Deschamps Still Hurting After Blue Rodeo Firing
Friday, October 15, 1999
The phone rings a few times at Kim Deschamps' Hamilton home and then the answering machine picks up. No words, just an engaging guitar tickle before the beep.
Deschamps waits for the caller to identify herself before he picks up, explaining that he's had so many calls of late he's taken to screening them. Calls of regret from people who have heard of his Oct. 6 firing from Blue Rodeo.
"I've had hundreds of e-mails from all over the world," he adds.
"Some of the people were really angry and upset and that surprised me. I didn't realize how much it meant to a lot of fans."
Deschamps, 44, was Blue Rodeo's pedal steel guitar player for seven years, contributing to the band's last four albums: 5 Days in July (1993), Nowhere to Here (1995), Tremolo (1997) and Just Like a Vacation (1999).
He can't talk in detail because his lawyer is working on a severance deal with the band. But he's been in this situation before and now knows he has to fight for what he feels he deserves.
Deschamps was not really a member of Blue Rodeo despite his long-time involvement. He says he was offered partnership when he joined the band but that nothing ever materialized.
The dismissal has been tough for the 15-year Hamilton resident even though he says working with Blue Rodeo was not always a barrel of laughs.
"Not only have I been fired, it's national news," he says.
Most of the fans who have sent e-mails through his Web site
(www.cgocable.net/~kdescham/) are sorry to see him gone.
Former Blue Rodeo keyboardist Bob Wiseman, however, sent Deschamps an e-mail that said, "Congratulations." Wiseman was fired from the band a few years ago. "Blue Rodeo has a history of losing some really talented people," Deschamps says.
Granted, Deschamps is a little bitter, disillusioned and hurt. This isn't the first time he's been fired from a band; he had problems with his old bandmates in the Cowboy Junkies too.
Most stories are happy ones, he says, mentioning the Barenaked Ladies.
"I've worked on a hundred records in the last 20 years. I've had a pretty good run as a side man and my own music has kind of taken a back seat."
Now he's concentrating on his country/blues/reggae/rock mixture. His solo CD, Take Me Away, got good reviews and he's been described as one of Canada's best slide guitar players. He does work in TV, film and recording, but says that if the right band came along he'd be interested in getting involved. He's been contacted about several future projects but so far he's still absorbing the shock of losing a solid gig.
Deschamps will play at the Hamilton Art Gallery on Nov. 26.
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