Vern “Fatty” Smith – Drums, vocals
Fatty got hooked on wanting to play music in 1963 as did many of his peers when the Beatles invasion took place. His first band was decided upon shortly after in 1963 when he and friends Dennis Bremner, Jim Johnstone, Larry Flora, Steve Beach and Dan Desmond started “The Contours” and they practiced and managed to play a few gigs.
In 64 he then started “The Moonrakers” with Dan and Steve, Mike Sutton and John Brant filled out the band, playing public schools and the grade 8 prom. The next band with fellow musicians Steve and Dan as well as Dave Souliere and Gord Harrison was “The Galaxies” and their visual presentation included go-go girls as they played school and church functions.
“Johnny B and the Mystics” was next in 66-67 with Bob Conway(replaced by Pierre Maher), John Brant and again Dan Desmond and Steve Beach. The big event with this band was a trip to New York City in 67 and playing the Peppermint Lounge and Tune Timers Club.
Jimi Hendrix exploded on the scene and caused Fatty and the band to make a big shift in their musical development and change to the band name to The Mystic Power upon their return home. Fatty met Bill Small of the Chevrons and formed a new band with him and Steve Beach along with Dan Desmond under the name “Free Style” playing high schools, dance clubs and opening shows for bigger acts . Fatty jokingly refers to this a when he first hit the “Big Time”.
Deciding to make an honest woman of Linda M. Hastings, he married her in 1969 and they are still together today after 39 years.
1970 brought the new band “Joe Banana and the Bunch” to play with Steve, Jim Windle, Brian Ferrell and Jamie Robinson and this was the year Jim Windle got married so they decided that it was time to change the name of the band to Headstone. This morphed into Headstone 2 with band members Denis Madden(Plant) Brian Ferrell and Larry Luellen.
Fatty took a leap to full time musician in 71 and toured army bases along with other bookings with the band “ Beginnings” and fellow bandmates Don Mactavish, Dan Desmond, Brian Sutton and Ron Osborne (Ronny Rhodes) until they came off the road in Sept. 1973.
Tired of changing bands and band names, or perhaps running out of names, caused Fatty to develop a band that played regularly from 1973 to 1980 by the name of Autumn with everyone from the previous band except Ronnie Rhodes and the additions of Tom Hastings and from 76 on his wife Linda. This band became a fixture as a dance band in the area and was highlighted for Fatty with his introduction to recording studio sessions and the ability to showcase some of his musical friends Tim Simpson. Steve Beach, Pierre Maher, Kenny Marco(Motherlode) and others.
Fatty took a rest in 1980 from music to concentrate more on his growing boys and their sports .In 1983 the company that employed Fatty went on strike and this caused Fatty to jump on with Whisky Hollow doing roadie chores and within a month the original drummer Jerry wanted to slow down and Fatty took over the position of drummer for the band. They reformed with Len, Pat, Nellzy, Joe Allain and Barry Kirk to do the TV show Rock Country and session work at Shotgun Studio.
AFTER WHISKY HOLLOW
Fatty started Double Diamond, a dance band with Pat, Barry, Nellzy and Joe Allain and played a few gigs. Then in 85, with Pierre, Pat ,Linda and Sue, with Tom Hastings coming on board shortly after, and Joe Wilson joining after Pat left, they played for 13 years doing dances, weddings etc.
In 1998 Fatty started Full Circle with Dan Desmond, Linda and Joe Wilson and played the bar circuit for a couple of years. For 5 years after that he played mostly as an on call musician with numerous bands including Sidekicks, Dinosaurs, Southbound and is still a member of Common Thread a bar band with Murray Williams, Steve Souliere and Mike Dalton.
Then came the reality of The Whisky Hollow Reunion concert which has led to the present reforming of the band as it is today.
Who knows where this will lead to as time moves on with the history of Whisky Hollow’s knack for success and all those seasoned musicians once again coming to bear.
STAY TUNED !!
80’s video Alabama Party
70’s video Ladies