James Hillis

Archive for March, 2013|Monthly archive page

Yabba, Dabba, Cough.

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Who didn’t love the Flintstones as a kid? They were the most successful weekly animated series until Homer and his gang at the Simpsons came along. And of course our parents liked them as well( I think my dad had a secret crush on Betty), and I will be doing more on the Flintstones at a later time, but when the show aired it was obviously a different time and as the following commercial shows, a different set of morals. OI wonder if something like this could happen today? Nah, I didn’t think so.


My First Family

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2013 at 11:20 am

My Sisters,Brother and I


New Hespeler vs Old Hespeler

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2013 at 12:50 am

A recent discussion on the Cambridge Times about Hespeler got me thinking about Hespeler and the differences between New Hespeler and Old Hespeler.

New Hespeler call’s them Motor Homes, old Hespeler calls them drive in houses, In New Hespeler they discuss Shakespeare and call him a “BARD”, in old Hespeler we just worry that the pickup truck that our Cousin “Bard” get’s returned in good shape. A conversation in new Hespeler may discuss new Asphalt for the roads, in Old Hespeler we just wonder what that has to do with our ‘rectal problems”,  A new hespelerite mentioned a cat scan and next thing you knew there were a bunch of old Hespelerites putting together a search party to look for the lost cat. New Hespeler may worry about Murphy’s law, in old Hespeler we just worry about not getting Murphy’s lawyer, New Hespeler worry’s about Corruption in Government, we in Old Hespeler call it old-fashioned values.  A new Hespelerite say’s they are unemployed, old Hespeler calls it semi retired.  And in Old hespeler we still use terms like Nincompoop,fuddle duddle and thimamagiggy and understand what they mean.   That is my view, and you’re welcome.

Then and Now

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 10:55 pm

231_16319452109_3855_nShit, where did the hair go?cropped-418474_10150732135092110_528017109_11941191_74064503_n.jpg

Who Knows Where the Time Goes( Another Woman in Rock)

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2013 at 1:10 am

This is another in my series about the Woman behind the songs, but this one is a little different.
My previous story’s have been about woman who have inspired a writer to pen his thoughts but what about a woman who has inspired many artists of both sexes to write an homage to her?
Arctic City…Magic Lady..Ringing down the years..Blow Away…Queen of Peace..Where Did my Life Go…Sandy’s Song..Boadicia…Song for Sandy..Angel of Avalon and Near November are just some of the songs that have been written and recorded for just one woman.
She was Born January 6th 1947 as Alexandra Elene Maclean Denny and passed away on April 21 1978 leaving behind a legacy that to the faithful is still strong. She was known as SANDY DENNY and was known as “the pre-eminent British Folk Rock Singer”.  She was a singer and a songwriter who performed with many of the best British Musicians of her era.She performed with the Strawbs, Fairport Convention and Fotheringay she released 4 solo albums and is the only woman to have appeared on a Led Zeppelin Album, as she shared a duet with Robert Plant on “The Battle of Evermore” from Led Zeppelin lV. Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris and Cat Power are just some of the musicians who have covered Sandy’s Material and two of her most famous songs are “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” and “The Sea and Nothing More”.
Despite the accolades and the fame she seemed never to be happy and fell into a drug dependent world and had problems dealing with life, and in March of 1978 she fell and hit her head causing her to suffer intense headaches and performed one more time after the accident but her husband was concerned with her Childs welfare and Sandys erratic behaviour left Sandy and took their Daughter to Australia a few weeks after the accident. On April 17th Sandy fell into a Coma and never came out of it and died 4 days later of a Traumatic Mid-Brain Hemorrhage.  The inscription on her headstone reads, “‘The Lady'” Alexandra Elene MacLean Lucas (Sandy Denny) 6.1.47 – 21.4.78.”
To get an Idea of her Music the Box set ‘Who knows where the Time Goes”(1985) is the perfect starting point for it. But what made her such a favorite of other artists and fans alike? Her voice for one was amazing and was described by one as “like a clean glass in a sink full of dirty dishes”. While with Fairport Convention she was regarded as a key figure in the development of British Folk Rock and her songs were called glorious melody driven invocations to the power of music. She was twice voted the best British female Singer and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists in the Industry.
I first heard her around 1975 and immediately became infatuated with her music and her voice and today I still listen to her material and wonder what would have been if she had of lived. All of her solo albums have been released on Disc and are available and well worth the hunt to find them.

My Family Episode #1

In Uncategorized on March 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

All I can say is I hope I am not descended from the guy in the middle


Rik and Me( A Canadian Ballad)

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2013 at 5:22 am

Brushes with famous people happen with all of us, we meet millions of people in our lifetime and sooner or later we intersect with someone who can be called famous. They may not be famous at the time, but become famous later in their lives and your little encounter will be forgotten by that person but in your mind it remains. And that is the heart of this story, a brush with someone who would become famous in the Music world, Rik Emmett of the Canadian Classic Rock Band Triumph. I am sure he has forgotten this encounter, but for some strange reason I can still remember it(cue the fade out and fade in)
It was the spring of 1976 and I was a 18 year old brash kid from Hespeler with a penchant for lippiness when I drank, and in this case a lot of drink. Drinking started early on that Saturday night for the gang as we were getting ready for a great night at the Coronet Motor Hotel. Rush were playing and Max Webster were opening for them and it was going to be a Rock and Roll night for the hespeler Boy’s, and nothing was going to get in our way. We got there early to make sure we got a good table and proceeded to down a few more beers, when the news arrived that pissed me off, Max Webster had to cancel their appearance and some new Canadian band called Truimph would open the show instead. After the getting over this we proceeded to look for some women to hit on and I found one particular good looking gal that I could try my Hespeler moves on and while it was a slow process, after a few Zombies I thought I was making headway when Triumph took the stage and ruined my evening. I slagged the band through their whole set and called the lead guitarist a wimp(or something like that), which I found out was a mistake. The young lady waited till just after the set ended and as the band was leaving the stage I made another rude comment about the guitarist and the band when she threw a drink in my face and the guitarist suddenly showed up beside me. It seems that the gal was Rik Emmett’s girlfriend and he was not too happy that I was hitting on her during his entire set and upon hearing how I ripped the band, that made him even more upset and he wound up, trying to take a swing at me, I ducked and fell over backwards into the waiting arms of the bouncers, Luckily they held me back as I am sure I would have done serious damage to him and ruined the band’s career(that’s my opinion). I was quickly escorted out of the Coronet, but managed to get a little pride back as I wound up puking on the bouncers boots and after getting my bearings back after the little shot to the head he gave me,I found the Van that Triumph were driving, and of course got my revenge on them, the van wasn’t locked and let’s just say that wasn’t beer spilled on the seats. But I wound up with a hate on for Rik Emmett and the rest of the band that took me a long time to get over.

Stomping Tom and Alvin Lee

In Uncategorized on March 7, 2013 at 12:56 am

Two very different types of Musical Icons passed away on Wednesday, The Great Canadian Stomping Tom Connors and one of the best Guitarists the world has ever known ,Alvin lee.

Despite the differences in musical styles, they were both Artists that I listened to and appreciated for what they brought to the musical world and have both left a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.   I first heard Stomping Tom on many of those Saturday Nights when my Dad would crank up his stereo and pretend that he was playing the song along with him, causing me to laugh a little not knowing that just a few years later I would play Air Guitar to Alvin lee’s “I’m Going Home”.  They Both will be missed, but thankfully we have their music to remember them by.

Don’t blow your nose and show what is in the Kleenex.

In Uncategorized on March 5, 2013 at 12:25 am

Our Mother’s may teach us valuable life lessons, but we learn from our fathers. And I learned some interesting things from my Dad including that thing about the Kleenex [don’t ask].
From my dad I learned not to watch the clock while at work, that if you work hard enough time will fly by. I learned that fish can see you if you look over the side of the boat and that they can also hear you if you talk too loud. I learned that which does not kill you will hurt like the dickens, I also learned the work dickens from my Dad. I learned that objects in the mirror are really closer than they seem and not to test the theory while he is in the car. I learned how to swing a baseball bat and use a hockey stick. I learned how to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Time travel was learned from my Dad” If you don’t smarten up I will knock you into next week”. From my dad I learned to travel the back roads of this province and where the best spots were to have a pee. I learned to Question authority, except when it was him. I learned that I wasn’t born in a barn and that he had to walk to school 5 miles,uphill,both ways. I learned that “because I said so” makes sense to adults and that I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on tight. I learned that Tabasco sauce and Limburger cheese won’t kill you. But most of all I learned that i am lucky to have siblings, Aunts,Uncles and Parents that love you.
Sorry I forgot one important thing that I learned from my old Man……
FLATULENCE….and how to use it. Have a nice day everyone.

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