Since the age of 15 years Gary Taylor, now 73, has been seriously involved in the music business. It began the day he started drum lessons with Jim Blackly, a renowned author of percussive publications and one of the of the most respected and sought after drum teachers in the World today. Mr. Blackley’s students have gone on to play with the likes of Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Paul McCartney, Sting and Annie Lennox to name a few. Gary’s dedication to Mr. Blackley’s teachings earned him an early rise to the professional ranks. At the age of 17 he played with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He continued his journey through his studies with Blackley and became a skilled Jazz and rock drummer. He was an acknowledged protege of Blackley, absorbing his character, wisdom and talents through their extremely close relationship. Gary became Mr. Blackley’s right hand man as his associate teacher at the age of 18. The foundation was laid for a colorful, successful and creative career in the entertainment industry. Credits to many to list however some of the highlights included:
a.] CBC’s successful 1964-1968 Lets Go Show Television Show which played a major part in the development of Canadian Bands and Artists. Gary’s band the Classic’s were the House band. The Classics were the lead off band on the past CBC television 2 part special of the History of Canadian Rock & Roll.
b.] Gary’s history in the Night Club business was legendary; his first club, the King of Clubs. Gary was the co-owner, GM and played in the House Band with Tom Baird, Caire Lawrence, Glenn Miller and Brian Russell ] the core of the Classics. Aside from Taylor they became the core of the seminal band, the Collectors, with Bill Henderson. Ross Tierney took Taylor’s drum chair.
c.] After a good run as the King Of Clubs Gary teamed up with rock & roll legend Buddy Knox [ Party Doll / Hula Love and countless other top ten NA hits ] and changed the name and the vibe of the Club to the Purple Steer. Greater Vancouver’s premier Country Music club inspired and partnered with Les Vogt, who was instrumental in shaping the history of Vancouvers Night life and Music scene.
d.] Gary created “Live at Eleven” @ Gary Taylor’s Rock Room which spawned the 99.33 the Fox Vancouver Seeds Contest, Canada’s Premier Independent Music Competition. Now in it’s 30th year. Originally broadcasted live from the Rock Room.
e.] Gary’s next step into developing the indie music scene was for #1 Rock Station, C-Fun’s “Make Your Monday’s Rock!” which was a weekly series broadcast on CFUN “live to tape.” His career in music was a highlight reel regarding the local and National scene. The Rock Room was “the” place to play. Ever a risk taker he was neck deep into the Punk scene at its highlight bringing in the Likes of Johnny Thunders and The New York Dolls; Wayne / Jayne County [ right at the time Wayne was turning into Jayne ] ; Romeo Void; Lenny Kaye; Ray Loney and the Flamin’ Groovies; Joe Jackson and many more.
f.] Continuing his excellent relationship with Top mainstream Vancouver Radio stations Gary and legendary # 1 Nashville songwriter and Producer Ralph Murphy teamed up to orchestrate which was to become Five Years of developing country music songwriters with CXWX, the #1 radio station in the lower mainland. Winners Circle Songwriters Competition which matched up #1 Nashville songwriters [ Harlan Howard, Richard Leigh, Bobby Wood, Pat Alger, Peter McCann, Gretchen Peters and others ] and the ten winners of each years competition. They cowrote and each completed song was produced by Ralph Murphy and Bobby Wood and released on cd. The Winners Circle went on to become an Nationally recognized Award winning series.
g.] Other Highlights: Throughout his tenures in the Nightclub business he was known for placing art form into Exotic Dance Performance. His Prolific Venues featured Live Jazz, Jazz dancers and stage plays.
His most notable stage productions were “Dracula and The Virgin” and “the Amorous Adventures of Wellington Wang” which were sold out for one year straight. For the most part his clubs featured two rooms. One Exotic performance and the other Rock and Roll, Blues and Jazz. His use of the foremost Jazz musicians in the city combined with amazing dancers was a format that made his clubs unique to the world.