Rob Shaw and Carl Jackson were once Little League baseball teammates in Chemainus. Now they’re both based in the Vancouver area and teaming up once again in a band called Spectrelight for a return engagement to their hometown.
Spectrelight also includes ace drummer Brett Drury and will be playing the Green Lantern Pub Friday at 8 p.m. Shaw and Jackson, who’ve remained in contact with each other for many years before coming together in the band, hope to see some familiar faces in the crowd.
“I still have good memories of living there – really enjoyed my childhood there,” said Shaw, now 44.
He’s been married five years, has two girls aged 3 1/2 and 11 months, and just bought a house in Maple Ridge along with his wife after living in Port Moody the last eight years.
Shaw graduated from high school in 1991, the last time he lived here.
“Why we do this is to get a lot of high school friends to basically have a good time and catch up to each other,” he indicated.
“I always have deep roots for that area. It’s always a special place to come back to.”
One of the guys they’re looking forward to seeing from their past is Rob Grasa, who’s now living in Spain. Shaw received a Facebook message from him and it turns out that’s the only night he just happens to be in Chemainus.
Shaw and Jackson both went to Malaspina College after graduating and have always remained friends despite going their separate ways for a while. Shaw was in Toronto for about eight years and Jackson in Los Angeles before they reconnected again in person five years ago on the Mainland.
Jackson now lives in Richmond and recently got married.
“I was just the best man at his wedding last month, July 7 he got married,” noted Shaw. “I was the best man and MC. It shows how close we’ve remained all these years.”
Shaw said he had been playing music since he was a teenager and a 2011 high school grad reunion at the Chemainus Legion spearheaded them getting together as a band. They also did a gig at the Green two years ago.
“This is the third one of coming back to town and getting people together and having a good time,” Shaw indicated.
Shaw performs lead vocals and bass, Jackson guitar and back-up vocals and Drury’s on the drums and provides some back-up vocals as well. They’ll be playing two long sets of ’70s to ’90s classics.
They have a couple of original songs in their repertoire, but stick to the well-known covers for this appearance.
Spectrelight started as a band in April of 2012. The name “gives us broad avenues to explore our music,” explained Shaw.
They plan a few special tributes, including one to Carl’s dad Pete who just passed away from cancer in March and was married to Phyllis, who lives in Chemainus, for 47 years.
”I felt it would be nice to give her something to look forward to,” said Shaw.
They’ll also be performing special songs in honour of longtime baseball volunteers Larry Irving and Sonny Collinson. They have an old Iron Butterfly song in mind for Collinson.
“We like to recognize different things on the local scene we grew up with and people that influenced our lives in a positive way,” added Shaw.
“Overall, this is all about getting people together in an area we remember fondly, just the people we grew up with.”
And in this day and age of lives being so heavily social media conscious, “we want to get people together face-to-face,” emphasized Shaw.
As an added element of fun near the end of the first set, (Big Afro) Shaw and (Goldie Locks) Jackson have more in store for the show.
“We actually have some wigs we put on for a couple of songs,” chuckled Shaw. “We’re kind of going back to being teenagers.”