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Off The Record





March 30, 2023


On this date, March 29, 1972, RCA Records had set up their recording truck outside New York's famed Carnegie Hall to record Winnipeg's Guess Who live for a subsequent album release. The band had never played Carnegie Hall before (nor would they play it later) so this was a landmark gig to be preserved on record. Producer Jack Richardson and engineer Brian Christian came down from Toronto to handle the one-off live performance. With a reputation for a kick ass live show, the time seemed ripe for a live album. The band was midway through a tour in support of their recently released Rockin’ album, a stripped down, back to basics rock ‘n’ roll record after the more experimental So Long, Bannatyne. But three dates into the tour, following a concert in Corpus Christi, Texas on March 17 without informing the other band members, guitarist Greg Leskiw jumped ship and returned to Winnipeg citing the rigors of the road. Rather than cancel the remainder of the tour, which included the much-anticipated Carnegie Hall appearance, the four members called close friend Donnie McDougall back in Winnipeg. A former member of the respected Vancouver group Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck currently toiling in Winnipeg beer parlors with The Vicious Circle, Donnie flew out to meet the Guess Who in Phoenix, Arizona the next day and promptly learned their entire set literally overnight. He made his debut the following evening. The band never missed a beat and proceeded en route to Carnegie Hall.

However, the night before that coveted engagement, lead singer Burton Cummings, regarded by critics, fans and peers as one of the finest voices in rock ‘n’ roll, blew those golden tonsils partying a little too hearty. “The next day he couldn’t even talk,” recalled lead guitarist Kurt Winter, in an interview before his untimely death in 1997. “Everybody else wanted him to go onstage but I told him, ‘Don’t blow your voice and your whole career on one gig. It’s not worth it. We’ll get another crack at Carnegie Hall,’ though we never did.” Adds producer Jack Richardson, “We had everything set up that day to record. It was expensive to cancel.” Burton remains contrite. “I have never forgiven myself for robbing all five of us of that wonderful niche in an otherwise lousy business.”

The group now set its sights on recording a two-night stand, May 22 and 23, in Seattle at the end of the tour. “Seattle was always good to us,” remembers road manager Jim Martin. “We had played that market before, we had done three days at the Seattle Pop Festival a few years earlier, and the Paramount was such a neat venue. We played there earlier in the tour and had a lot of friends in that area. They loved the Guess Who.” With the recent mid-tour personnel shuffle, the extension allowed the five the opportunity to gel as a unit and rehearse three new songs in preparation for the Seattle engagement.

The first night of the Seattle gig proved to be the only usable set. Released in August 1972, Live At The Paramount notched an impressive #39 in Billboard bettering their last two efforts and yielding a minor hit single with “Runnin’ Back To Saskatoon.” Rolling Stone magazine declared, “Live At The Paramount proves once and for all that this band can rock… it has to rank as one of the most fun to listen to. Avid fans of the group will play this more than any other Guess Who album they own.” Emerging from a pivotal point in the group’s career, Live At The Paramount has stood the test of time to become one of the best-loved of the entire Guess Who catalog. “I think that album came at a crossroads for the band,” offers Jack Richardson. “They were going through some emotional changes and all the personnel shuffles were beginning.”


Editors Note - JOHN EINARSON is a musicologist who makes his home in Winnipeg. He has written a number of critical books on the music from his hometown plus acclaimed books on musical genres occuring outside of Winniepg.

Read more here -



On this date, March 29, 1969, American jazz-rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears' second album, the first without founder Al Kooper and including new singer, Canadian David Clayton Thomas, hit #1 on Billboard's album chart. The album yielded several hit singles including "You Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die". The album received a Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1970 and has been certified quadruple platinum by the RIAA with sales of more than four million units in the U.S. In Canada, it enjoyed four runs and altogether eight weeks at No. 1 on the RPM national album chart. James William Guercio (who was simultaneously working with new band Chicago) produced the album. The song selection was much more pop-oriented than the first album (Child Is Father To The Man), with more compositions from outside the band. It was recorded at the then state of the art CBS Studios in New York City. The studio had just taken delivery of one of the first of the model MM-1000 16-track tape recorders, built by Ampex. The new technology allowed for far more flexibility in overdubbing and mixing than the 4 and 8-track tape recorders which were standard in 1968. The album was among the very first 16-track recordings released to the public.

After Al Kooper left the group, drummer Bobby Colomby and guitarist Steve Katz began to look for a new vocalist, considering Alex Chilton (after the breakup of soul-rock group the Box Tops but before the formation of Big Star), Stephen Stills, and Laura Nyro. Ultimately, they decided upon David Clayton-Thomas, a Canadian singer, born in Surrey, England. Reportedly, folk singer Judy Collins had seen Clayton-Thomas perform at a New York City club and was so taken and moved by his performance that she told Colomby and Katz about him. After an audition, Thomas was offered the gig.

The commercial and critical acclaim enjoyed by the band in 1969 culminated in an appearance at Woodstock, in which the band enjoyed headliner status. The festival's film crew even caught the band's opening number, "More and More", as they took to the stage. But the band's manager at the time, Bennett Glotzer, ordered the movie crew to turn off the cameras and leave the stage since the band had not agreed nor been paid to be filmed.

The album helped pave the way for the integration of jazz into pop and rock and set the stage for other horn bands like Chicago and Chase. The album also included classical music elements ("Variations On A Theme By Eric Satie") and blues ("Blues Part II").








Rock N Roll Never Forgets

SRV/CFOX's Liz McKinney/Yours Truly

David Chesney

JJ's 365

Jim Johnston

President, CEO, JJ Media/Management, Media Talent/Content Coaching, Executive Coach
Company NameJJIMS Inc. JJ international Media and Management Solutions
Dates EmployedJul 2013 – Present Employment Duration5 yrs 1 mo
JJIMS was launched July 1st of 2013 and has several high profile customers at home and abroad.

Jim JJ Johnston, The President, CEO and head Talent Coach, is a deeply experienced and successful Media/Management leader. JJ has coached/mentored many of Canada's Top Broadcasters and Executives and now coaches in many different fields.


Welcome to JJ-365 Salutes. Over 2018, we pay tribute daily to one of “The Good Ones”.

Today we are shining the light on "The Ches", Dave Chesney.
This fellow is a master story teller. I remember him elucidating me with the legend of Jerry Lee Lewis playing at 86 Street and how Jerry was docile for most of the show but then out of nowhere got up, kicked the stool away, pounded the piano for hours and brought the house down. The way Ches says it really makes you want to have been there.
Dave was one of the first guys I met when I arrived at Richards and Nelson at the helm of CFOX. Dave will always have an affinity for the FOX and was of the fabric of the station. He continues today to be a part of the glue that keeps the west coast music and radio scene together. He welcomed me with open arms with his genuine and friendly smile and I still count on him as one of the most positive dudes I know.

He says it all began at a young age for him. He comes by his love of the media and music industry honestly. His father, “Uncle Joe” Chesney held down a number of positions at The Top Dog CKNW radio, that was until the station got wind he was looking to apply for a radio station license in Surrey. After being shown the door “Uncle Joe” ended up pioneering country music on the west coast with an afternoon drive show on talk show giant CJOR. Along with Vic Waters his father played both kinds of music, country & western. In around 1961 Joe successfully landed a license to operate a radio station in Langley British Columbia. CJJC The Voice of the Valley became British Columbia’s first 24-hour country music radio station.

Dave was afforded the golden opportunity growing up to be around radio stations and broadcasters: “CJJC was a real life WKRP. Being the boss’s kid and working in a creative environment, I had two choices. 1. Just be the boss’s kid or …2. Ploughing my row deeper and truer than everyone else. I chose #2 and as result earned the respect of my fellow workers and later my staff.”

But alas as much as he loved the gig, he loved rock n roll more. One of the promotion men who used to make the long journey out to the Valley to service CJJC with country product was Frank Gigliotti. Frank inadvertently informed Dave that CKLG-FM was about to go through a metamorphosis under the leadership of The Real Roy Hennessy, former morning boss jock on CKLG. Dave jumped ship and became the music and promotion director for FM/99. Dave says his stay at CFOX was short and sweet: “One of my main duties as a music director was to deal with record company reps vying to get their music on the radio. CBS Records in the late 70’s was looking to expand their market share by adding additional reps in the major markets across Canada. I applied for a position of the Epic/Portrait/Associated labels position in the Vancouver branch and was successful in attaining the position."

The next 14 years was a blur he says: “The 60’s certainly was a heady time in the music business, but let me tell you this, the 80’s was the period of excess. With the introduction of MTV and MUCHMUSIC the sales of pre-recorded music exploded. The CBS Records wrecking crew in my humble opinion owned the streets. First under the leadership of Brad Weir and then 365’er Kim Zayac. I attained ‘record heights.’ I cannot thank or say enough about those two gentlemen. I proudly still call them friends. I went on to win the Top Promotion Man award 6 consecutive years. Then it all came to a screeching halt.”

SONY MUSIC bought CBS records and everything changed. Dave distinctly remembers sitting in his office one day and realized they had 6 or 7 of the Top 10 records and he didn’t want to listen to any of them. He thought to himself, well I have a pretty extensive radio background and now I fully understand how a major label works. He left CBS records and threw in with Larry Wanagas who at the time had rung the proverbial brass bell with K.D. Lang from a little office on the edge of Vancouver’s Granville island. Ches joined BUMSTEAD PRODUCTIONS as the national marketing director and eventually that job morphed into a co-management with Wanagas for The Blue Shadows (Billy Cowsill). By this time Larry relocated to New York but Dave stayed on the westcoast to be there for his aging mom, a decision he will never regret. She was always there for him especially at a lot of crucial times in his life.

When The Blue Shadows disbanded Dave ended up producing music videos, did contract work for a number of artists and quite synchronistically ended up as an instructor at a private music college called the Pacific Audio Visual Institute. He enjoyed his years working with young students who were looking for a career in the music and radio industry and called that time very rewarding.

Around this time Dave and his late and great wife Laurie (total sweetie) moved back to his roots, White Rock BC. Upon his return he quickly realized: “My White Rock was going through some major changes, many of which I did not agree with. My father at a young age pounded into my head 'Dave put up or shut up! If you aren’t prepared to roll up your sleeves and attack a problem we really don’t want to hear what you have to say.”
Well when it came to White Rock he couldn’t shut up (Interesting the way he says “White Rock”. He makes sure that the “T” is pronounced and he makes sure it is said as two distinct words).

He says two things happened: “I knew from my media experience that technology had an immensely negative impact on the music industry and I knew what was happening with newspapers. They were next. Yet I also knew people had a voracious appetite for LOCAL news. Now as everyone reading this knows in order to start a radio or television station you need millions of dollars and government approval. Yet on-line newspapers did not need any government approval. Before I knew it I had started Canada’s First independent online newspaper, The White Rock Sun That was thirteen years ago this past June.

The second thing that I did was roll up my sleeves and run for White Rock city council. It took a couple shots but four years ago I secured a seat on White Rock council. We are coming to the end of our mandate and I have every intention of seeking another term. In addition to holding a seat on council and publishing the White Rock Sun I handle media for local independent promoter Rob Warwick/Rockitboy Entertainment.”

As he looks back he describes it as one hell of a ride: “I enjoy reading your posts Jim. Many I know, some I don’t know personally but usually know by name. I don’t know if lasting friendships are as prevelant as the radio and music industry have afforded so many of us. I can go years between seeing or talking to so many colleagues and when we do meet, it seems like yesterday. I sometimes think people who went to war together probably have the same kind of a bond.

Highlights of my career could fill a book, which no one wants to read (wrong Ches, we all want to know). Well at least not anyone that would be willing to pay for it (wrong again). With that said though, milestones include presenting Stevie Ray Vaughn with his first gold record, working with country greats like George Jones (the first time I was a stammering fool), being instrumental in CBS RECORDS signing Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts and working with THE CLASH on their first North American show at the Commodore Ballroom. Damn I thought I saw the future of rock n roll that night.”
I just love this guy and have been wanting to write about him for some time. He was one of the first guys on my 365 list. During the tumultuous rock and roll times, Dave was always a gent. He handled any situation being, well, “The Ches.” He is a humble and graceful cat who has had a big stake in the shaping of the west coast media and music scene. Not sure you will find a much better person and pal than Dave. Salt of the earth. Please do write that book Ches, you have so many stories to tell and I know hundreds who will line up to buy it and read it. Atta be brother!

Thank you, Dave Chesney, for being on of the “The Good Ones”. Feel free to like and share Dave’s positive story.

Who is the subject of tomorrow’s JJ-365 Salutes? As they say, stay tuned.

Jim JJ Johnston is the CEO, President and Chief Talent Coach for JJIMS INC. and works with talent in many different industries worldwide




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