Once upon a time, at a time when more than half the population of North America was under the age of twenty-one, the air reverberated with the raucous, joyful sounds of what is now famously known as the golden age of popular music. Beatles, Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, Barry Gordy’s incredible stable of Motown artists and the soul music of Aretha Franklin, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett provided the soundtrack that inspired a generation still known to the world as the ‘baby boom’.
As did every town, village and city in North America, Toronto gave birth to a cornucopia of rollicking musical entities. In 1965, one of these dubbed itself THE BLUE BEATS and picked up a Strat, a Tele, a Precision Bass, Ludwig drums and began to rock. RICK PEARSON and the brothers BRIAN AND TIM O’HARA got started there and soon matured from pop and rock ‘n roll tunes to the more urban and soulful music of the great American black artists as The Blue Beats became THE CRUSADE. This is when JOHN SWAIN came aboard.
The Crusade rocked the high school gyms and fraternity houses of the local universities for a couple of years until the end of high school when the band mates cast their fates to the four winds and The Crusade was no more. That was 1967 and the band took what is known in the music business as ‘a short break’….until 2006!
And now they are back, this time as BOOMERANG. What a perfect name for the band….’boomers’ who came back and play music that you can’t throw away.
The reformation of the band is an interesting story. In the early spring of 2006, Rick received an e-mail inviting him to attend a Kipling Collegiate high school reunion. The invitation stated that there would be an ‘open mic’ opportunity where attendees could get up on stage to reminisce, tell a joke or sing a song. Rick answered the invitation saying that he planned to attend and reminded the organizers that, ‘back in the day’, he was a member of THE high school rock band. The organizers replied that if he could put the band together for the event that would be fabulous. “I was hopeful”, Rick recalls, “but I really didn’t expect all of the guys to say yes. To my absolute delight, they all did”.
The reunion before the reunion happened on the first Saturday of April at Tim’s farmhouse in the country. Some of the guys had not seen each other in at least twenty years! Warm embraces were shared all around, instruments were plugged in, amps turned on and everyone crossed their fingers (figuratively) and started to play. About half an hour in, everyone was grinning from ear to ear and wondering aloud what took so long for this to happen. Six rehearsals later and without a name, ‘the band formerly known as The Crusade’ took to the stage and played eighteen songs. It wasn’t perfect but it was a solid beginning and everyone enthusiastically agreed to keep this going.
It soon became obvious that, with the material that the band was learning, horn players were really needed to complete the sound. The band sought out players experienced in the Rock, Soul and R&B genre and found John McGuigan and David Kennedy on trumpet along with Paul Schofield and Paul Mifsud on saxophones. All having played many years in similar bands and brought together to complete the package.
In the nine years since the reunion Boomerang has developed into a tight, high energy, hard working band that will stir your soul and delight your crowd.
BOOMERANG IS BACK!!!