Backstreet Dudes/Phoenix Of Ayrescliffe
Ken Folk - bass guitar, vocals
Norman Burgess - saxophone, flute
Ken Brabant - drums
Chan Romero - guitar, keyboards, vocals replaced by
Hans Staymer - vocals, harmonica, cornet and
Richard Terry - Hammond organ
Bob Deutscher - guitar, vocals
RT Ken F
Ken B Hans
I jumped at the chance to take the lead guitar chair replacing Jimmy Mann in a band that included Chan Romero, the writer of the classic Hippy Hippy Shake, and who had earlier played the western prairie region with a band called The Knights which also had included Norman. Originally called The Dynamics, upon Chan joining the band, they changed their name to The Backstreet Dudes, a play on words meaning 'white boys' playing black (R&B) music. They had recorded a couple of Chan's compositions in L.A.. Unfortunately Quicksand b/w Bulldog Workout was never released. I only played a handful of gigs with Chan in the band, all in the Edmonton area. We had all gone to our respective homes for Christmas '67 and were to meet up again in Quebec after New Year's. Chan never showed up. We discovered later that he found Jesus in his home town of Billings, Montana and I believe he is now a full gospel minister there. Chan is gifted with one of the finest voices in rock & roll and rhythm & blues singing from the Sam Cooke gospel feel. It was a pleasure to play in a band with him. He and Ken could have at that time given The Righteous Brothers a real run for their money.
To replace Chan we acquired the services of Hans Staymer, another great R&B voice, and a bass player named Richard Terry, who also played keys, both formerly of the Edmonton band The Famous Last Words. The plan had been to have Ken and Hans do a dual front-man thing with RT playing bass but their voices were so similar that we decided it would be best if RT went to the Hammond organ. You had to have one of those hogs in those days if you wanted to work the Jersey Shore which we were aspiring to do.
It was with this band that I got my taste of the BIG APPLE. I'll never forget driving into the city during rush hour trying to follow Norm's car towing a trailer! Actually, we were playing in Lodi, NJ, and were staying at a motel in Hackensack. During one night off, Ching, RT and I went to visit Richard's sister who lived in Manhattan. We found our way there alright but got lost on the way back - in Harlem!! We were at a red light when a cab pulled up beside us. Being a naive Canadian white boy I rolled down my window and asked that black driver for directions to Broadway. He said 'follow me' and guided us to where we could get our bearings!
Notable amongst the gigs we did was a stint at a show bar in Buffalo, NY called The Inferno. We backed up Bobby Hebb, famous for his hit Sunny, one night there. The band had changed it's name to The Phoenix Of Ayrescliffe by this time, Ayrescliffe being the town in Quebec that we were based out of at the time. I became somewhat disillusioned with where the band was headed so I split in mid '68.
An incidental highlight of this period was a concert at the Paul Sauve Arena in Montreal. There I saw The Jimi Hendrix Experience with The Soft Machine and a group called Olivus which included the young Bruce Cockburn.
'Ching' Hans me At the Rockcliff Hotel