If you missed them when they were here two years ago, now is the time to catch the legendary Bill Henderson with Chilliwack.
The boys are back again; the band you know and love are returning to the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre on Saturday, May 4, starting at 7:30 p.m.
It’s a night of classic rock reaching over four decades with hits like ‘Whatcha Gonna Do’, ‘Communication Breakdown’, ‘Lonesome Mary’, ’Fly at Night’ and ‘My Girl (Gone Gone Gone)’.
Opening for Chilliwack is special guest Adrian Chalifour, front-man for Vancouver Island band Towers and Trees. This emerging singer-songwriter and guitarist recently competed in the second season of The Launch on CTV. Chalifour has been performing for 15 years, including the last seven as the lead singer of Towers and Trees. He’ll be joined by band mate and lead guitarist Dave Zellinsky.
The last time Chilliwack was in the Valley, the Citizen got to chat with lead singer, Bill Henderson, who had his first big smash only four years after the Rolling Stones first hit the airwaves.
Let’s look back at that.
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…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.”
Those were indeed different from these days, when everything is frequently pre-programmed to an inch.
“We blew all kinds of major bands off the stage. 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, and, of course, being young.
“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 are $42.50 each for this special musical evening. Get them online at https://ctcentre.bc.ca/TheatreManager/1/login&performance=2538 or call the Cowichan Ticket Centre at 250-748-7529 to reserve your seats.