The threat that the world may come to an end on New Year’s Even as 1999 turned to 2000 made it difficult for local music promoter Bart White to book a complete band.
“At that time, there was some consternation in the world about whether the world was coming to an end at midnight Y2K, lots of bands weren’t complete,” said White. “There were some members of bands that were prepared to play and others who weren’t allowed out of the house type-of-thing.”
In order to get a band together, White ended up combining the talents of two or three different bands. And in order to ditch the egos at the door, he named the new group The Eclectics.
That first year the group included the late Brian Plummer from Sons of Guns, local legends Mike Jarvis and Tony Telfair as well as the Malloomba Boogie Band’s Harry Jaconcic and Al Nelson.
Since that night, The Eclectics have become a household name, known to evolve and change, each time bringing new, professional players together for numerous unforgettable shows.
Some of the musicians that have performed as an Eclectic include members from The Bad Examples, Bent Rymn, The Bony Finger Band and Rocket 88.
On April 5, a new rendition of the group will include Shawn Carle and Mike Viera from Shawn Carle and The Streamliners. Mike Malloon of Lazy Mike and the Rockin’ Recliners will also grace the band along with Rick Frew and Pat Hetu from Identity Crises. Nanaimo musician Don Dube will rock the keyboard while Lenny Hill, known locally as a sound guru, will work the sound table. The group will play at the Eaglecrest Golf Club.
White was a musician himself earlier in his life, until an accident in his early 20s prevented him from playing for a time.
“I was never destined to be an Eric Clapton by any means, so I ended up managing my band to pay back some royalties on music we had yet to perform,” White said.
But why does he still do it?
“It’s in my blood, I have to,” he said. “I get my music fix from probably being one of the biggest promoters of live local entertainment as much as I possibly can.”
White has put on 23 New Year’s dances in the area and every New Year’s Eve he puts on an invitation-only show that consistently sells out.
White said all the band members in playing in the Eclectics April 5 each have their own following, and it will be exciting to watch them come together.
“They are going to be doing music that they are all jointly appreciative of, so I have a feeling there will be some new musical friendships made that night.”
Also, he added, professional musicians have been known to attend the shows and ask if they can join the players for a song.
Tickets for the show are nearly sold-out. Get those remaining for $15 at The Shoe Inn in Qualicum Beach and Cranky Dog Music in Parksville. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show goes to 1 a.m. For more information call White at 250-228-2540.