Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tau Ceti - Live on FM Moving Pictures (c. 1982)

Editor's Note: We've been rolling most of Golden Rock's non-music posts into posts about each band. However, there are some amazing pieces of history in the comments of this post that we believe need to be kept for future generations to scratch their heads at. So, as usual, we're breaking our own rules...

Barry Calnan, who drummed for Tau Ceti, dug up an old VHS recording of the band playing "Bathed in Dark Light" and "Radiation" on FM Moving Pictures, the legendary Calgary community cable TV show hosted by the equally legendary Mike Bezzeg. (Bezzeg later released Tau Ceti's records on his Small Horse, Big Apple label.) We know from keyword web traffic stats that a lot of people are jonesing for FM footage (and its follow-up, Chrome-A-Key Kids, hosted by Bezzeg and the late James Muretich)--anyone sitting on some dusty tapes? And can someone identify the fellow sitting with Bezzeg at the end of this clip? Barry remembers him doing sound for Tau Ceti on occassion ("nice guy") but can't remember his name.

UPDATE 10/19/2009 In the comments section, Klaus from Tau Ceti suggested the fellow with Mike Bezzeg is one Frank Lockwood. We tracked down Mr. Lockwood, who was a recording engineer-about-Calgary back in the day and now runs his own classical music recording service in Toronto, Lockwood ARS. He turned out to be a wealth of information about the Calgary scene, and very generous with his time:

"That is indeed me at the end of the clip," Frank confirms. "By the time I was involved, the show was called Chrome-a-key Kids, and I was the regular co-host. James Muretich would show up occasionally to do a review, but that became less frequent over time.

"My contribution to the show was to concentrate on jazz and classical music (whereas Bezzeg did more rock and pop music—usually of a more innovative nature). Since there were few videos made for jazz or classical music at that time, we would make what we called 'non-video videos' by gathering a bunch of suitable images from books or magazines to show while playing the music. Chrome-a-key ran from, if I'm remembering correctly, late 1984 into mid 1985. I had known Mike for years, but we only really became good friends when we starting working together at the Sam the Record Man store in TD Square—where we gained access to a lot of the music we played on air.

"As for Tau Ceti, Mike was very enthused about them, and also wanted to start a recording label. I had expressed a lot of interest in the recording process in general, so he asked me to act as Producer for the sessions that resulted in their first single. The recording took place at Richard Harrow's Living Room Studio (located in his house in south-east Calgary) in September 1985. I believe I may have performed some small bits of additional synthesizer stuff on one or both of the tunes in addition to coordinating the way the various tracks went down, and coaching the performances. Both Richard and I did the mixes.

"I recall that it was Mike's idea to provide a more interesting package and to save money by not having any printing done for the labels or covers for the 12 inch disks. Instead, we made each one a ‘custom production’ through the use of several rubber stamps and four different images to be pasted to the front covers. I can remember that it took a couple of weeks for just about everyone involved to carefully remove the disks from the covers, stamp the blank labels, stack them carefully so the ink could dry without smearing, while affixing one of the four paper images to the front of the covers and a single, text based sheet to the back. The initial run was of 1000 copies, pressed up through World Records (now World Reproduction), and sold through as many outlets as we could manage throughout Calgary, Edmonton and I think even a couple of places in Vancouver, in addition to sending out copies to campus radio stations across Canada.

"Producing that recording proved to be the beginning of what has subsequently become my career. I took the recording course offered by Sundae Sound Studio, then owned by Doug Wong, who now runs Canada Disk in offices about a block from the old Sundae location on, I think, 32nd Ave. NE just a block east of Centre St.

"Following the course, I had both the time and enthusiasm to continue at Sundae, acting as a freelance engineer, and gradually picking up more and more clients. Between 1985 and 1988, I did a large number of recordings—rock bands, a lot of country singers, spoken word productions, advertisments... Mike Bezzeg's next project was with a band called the Funeral Factory. For their full-length album, Mike took them into Living Room Studio and acted as Producer. One of the tunes was recorded after hours at the Sunridge Mall for the spacey, echoed ambiance. Two of the tunes were recorded by me at Sundae: ‘Shells’ and ‘Questions.’”

Frank also had a lot to say about a band named CosmaNat—and even shared their complete recorded output with us, so those are thoughts best left for their own entries.


KlauB said...

It's Frank Lockwood, isn't it?

aracorbett said...

I used to look so forward to FM Moving Pictures, which aired the last Sunday of each month while I lived in Calgary from what I recall...I watched religiously from '82-'83...my early music education. It was here where I first saw/heard Rank & File, Echo, Depeche, OMD, Bauhaus, Tears for Fears, XTC, Stranglers, Peter Tosh, Parachute Club, Landscape, Flock of Seagulls, Blancmange, REM, Violent Femmes, Ministry, Madness, and so many more. In 8th grade my friends and I went to visit Mike Bezzeg at the record store where he worked in downtown Calgary (Sam the Record Man?). What a cool guy he was - a hero to me, bringing all this great modern music to the desolate suburban prairies. The clip of him at the end of the performance is priceless. Any idea where he is/how he is doing? He was a big part of my youth. Many, many treasured memories enjoying this show. Thanks so much for posting this!

Marino said...

FM Moving PIctures ran from (I believe) 80-84, then there was 1 season of ChromaKey Kids. In a time when MTV had just signed on, and years before MuchMusic, it was tough to find the amazing music that Mike B was showing. We saw interviews with Nash the Slash, Jack Green, and Iggy Pop. We got concerts from MacHall Ballroom, and the Westgate. Everyone remembers cheesy community programming. I remember watching music videos introduced by local experts.Yeah, OK, so there was Cooking Chicken with Nash The Slash, and James Muretich barbequing some album he didn't like in Stanley Park, but it was FUN!!!!

Anonymous said...

I loved FM Moving Pictures and it was a huge influence on my musical tastes in my early teenage years. I saw Mike Bezzeg at Safeway in Westhills Calgary recently and approached him to say how much I remembered the show, etc., but he had little interest in having a conversation about it. I felt embarrassed for having mentioned it. As a kid I thought he was cool, now maybe just cold.
It'd be great to see that show again for the nostalgia of the whole thing!

Mike Bezzeg said...

Sorry You Felt That I Was Being Cold
When I Met You At Safeway.I Was Always Kind Of Shy About The Show And Didn't Do It For The Fame.I'm Glad That The Show Was Enjoyed By You
And Others.I Still Get People Coming
Up To Me And Saying "Hey You're The Guy Who Did That Music Show" I Always Reply By Saying "ya But I'm OK Now"

Staymo said...

I was in Mount Royal College when FM Moving Pictures aired and I raved about it to anyone that would listen. Mike Bezzeg was miles ahead of the pack and showed 'music videos' before most people knew what one was. I was completely blown away by that show.Thank You, Mike Bezzeg !

rkatt said...

Ed Whalen was one of Calgary's most famous celebs and Mike Bezzeg, as far as I am concerned, was a close second. I did not miss a show if I could help it I still have VHS cassettes with many shows taped. I will not get rid of those The show was a major part of my childhood.
If you read this... THANKS MIKE And there was no need to be shy about the show they need to get you back on the air.

Signed.. 45 year ol metal head

Gene Poole said...

rkatt, can you drop us a line at hamfisted@gmail.com? If you're willing to lend us your tapes, we'd love to run them through the CCPS digimatizer....

Psyklist said...

"Cable TV music show labor of love" (Calgary Herald, Nov. 6, 1983)


Peter said...

That would be great to see again the shows rkatt collected. I contacted Shaw once about it, and they said they don't keep video archives going back that far.