The concept behind this CD is the celebration of consistency. The
mere fact that Kid Bastien and the Happy Pals play an
unadulterated form of Dixieland jazz, the "old style", would be
cause in itself for making this CD. The fact that they have been
playing at Grossman's Tavern every Saturday afternoon since 1968
is in my mind a miracle.
Consider the changes that have occurred since 1968 -
1968 - Trudeau comes to Power in Canada
1969 - Woodstock Music Fair
1970 - The Chicago Seven and anti-Vietnam War protests
1974 - President Nixon resigns due to Watergate scandal
1977 - Elvis Presley dies
1980 - Ronald Reagan begins the Reagen years
1984 - Brian Mulroney begins the Muldooney years
1985 - Gorblachev assumes power in USSR
1988 - The Berlin Wall comes down
1991 - The Gulf War
1993 - Kid Bastien and his Happy Pals mark their 25th year at Grossman's Tavern
Many changes have taken place in these past 25 years. From the
free love anything goes 60's and 70's to the ultraconservatism
of today. Yet the Happy Pals keep us happy.
Grossman's Tavern in Toronto, Canada is somewhat of a musical
landmark in itself. Many great musicians have started at Grossman's:
Rough Trade, Downchild's Blues Band, Alannah Myles, Jeff Healey, the list goes on. There has always been a stable of regular blues and rock players in the evenings: Mike McDonald, Morgan Davis, Danny Marks, Neil Chapman, Robert Priest, Rebecca Jenkins, Michael Pickett, B.B. Gabor, and many many more.
I remember great parties at Grossman's. The many poets, writers, painters, gangsters, hasbeens and wannabees that made up the regulars that drank and smoked and just about everything else you could imagine in that strange but magical place. I remember Harry not allowing my friends to buy me another drink and as he walked away Ozzie was trying to sell me a double. But most of all I remember and still partake in the Saturday afternoons. With the sun light streaking through the window off Spadina, Kid Bastien and the Happy Pals playing away in that indescribable Grossman's decor; you could imagine yourself in the New Orleans of the 80's - the 1880's that is. With Noonie doing her umbrella dance and all the audience following behind; the band joining the march as it makes its way through the tavern; the sheer sanity of it all becomes so clear. And that is what Grossman's Saturday afternoon's meant most to me. What ever was happening in the world for all these past years, it was all made easier with the dose of reality that occurs and has been consistently occurring at the corner of Cecil and Spadina these past 25 years.
Consistency. Not always a good thing, but in this case reality has made an exception. Enjoy.
released December 1, 1993
Kid Bastien’s Happy Pals are:
Kid Bastien: Trumpet
Patrick Tevlin: Tenor Sax
Roberta Tevlin: Trombone
Roberta Hunt: Piano
Len Samuels: Banjo
Jim Jones: Bass
Chuck “Sammy” Clarke: Drums
Cover Photo: M.Silander
Band Photo: David Goldberg
Recorded By: Mike Mcdonald
Produced By: David Goldberg
Digitally Remastered By: Patrick Tevlin
Special thanks to the staff and owners of Grossman’s Tavern and all the Saturday regulars.