‘Back in Zach’
I recently met Zack Werner, and like most celebrity encounters in Newfoundland, it made for a great conversation and a brilliant story to share.
“… met Zach Werner…”
Last week, I was heading for Green Sleeves Pub on George Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to celebrate ‘Musician Appreciation Night’ with my good friend Erin O’Mara. Many of you will know Erin as a powerful female rocker who fronted Newfoundland’s nationally acclaimed band ‘Biscuit’, and is still a regular performer around town with her new band ‘The Narrows’. And those of you who “really” know Erin will appreciate the perfect parking place she found right outside the club.
“… Parallel Princess”
As we stood on the curbside admiring our good fortune and the driving prowess exhibited by the “Parallel princess”, a familiar looking character approached us from across the street. With a knowing smile he nodded to me and greeted Erin by name. Erin responded with a hug so he laid down his guitar, lit a smoke and joined the conversation.
In the many years of hanging out with Erin, I’ve become accustomed to the advancements of the “Random Guy”; who usually fall into the category of fan, friend, fellow musician, or suitor – so I made room, got into character and observed.
Immediately I recognized that this guy was different. Really different, and I was intrigued.
I don’t know exactly what was peaking my curiosity but it felt as if I should know him. He fell into our conversation with ease. Made some funny comments. Quoted a mutual friend, carried a guitar and bore the rugged look of a slightly aging pop star (think Carl Peters or Carl Hutton). But try as I might, I just couldn’t place him.
“… try as I might, I just couldn’t place him.”
We shared a couple of good chuckles on the short walk to the pub and by the time we got to the front door I was starting to feel a little embarrassed because I still couldn’t place the guy. Thankfully the line up separated us long enough for me to ask Erin;
“Geesus Andrew, that’s Zach Werner boy!.”
“Hmmmm,,,, Okay,,,, – but how do I know him? Is he in your band?”
“Oh Lord yes, make no wonder I thought I knew him. Eh boy? So, what’s he doing here?”
“He’s living here.”
“Yes boy. How’d that come about?”
“When he was a judge on Canadian Idol he was overwhelmed by the talent they found in Newfoundland. He said once you’d get to the last 100 contestants in a city like Toronto, they’d have 10 or 12 performers who would impress you. But when they got to the final 100 in Newfoundland, there’d be 50 or 60 kids that could compete on any stage, anywhere in the world. So, when he decided to open his own agency, he chose to base the operation in the heartland of the country’s best musical talent. Now he’s focused on showcasing Newfoundland and creating the kind of recognition and opportunity our musicians deserve.”
Now that’s what I call “singing our praises!”
Congratulations to Zach and all the wonderful musicians we find throughout Newfoundland & Labrador. Best of luck with all your endeavours.