High Adventure: Tales of Canadian Rock & Roll Survival – adventures of a famed musician, and fanatical fan
High Adventure: Tales of Canadian Rock & Roll Survival chronicles the outrageous musical adventures of a boy from the tiny village of Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, who became a rabid pop music fan, musician and finally a recording and touring member of some of Canada’s foremost pop groups. From the early bands playing high schools, universities, and teen dances, to capacity crowds at Maple Leaf Gardens, The Montreal Forum, and Massey Hall, his experiences somehow never remained ordinary.
Ritchie Henman and his brother David started their first band in Halifax in 1962 and were thrilled to perform on stage in local schools, church basements, and any other venue possible. Initially awed by the notion that they were actually paid to perform, they adopted a businesslike attitude and channeled the income back into the shows, acquiring ever more professional equipment as well as proper stage attire. The Sixties saw them relocate to St. John’s, Newfoundland, then Saint John, New Brunswick, and ultimately back to Halifax. Each band quickly rose to the top level of success in those cities.
In 1969, Ritchie’s band decided to forego all other considerations such as formal education and a secure home in order to pursue the ultimate goal for any pop group, a chance at a recording career. April Wine was formed in December of 1969, and in April of 1970 departed for Montreal to seek fame and fortune. Through sheer hard work and perseverance, April Wine paid its dues and was rewarded with a recording contract from Aquarius Records, a management contract from the already successful Terry Flood, and exclusive booking from the DKD Agency, already a major player in Montreal and, shortly thereafter, the rest of Canada.
By 1971 April Wine was a hitmaker from coast-to-coast and success continued for the next three years until the Henman brothers responded to the ever-present desire to do something different and embark on new adventures. Further success and occasional failure continued for over a decade down a path that was virtually always marked by the unusual and the bizarre.
Available from Nimbus Publishing
Ritchie Henman grew up in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia and became a pop music fan at an early age. Guitar lessons at age eleven were quickly followed by drums and piano. His first public performance at thirteen cemented a desire to play music that eventually led to a career as a professional recording and touring musician. With several hit records from his groups April Wine and Cruiser now enjoying more than fifty years of airplay, Ritchie has written a lively detailed chronicle of his adventures. Along the way, he had a biker gang put out a contract on him at twenty; had his image on every 7-Up can in the country at twenty-two; took one of the world’s foremost guitarists for a short fast drive in an Italian supercar that belonged to a notorious gangster; and turned down an opportunity to record and tour with an American superstar. He also toured with Stevie Wonder, the Jackson Five and other legendary performers. This is his true story.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.