IN THE BEGINING...The original band members included Darrell Quast (left) on percussion and vocals, Marcus Redivo (2nd from left) on bass, Duncan Meiklejohn (3rd from left) on keyboards, guitar and vocals, Selwyn Redivo (2nd from right) on guitar, flute and vocals and Lyle Shepard (right) on drums.
The original sound tech was Jerry Neufeld and road management was the responsibility of Mike Gayle. Group management was handled by Bob Harris and bookings were handled by Studio City Music out of Alberta.
Duncan, Marcus and Selwyn played together in two former Penticton BC bands, “The Barons” and “The House of Lords” which included Drummer Neil Morrison and Bass player Barry Scott (the Barons) and drummer Ron Beechey (the House of Lords).
Lyle Shepard and Darrell Quast played together in a former Kamloops BC band called “Solution” which included Keyboard player David Parkinson, guitarist Doug Jeffers and Bass player, Gary Shepard
Later GCRR members included Ken Chalmers (drummer), Matt Frenette (drummer for GCRR and later for Loverboy) and Paul Dean (guitarist for GCRR and later for Loverboy).
35 years later
For the band and many fans, the Great Canadian River Race 35 reunion was a chance to re live a fondly remembered past that included psychedelic music, light shows and early 70s rock. It was certainly all of these things for the band, and more. But the 35 year reunion presented significant challenges as well. First and foremost is that the band had not played together in more than 33 years. Add to that the fact that Marcus had not played bass in 20 years (or any instrument for that matter), Selwyn (now a renowned classical guitarist) had not played electric guitar for as many years and Lyle had sold his drums and not played for nearly 8 years. Learning 25 or so songs in a few days of rehearsal is tough for seasoned players that play together regularly. Imagine trying to accomplish this under these circumstances.
Even getting together to rehearse presented major problems, as all five members live in different parts of the Province. As a result rehearsal time had to be jammed into several intense days.
So what was the first rehearsal like? The rust was definitely evident, but the old chemistry was till there, as was the close bond that the band members had shared 35 years prior. The rust quickly disappeared, the music started to flow and the magic returned.