the environment. I wore more Canadian flags than springtime on Parliament Hill. Jack just rolled with the situation.
We were invited to open for Little Richard – 7:30 set. The stage was outfitted in these humongous Traynor speakers. Back then they were cheap and sounded like stampeding caribou when fully exercised.
Now we are downstairs in dressing area and Little Richard is yet to arrive due to a bomb scare over Cleveland. Richard refuses a chartered flight to London, Ontario fearing plane would crash. He arrives at 11PM half hour after second show was to start by ground.
Richard collects half pay and hits stage and rocks the room. I feel like a miniature entertainer. This was big bold history and I’m a witness. The sound was horrible but who gave a damn. His foot hit the floor like a sledgehammer and he sang in ungodly tones – ‘Lucille, Blueberry Hill, Be Bop A Lula, Good Golly Miss Molly, Satisfaction, Midnight Special, Tutti Frutti’ and on. I’d rocked with Chuck Berry in 1968 but it in no way compared.