Brunch is a favourite past time shared by many and should be an extraordinary experience, one that you will cherish. Vancouver has some wonderful places for brunch. Each of the places I visit is unique for what is offered along with the type of service and selection of dishes. I am on a journey around the city to find these extraordinary places and, at the same time, I will be joined by a notable personality who may be a Film Producer or Director, Musician, Arts Festival Director, Actor or other well-known individual for Brunch at restaurants in and around Vancouver.
For my forty ninth brunch in this series, I was joined by musician Guitar Doug at Dockside Restaurant on Granville Island talking music, food and more!
“Guitar Doug” as he is known was born in Montreal Quebec, Doug graduated from high school in 1985 after which, guitar in hand, he headed off to Europe. Returning to Canada to attend the University of Alberta, Doug planned to study English with hopes of becoming a lawyer…. but a ski trip to Whistler soon changed that. After a time in Whistler living the dream of wild nights and powder skiing days, “Guitar Doug”, already skilled on guitar, bass and piano, enlisted in the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, formed a band and hit the road becoming a staple of the Whistler music scene in the process. Since that first (99-2000) ski season together as a band, The Hairfarmers have cultivated their West Coast “ski bum” musical style.
Did you always want to be a guitarist?
Yes, I always loved the tone and the charisma of the guitar.
What style of music do you sing and perform?
Late 60’s/early 70’s country rock now, though in the beginning it was more avante garde progressive rock with shades of U2 and funk.
What is your instrument of choice?
Well I have several guitars, including 1) Black Takamine Seca Guitar (rare and limited edition) and 2) Martin D28 Guitar
How did the band The Hairfarmers that you and Grateful Greg founded come about?
I was in a band “The Wild Dogs of Wedgemont”, we were about to play a wedding (hippy wedding in the woods), Greg’s band was booked to play after our show, I could hear a big hairy man carrying a 2 litre bottle of red wine singing in perfect harmony (was an imposing presence), we met at this wedding (Greg fell in love with one of the girls at the wedding who became his wife). I then visited Whistler often and he came to see my shows, we then started playing duos. Then the name The Hairfarmers came about from the ranch that I owned, we used to have skits and in the skit we used to say “those damn hairfarmers” so I always thought if I ever have a band worthy of this monnacker they would have the title of “The Hairfarmers”.
Do you come from a musical family?
Yes I do, my grand mother was a child prodigy violinist, my grand father (other side of family) was a pianist – he bought a Steinway.
Are there any musicians who have influenced your musical career? If so who?
- Jerry Garcia
- Gypsy Kings
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
Classical – from Beethoven and Andres Segovia (in Montreal) then when I moved to Edmonton, I listened to Procol Haram (symphonic sound meets this rock band), I was exposed to country in a big way from Willie Nelson to Kris Kristopherson and that shaped my persona as Guitar Doug.
Who are your top 5 favourite musicians currently?
- Tom Petty
- Ryan Macklemore
- Mumford and Sons
- Xavier Rudd
- Black Keys
If you could tell me about 3 of your favourite concerts of all time that you have attended which ones would those be?
- The Pixies at the Commodore 24 hours before they broke up
- Ziggy Marley at the Hollywood Bowl in 1999 when he was still a teenager.
- Theold Crowe medicine show
What 3 foods do you like?
- Smoked Salmon
- Freshly picked organic green salad
What are your favourite restaurants in the Whistler/Squamish area?
- Le Gros in Whistler
- Sidecut Steakhouse in Whistler
- The Rim Rock in Whistler
- The Two Birds Eatery in Squamish
- Sushi Zen in Squamish
- Fergies Café in Squamish
Doug had The Market and a tea while Richard had the Dockside Omelette and a cappuccino.
Tell me about your Burning Man experience
Last year we flew to Reno then drove to Black Rock City (Burning Man city), we were no longer Burning Man virgins. We played a foodie camp (it was the best organic food for 7 days) where about 500 people in the audience morphed with people dancing, staying or moving on. We were invited back this year and we can’t wait to do it again (self contained sustainable community).
What do you want your listeners to learn from listening to your music?
To connect with something inside them, free us from the mundane. Music can be an extraordinary experience.
What do you do in your off time?
Where is your favourite vacation spot?
It was the Caribbean, now it’s turning into the pacific (Hawaii, California, Tahiti and Indonesia).
Where was your most recent musical trip?
What inspires you now?
Understanding the reality of my surroundings, I’m inspired by nature.
What’s next for you or what’s on the horizon?
- Musically playing more shows for our fans, all over the place.
- Releasing a new CD for The Hairfarmers
- Talking about putting together another CD shortly thereafter
Where has the band played outside of Whistler?
London-UK, to Cabo-Mexico, Jamaica to Maui, Napa Valley to Vancouver to New York and anywhere in between. The Hairfarmers have shared the stage with such acts as Wide Mouth Mason, Bif Naked, Great Big Sea, Our Lady Peace, and Chantal Kreviazuk to name a few.
Style: a La Carte
Attire: Smart Casual
Time: Brunch is offered Sunday 10:00am – 3:00pm
1253 Johnston Street (Granville Island), Vancouver
For Reservations, please call 604-685-7070
Stay tuned to my next guest Interview along with the next Brunch in and around Vancouver.
By: Richard Wolak