Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Canada Spotlight: The Free-For-All - Show Me The Way/Blue Monday

Day four of the Canada Battle of the Garage Bands takes us to Nova Scotia, Canada. Seriously. We definitely don't know of any other garage bands from Nova Scotia. 

The band name on the label says The Free-For-All but the band is really the Halifax, Nova Scotia band, The Great Scots. The Great Scots recorded a number of solid records in their native land for London Records and Epic Records before they made their way to LA to try to hit the big time. The band seemed to be on the edge of success when they ran into a brick wall. Maybe it was their silly Kilt outfits and coordinated dances. Or maybe it was their tight cut non-Beatle hair that held them back. Who knows? But in an effort to trick jaundiced radio programmers, the band released Show Me The Way (which is actually the Flip-Side of the record) under the name The Free-For-All. Show Me The Way just soars. Catchy melody and a great guitar riff. How was this not the A-Side?

The A-Side was the more pedestrian blues number, Blue Monday, a rewrite of T-Bone Walker's often covered number, Stormy Monday Blues

The single was released on Challenge Records in the Summer of 1966. Ultimately the prestidigitation didn't work and the record went nowhere, despite it's inherent quality. Then the Canucks got a rude awakening. Dave Isnor was conscripted into the US Army and sent off to Vietnam. Yep, when you were here on a working visa, you could be drafted. Whoops. The remaining members, Gerry Archer, Bill Schnare, Rick McNeil. and Wayne Forrest high-tailed it back to Nova Scotia on the first dog sled out and their chance at stardom was lost. Luckily they left us this gem before they got lost in the snow drifts of time.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. This was good enough to be on, and would have been perfect for, What A Way To Die.