Whitewail

In 1971, shortly after the Majestics wound down, I got a call to join a band that was playing at the Avenue Road Club, a large stately free standing 3-storey house, #53 Avenue Rd. just North of Yorkville Ave.

By that time, Yorkville had become one of the hottest places for entertainment in Toronto as the Yonge Street strip wore on.

The lower level of the club, previously known as The “Devil’s Den”, had become “The In Crowd” when we were playing there. [In December 1965 I had played on the stage of the main floor with Shawne Jackson and The Majestics.]

The manager of the club, Murray Campbell, had a kind of secret “pad” on the top floor. After our gigs he would occasionally invite us up to his pad to party. This was amazing. Being a part-time DJ for the club, Murray had one of the greatest record collections.

The Whitewail

RUSS, ERIC, JACK, RON, JOHN

Band Lineup

  • Lead singer and drummer: Ron White
  • Bass: Eric Nyrhilla
  • Guitar: Jack Moll
  • Tenor saxophons: John Edmiston, Russ Strathdee

We did a lot of popular cover tunes of the day. One favourite group we tried to cover with just two tenor saxophones was Chicago. Here’s a very rough bootleg sample…

I’M YOUR VEHICLE

A couple more bad samples from that time:

SAY IT’S ALRIGHT
MIDNIGHT HOUR

Head Arrangements

All our tunes were learned by rote / memory; what we called “Head” arrangements. For the two horns, John Edmiston took care of “charting” what notes were to be played by each of us. Here’s John’s chart for the song, “WAR”.

In this Chart, each letter is a NOTE to be played on the sax – NOT a chord name.
Another “Chart” for the Edgar Winter tune, FRANKENSTEIN
We did not sound quite like this.

Whitewail Reunion

A few years ago, we all got together again at a little community hall in Lefroy, Ontario. We jammed and attempted to play a few of the old tunes once again… yikes!

A few photos from that reunion…

–oo–

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