Getting the story behind the songs
When April Wine takes the stage at the CN Centre on Oct. 17 for Rocktoberfest, Brian Greenway knows what songs they’ll be playing.
He’s just not sure how long the show is going to last.
“It can be anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours,” says the guitarist for the legendary Canadian rockers. “A lot depends on how talkative Myles (Goodwyn) is feeling that night.”
Greenway says Goodwyn, depending on the mood he’s in, has been known to spin some great stories about songs the group is playing.
“It’s never boring,” he says, when asked if he sometimes feels inclined to take a nap while Goodwyn is talking. “It’s not scripted, so there’s always something new.”
The Prince George date is one of the first on the band’s current tour, which starts Oct. 11 in Vancouver.
“We’ll get out there a couple of days earlier,’ Greenway said. “We’re getting older now, and it’s nice to have a day or so to relax and adjust to the time change.”
In the late 1980s, April Wine split up for a few years before reforming in 1992. Goodwyn and Greenway both released solo projects during that time, but don’t expect to hear any of those songs at CN Centre.
“We don’t do any of the solo stuff. It’s all April Wine, from the big albums – First Glance, Harder...Faster, and The Nature of the Beast – and we do some older stuff too.”
For Greenway, like so many growing up in the 1960s, the Beatles turned him on to music – and to guitars.
“I realized guitar was where it was when the Beatles were around. I remember going to a summer camp in 1965 and one of the instructors had a guitar. I didn’t know how to play it, but I would just sit there and pluck the strings. That’s how I got started.”
Besides the Beatles, Greenway says his own musical tastes were solid musicians.
“I got into Eric Clapton early, when he was still with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. I loved early Procol Harum, just the orchestral sound of their songs. I was into Ritchie Blackmore and Jimi Hendrix.”
He remembers one concert experience clearly.
“I was sitting centre stage, four rows back for a Hendrix show. It just sounded so good.”
April Wine plays about 60 shows a year now, but Greenway cautions you have to “multiply that be about three to account for travel and everything.” Those shows are arena shows (like CN Centre) or outdoor festivals. Playing those venues has some definite advantages, he says.
“We don’t do bars anymore. I still remember one drunk guy who kept asking us to play Brown-Eyed Girl. I don’t think he had the slightest idea who we were.”
He pauses for a second.
“Or maybe he just wanted to hear what our version would sound like.”
Tickets for the Rocktoberfest show on Oct. 17 at CN Centre, featuring Myles Goodwyn and April Wine, are on sale at all Ticketmaster locations. This is a cabaret concert, limited to those 19 and over.