1994 to 1998 - Back For More

After the release of "It's a Business Doing Pleasure" and the subsequent fall-out, I became disillusioned with the music business to say the least. However we were still playing, using a variety of guitar players, usually whoever was available to do the gig.

I had established a successful career as a voice teacher and for the first time since 1975 I actually had some money in my pocket. Lynda and I had bought a house in London, Ontario and sold her flat in Shephard's Bush in London, England. It was a tough go at first, we didn't have a lot of money and my car was always breaking down and leaving me stranded, but at least I had a car. For the first time in a long time I was happy.

I had started going back to my old voice teacher Ed Johnson, only this time around he was teaching me classical music. I really enjoyed singing classical music, and because of my singing at church, there was no shortage of work singing at weddings in the London area. The irony of the situation was that I was being paid more money to sing classical music than rock! I was also beginning to realize what a great gift Ed had given me when he trained me to be a teacher. Having learned the Bel Canto technique of singing, I would never be poor because there are very few people that still know how to teach the skill properly and it is the ONLY proper way to sing.

The band, as I mentioned above, used a variety of guitar players. When the Business Doing Pleasure CD first came out we had Greg Fraser from Brighton Rock and Brent Doerner on guitar. Brent only did a couple of gigs with us and then he was gone. Fraser and I never really got along and finally it came to a head at the Back Alley in Calgary, Alberta.

We had played the club previously and had done over 1,000 people each time. This time however it was one of the coldest days in Alberta history. The radio and TV were telling people to go outdoors only if it was really necessary. When we hit the stage that night there were about 40 people in snowmobile suits sitting out front with their breath rising in the air. It was only the second date on the tour and Frase and I were already insulting each other. Fraser used to shave his chest (no kidding) and during one of his guitar solos I noticed he had missed one hair in the middle of his chest so of course I had to pull it out. Fraser took umbrage with this and proceeded to kick me as hard as he could in the shin. I retaliated by grabbing him on the inside of his knee and flipping him backwards where he landed half on the drum set, cutting his arm and landing on his ass. I saw a look in his eyes like he was thinking to himself whether or not he should kick the shit out of me. Luckily common sense prevailed and he let it go. It was a good thing for me because he probably could have beaten the crap out of me. People in the audience were looking at us trying to figure out if what we were doing was part of the show!

Afterwards in the dressing room there was silence until Daryl finally spoke up and said, "That's the most unprofessional thing I've ever seen happen on stage. If it ever happens again, I'm out of here!" whereupon a verbal argument erupted between Fraser and myself. The next day Greg put in his notice and I haven't seen him since that tour.

Fraser was replaced by Gary Borden, an excellent guitar player and singer. Best of all, he was easy to work with. Gary also played with Ray Lyell. Along with Gary we used Rick Mead of Syre and Mark Chichken of The United Snakes. Mark was also in the band Mindstorm.

Around this time period "Fritz" Hinz moved to Florida. He had married an American girl named Lisa some years before and eventually they had decided to move to Detroit to take over operating the Detroit Auto Trader, which Lisa's parents ran. Fritz ran into trouble with immigration and by the time he finally made it to Detroit where Lisa had been living for 6 months, she told him it was over. Fritz stayed in Detroit for awhile and had a very bad time of it. Finally he decided to check out Florida, fell in love with it, and moved to Clearwater. He's been there ever since. Fritz was replaced by Glen Gamble, a.k.a. "Archie" or "Mr. Sock".

Greg Frazer (front), Daryl Gray, Brent Doerner, Brian Vollmer & Greg "Fritz" Hinz
Guitarist Mark Chichken
Mark also performed with the United Snakes and Mindstorm.
Guitarist Gary Borden
Gary replaced Greg Frazer and also performed with Ray Lyell.
Since the Business Doing Pleasure CD relations between my manager and myself had been poor. Finally in 1997 I asked him for a divorce, so to speak, and we split company. Once that was accomplished I was faced with the choice of whether or not to continue with the band or pack it in. I decided I wanted to continue. After several years of trying to tell myself that I didn't need rock and roll, I realized I was just trying to kid myself. So I phoned up Daryl Gray and said, "Let's do it!"

We decided we had to get product into the marketplace fast. If not, the live dates were sure to slowly dry up. We had several tracks which were never recorded plus a live album still in the cans, so we decided on putting out a CD which would contain some unreleased tracks and the rest live material. This was the beginning of the Half-Alive CD...