seeds of the Mike Plume Band were planted, in western Canada, in
September of 1985, when I met Ernie Basiliadis at high school football
tryouts in Bonnyville, Alberta. My mom, my brother and I had just moved
to Bonnyville from Moncton, New Brunswick in eastern Canada. Ernie and I
formed our first band and played around town thru our high school years.
I lost touch with Ernie when I graduated from high school in 1987.
to get out of town and I promptly hit the road the first band that rolled
thru Bonnyville who was looking for a guitar player. A guitar player? I'd
only been playing the guitar for a little over 2 years at that point.
What the hell was I thinking? Anyway, that lasted 2 months. Fired. The
next band that I joined was looking for a singer. That lasted 2 weeks.
Fired. The next band that I joined was also looking for a singer. Byran
Bueckert was the drummer in that band. Anyway, that gig lasted 10 months.
I wasn't fired from the band, but, we were fired from a gig because the
club owner said I couldn't sing. I know a lot of people who would agree
with him. Whatever, that was the end of my stay in that band..... What's
yer hurry here's yer hat.....
went home and tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do with my
life. All I knew for sure was that I wanted to be in a band and go on
tour. In 1989, I was teaching guitar lessons in Bonnyville and one of my
students was a 13 year old kid named Derek Mazurek. In 1993 I put out my
first album (Songs from a Northern Town) and began to tour around Western
Canada with Byran Bueckert on drums, Jackson Langley on guitar and Tino
Zolfo on bass. Ernie went off to college (I think). Regardless, wherever
he was, I lost touch with him.
In ’94, I
was looking for a guitar player and offered the gig to my guitar student,
from way back when, Derek Mazurek. He said “No.” He said "No?" He said
"No." Mazurek, who, oddly enough, was playing in a band at the time with
Ernie said he would fill in until I found someone. Derek and Ernie said
they knew of a guitar player from Fort McMurray Alberta. Enter Dave Klym.
The gig was his by the second or third note. The band that Derek and
Ernie were playing in fell apart. Mazurek now in need of a gig took the
bass spot the second it opened up. I again lost touch with Ernie (he does
that sometimes). Trish Wight (vocals) and the world famous Kevin Dabbs
(drums) joined the band during the "Kerouac" era. But, I didn’t see the
forest for the trees. I didn’t hear the beat for the drums, if you will.
Enter, finally and again, Ernie.
our first official gig together in May of 1996. In 1997 we put out two
albums “Song And Dance, Man” and “Simplify” Somehow we managed to play
just shy of 200 one niters all across Canada and Europe. In 1998 we made
our first jump into the USA. Toured like fools in a hurry and played 225
shows. We also recorded a new album called “Steel Belted Radio”. In 1999
we played 249 one niters. “Song And Dance, Man” was released in the USA
in June of ’99. In 2000 we played another 220 shows. Unfortunately, in
April of that year, Derek Mazurek had decided to make his exit from the
band. He got married and decided to see what living a life in one town
for more than 12 hours at a time felt like. I, for one, was heartbroken.
Somehow, and really without a choice, we trudged on.
friend and former band mate of Ernie's... Meck Myers on bass guitar in
May of 2000. We recorded “Fools For The Radio” in November of 2000. We
released it on September 11th, 2001. For the next year or so things
slowly started to unravel..... In April of 2002 I told the guys that I
wouldn't mind if we slowed things down for a while... We did our last
show on October 25th 2002 in Wakefield Quebec. I was tired and in
desperate need of a break. Exhausted. Confused. Broken hearted. So,
after, give or take, 1200 shows in 8 years we called it a day.
Meck and Ernie continued on without me. They called themselves the
Populars. Meck left the Populars in May of 2006. Enter Ben Wilson on bass
last 6 years I played, at the most, 100 shows and released albums in 2003
and 2004 called "Table For One" and "Rock And Roll Recordings, Volume 1"
respectively. To quote Steve Earle, I was, "Too young to quit and too old
to hire, these days a man can afford to retire."
but quite certain that I didn't want to be in the music business anymore;
we left Nashville in May of ’03. We moved to Toronto. My wife and I had a
daughter (Ruby) in July of ’04. I found out what it was like to live in a
town for more than 12 hours. I liked it. I liked it a lot.
We did a
reunion show in Bonnyville in July of ’04 for no other reason than the
hell of it. What a blast. We did a second show in May of ’05. Two hours
long. No set list. No rehearsal. Nothin’ but net. Like falling off a
rock. Like rolling down a hill. Like showing a card trick to a
and I moved back to Tennessee in August of ’06. Suddenly I was back in
the business of writing songs for a living. A couple of phone calls in
the early part of 2008 lead to the idea of maybe doing a new record. We
did another show in Nashville in May of 2008. Original lineup. First full
show in over 8 years. It was like we'd never stopped playing. I never
thought I’d be at this point again. I never thought I cared this much
about it. I was wrong. It's kinda funny how life works, isn't it?