Guitar stars Jimmie Vaughan, Neil Schon, Kim Mitchell, and Colin James shine at CFOX birthday bash


charles campbell photo


By Steve Newton

“The Fox rocks” is the motto that local FM station CFOX likes to use whenever possible. And whether you agree with that claim or not, one thing you’ve go to admit is that The Fox knows how to throw a party.

The people at CFOX weren’t taking any chances on their 20th anniversary party being a dud, so they invited the Fabulous Thunderbirds up from Texas for the celebration at Eighty Six St. cabaret last Thursday (February 12). With the Fab T-Birds providing the music the Fox could hardly lose, but what really topped off the night was a wild ’60s-style super-jam featuring some of the biggest names in Vancouver rock and roll.

The party started when Vancouver mayor Gordon Campbell strapped on a cranked-up guitar and, with some coaching from Brian “Too Loud” MacLeod, threw out the first chord. After Campbell officially proclaimed February 12 CFOX day in Vancouver the Thunderbirds took the stage and ripped into “My Babe”, a tune from their T-Bird Rhythm album of 1982. With Stevie Ray Vaughan’s older brother Jimmie throwing out some snazzy chords and rippling leads of his own, the band had the dance floor humming.

During the break there were videotaped birthday greetings to CFOX from various stars, and before the second set a number of VIPs, including Bryan Adams, Kim Mitchell, Rick Davies of Supertramp, and members of Loverboy and Journey were paraded onstage to sing “Happy Birthday”.

When the Thunderbirds returned for their second and final set, they only got part-way through their third song, “Tuff Enuff”, before Loverboy vocalist Mike Reno lurched gleefully onto the stage. He joined T-Birds singer Kim Wilson on a few shaky verses of “Tuff Enuff”, and then Wilson called forth Bryan Adams, who took the stage along with local blues guitar whiz Colin James.

With James soloing a la Chuck Berry and Adams shaking his faded Levi’s to the delight of the dance floor darlings, they raged through “Good Golly Miss Molly”. Then four more jam-hungry rockers–Neil Schon and Jonathan Cain of Journey and Doug Johnson and Matt Frenette of Loverboy–crowded onto the stage and headed into “Tutti Frutti” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”.

Adams twisted away at the front of the stage while local guitar players Paul Dean and Bob Rock joined in with a few licks on “Shakin'”. Then Vaughan and Schon doubled on the same guitar, one fingering chords and the other strumming.

Over near the VIP seating area, calls could be heard for guitar ace Kim Mitchell to get up onstage, but he never did. That wee disappointment aside, there wasn’t much to complain about at CFOX’s big bash.

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