Rockin’ Art Song Lab and Our friend Pete, as in Trower


I’ve long been intrigued by the Art Song Lab program so I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as one of 12 poets participating in Art Song Lab 2015! Vancouver (May 31st – June 5th). I am paired with composer Brian Topp. Our piece will premiere at the Orpheum Annex in downtown Vancouver in a culminating concert on June 5th, performed by professionals from within the Vancouver music scene. I’m grateful to Ray Hsu and Michael James Park who encouraged me to apply. Now I just have to figure out how to schedule it into my crazy schedule. First step is for Brian and I to discuss our work and mutual interests next week.

Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi
Photo: Gabor Gasztonyi

I met legendary West Coast poet Peter Trower in 2008 at a book launch party for ROCKsalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry at 32 Books Company in Edgemont Village, North Vancouver which fortunately, remains standing. Owner Deb McVittie is a big booster of writers and authors, hence the launch event. We wound up at a local pub with Rob Taylor and Zach Wells and became fast friends. I had a lot more time and resources then so was able to drive Pete around, attend events  and do readings together, which sadly he doesn’t largely remember. His memory is failing badly and sometimes it puts him into a panic.  I contact him by phone and visit whenever possible. He lost his beloved companion Yvonne in 06 and can get very lonely and depressed. He needs help. Talking with friends is reassuring and conversation helps to cheer him up. If you are one of Pete’s comrades, I encourage you to call or visit, or write. I, or Jamie Reid can put you in touch.

2 thoughts on “Rockin’ Art Song Lab and Our friend Pete, as in Trower

  1. I met Peter in the late ’60’s early ’70’s. Rock Zantolas introduced me to him. He was living in a shed behind his mothers house in Gibsons. It was crammed full of his life’s works, drawings and many first edition magazines and comic books.

    Rocky would turn Peter’s poems and stories into songs. We were both guitar players so the three of us would drink, get high and play thru all hours of the day and night. Peter, with his gravely voice would belt out the blues while he and Rocky would reminisce about their logging days. I have hours and hours recorded of the three of us playing and singing Peters writings.

    We had so many years of hanging out together with so many memories come flooding thru. Playing at the Penn Hotel in Gibsons or the Marble Arch Hotel in Vancouver.

    I miss my best friend Rocky who passed on a couple of years ago. And sadly lost touch with my good friend Peter Trower, who always considered himself a logger turned poet. I still jam to the tapes we made so many years ago. For me, they’ll always live thru those tapes, memories and writings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *