1996: THE POWER OF ROCK AND ROLL/SANCTUARY RECORDS
This album would mark a turning point in the band’s career. After riding high on the charts during the 80’s the 90’s were not so kind, seeing the band lose it’s record deal(s) and drop back into playing the bars. Members came and went with increasing frequency. However, through it all I continued to keep releasing new albums. I can’t remember how it ever came to be that Gord, Steve, and myself got together to write, but it was magic right from the start. We were kicking out three or four new songs per writing session-and they were good! We started recording the album at Mole Studios but towards the end moved the recording to EMAC.
Initially Gord shopped the CD to Sanctuary in New York, who turned us down. The U.S. company told us to try Sanctuary U.K. and low! and behold-we got a deal offered us. Not only that, but Sanctuary also licensed 6 other Helix titles I owned. So we signed a deal, but we kept Power of Rock and Roll separate from the other CDs in the contract ‘cos they had nothing to do with Gord and Steve. The company paid me immediately for the 6 “other” licensed albums immediately. I decided to fly to England to meet the company and discuss a game plan for the record’s release (or to at least hear Sanctuary’s game plan for it) Just before Lynda and I left Canada I received the check with the advance for Power of Rock and Roll. I paid Gord and Steve their share and jumped a plane for England.
One thing that I had found disconcerting about Sanctuary was that I was hearing rumors that they were on the verge of being bought out, so when I finally met the guys from the company I asked them straight out about it. They assured me that I knew as much as they did.
Imagine my panic when I returned back to Canada and found out that the last check Sanctuary had given me had bounced at the bank. I immediately jumped on the phone to the record company to find out what was going on. They assured me it was all a big mistake. Well, I didn’t think it was a mistake. I was starting to feel that they were getting bought out and that I was going to get stiffed on the check. The back and forth continued for about a week and a half. Luckily , I had a supporter at the company-a guy named John Richardson-who went to bat for me and finally I got paid my money. A week later Sanctuary got bought out. Although the CD came out in Europe there was really no push and the CD didn’t really get further than being an underground hit. In Canada we signed a licensing deal with Capitol/E.M.I. and in the U.S. a licensing deal with Perris Records.
Players on this CD:
Rob MacEachern; Drums
Brian Vollmer: vocals
Additional background vocals: Gord Prior/Doug Weir, Al Packham, Rainer Weichman