I’m With The Band!

I walked into the Newmarket bar, weaving and squeezing through already buzzed and boozed patrons, making my way to a space large enough to stand in and survey places from which to photograph the band. “Ladies and Gentlemen…” the singer announced to the raucous crowd, “…we have a special guest arriving in the bar – Mr. Mike Campbell! Mr. Mike Campbell is here!”

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I raised my hand into the air, waved it in a few different directions and acknowledged the 150 sets of eyes now (slightly) focused on me. And then, just as quickly as the collective “Who is this guy?” was uttered, a collective air of indifference followed.

And the band began to play again.

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The four guys crowded into the corner of the bar – Peter Gorman, Jeff Osborne, John Tustian and Paul Osborne – had the crowd alive all night. Between cover songs and requests, The Gathering as they’re called, throw in a few of their original creations.

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The four recently traveled to The Corktown in Hamilton and competed in the Y108’s Spring Music Fest Last Band Standing finals.

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Some of their upcoming gigs include the Georgian Queen Boat Cruise from Penetanguishene and a Lobsterfest gig in mid-June in Newmarket.

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The band can be found online at gatheringband.ca or you can Like them on Facebook at facebook.com/thegatheringband

But don’t expect me to get you in for free just because I’m with the band!

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The Voice

My wife and I had been living in town for about three years when we had our first child. I used to love taking her in the stroller through the neighbourhood – my daughter that is – and I still love walking around with her looking at the old houses and saying hello to all the people we’ve met through the years.

One afternoon when my daughter was a few months old I took her for a walk down to the grocery store and while we were returning home, we passed by one of the nice, big century homes along a beautiful tree-lined street. Leaning up against the porch of the home was a door – white with 15 clear panes of glass – that looked like it could fit the doorless frame on the first floor leading into the room I used for my desk and computer. It was for sale.

I went home, measured the frame dimensions, and returned to the house up the street with my tape measure. Bingo! Perfect fit – except it was too tall. But not a problem, I thought; I could take a few inches off the solid wood bottom. Just then a gentleman came out of the house and we began talking. We talked about the usual things strangers discuss after first meeting: where one lives; wives; kids; dogs….

And as I talked with him about these everyday things I had this question rolling and rolling through my head – “Why do I think I’ve met this guy before?”

“So how old is your house?” he asked. “Where have I met this guy before?” I asked myself while answering. “How long have you lived in town?” he queried. “Where have I met this guy before?” I asked myself while answering. “What do you do?” he questioned. “Where have I met this guy before?” I asked myself while answering. “Where do you work?” he asked. “Mississauga”, I answered, my hippocampus firing on all cylinders.

“How about you. Where do you work?” I asked back. “Hamilton”, he returned.
Hamilton… Hamilton…. I could feel the synapses connecting neuron to neuron – memory to memory. Hamilton: I was born in Hamilton – I went to high school and university in Hamilton – I once lived in downtown Hamilton – The Hamilton Tiger-Cats – when I drive to work just after noon every day I listen to the Hamilton radio station – ZAP! Connection complete! “You’re Jeff!” I blurted out, taking a step back and pointing at him as if my finger could emphasize my epiphany. “Jeff Chalmers!”
It was a strange realization. The Voice I listened to on the radio, coming out of this stranger’s head.

A radio guy with 35 years experience with Q107, AM640, and JACK-FM in Toronto, Y-105 in Ottawa and Y95/Y108 in Hamilton, Jeff has produced and written content as well as announced on-air. You can still hear him with traffic reports and such distributed to various stations in the GTA.
But he’s also a great photographer, which is, I think, the coolest thing about him. His love of sailing and photography mesh perfectly for him as a contributor to Canadian Yachting magazine, Sailing World Magazine and the Port Credit Yacht Club. His music photography is awesome as well. Station photographer in Toronto and Hamilton, he’s snapped more than a few awesome pics of rockers and rollers.
And his blog is being followed by many, many photography/music fans because of his little twist to his posts: one of his photos is posted with a clue to a song title – it’s a neat little trivia test that looks easier than it is, especially without the help of Google.

Check out his site at JeffChalmersPhotography.com

I took my son Dee down to Port Credit last weekend and met up with Jeff at the docks for the Port Credit Spring Open House & Boat Show and took a few shots of Jeff working for one of his clients. He even used one of my shots of him, below, on his yachtshots.ca section of his site. Now THAT is cool.

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