Queen City Kids and Harlequin
November 4, 8:00 PM, Casino Regina Show Lounge
Queen City Kids – It was DECEMBER 1969, The Queen City Kids; John Donnelly, Kevin Fyhn, Alex Chuaqui, Jeff Germain and their good friend Rocky Stewart got together in John’s parents’ basement for their first rehearsal ever and history was made. At all of twelve years old, (actually Kevin was still eleven), they didn’t know much about rock n’ roll yet. Except that they liked it and that it was more fun than school.
It was arranged for the first album to be recorded at Century 21 studios in Winnipeg. Most of the songs for the album had been performed and honed to a sheen on the road so there was not much to do except go in and record them. It was a bit of an eye-opener though as the Kids discovered how different it was to play in the studio. Now the emphasis was on technique, not just the raw energy that was the trademark of their live shows. But under the kind wing of Gene the band put out a very interesting album with a lot of diverse sounds and styles. It was a little hard to categorize the band. But the fans didn’t mind and they bought it up quickly in the markets that the band had played heavily. The album went to number one in Regina and Winnipeg. And very quickly was certified gold
In October 2007 QCK was inducted into the Western Canada Music Hall of Fame. The guys were honored by their peers and humbled by being included with the likes of Streetheart, Loverboy and Harlequin, as well as cultural legend Buffy St. Marie. Now in their 40th year of operation the Kids are still out there rocking from time to time at special events and festivals. Watch this site for updates and news of gigs, recordings, and happenings. Who knows how long the kids will be kids? They don’t seem to show any signs of wanting to grow up just yet.
Harlequin - Harlequin was originally formed in the mid-seventies. The band proceeded to amaze everyone by pushing the first release Victim of a Song (1979) to gold status through sheer hard work, incessant touring, word of mouth and solid song-writing. Songs like “Sweet Things In Life”, “You Are The Light” and “Survive” introduced the band to radio in many markets in Canada – especially Western Canada.
The second release, Love Crimes (1980), came with a bigger push from the label, and went on to go Platinum, powered in part by Harlequin’s biggest hit to date “Innocence”. Another track, “Thinking Of You”, became a staple of rock radio and a highlight of the live show. One False Move (1982) cemented the band’s radio success with tunes like “I Did It For Love,” “Superstitious Feeling” and “Heart Gone Cold.” The fourth and final album, eponymously titled, featured a change of direction as well as producer – Alfie Agius, former bassist with The Fixx, replaced Jack Douglas. This album produced one single “Take This Heart” and the bands only video, filmed at the abandoned Don jail in Toronto by Juno-winning Champagne Productions.
Harlequin was, and still remains, something of a work-horse of the Canadian road, soldiering through multiple grueling cross-Canada tours, and working with such bands as Triumph, Streetheart, Nazareth, Heart, April Wine, Pat Benatar and Saga. Saga took the band to Puerto Rico, where they discovered – to their shock and amazement – that “Innocence” had been a huge hit single. To capitalize on the song’s success, the band played in Caracas, Venezuela, headlining two nights at the city’s biggest arena. With Triumph, the band toured through the States and made some headway in the midwest and Texas. Unlike many bands of their era, Harlequin is still a staple of rock radio in Canada, where the band’s old and new hits still receive remarkable amounts of airplay. Fueled by this continued success at radio, the band still tours, gaining new fans all the time, and attracting anyone who loves Canadian rock at its finest.
The band’s current line-up consists of George Belanger, Paul McNair, Derrick Gottfried, Gary Golden and AJ Chabidon.
1880 Saskatchewan Drive
Local Number: 306-565-3000