Stardom in Canada is not like being big in Japan. One gets a sense that the latter is kinda like Beatlemania but in a language you don’t understand. But people are still going crazy. In Canada, everybody’s too mellow to get too excited. So why Bob Segarini thought moving to Canada was the right choice for his stalled musical career is a head scratcher. After slogging it out with a host of bands in the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s he ended up in Toronto in 1977 to kick off a solo career. And it worked out for him, sort of. While Americans remained indifferent his records got play on Canadian radio, sparking a few minor hits.
Growing up in 1970s Canada the Segarini song I recall getting maximum rotation on the radio was “Goodbye LA” with its Booker T and MGs organ opener and relentless vamping style. And as a Canadian, a song about giving the heave ho to an American cultural capital seemed just about the right sentiment. But I can’t say it was my favourite cut from the album of the same name. That distinction belongs to the exquisite, should-have-been hit single “Please Please Please.” It’s a cover from Ducks Deluxe but with a lovely Merseybeat guitar wash over everything that brings out the tune’s hints of 1950s and early 1960s song stylings. How about that pumping piano instrumental break? Or the Hard Day’s Night guitar touches at the end? I can just hit replay again and again.
Segarini’s got a few other cool tunes too, tracks like “Gotta Have Pop,” “Hideaway” and “Living in the Movies” from 1978’s Gotta Have Pop as well as the aforementioned numbers from 1979’s Goodbye LA. Basically, if you like Moon Martin or Walter Egan, Segarini’s got more of that good stuff for you. Segarini’s solo work can be found on Bandcamp while his often hilarious, sometimes serious late-in-life musings can be enjoyed at his blog Don’t Believe a Word I Say.
Jeff Roberts said:
This album is from 1978!! So did not hear that artful key change coming at 1:55. “Living in the Movies” is really cool tune that sounds like Springsteen and Phil Lynott converged.
I think the quintessential Canadian social element is the tip jar. Even the pilots on Air Canada have theirs just taped on the bulkhead outside the cabin door.
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Dennis Pilon said:
The ‘Living in the Movies’ track really reminded me of Walter Egan.