Wayne Brown

Wayne Brown - In November 1978 we were four of five sitting in the cheapest rehearsal hall at the Brentcliff rehearsal studios - the year before, we resided in the penthouse - now we were lowly nobodies and we we were just told our singer decided not to join this version of the band. Shit So Wayne Catania, Rick Mizzoni Wayne Brown and myself decided we would go out as a four-piece band. We would have to readjust our songlist to accomodate my meagre range and we got to it. In December, we came across an agent who could book us through our previous management because we had established some goodwill. So, on December 18, 1978, we got booked in the St Regis Hotel in North Bay. The idea was to prove ourselves as a good enough band that we would be back in Toronto within a couple weeks, maybe even for New Years. We had to skimp though. Our PA was home-made. The bass bins were one of Wayne Brown's old Bass Guitar Cabinets sawed in half and Plywood nailed on the bottom. Rick Mizzoni had a van the was around 1969 Chevy that had rally wheels and was not suitable for highway. The night we left for our first gig we we dug up some replacement wheels for Rick's van and found we couldn't use the lugs so we went out on the street and took lugs off cars - no more than one per car, we didn't want to kill anybody. While we were out there we rememebered that we nearly got fired at one of our first gigs because we didn't have lights. Being close to Christmas, everyone had Christmas lights out so we took some - again not from the same house - we didn't want to wreck anyones Christmas, we just needed lights. And off we went. And we played the St Regis. The bar owners name was Ruth and she gave us a chance - but wasn't impressed with our setup or our performance - we got the call from the agent that our next gig would not be closer to Toronto - it would be in Smooth Rock Falls. One gig turned into many and we did our stuff right across the country. Many of the gigs I was called into the bar owners office or sometimes he just yelled it from the bar - what the fuck!!?? referring to our sad state of equipment and each time I'd say just give us 1 set - if we suck, fire us. We never got fired. We grew up a lot on those trips. One which we left in April 1979 and got back in October the same year - from coast to coast and in that time, some of us grew closer and some of us drifted apart. But a main reason we pulled it off was a dynamic and powerful Rythm section which Wayne Brown was a half of. We would sometimes muse that he was the most naturally talented of any of us - women loved him, bands would try to steal him and he played every night with a cool composure that eluded guys like me - Our accomplishments may have been modest but our experiences together were awesome and I am saddened to lose any one of those people with whom I shared so much. R.I.P Wayne Brown - I am so glad I got to play with you and that I got to see you before you passed.

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