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Wasbeens fundraiser for Hurricane Fiona

Clockwise, from top left: Dr. Douglas Côté, Lew Skinner, Roger Caissie, Kelvin Parsons, Carol Côté, Troy Ingram, Jim Crewe – Submitted photos

By: Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

PORT AUX BASQUES — Residents on the Southwest coast will need to keep their eyes open in the coming months, because tickets will be going on sale for the Wasbeens next charitable concert. The event, slated to take place sometime near the end of July, promises to keep people dancing while raising money for a worthy cause. “It’s to support the Fiona victims and it’s a Lion’s Club project. The Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Lions Clubs are going together on this project. I’m in the band the Wasbeens and there’s also a band called the Cruisers in Nova Scotia and together we are going to donate our time to the project,” said Dr. Douglas Côté, saxophone player for the Wasbeens. “It’s for Fiona victims from Port aux Basques and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.” Both bands share a similar musical styling, which made the decision to team up that much easier. “The Cruisers are very similar to the Wasbeens in that they play 50’s and 60’s rock and roll music, and their primary purpose is to do charity fundraisers. They’re going to be doing two or three fundraising dances in Nova Scotia and the final fundraiser is going to be in Port aux Basques, and the Wasbeens are going to be playing, and a couple of the Cruisers will be playing as well, Michael Hart on vocals and guitar, and Floyd Maclean on bass.” It’s more than music that connects the two groups. “One of the founding members of the Wasbeens, Roger Caissie, is also one of the members of the Cruisers, he joined the Cruisers when he left Port aux Basques, and they do very similar music so it’s a nice connection and we are going to be using that connection for this purpose.” The final fundraiser date and location haven’t been confirmed yet. “We are shooting for the 22nd or 29th of July and it all depends on the response and availability of locations, but it will most likely be in the Lions Club, but could potentially be at the (Bruce II) stadium.” Regardless of the location, the Wasbeens have been around long enough that they know they’ll be able to put off a successful show. “We formed in the 90’s and basically started off as a number of musicians from the area, getting together for a bit of fun, but we were asked to do a fundraiser for the hospital foundation. So we did that fundraiser and things went over so well that we ended up doing several fundraisers afterwards. We’ve done fundraisers in Corner Brook, and in Port aux Basques mostly, and that’s our main thing. We like to do that, raise money for different organizations,” said Côté. “Two of the founding members of the Wasbeens were former Ducats.” Another band will be opening for the Wasbeens, the Runaways. Wade Osmond on drums, Roy Keeping on guitar, Corey Anderson on vocals, and Jerry Pike on bass, will take to the stage ahead of the main act to get the crowd warmed up. If you’re looking for power ballads, this show isn’t for you because the Wasbeens promise an upbeat and lively experience. “When we select a song, the first thing we think about is if you can dance to it, so we try to make it as danceable a night and as fun a night as possible,” said Côté. The Wasbeens, consists of members Doug Côté on saxophone and vocals, Carol Côté on flute and vocals, Troy Ingram on drums, Roger Caissie on guitar and vocals, Lew Skinner on lead guitar, Kelvin Parsons on vocals, and Jim Crewe on bass. “Our band disbanded quite a few years ago because some of our members left for other provinces and whatever happened, but since then we’ve had several reunions, mainly to do a fundraiser, and every time we’ve played, we were sold out. So we try to do these fundraisers periodically and we always have a good time, and by the response it looks like the people that come to see us have a good time too.” The last time the Wasbeens did a fundraiser was pre-COVID, Aug. 18, 2018, so they are all excited to get everybody together. “When Fiona happened, of course everybody was looking at what we could do, and we’ve done a lot of fundraising in the past so it was a logical step that we could offer our services for that purpose. And the Lions Club were looking for something to contribute as well, so they took on this project and they’re coordinating it throughout Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, so there’s some fundraising being done there. It’s the right thing to do and we enjoy doing it so it’s a win-win.” Côté advised that if people are interested in attending, it’s probably best to keep their eyes out for ticket announcements because if their previous fundraisers are any indication, they will be playing a sold-out show. “You have individuals who tell us that, when we play and they are out there dancing, they go right back to their youth, dancing to these songs. You also get the younger people who enjoy it too because the music is just so contagious and fun to dance to. It’s a situation where you can get all age groups together to have a good time.”

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