Surprised Family Fan

Drummer Gerry Wand has previously written of how his music career commenced in Western Canada, including playing with legendary artists Billy Cowsill and John Witmer, among others and, after joining the band Fosterchild, being part of the backup band for Chuck Berry. Fosterchild was a band considered to have great promise, having been signed to Columbia Records for two albums, and later releasing a third, on another label. Here Gerry Wand recounts a surprise encounter in Ottawa:

In 1978, Fosterchild played in Ottawa, at the Civic Centre, as the opening act for Trooper. As a part of our tour, we were scheduled to sign autographs at the Treble Clef record store, in downtown Ottawa. This was after the release of our second album.

The funniest thing then happened—well, for me, anyway. We pulled up to the front of the store in a couple of stretch limos for our scheduled appointment, and a small crowd had gathered out front. I was the first one out of the car, and as I headed for the door of the store, I hear this woman’s voice yell out, “For God sakes, Charlie. Look, there’s Buster’s kid!”

It was my father’s sister, my aunt Dora, and her husband, who had just come out of the store, after buying some music. Hadn’t seen them in years.

I told them I was there to sign autographs, so they got me to sign their Carl Perkins album, and off they went.


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Postscript, September 8, 2012: On September 4, 2012, Gerry Wand commented further, as follows (e-mail correspondence reproduced with permission):

I was always uncomfortable signing autographs. A cab driver refused to take money from me, after a cab ride in Calgary, since he recognized me from a show we did at The Refinery. I left the money on the seat.

I was born in Pointe-Saint-Charles. We were six children, and my father was a soldier. Having a big ego wasn’t in the mix.

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