Motherlode


Band members               Related acts

- Steve Kennedy - vocals, sax, harmonica (1969-70)

- Ken Marco - vocals, guitar (1969-70)

- Doug Richardson - sax (replaced Steve Kennedy) (1970)

- Anthony Shinault - guitar (replaced Ken Marco) (1970)

- William 'Smitty' Smith - vocals, keyboards (1969-)

- Wayne 'Stoney' Stone - drums (1969-70)

- Perry Wilson - drums (replaced Wayne Stone) (1970)

 

 

 

- The Belltones (William Smith)

- Diane Brooks and the Soul Searchers (Steve Kennedy

  and William Smith)

- Dr. Music (Steve Kennedy, Ken Marco and Wayne

  Stone)

- Ken Marco (solo efforts)

- The Silhouettes (Steve Kennedy)

- Grant E. Smith and the Power

- Truck

- The Upset (Ken Marco)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  When I DIe

Company: Buddha

Catalog: BDS 5046

Year: 1969

Country/State: Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: still in shrink wrap (opened); original inner sleeve (note photo is of original Canadian pressing, this is a US issue - same picture accept for the label at the lower left corner 

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4401

Price: $10.00

Cost: $66.00

 

Geez, nothing like getting older ...  I picked this one up at a yard sale, scanned the song list and thought 'Who are these guy?'  Frankly I didn't recognize any of the names, let alone the songs.  Well when I eventually got around to playing the LP the first song hit me like a brick - 'I remember that one from the radio !!!'

So what do I know about this Canadian quartet?   Steve Kennedy, Ken Marco , William 'Smitty' Smith and Wayne 'Stoney' Stone met in the mid-1960s while members of the Ontario-based Grant Smith and the Power.  When namesake Smith decided to focus on a Las Vegas-oriented covers act, the four elected to step out on their own.

Relocating to London, Ontario the quartet began playing in local clubs, eventually attracting the attention of the Mort Ross' small Revolver label, which in 1969 released their debut single 'When I Die' b/w 'Hard Life' (Buddah catalog number BDS-131).  The single did little in Canada, but via a reciprocity deal between Revolver and Neil Bogart's Buddah Records, became an unexpected top-20 rock hit in the States.  That unexpected success led Revolver to finance a supporting album, which Buddah released in the States.

Co-produced by Doug Riley and Terry Brown, 1969's cleverly-titled "When I Die" is a weird mix of pop and BS&T-styled horn rock.  Three of the four members sing, but none are great, meaning much of the album features an odd 'group sing' sound.  The title track's probably the best thing here (excluding the irritating falsetto segments), but 'Oh! I See the Light', 'Hard Life' and 'What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)' are all pretty good rockers.  Elsewhere 'Memories of a Broken Promise' b/w 'What Does It Take' (Buddah catalog number BDS-144) provided the band with a follow-up top-40 hit.  A third single was released in Canada where 'Dear Old Daddy Bill' b/w 'Living Life' (Revolver catalog number 008) made the lower pop charts.

"When I Die" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) When I Die  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy) - 

2.) Oh! I See the Light  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy) - 

3.) You Ain't Looking In the Right Place Baby  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy - Ken Marco) -

4.) Help Me Find Peace of Mind   (Ken Marco) -

5.) Hard Life  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy) - 

6.) Child without Mother  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy - Ken Marco) -   

 

(side 2)

1.) Dear Old Daddy Bill  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy - Ken Marco) -

2.) Memories of a Broken Promise   (Diane Brooks) - 

3.) Soft Shell  (William 'Smitty' Smith - Steve Kennedy) - 

4.) Living Life   (Ken Marco) - 

5.) What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)   (Johnny Bristol - Harvey Fuqua - Bullock) - 

6.) Can't You Find Love  (Steve Kennedy) - 

 

Frustrated with their management company, the band calling it quits in early 1970.  That didn't stop Revolver and Buddah from releasing the posthumous (and appropriately titled) "Tapped Out".  Kennedy, Marco and Stone subsequently reappeared as members of Dr. Music.

 

Naturally that didn't spell the end of the band.  Singer/guitarist Smith recruited a new line up consisting of drummer Philip WIlson, sax player Doug Richardson and guitarist Anthony Shinault.  The revised line up managed to record an instantly obscure Canadian single 'I'm So Glad You're You (And Not Me)' b/w 'Whipoorwill' (Revolved catalog number 008), before collapsing.

 

Unwilling to let the project die, Revolver Records financed what was in essence Motherlode mark III.  With no original members involved, this incarnation of the group featured drummer Wally Cameron, keyboardist Newton Garwood, singer Breen Laboef, bassist Mike Levine, guitarist Keran Overs, Wayne St. John,  Gord Waazek.  Another single was release 'All That's Necessary' b/w 'The Chant' (Revolver catalog number 011).  It also vanished overnight.

 

The following year there was a fourth effort to resurrect the band; this time with members of the band Natural Gas.  This line up collapsed before they could even record, with the survivors subsequently reappearing as Truck.

 

 

 

Back to Bad Cat homepage/search







1