Rex Weyler’s Music

Rex Weyler’s Music

While better known as an environmentalist and one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, some of Rex’s earliest memories involve singing. “Being with a group of people and making music together is one of the most intense forms of communication I’ve ever experienced.” In this morning’s interview we explore a little of Rex Weyler’s music.  Beginnings of Rex Weyler’s Music “I did not have any musical training. Our family did not have a piano. We didn’t have any guitars around. I just sang songs and made up the verses. Often when we were travelling in a car, I’d just sit there and sing Hank Williams songs to myself – making up the verses. It wasn’t until I was 19-years-old that a friend of mine taught me how to play the guitar and , in fact, gave me a guitar . A whole other world opened up for me, because then I could hear the notes … and the cord changes, the rhythm and so forth – and so I have been writing songs ever since.” When he was In his twenties, Rex travelled all over the world – from North America to Europe, the Middle East and India. He took his guitar everywhere.  “I spent a lot of time on my own: learning, playing, playing with other people … picking up guitar skills and basically learning how to play. I played in a couple of bands and wrote some songs in the 70s and 80s. Then I moved to Cortes in 1981 and continued to write songs here … Eventually I kept thinking, I should record these songs.”  Rex (on mic) with other...
Rick Bockner: Paths Of Beauty

Rick Bockner: Paths Of Beauty

Originally Published on the ECOreport His musical roots go back to the McCarthy era, when the United States was purging itself of anything that could be labelled communist. Pete Seeger gave him tips on how to play the guitar. He was a member of the psychedelic rock band Mad River, which released two albums in San Francisco before it disbanded in 1969. On Cortes Island, he is somewhat of a musical icon. In addition to being a songwriter, he is one of the key organizers of Lovefest and the face of CKTZ’s Lip Syncs for the past decade. In this morning’s program, I interview Rick Bockner about his paths of beauty. What Music Means To Rick Bockner “Music is keyed into me at a genetic level. My dad was a social worker and I grew up with the music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly … and lots of the folk movement prior to Dylan. I started busting into my dad’s guitar case at five, to the point where he had to buy me a little guitar to carry around. I’ve got a picture of me at age four with a plastic Maccaferri Ukulele standing on the street and I started to learn to play at age seven,” says Rick. Big Brother Is Watching Pete Seeger periodically visited his family. The folk singer was one of the performers blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, after he refused to testify about his political beliefs or associations. Rick’s father sponsored him at a number of events. “My dad did house concerts and things at the community centre...
The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

The Merry McKentys Return – On Tour

Originally Published on Cortes Currents According to the description on their website, the McKentys saga starts sounds on a steep snowy mountainside in the backwoods of British Columbia. Robert and Elizabeth had a small cabin, “many children of various sizes, a wood stove, a small battery-powered stereo system that sometimes worked, a mandolin, and several fiddles.” By the time they moved to Cortes, the Merry McKenty were on their way towards becoming a band. There were five people sitting around the table of their Vancouver home, the morning we skyped. It is easy to identify the rich timbre of Robert’s voice, or his daughter Ieva, but I find it more difficult to discern which of the boys –  Francis, Immanuel or Isa – is talking.  Coming Back To Cortes “We lived in a number of different places on Cortes because it is very difficult to find year round rentals, especially for a large family. Cortes is … a very unusual demographic, all told, and it is also a very unusual place to be in nature. Those two things stand out for all of us. … Whether we were living on the boat, or living in a campground in Smelt Bay, or when we lived in Smelt Bay for nearly ten years in a rental, every morning we could get out and we were in unusually pristine natural environment and go swimming, or go running … or go to the Co-op, especially when the Cafe is open.” – Robert  “We arrived in 2002 and didn’t find a summer rental and so moved off the island and then came back in 2003...
Coming To Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banon

Coming To Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banon

Originally Published on Cortes Currents Coming to Cortes & Quadra: Pato Banton & the Now Generation. In a special fundraiser for the new Cortes Garden Club, they will be performing at Mansons Hall on June 10 and Cortes Elementary Junior Secondary School June 11. Their last performance, before returning to the United States, is at the Heriot Bay Inn on June 12. A Local Connection: The band has a local connection. Pato’s wife, Antionette Rootsdawtah, visited Quadra and Cortes Islands during an international women’s conference.  I had hoped to interview Pato, his wife, or their local friend Lucretia, but this has not happened. As a result, the podcast below is almost all music – which actually fits with my original vision for this section. Notes Gleaned From The Net (Not mentioned in the podcast above) “Patrick Murray was born in London in 1961, and moved to Birmingham when he was 8 years old. Pato’s stepfather (Lester Daley) was a DJ fresh from Jamaica and the house in which they lived became the weekend night spot for the local community. Pato was the lookout for these illegal parties, working on the door from the age of 9. In his early teens Pato started to gain his musical foundation on his stepfathers’ sound system called V-Rocket, from helping set up the equipment at first to later selecting the music and trying his skills on the microphone.  Patrick would stay up all night entertaining the masses and was given the name Patoo by his stepfather. (The name derives from a wise night owl in Jamaica, that stays up all night, calling “patoo, patoo.”)”...
Review: These Are My Words

Review: These Are My Words

As an immigrant to Canada, I was shocked to learn about the Canadian legacy of residential schools. I had no idea growing up in the U.S. that such things were happened and had happened just north of the border. The indigenous residential schools operated in Canada starting in the 1870s with the last one not closing until1996. Children as young as four were taken—often against the will of their families or with coercive techniques such as threatening jail time—and it is estimated that over 150,000 Indian, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential school. I was reminded that it is a  legacy that continues to shade aspects of Canadian culture and identity for all Canadians this year when I became a citizen. At the ceremony, the judge encouraged all of us new Canadians to make the act of reconciliation personal and spoke about how she was doing that in her life.  Can We Understand? How does one take on such an enormous task of try to make better—or even understand—a system like residential school? It feels like an enormous task but one as an immigrant and as a mother that I want to take seriously. “Too many Canadians know little or nothing about the deep historical roots of these conflicts. This lack of knowledge has serious consequences for First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples and for Canada,” counsels the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in their Final Report.  History is important because it allows us as a people to look at the dark aspects of our history to make our way toward a lighter future. But where to begin? One of the ways...
From Port Nevill To Cape Scott

From Port Nevill To Cape Scott

Originally Published on Cortes Currents In this morning’s program we conclude Jeanette Taylor’s presentation 60 Terrific Historical Spots to Visit on Northern Vancouver Island by looking at sites between Port Neville & Cape Scott. “When I started going [to Port Neville] about ten years ago it was still operating as a post office. Even though there is not more than ten people in the whole region, they hung on for dear life to their post office. They still had the original cancellation stamp from the 1890s there. So I had a stamp collector on one of the tours that I do there who was .. just shaking with excitement about writing a letter, putting a stamp on it and having it cancelled in the Port Neville Post Office.” – Jeanette Taylor From Port Neville To Cape Scott On Cortes Currents about 9 AM Wed, May 22, repeats 5 PM May 28 How Hans Hansen lost his hand and rowed from Vancouver to Port NevilleThree generations of the Hansen family at Port Neville The early Danish settlers at Cape ScottAfter three generations, one of Sontula’s residents still has a Finish accentWhy did the Hudsons Bay Company come to Fort Rupert?The petroglyphs and village at Fort RupertWhat’s the story behind Village Island? Where is New Vancouver?What its like to resettle an abandoned village site.Early settlers and villagers at Kingcome InletMarianne Nicholson’s cliff painting and other exhibitionsJudith William’s Book: “Two Wolves at the Dawn of Time: Kingcome Inlet Pictographs, 1893-1998”The 3,751 year-old tree at Watson’’s LakeBilly Proctor’s Museum at Echo BayNikki van Schyndel’s book: Becoming Wild: Living the Primitive Life on a West Coast Island Billy Proctor “has charisma and young women love him. He was raised by his...