“… as Floyd’s ominous, rumbling, reverbing, thwacketing bass lines filled the hall (and they really did fill it), it occurred to me that this is music that is meant to be performed. It’s music that can’t be contained in an iPod or properly conveyed via earbuds. It is music that wants to be heard, seen and felt, preferably through the balls of your feet and up through your spinal cord. And so the amplified sound of helicopter blades whanging and the world’s loudest cash register ka-chinging are not merely overkill; they’re as much a part of the texture of the performance as the cannons are part of the 1812 Overture.”
Linda Falkenstein, “Isthmus – The Daily Page” – Madison, Wisconsin.
Review of The Pink Floyd Experience (US)
We couldn’t agree more!
It all started in 2005 at a Courtenay BC pub jam when someone piped up and said “We should start a Pink Floyd tribute band!”.
Dan, in his own words, explains the entire process of developing the idea of the band and then actually forming the band:
“So let’s start with the idea. It didn’t really hatch, it more mushroomed. It started when I went to the Whistle Stop jam and met Doug, Dave and Rick. I probably went five or six times before I ever spoke to anyone. I hadn’t played for a long time and when I finally got up the courage to ask Doug if I could play, he asked “What do you play?”. Well, I play some Hendrix and Clapton and I know a couple of Floyd songs. Dave latched onto the Floyd numbers, but really, I had never played them in front of others before. They were pretty terrible, but Dave and Rick liked them and I was a breathing jammer, so Doug threw me up there again and again. We started getting good at it.
Here’s where it gets a little weird. People were enjoying what Rick, Dave and I were playing at the jams. We added a couple more Floyd songs and the next thing you know people are asking for them. Dave and I jokingly talked about playing a whole set of Floyd songs or doing a tribute band. It was all just a good laugh and then we would play some Hendrix or whatever. One night that week I had a dream of playing on a big stage with lights and a big band and all the cool stuff. Not just an ‘oh yea I had that dream’. It woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I thought, we could do a tribute band, and then the wheels really started turning. Many Sunday jams went by as we talked about the idea; who do we get for the parts; who do we know who could do this stuff. The idea grew quickly but never in a straight line. People just started falling into place and we slowly began to form a fictitious band. It would be a while before it became a real band, probably six months or so.
When I first discovered Doug, Rick and Dave at the Whistle Stop Sunday night jam I was inspired by their level of professionalism. I had already joined a band and was playing again for the first time in many years, but these guys really caught my interest. I would go back week after week to watch them. The first one to notice me was Rick. He told me the story of that time, which is kind of funny.
After a few visits Rick started asking the others, who is that guy over there? This was a whole new crowd for me, so nobody knew who I was. The next week Rick would say, there he is again, and the next week, there he is again. Apparently I appeared right around the time the Canadian Revenue Agency was going after musicians and they started to wonder if I was a narc or a tax man or who knows what. Paranoia began to set in and, sure enough, the next week there I was again. Rick went as far as never being within eyesight when he got paid for a jam because he was convinced I was not there for the jam. So when I finally worked up the courage to approach Doug and ask if I could play, I was welcomed with open arms. Not only was I a new person to the jam, I wasn’t a government agent of any sort! Thus began the new friendship between myself, Doug, Dave and Rick. I’ve already told you about the beginnings of the jam days and how we came to be playing some Floyd. This just supplements that information and defines the meeting and the beginning of what would eventually become All In All. We also talked about who came when during our first reunion gathering. Rick is the authority on this as he remembers every little detail much better than I.
First it was Rick, Dave and myself joking around about doing a Floyd band. So essentially we were the first three. After I had that dream we began taking it seriously and started the process of finding the band members.
Doug was very excited about it, but would never commit to being part of it. I asked him a few times and was really wondering why he wouldn’t say yes until one day I asked him again. He paused a long time, fidgeting like he did, and then said “What I really want to do is lights!”. I just sort of went, “What?”. He was such an incredible musician and he wanted to do lights? He then suggested Barry as the second guitar player and I think he had this all arranged, or at least conspired. When we spoke to Barry about it he pretty much said yes right away. I’m pretty sure Doug had got to him first. After Barry said yes I went back to Doug because I really wanted him to be involved. We were good friends by this time. I said “Ok, if you want to do lights, you can.” He was a kid in a candy store from that point on. I’m so happy he got to do that before he passed away. He absolutely loved it. So those were the next two: Barry on guitar and Doug on lightning.
We think Robb came next. Art VanVolsen was the obvious pick for a drummer and we can’t remember why we didn’t ask him, but we think it was Doug who suggested Robb would be the guy. We approached Robb and he took a little time to think about it, but eventually came back and said yes. So now we were Rick, Dave, Barry, Robb and myself (Dan) as the band and Doug as our lighting tech.
We now needed the female vocalist element and went through the people we all knew and went: No. No. Definitely not. Maybe, but … no. It was Robb who suggested some ladies he had worked with previously in a band called Time Well Wasted. He approached Kelly and Michelle, who found the project interesting and would give it a try. Not a firm commitment, just give it a try. At some point I guess they decided to go beyond try as they kept showing up for rehearsal. So Kelly and Michelle were the next additions.
We needed a sound man and we think it was Robb, again, who suggested Mike. We arranged for Mike and I to meet on Saturday at the Arbuckle Pub jam. I don’t really remember the details of that day, but I do recall that the beginnings of the All In All band played that day, just jamming, before we spoke with him. He was skeptical but interested. He asked a bunch of questions, like; who is the band?; who’s in charge?; where are you going to play? All the stuff we began to love about Mike. He did say yes that day, but was very skeptical that we were anything more than just another bar band. I remember him being there for our first rehearsal, sitting there saying nothing. Afterwords he just said; “Ya, this might work. Ok, I’m in!” and he left without saying another word. That was the addition of Mike.
The last addition was Rhonda and that was a weird one. We knew we needed another vocalist and a sax player but were having a hard time coming up with any one person that everyone else was willing to work with. Musicians are a fickle bunch, as you know. Again, it was at the Arbuckle Pub Saturday jam. In comes Rhonda and she starts wailing on the sax. Nobody had ever seen her before. Most of the now-forming All In All band were there and we all just looked at each other and went; “Hell ya!”. Rhonda was very willing to join our band, but had never sung before and was very reluctant to do so. She did eventually get comfortable with it as the ladies rehearsed quite a bit on their own.
So there we had it, a complete band. Dave, Rick, Robb, Barry, Kelly, Michelle, Rhonda and myself (Dan) as the band; Doug and Mike as AV techs. This was the beginning of All In All It’s Just … as 2005 rolled over into 2006.”
They rehearsed weekly, often twice weekly, for 5 months. Everything had to be perfect. And it was! Here they are in full flight, September 2006.
We will continue the story of All In All It’s Just … A Tribute To Pink Floyd on the Tour History page, here. (**coming soon)