John Power is determined to set the record straight.
Thirty Four years ago he was recruited to be the tour manager of Goddo, hired by the band’s management to help execute two major national tours in support of their “Act Of Goddo” (1990) record release
“Goddo was at the peak of their popularity at that time,” noted Power, head of his All Access Productions Company. “I watched them sell out three Winnipeg gigs in two years, outside of Toronto they were superstars, and in Toronto they were the hardest working band in the city. Yet I also saw them hit rock bottom as far as the other stuff went. Their record company (Polygram) wasn’t promoting their records properly, Greg was fighting with the radio stations that weren’t playing Goddo records and they were literally being worked to death by a manager (David Bluestein) who was also their booking agent.”
Power was so incensed at the situation that he resigned from the band, complaining to Bluestein “that he should be ashamed of himself. He had a great band that was falling apart,” fumed Power. “I just couldn’t witness it anymore.”
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Fast forward to 2008 and Power moves back to Toronto where he hooks up with his pal Goddo drummer Doug Inglis, who is on a sabbatical from the band. “Doug was in a band called The Dylan Tree, it was a band that played Dylan songs but sounded like The Eagles. I did an EPK for them and got them exposure on Channel One (the original Toronto Sun/Quebecor channel) explained Power. “Based on this, I felt it would be appropriate if I produced a documentary on Goddo that I could also air on the channel”
Power said he had been positively influenced by the Anvil documentary which has been screened at several major film festivals and was inspired to present Goddo in a positive light. “Then I found that Channel One had changed their format and had gone all news so that outlet was out but Goddo decided to roll the dice and keep things going,” noted Power. “So I followed them around for a year to see what they were doing. My ultimate goal was to help Goddo equal their past success.”
The idea for the documentary, tagged “In Goddo We Trust” was to combine archival footage with current concert footage plus interviews with current and past band members, fellow musicians and industry types who had a history with the band. He also wanted to shoot a scene with the band in the studio together writing a new Goddo song.”
“It was suggested that we should shoot a live concert of the band to supplement the documentary, but when eOne Entertainment’s Greg Pappas saw the resulting footage he suggested that we issue a concert DVD as a stand-alone product that would also serve as a pre-promotion for the final DVD.
[quote]“The biggest thank you I could have received came from Gino Scarpelli’s son Gene who grabbed me backstage after the concert and said, `Thanks, John for saving my dad’s life!,”[/quote]“I don’t think it had ever been done before that a live concert DVD pre-promoted the official documentary but on March 28th 2010 at the Sound Academy, Power set up a completely new stage set-up, back line and lighting rig, to film the ultimate Goddo concert. More than 2,000 fans filed into the venue, where Goddo members Greg Godovitz, guitarist Gino Scarpelli and drummer Doug Inglis were joined by Scarpelli’s guitar-playing son, Gene with former drummer Marty Morin and former Fludd band mate Ed Pilling also joining them on stage.
“The biggest thank you I could have received came from Gino Scarpelli’s son, Gene who grabbed me backstage after the concert and said, `Thanks, John for saving my dad’s life!,” said Power. ’ Gino had been fighting his demons in the past but that concert allowed him to refocus on Goddo and to see him and his son on stage together made the whole project worthwhile.”
The end result Is strong enough that Power and eOne Entertainment have decided to launch the Return Of The Pretty Bad Boys concert DVD with special premiere movie screenings. The first one was staged on Sunday September 29th at The Park Theatre, preceded on Saturday September 28th with a live concert at The Oak. This sequence will be repeated on Wednesday October 2nd at the Royal Theatre in Toronto which will be followed by a live performance by the band at Rockpile West on Thursday, a concert Friday at Barrie’s Roxy Theatre before an appearance at the new Rockpile East club (formerly The Knob Hill Hotel) in Scarborough on Saturday October 5th.
The Concert DVD and In Goddo We Trust DVD are anticipated to be released by eOne Entertainment prior to Christmas and Power is hoping the final documentary is strong enough to be shown at film festivals around the world.
He is buzzed about Sunday’s live concert in Winnipeg and says that the movie premiere was enthusiastically received. “Obviously, Winnipeg still loves Goddo,” noted Power.
Goddo’s appearance Saturday at the opening of Rockpile East is bound to regenerate memories of the band’s heyday at The Knob Hill and Power is hopeful that this exposure will reunite interest in the band.
So why has John Power committed the past five years of his live, plus invested serious funding to execute this project. “Because they deserve it,” is his simple response“ I am aware that the band might have rubbed some people the wrong way but people should take their talent at face value. And if I can contribute to bringing them back into the spotlight it is all worth it.”
Photography by: Ted Van Boort