Posts Tagged ‘Zeke and the Moonshiners’

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Zeke and the Moonshiners

May 2, 2010

Click pic to enlarge

Band: Grant Smith and The Power
Year: 1965
Genre: Country-rock act
Home: Chatham/London based

Members:
Eddy Larsen
(Ole) – Vocals, lead guitar
John Larsen – Bass
Freddy Larsen – Organ
Waide Holland – Keyboards
Grant Smith – Drums (London Ontario)

Note: They were a great rowdy party band that dressed up as hillbillies and kept the crowds hollering to their crazy on stage antics. They were a weekend band while the members worked day jobs. Waide was the young one finishing his last year of high school. The Larsen brothers decided to quit their day jobs and pursue music full time and change their band name a few times before settling as The Missing Links.
The Missing Links were together for 11 years and spent a good 4-5 years playing in Toronto without ever having to leave there. They were a hot band and were very well in demand.
Grant Smith was the drummer for ‘Zeke’ the first couple of years. Grant went on to form the popular Toronto rock-soul outfit “Grant Smith and the Power” that had a hit with a cover of Jackie Edwards’ “Keep On Running” (previously a big hit for The Spencer Davis Group). Grant Smith & The Power opened for The Hollies and Spanky & Our Gang at Toronto’s O’Keefe Centre on March 17, 1968. The following month, the band headed off for another US trip, supporting the likes of Janis Joplin, Traffic and Rare Earth.

Here is a little something from a 2009 interview with Drummer Grant Smith about Zeke and the Moonshiners/ The Missing Links by Lisa Mcdonald.

The band consisted of three brothers from Denmark.  Their father was a professional musician but decided to move the family here to become beet farmers.  But once the boys started playing in a band on weekends, they decided playing music was far more lucrative than being beet farmers.  Their father went back to Denmark and the boys went on the road.  We were called Zeke and the Moonshiners.  They were really good musicians but after about a month or so, I convinced them to drop the comedy and change our name to The Missing Links.  We covered material by Roy Orbison and Frank Highfield.  We were a good rock and roll band made better by traveling to Todd’s Men’s Wear in Detroit and buying suits.

Did the band just tour Canada or did you cross borders?

It was just Ontario and Quebec then, but, (and George Olliver will disagree with this), we became the first white act recorded by Chess Records in Chicago.   We got a van and began working for an agent.  Agents had a circuit and if you worked with an agent, you worked all his clubs.  There were shitty clubs, mediocre clubs and really nice clubs.  I wanted to chase the money, so we had to travel a lot to play the really nice clubs.  We’d travel from Northern Quebec to Thunder Bay and from Thunder Bay to Belleville and Belleville to Montreal and Montreal to Windsor.  It was 1964 and we made more money in one week than my father did in an entire month.  It was great!

Interview Source: http://fyimusic.ca/opinion/part-3-grant-smith-with-lisa-mcdonald

Anyone with pics or info, please email:
chatham_music_archive@hotmail.com

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