The Blazing Saddles Story

In the 1990s I was asked to play drums in a hobby band called Old Kids On The Block. That morphed into a band called The Strange Bedfellows.

I missed the meeting where the name and costumes were decided. We played summer festivals wearing pastel bedclothes of different colours. I was the teal ‘smurf’. You could not be pretentious playing in these outfits.

By the way, the bass player in peach on the left is Stewart McKenzie, the creator of the fabulous caricature of us dancing on the motorhome.

One day bandleader Bill Allman said over lunch, “If we play country music and change the name of the band, maybe we can get paid to play.”

I snarked, “Oh sure, we can sit around eating beans and punching out horses and call it Blazing Saddles!”

The name stuck.

We played at SeaFair in Powell River something like seven years in a row.  The year we changed names we were asked to play on a Telethon to raise money for playground equipment on the fairgrounds/beach.

Our idea was that we would appear on stage as the Strange Bedfellows for the first song, then strip off the bedclothes to reveal country duds.  Voila! Blazing Saddles comes out!

There was a camera crew, an MC, and about 100 people in the theatre when we started.  We took a short break to receive pledges.

When returned the entire audience was gone!

We thought we weren’t that bad!

Turns out that there was a bomb threat and they decided to evacuate everyone except the band, cameraman, and MC!

I can see the headlines if there was a bomb:

Blazing Saddles Goes Up In Smoke 10 Minutes Into Their Debut.

The band has survived some 25 years and has evolved into a competent and entertaining band playing festivals and corporate events.

I no longer play drums with the band, but still do the website and sound. Something of a ‘Mel Evans’ of the band.


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