Danny Stephens walked 47 miles of barbed wire. He used a cobra snake for a necktie. And finally, in his rendition of the Bo Diddley/Ronnie Hawkins/George Thorogood classic, he asked the 70 patrons at our Help Pay the Rent Event:
Who do you love?
At the end of the night, with more than $1,000 donated, the response from the audience became clear. They love the Barrie Historical Archive.
At the November 16 event, members of the archive reciprocated that love by pulling Stephens, who garnered local fame (and infamy) as drummer for Barrie-based pop trio Lisle, out of retirement for a special performance at Boston Pizza.
“I’m going to take you back to a time of disco balls and pointed brassieres,” Stephens announced before launching into a bluesy ballad to kick off the night.
And while he couldn’t conjure up those particular historical items—probably for the best—he conjured up plenty of nostalgia as he recalled fond memories from his history in the Barrie area, from the tall, tree-lined ‘scapes of Minesing Station to the rural serenity of Stroud.
He also stirred several members of the crowd into making a final donation in return for an encore rendition of ‘Shelly Made Me Smile’, the 1973 single that saw his band reach no. 31 on the RPM 100 chart and no. 16 on the CHUM Chart.
Of course, there was only one, minor problem.
“You do realize…I never sang that song,” Stephens admitted, before singing it anyway to cap off the 1.5-hour set, which included breaks for a 50/50 draw and raffle prizes.
Staff at Boston Pizza made the event memorable with drool-worthy pizzas and drinks, included with a ticket in the event.
But the restaurant will continue to support the archive moving forward. Diners can write “Barrie Historical Archive” on their receipts and leave them in a feedback box at the front door to have the restaurant donate 10 percent of the bill to the archive, excluding charges for alcohol and tax.
All the cash collected will contribute directly to the rental of a much-needed office space for the archive at 12 Dunlop St. East — The Creative Space.
“We are extremely satisfied with the outpouring of support at our first-ever Help Pay the Rent Event,” said Dr. Travis R. Doucette, the archive’s chair.
“This space will ensure we have a suitable space to invite members of our community to contribute to the archive at our monthly vision meetings.”
Typically, the archive’s monthly meetings run for an hour on the first Wednesday evening of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on December 7.
The Creative Space is also where the Barrie Historical Archive honours the generous donors who make the online treasure trove possible through their contributions.
Do you want to support the archive by donating money? Are you a volunteer capable of lending your skills to our management team, or at an event? Or do you have invaluable historical Barrie material from the days of old? Reach us at [email protected].
All photos featured in this blog courtesy of Rowell Photography.