Tim O'Hara (Drummer)
My musical influences vary widely, from Santana to Coltrane, with some Bob Marley, Herbie Hancock and Steve Reich included in the mix. I have a huge admiration for Canadian born drummers such as Skip Prokop, Claude Ranger, Mark Kelso, Graham Lear and many more.
I am also playing with AJC, the Alliston Jazz Collective. It’s been great fun reuniting with my Kipling high school rock band and we are all looking forward to performing in the years ahead.
Rick Pearson (Guitar/Keys/Vocals) |
My first powerful musical influences were my mom and dad. They actually met in a band called The Sophistoswings which was a troupe of singers, dancers and musicians. My mom played accordian and my dad sang. The great swing music of their youth was my introduction to the wonderful world of the popular song. When I was seven years old I would get down on my knee and imitate Al Jolsen singing Mammy. Elvis, The Everly Brothers and Ricky Nelson were cool cats but the roof blew off for me when The Beatles arrived. I feel blessed to have been the right age to receive the full force of their influence along with the rest of the musical icons of the age. About the same time, I saw David Clayton Thomas, later of Blood, Sweat and Tears fame, at a small beach pavilion and it was there and then that I knew that this was something I passionately wanted to do.
Some guys joke that they learned to play guitar in order to meet girls. I did it for the love of the instrument and the music....although they were right about the girls. In the 1970's I had the great good fortune of touring North America with what may have been the first Beatles tribute band known as Liverpool. In 1982, I took a twenty-four year hiatus to raise a son, return to school and then teach.
I am thrilled to be reunited with my true musical brothers as Boomerang. I played with a lot of musicians over the years and one of the wisest things I learned is that WHO you make music with is critically important. We share a bond that runs much deeper than the music and, at the same time, music gives us a powerful way of being part of each other's lives. I am also excited about the prospect of creating some original Boomerang music to compliment the classic rhythm and blues, soul and rock 'n roll we play. Every band I have hooked up with has had a relatively short shelf life. I have a feeling that Boomerang will survive and thrive into the distant future. I hope that you will come along for the ride.
John Swain (Guitar/Vocals) |
I grew up as a child with music in the house as my mother had been a semi-professional singer earlier in life and frequently belted out semi-operatic and 40’s swing tunes in the living room with the stereo hifi turned up to near glass breaking volumes. I started taking classical style guitar lessons when I was 10, but quickly got bored and so I implored my teacher to show me some jazz/blues theory and technique which thankfully he did. This really gave me the basics for listening to the music of the time differently and also enabled me to be my own guitar teacher through my teenage years and beyond. Like many during the late 60's/early 70's I was highly influenced in particular by the sounds of Motown, The Beatles, Chicago and CSN&Y amongst other great groups of the time and being part of The Crusade in 1967-68 was a great musical outlet for me to play and perform in those early years. While I admired the work of individual guitar virtuosos like Eric Clapton, George Bensen, Don Ross, Leo Kotke and others over the years, I have really oriented more to bands. In the 70’s I wrote music for, played and sang in an inspired folk/rock group called Harvest which even included releasing a 45 rpm (remember them!) that got some air play! However I have to say that the sound that got into me back then and that has stayed with me to this day was really the compelling groove of 60’s/70’s R&B and black soul artists. I feel privileged to have lived in this era when there was both such a renaissance in new thinking towards life and a fantastic musical soundtrack to go with it.
Boomerang to me is not just a band but a vehicle. It is an outlet for me to express my passion for the classic rock, R&B and soul music that moved and inspired me back then and moves me still. It is also a reminder to me, and I hope others of my generation, that the same spirit of change that we baby boomers, with our long hair, beads and sandals, gave birth to in the 60’s can live and be expressed now as we enter the last third of our lives.
Nothing beats playing and performing the soundtrack of my life with this group of musical friends that share the same flame.
You can also check out my John Swain & Associates Ltd. management consulting website at www.swainassociates.net
Brian O'Hara (Bass) |
Growing up in a home where both parents were musicians pretty much sealed my fate.
And my choice of instrument, the bass, was strongly influenced by the layout of our home. My father, Don, who played saxophone and was devoted to jazz, had a workshop in the basement where he repaired woodwind instruments ... saxophones, clarinets, oboes, flutes .... And in that room was his prized "Hi-Fi" system, this being an era before the days of stereo. Most evenings he would retire to the workshop soon after dinner and while he burnished and glued and hammered out dents fashioned in their instruments by Toronto's high school students, he would play his latest greatest jazz "long playing 33 RPM" record - vinyl as we call them now. When I could be convinced to abandon the television and go to bed, I would inevitably fall asleep to that part of the music which would penetrate the sound proofing in the ceiling and carry up to my room - the bass line - and fortunately for my sensibilities and musical taste, my dad was an Oscar Peterson fan and so I got to listen to Ray Brown play the most eloquent bass lines as if they were being sent to me through a special bass only filter. So when I first picked up an elctric bass, I knew the lines I wanted to play, I just had to figure out where they were.
As my wife Claire would attest, I love music that swings... Motown, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, Jazz, the Blues, Gospel, ... and I think I got that from my mom who could play boogie woogie piano in a way that transported me . It was sexy compelling music that still provides the foundation for much of today's popular music. She encouraged our amateur musicianship and loved our music. Crippled though she was, she made her way on her crutches with us to the upper seats in Maple Leaf Gardens in 1965 to watch The Rolling Stones, featuring, another of my heroes, Bill Wyman, on bass.
Playing with Boomerang has given me a chance to play up-beat danceable music in a combo that includes life long friends and some wonderful horn players and this was something I would not have dared dream of being able to do a few years ago.
John McGuigan (Trumpet) |
In the early 1970's on a school trip I had the opportunity to sing in the studio with a few members of Toronto band, "Lighthouse". Likely it was then that I was destined to become part of a "horn band". Of course the free LP, as my first album ever certainly warmed the stew of my influence and listening habits.
I started to play trumpet at an early age and learned guitar and bass on the side. Later I became active my my schools' music programs.
Major influences, in addition to my first "Lighthouse" album, were the other horn bands like "Chicago", "Blood, Sweat & Tears" of course, "Tower of Power". I also became greatly interested in the Big bands of Stan Kenton, Count Basie and "contemporary classical" works of Stravinsky, Schoenberg and Hindemith. As a trumpet player, obviously the late Maynard Ferguson found a place in my record collection.
I later studied Classical Trumpet during University. At the time, there were no Jazz programs at the university level other than a Jazz Ensemble. I became greatly influenced by the Jazz Ensemble's director & famed clarinetist Phil Nimmons. It soon became clear that I would turn my talents to Jazz Music and later the Rock, Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Acid Jazz and Funk genres.
Since graduating I came to meet and regularly perform with some of the finest musicians in the Greater Toronto Area at some of the top venues in the city. Be it in a big band setting, as part of a small combo, a rock or R&B horn section, a blues band or a chamber ensemble, I continually enjoy making music with others.
Being asked to become part of Boomerang provided an exciting opportunity to re-visit much of the music of my past but which I was not currently playing with other groups, adding to my repertoire.
I look forward to entertaining those who love the sounds of the Golden Age Of Popular Music, Rock, Rhythm & Blues and Soul.
Check out John's website: http://www.mcguigan.ca/
| Paul Mifsud (Saxophones) |
Bio Coming Soon
Paul Schofield (Saxophones) |
Bio Coming Soon