Friday, June 26, 2009

Richard Flohil Turns 75

Friend, former co-worker, publicist, promoter, journalist and artist manager Richard Flohil celebrated his 75th birthday among friends and musicians at Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern on Thursday night.

I was reviewing the Jonathan Richman/Vic Chesnutt show at The Great Hall and didn't arrive at the party until midnight, when Blue Rodeo's Jim Cudddy was performing. The lovely and talented Heather Morgan (who unfortunately didn't perform) immediately gave me a piece of birthday cake to accompany my pint.

The Beauties, which can usually be found at The Dakota Tavern, was a great choice as the house band. Justin Rutledge joined it for a killer version of "California Stars" and the five-guitar assault on "Don't Be So Mean, Jelly Bean" had people going crazy. I'd never seen Rutledge rock so hard.

Luke Doucet and wife Melissa McClelland joined The Beauties for a great version of "Blood's Too Rich" and a cover of The Band's "Ophelia." Hey Stella, David Baxter, Downchild Blues Band's Donnie Walsh, Teresa Levasseur and Paul Reddick were among the others who impressed, while the likes of Stony Plain Records' Holger Petersen and CBC Radio head Denise Donlon also paid tribute to Richard from the stage.

Richard got an extra treat when singer/actress/burlesque performer Sonya "Jezebel" Cote sang a French chanson and then stripped for the grinning Englishman as he sat in a tattered chair and did his best to keep his hands to himself.

It was a fun night deserving of the man of honour. Happy birthday, Richard, and many happy returns.