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50th Anniversary
July 1995
(They wanted country, but we gave 'em rock n' roll!!!!)

The venue where we played Arena Rock!

The Cast
Andy Wolff as the singer and guitar player
Vance Czerwinski as the other singer and guitar player
Mike Bradica as the bass guitar player
Luke Maloney as the drummer
John Kuemmel as the videographer
Andy Czerwinski as the sound man
Trudi Czerwinski as Vance's wife
Special appearance by
Frank Valente
I believe it was the Rifflifter's finest moment!  Our band was comprised of two guitarists, one bass player and a drummer.  We incorporated innovative things such as: harmonized lead guitar solos, bass solos and vocal harmonies, all rolled into one.  How many bands did that?  We also doing more original tunes to cover tunes than in any other band I've been in to date.

It didn't start out as anything much; we just figured that it was going to be a laid back weekend jam.  Who would have ever thought it would be the Rifflifter's finest hour.  The town of Beardmore was celebrating their 50th anniversary and they needed a band to play music for an evening of fun.  How did we get this gig you ask?  Well, our guitarist Vance brought it up at one of our band practices.  At first it sounded like the town wanted just a bunch of guys to jam on stage.  As the professional band we were, we were not about to drive for two and a half hours, lug a bunch of heavy equipment, just to play for free.  Besides, it's already been done.  Remember Labour Day of 1984, in Nipigon?  I said to Vance, "We can make some cash out of this deal"!  So Vance went back to the committee  to nogotiate a suitable price.  With that part of the business settled, we learned at least twenty more tunes for that particular gig.  Never before have I played a whole night of Arena Rock, in any band!  

The adventure started the night before we headed out to Beardmore.  It was Johnny's birthday, so we decided to go out on the town to celebrate.  Johnny was and still is a good friend of mine.  Anyways, we visited our favourite night club to indulge in wine, women and song.  After nearly drowning in free servings of sambookas, we were right primed for the next day.  When the next day came, Johnny wasn't sure if he wanted to go with us to Beardmore.  It didn't take much convincing, because he got to ride with our drummer, Luke Maloney.  Me and Mike Bradica (yes the guy named Dr. Rhythm) rode in another vehicle, while Vance, his wife and his brother rode in the truck.  Three vehicles for seven people?  Well we had to put our musical equipment somewhere.  Anyone who has played Arena Rock, would understand.  First we had to go to Valente's to pick up our sound system and after being charged an additional 7% tax that he never told us about, we were on our way.

It was a hot summer that year, but we just had a few weeks of bad weather.  However, it cleared up for the weekend and things looked pretty good.  Beardmore is a rather small town with rock cut scenery and a giant snowman to greet visitors.  Some say, this snowman is the Statue of Liberty of the north.  The people there are a rather simple folk, not simple as in intelligence, but simple as in life style; and they like their country music.  Little did they know, what would be in store for them!  We arrived at about supper time; bought our Arena Rock supplies (beer, snacks, cigars, etc.); and set up camp out of town, on the shores of Lake Nipigon.   We arrived back at the arena to set up our equipment and do our sound check.

We were ready to rock.  The whole town showed up, as if there was something else better for them to do.  The stage lights came on and we started to rock.  All of sudden, this old man walks up to the stage with hands over his ears, gesturing that it was too loud!  After travelling all afternoon, having Vance take off to the camp site without telling us where it was, doing  some fine detective work to find it, rushing back to town to do a sound check, enough was enough!  I just looked at that guy and rubbed it in by staring him down.  He walked off in disgust!  Oh yeah!  A couple minutes after, the power cut out.  After we found some more outlets, we were ready to play once again.

The old man (his back to the camera) had nerve to say that we were too loud! He wanted country! We just gave him more! We gave him ROCK N' ROLL!!!!!! The old man just couldn't win! This is when the power went off! I think the old man did it! Click here to hear what transpired!!!!

During one of our intermissions, they had quite a fireworks display.  It was better than the one they had in Thunder Bay!  Ontario's finest was out in full force to keep the crowd from getting too rowdy.  The only thing I found annoying, was that people were starting to complain that we didn't play any country songs.  I thought we accomodated them by playing country songs on tape during our intermissions.  They asked if we played any country songs, so I told them we will play some in our final set.  However, as in the first and second set, we gave them more!  We gave them rock n' roll!!!!  We had no complaints after that. In the end a good time was had by all. Like our gig at the CLE, there were groupies at our Beardmore show, as you can see in the picture below!

The venue where we played Arena Rock!
(These chicks were rockin' on to our band playing "Green River"!)

After the show, we drove back to camp to bask in the glory of playing Arena Rock and finish off the night.  There was nothing like drinking beer and roasting sausages on an open fire after you played Arena Rock.  Johnny went to bed before most us so we decided to burn whatever popcorn twists he had left.  It's more fun to burn them than to eat them!  Luke stayed up all night just to listen to John snore.

The next day was a scorcher indeed!  We decided to spend the whole day finishing off the beer and swimming in the lake.  Then Vance took us to this really neat swimming hole at the mouth of some river that went into Lake Nipigon.  It a beach by the river, where you could dive in head first from the shore.  Someday I would like to go back there again.  After that, we decided to do a little sight seeing!

The venue where we played Arena Rock!
(from left to right: Mike, me, Trudy, Vance and the other Andy!)

The venue where we played Arena Rock!
Click here for the official ARENA ROCK sign off!!!!!!!!

All in all, it was a great weekend!  We had great scenery, camped, swimmed and most of all, WE PLAYED ARENA ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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