ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, APRIL 1, 1981
By Steve Newton
(In the second of a series of stories on local bands The Progress presents a profile on The Lakers. Next Week: The New Vacationers.)
The Lakers are a rhythm and blues-based band composed of Ernie Britton on keyboards and vocals, John Moran on lead guitar and vocals, Guy Reichelt on bass and new member Ron Wells on drums. The group was formed in the summer of 1980. It “just fell together” says Moran, as “a conglomeration of musicians from various bands” who knew each other and got along well musically.
Moran and Reichelt had played together in the original Candlewood group, a popular local band that spent quite a lot of time touring the Prairies and built up a reputation for delivering strong covers of popular tunes as well as promising original material.
The Lakers got their name from the fact that two of the members are residents of Cultus Lake, and, says Moran, because “the easygoing lifestyle of ‘the lake’ reflects the band’s attitude toward music.” “We’re not a fad band”, he says, “a lot of the tunes we play are really obscure.”
The Lakers do not like to categorize their music, except, Britton who says, “to say we shy away from hard rock and punk.” Moran, who just turned 27, has been playing guitar since the age of 16, and Reichelt has been playing “for about the same amount of time”, he says. Britton and Wells are also ‘seasoned’ performers, and the group projects a casual tightness on stage that is indicative of the experience they have. “There is a lot of musical communication within the band”, says Moran, who enjoys playing in The Lakers because “there’s room for expression.”
Moran has a foot-switch for reverb and distortion built into his amplifier as well as a pause shifter, but he admits he is “into a basic sound” that does not require effects pedals. Britton has an arsenal of three separate keyboards that includes two electric pianos and a clavinet. He also has his instrument hooked up to phase shifters. The Lakers play local gigs on a casual basis, though they do take the odd jaunt up to the Cariboo to play. The competition for bookings is not heavy, according to Moran, and The Lakers manage themselves because he says, “booking agents are parasites”.
Britton and Moran do not restrict themselves to the band format, and often branch off to play as a duo in smaller clubs. The two can achieve a full sound because Britton “can play the bass parts on his keyboards,” says Moran. Moran thinks the audiences are great in the Chilliwack area.