Canadian Rocker Johnnie Lovesin Celebrates his 61st Birthday 

Johnny Lovesin and Sons

by Bill Delingat

Lovesin got his start playing in Yorkville in the heyday of peace, love and rock n roll, busking and pan handling to the curious tourists who came to gawk at what became the hippie love generation.  
By 1969 he was putting his own band together, “Black Ballet” which Lovesin would later claim to those that would listen ,that he would be crowned the “King of Rock n Roll” at the historic Lennon, “Rock n Roll Peace Festival” at Varsity Stadium. Lovesin made it as far as back stage using his all familiar “gift of gab”, but that was as far as he got to getting crowned. Oddly enough some 40 years later John Brower the rock promoter with vision that put the event together is making a movie of that historic concert called “John Lennon Ate my Lunch” formerly known as “Rock War Peace. This year also marks what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday and the city of Liverpool is planning the “John Lennon Tribute season” Oct 9th (Lennon’s Birthday) to Dec 09, 2010 (a day after his death) with daily tribute shows at the “Cavern Club” along with a “Lennon Remembered” Memorial Concert Dec 9th at the Echo Arena. Now, if you were one of the lucky ones to attend Toronto’s Peace Festival you may recall the limousines arriving from Pearson International with an unusual escort of 50 Bikers on Harleys rolling into the backstage area escorting Lennon and the plastic Ono band as well as the “Doors”. Brower has been in contact with Lovesin to use his “Vagabond Song” during that scene in the movie of this grandiose entrance.

Lovsin continued on his own magical mystery tour of music and soon dubbed himself 'Crazy John' Lovesin: The Ace from Space. Fronting his own band in November 1976, Johnnie Lovesin and the Invisible Band opened for The Ramones at the New Yorker Theatre in Toronto and was quoted by Toronto Sun columnist Wilder Penfield III as having blown The Ramones off the stage.  
Lovesin (now 'The Electric Kid') and his band went on to play at the Rock Shock Concert with Teenage Head and others in May 1977. Later that year, Lovesin and The Sidewalk Commandos get national exposure at the CNE Band shell. Lovesin releases several singles on the short-lived SMILE Label.   In 1978, Lovesin was blazing across the Canadian club scene with a band called THE N.E.X.T. who opened for the Runaways in Toronto.  
Lovesin in 1980 released "Set The Night On Fire" on Taxi Records featuring many backing musicians including Greg Godovitz (Goddo), Terry Hattie, Dave Stone, Doug Bingham, Greg McIlveen, Glen Morrow, Chris Gibb (The Deserters), and Dave Dobko.  

Following a nomination for a CFNY-FM U-Know Award in 1985 for 'Male Vocalist of the Year' based on the airplay of "(I Need A) Working Girl" from his Amber Productions 'Rough Side of Town' EP, Lovesin was signed directly to A & M Records.  
Supporting his 'Tough Breaks' album, in 1987 Lovesin performed at the Kingswood Music Theatre opening for Stevie Ray Vaughan. He also performed twice at Ontario Place, in Toronto -- with Big Sugar, backing him on one occasion. Lovesin has also been the subject of a MuchMusic "The Big Ticket" special, and still gets aired on to this day. 

Than just as he was releasing “Ready to Rumble” like the recent news of rocker “Bret Michaels” Lovesin suffered a brain aneurism right after performing at the News Years Eve bash with Ronnie Hawkins. The music world came to his side and the Blues Community Rallied: Two benefit evenings were held back to back on July 21 & 22 and blues lovers came out 'en masse'. The first was held at Grossman's to raise funds for Johnnie Lovesin's medical expenses following a brain aneurism suffered on stage at Nathan Phillips Square.  

So what is Johnnie Lovesin doing now ,On Saturday May 22nd,2010 Lovesin celebrated his 61st Birthday in Toronto at the Smiling Buddha club where his son’s Britain and Morgan were holding court and also premiering one of the bands under their wing  “Slow Motion Victory.” Cashbox will be featuring SMV in a story coming up next .Cashbox was there and got the scoop on Lovesin and his new projects.

It was great to see the old school and the new one mix together as SMV played a blistering 5 song set and after lead singer, Toby Bey acknowledged Lovesin special day and invited him up on stage.

Once Johnnie got on stage with his bass player Jake and using the drummer from SMV Kyle Bolla, he was hard to stop as he played a blistering guitar intro and than rocked the house with a medley of tunes included the rock anthem “Wild Thing”. Cashbox caught up to Lovesin and he went on to describe the projects he is working on in his home town of Jordan, Ontario.

“I am really happy for my son’s and their band projects and it was great that they had me come down and play on my birthday,” said Lovesin. I love the band SMV and yeah, we old guys gotta show the kids where it all started and it’s great that my son’s band is picking up the vibe and doing their thing.” Lovesin continued, “I‘ve written a bunch of new songs and I am setting up in the studio “Rhythm Ranch” and laying down the tracks.” Lovesin spoke about living in the wine belt Jordan and how he is fitting into the country scene. I love it down here and I am living in my family’s house, I did a little festival thing in my backyard last year for “Pilgrim Day” for the town. My house is right on the main drag and all the tourists come in for the wineries. On the weekend the street is packed with cars coming and going to the high way. So this year they want me to do something every weekend. I may do it at the winery and it would be like a musical jam with guests and maybe a bunch of tables for people to sell stuff like pottery, t shirts and things. I don’t really want to tour again but I love playing and I will record the songs and release them.”

Cashbox asked Lovesin about the Lennon movie, you may have one of your songs on the “John Lennon Ate my Lunch” movie, and based on that historical Rock n Roll Peace festival back in 69, what do you think of that?

Lovesin recalled that day in musical history, “I love the name “John Lennon Ate My Lunch” but you know what I ate Lennon’s, quipped Lovesin, we were all backstage and I ended up somehow in the green room and there was lobster and shrimp ands all kinds of stuff so I ate a bunch of shrimp off of the platter, so I guess you can say I ate Lennon’s shrimp. I am excited (getting back to being serious) that Brower and his crew like my song and are going to use it in the movie, I wrote it to honor all those who like to ride on 2 wheels and it is a highway song, said Lovesin. I always took the rebel side of the tracks and I like writing true stories as that is what makes rock n roll, real life experiences.”

I have my new band as well called the “Troublemakers” instead of the trouble makers as I was know to be in the past Lovesin said laughing.

So everyone can count on a few more years of music from the “Ace from Space” and if you are in southern Ontario check out Lovesin on Jordan’s main street and drop in and say hello.

“Yeah you will find me sitting on my front porch playing my guitar so come on down” added Lovesin.