Week 6: My Slug Story by Ted Okos

I was living in Kelowna in 2009 when out of the blue I received a phone call from one of my former booking agent in Vancouver.

After asking me whether I was still a funny guy, he continued on by saying that the original members of Doug and the Slugs were reforming. He thought I would be perfect for the gig and wondered if I was interested. I replied “well, I never thought about it really”

I figured I would give it a try. At that time I was on the verge of hanging up my musical career and trying something different as I have been a musician since I was sixteen years old and not a very successful one at that.

Numbers and names were exchanged with telephone tag between myself and Simon had begun.

At that time I was in a duo in Kelowna that rarely performed out of town but of course when Simon was trying to get in touch … guess who was out of town! After a few days of this we finally got connected and I was informed of the audition date and the tunes I would have to learn. I believe there were ten tunes.

Simon was very cordial and straight forward on the phone. He asked me a bit about my history but had never heard of any of the bands I had been in. So I told him my main feature over the years was mimicking other vocalists. He grunted a reply and so my homework began.

I had about two weeks to learn the songs so on went the headphones and were not removed for … you guessed it, two weeks.

The drive down from Kelowna was very pleasant. I believe it was April? The weather and roads were great. With Doug and the Slugs blasting out of my 89 Chevy Astro, every other commuter thought I was mighty keen!

As I drove into the parking lot of the rehearsal studio, the very last song( Who Knows How to Make Stay) was just starting. I figured I had enough time for one more review of the song. I did, as I walked up to the studio, there was Simon Kendall in all his glory.

I thought the audition went fairly well, other than I was sweating like a pig. Drifting Away was a hard one for me as I didn’t have the lyrics.

Other than that, when we actually did “Who Knows How to Make Love stay”, I omitted the bass vocal line of the verse as I thought that it was Simon singing that part… Oops! They all seemed like cool, groovy dudes and the tunes were catchy and interesting. I had always been a fan of the band

And in fact when I started one of my bands in 1979, I was compared to Doug quite often. It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of this project for eleven years now. The rest, as they say, is history.

 

Ted Okos

 

First band photo (Hans Sipma, 2009)
First gig booked: June 26, 2009

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