Newt rocks out at 60th birthday bash with members of Chilliwack bands Cold Chain, Horsepower, and Concrete Jungle

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By Steve Newton

After 35-plus years of writing about other people rockin’ out on guitar, I finally got off my butt, hopped on stage, and did some half-assed riffing myself.

Last night at the Coast Hotel, in the heart of beautiful downtown Chilliwack, B.C., a bunch of old guys who were born in 1957 got together for a communal 60th Birthday Bash. Good times were had by all, but mostly me.

The main instigators of the party were local rocker Colin Maxwell and local engineer Rob Hall–who always wanted to be a rocker. Hall made his first attempts at rock stardom as frontman of the Vancouver-based party band Rob Knob and the Knotheads, who played at least one wild and crazy gig at UBC in the early ’80s that involved a lot of aluminum foil.

Some 37-odd years later, he still wants to rock. And who doesn’t?

I do, so that’s why I borrowed a sweet red Strat from my old high-school buddy, Cold Chain guitarist Terry Seekins, and after fortifying myself with multiple double-rye and sevens, got up and joined Hall and some actual musicians in Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” and “Carol”.

I thought I did okay on “Johnny”, but the chordal intricacies of “Carol”–as in more than just A, D, and E–left me somewhat baffled.

Luckily the slack got picked up by the other players, which included keyboardist Stuart “Stubop” Young, a local jazz legend who often plays the Harrison Hot Springs Hotel’s Copper Room. (He’s there all week, try the veal!) Also helping disguise my musical inadequacies were ace drummer Dave Hallett from Horsepower, veteran lead guitarist Derrik Luder out of Coquitlam, and the man of the hour, Colin “Max” Maxwell on bass and vocals.

Thanks guys! And thanks Chuck!

And happy 60th to all!

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