October 11, 2015

After a hectic, whacky August we can happily say we survived all the mayhem! In August, as you know, Daryl had to get by-pass heart surgery, which left us scrambling to find a bass player to fill in until he came back. Enter Rainer Weichmann and Jeffrey Fountain... Both of these individuals have played for the band previously, but even so it was a challenge to get them up to speed for the required shows, seeing as we had scant time to pull it all together. But in the end everything worked out alright for the Helix band and we lived to play another day.

With Daryl sidelined and out of work we all pulled together and put on a benefit concert for him. Normally Daryl plays almost every night, but with having major heart surgery he was forced to take time off. Gary Borden started a Go Fund Me campaign on Crackbook, (er, I mean Facebook). Meanwhile Mike Glen of LOCAL LIVE gave us his club to use for the concert. The Keith Hill Project, along with Helix, donated their time to this project. It was a big love-in from start to finish... In the end, between what Gary raised and what we raised came to $8,500+. There were all sorts of donations: Al Packham donated a vintage Helix poster, Russ Graham from KILLER DWARFS donated t-shirts and CDs, Dave Southen donated a guitar (which we all signed) Shirley McCarthy donated a one-of-a-kind comic book, and Jackie Wetlaufer donated a platinum Razor's Edge album. This was the album that I gave my grandmother. When she died I gave it to my friend Jay Wetlaufer, and when Jay died this spring Jackie gave it back to me. There were also numerous donations of money, several people giving as much as $100. As well, Troy Kuntz helped cook hamburgers outside, Lynda pitched in by working the door, taking money for tickets over several months, making phone callls, etc, and Randy Heywood helped organize. I know I'm missing many people who helped out-thankyou to you all!

Daryl is now on the mend and has even gone back to playing. He will be on bass when we play our next gig in Niagara Falls in November.

Dates are now coming in for 2015. We are already booked in February for the Monsters of Rock Boat Cruise from Miami Beach to The Bahamas. That's from Feb. 22nd to the 26th. I've recently been emailing Robert Mills about the possibility of coming back to Spain (Gawd! I love that country!) and Jon Enders of Live Wire Booking is looking for summer European festivals. Then in August we're booked to play Cannibustock 3 in Grand Forks, British Columbia.

At the Eastside with
Jim & Barb McCormick & Friends
With Heather Hislop of CBC
Heather shows a pic of her backstage with the band from when she saw the band many years ago at London Gardens. She interviewed me for the morning show while in St. John's, Nfld.