Bill Henderson, who had his first big smash only four years after the Rolling Stones first hit the airwaves, is bringing his famous band, Chilliwack, to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre Sunday, March 26.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
His first band was The Collectors, way back in the psychedelic era.
“We were in our early 20s and launching into this whole new sound…What grew out of that, and what was definitely another highlight was a jamming band that was able to do things that almost nobody else could do. We just listened like crazy and we created new music every night.”
There were a couple of songs we knew we’d get to in the set; we didn’t know how we were going to get to them or in what order. Can you imagine going on stage and you don’t have a set list? It was a different way of doing things.”
They weren’t trying to push an audience around, he said.
“Their vibe came into our music and they recognized it and responded to it and sent us this nice energy back. And so we all got higher than kites and we blew all kinds of major bands off the stage. They never thought anything like that could happen. They’d never heard of Chilliwack. We got out on stage before them and by the time they got out on stage and did their hit, everyone kind of said, ‘Oh, there’s their hit.’ It was not the same kind of emotional experience as with us. “
It takes talent and skill.
“That’s something that stands out for me because I’ve never really experienced that since,” Henderson said. “But, we got out of that. We burned it out somehow. I just realized: I need songs. Let’s write some songs.”
It was a big change for the group.
“The first stuff that emerged from that was stuff like ‘Crazy Talk’ and ‘Fly at Night’ and ‘Baby Blue’. Songwriting is like a novel. It’s designed to be heard over and over and over and over. A great song will survive that kind of scrutiny and that amount of repetition.
“So that’s what we did and a song like ‘Crazy Talk’ and ‘Fly at Night’, it’s amazing how they just keep plowing along and radio keeps playing them.”
More changes followed which led to the creation of ‘My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)’ and ‘I Believe’ and ‘What’ya Gonna Do’.
Finally Henderson reformed the group around himself and drummer Jerry Adolphe.
“He’s the grandest, most amazing drummer in the world. It’s great fun to work with him. Almost always challenging, but that’s good,” he laughed. “It keeps your energy up.”
“When we’re up on stage, we’re up on stage. That means there’s an opportunity to interact with the audience. That, too, is a highlight for me, to be able to play those songs like they’re new,” Henderson said.
Tickets to the show are $38 each. Get them at cowichanpac.ca or call the Cowichan Ticket Centre to reserve at 250-748-7529.