Throw Back Thursday – Bruce Greenwood and Don Felder – July 12, 2003

Mick Dallavee having a good time on stage with Bruce Greenwood, and Don Felder.
having a good time on stage with Bruce Greenwood, and Don Felder.
On Stage with Don Felder and Bruce Greenwood (collage)
On Stage with Don Felder and Bruce Greenwood (collage)

Cease and Desist got a call to back up Don Felder from The Eagles, as he was going to play onstage during the ‘Courtnall Celebrity Classic’ in Victoria. The event raises money for mental illness disorders and this was the first of what was to become a semi-annual event.

Courtnall Celebrity Classic Promotional Poster
Courtnall Celebrity Classic Promotional Poster

I was thrilled of course. Having been an Eagles fan from ‘Take It Easy’ on upward, I felt incredibly lucky to be in the band picked to play behind him. We were to do ‘Life in the Fast Lane’, ‘Hotel California’ and ‘another song’.
At soundcheck I found out that Bruce Greenwood and Don are quite good friends (golfing buddies) and that Bruce is a musician as well as an actor, so he would be taking on the vocals for these songs.
Don Felder’s gear was supplied locally (I assume Long & McQuade)… a Strat, a Fender Amp (I recall it be a Deluxe Reverb) and a Tube Screamer distortion pedal.
As soon as we started running through Hotel California at sound check, THERE WAS THAT SOUND!!! Goes to show you that 90% of a guitarists ‘sound’ is actually out of their fingers… not the gear they use.
After soundcheck, we went back to our hotel rooms and were scheduled to be back in our green room an hour before we took the stage.
Backstage in that green room, Don Felder answered a whole lot of questions (mostly from me it seemed) about the Eagles, and although he was at that time in a law suit against them (notably Don Henley and Glen Frey), he answered with grace and enthusiasm.
I asked where the idea for Hotel California came from (his music, Don Henley’s words) and he had said that because all of the Eagles were from all over the USA originally, they all had talked about the effect coming to California for the first time and how it felt to all of them. They all had admitted to each other that, at the time, it felt like driving into the belly of the beast… and that there was no going back now. That was the impetus for the lyric.
He had said that they had recorded the entire Hotel California track starting on an E Minor, and that Henley would drive around with a cassette of it in his car to sing along to and conjure up lyrics and phrasing.
When it came time to do the vocals for real, Henley found that the song was totally out of his range! He had been singing along with it in the car but in a weak falsetto… but he couldn’t hit the notes in full voice at all.
So they had to scrap that version and redo the song starting on B minor.

Regardless it turned out to be simply ‘a rock classic’. It’s overplayed to this day, but I never tire of it. The vocals, the playing, the double lead guitars at the end with Don Felder and Joe Walsh steadfastly holds it as one of the best songs radio has ever played.

At the Courtnall Classic that year was also: Michael Buble,(who went on before us) Chad Kroeger (with just an acoustic guitar), Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson (who was dating Kid Rock at the time), David Foster… and on and on…. the night carried on at the large nightclub ‘Legends’ in The Strathcona Hotel after the gala ended. It seemed everyone got into it later that night. There were no instruments left to play, so David Foster simply conducted the band to try to put some dynamics to the cacophony that sometimes ensued.

Courtnall Classic Pictures
Courtnall Classic Pictures

Here’s a video (sorry no sound) of me playing bass behind Kid Rock with Chad Kroeger on guitar:


Quite a night of memories….

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Mick Dalla-Vee

Early days 1976 - He moved to Western Canada, after leaving Bawating High School from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, with the band Shama. Shama toured Western Canada and was managed by Bruce Allen (Bryan Adams, Martina McBride) before disbanding. 1981 -From that point he became the lead guitarist of Trama, managed by Sam Feldman (Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall), 1984 - then on to playing bass for the band Paradox which evolved into his current band Cease & Desist. 1989 - Cease & Desist has been described as "one of Vancouver's most popular bands" by Tom Harrison the rock music critic of The Province. He also plays the part of John in a Beatles cover band, Revolver, that was put together for Expo 86 Songwriting Mick has written or co-written many songs on albums for artists as diverse as country music's Brent Howard and Canada's Singing Cowgirl: Marilyn Faye Parney, the heavy rock sounds of Blackstone (released on the Delinquent label in Canada), the soul/R&B sounds Belinda Metz and 'Emily Jordan' to the 'smooth jazz' sounds of internationally acclaimed Lori Paul. 2005 - He co-wrote ten of the eleven songs on Paul's album Vanity Press. 1998 - His first country song 'The Wrangler' reached the country top 30 charts right across Canada. It also achieved 'Heavy Rotation' on C.M.T., Canada's country music video channel. One of the songs from Mick's 'A Whistler Christmas' album entitled, 'All I Want is You at Christmastime' has been recorded and released by Canadian country star, Brent Howard Currently - He has also written music for movies, television, videos, video games and promotional spots. His writing styles run the gamut from 'Smooth Jazz' to 'Heavy Thrash'. (A Whistler Christmas and Dalla-Vee's original Christmas songs are often heard on Canadian radio during their Christmas music programming.) Producing Aside from producing himself in an array of projects such as 1994's A Whistler Christmas album, he runs his own studio 'Millennia Sound Design', producing and engineering for artists like: Randy Bachman, Twitch, Swaggerjack, Emily Jordan, Russell Marsland, Lori Paul and Suzanne Gitzi among others. 2007 - has provided theme music and soundscapes for two network television series and Simon Fraser University. 2005 - Randy Bachman's CD "Jazzthing" had some work done on it at "Millennia Sound Design". Vocals Dalla-Vee has contributed to projects as diverse as, 1991 - the multi platinum heavy rock of the "Mötley Crüe" album "A Decade of Decadence" to the 2001 - country/rockabilly sounds of Brent Howard and Southern Cherry to Colin Arthur Wiebe. 1989 - Canadian legends, Trooper and The Powder Blues Band have also used Mick's voice for recordings. 1991 - He has worked extensively as a studio session singer/musician, with his talent of many voices being used on a worldwide 'Karaoke' album package marketed over the dreaded U.S. infomercial. He has sung a number of commercial jingles for radio and television. Awards Having recorded with a host of other Canadian and international recording acts such as Randy Bachman (of the band The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive), Mick was awarded a 'Gold Record' for his work on the 'Trooper' album 'Last of the Gypsies' in 1991. In 1997, he received the Saskatchewan Album of the Year Award for his song writing/musician contributions to an album with proceeds going to people affected with multiple sclerosis. 2011 – Gold Award for Bachman & Turner DVD – Live at the Roseland Ballroom 2013 – Platinum Award for Bachman & Turner DVD – Live at the Roseland Ballroom Appeared in ‘The Campaign’ with Will Ferrell, Zack Galifianakis, Dylan McDermott, John Lithgow, Dan Aykroyd and directed my Jay Roach (shot in New Orleans) Current – Write music for the popular ‘Holmes’ TV series on HGTV Releases: “Bachman and Turner” in 2010 Producing the Toronto pop/soul band ‘Hello Beautiful’. Heads the ‘Music in Motion Workshop’ for the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, a pilot project designed to develop a musical camaraderie with children, youth and young adults with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Live [edit] He keeps an extremely steady schedule playing guitar, bass and keyboards with his main band, Cease and Desist, and “The Atlantic Crossing Show” featuring Mick as John Lennon and Elton John. Since 2001 - He is the bass player/vocalist with Canadian Rock Legend, Randy Bachman's band 2004 - Bachman’s recent foray in the jazz world with his new CD, ‘Jazz Thing’ features Dalla-Vee on the ‘upright bass’. Ongoing - He plays mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitars and harmonica in the Brent Howard and Southern Cherry band, Ongoing - and has toured as John Lennon in 'Revolver - The Worlds Best Beatles Show'. Ongoing - In addition, he also works as a solo artist appearing regularly at special events and casinos. Affiliations 2004 - A longtime member of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, he has sat on the panel as a judge for Canada's Juno Awards (Canada's Version of The Grammy's). 1989 – 2001 He was on the board of directors of the Pacific Music Industry Association for 3 years, and is also chair of 2000 – 2005 The Carolyn Foundation Musician's Assistance Society; a non-profit organization he and colleagues set-up in the wake of his daughter Carolyn's sudden death in November 1999