While we've had the opportunity to discuss Bog Wegner's own original music - back in 2017 we documented his solo debut with "The Changing of the Guard" as well as with his band Euphonic in 2018 with their self-titled debut - but Wegner makes his life using his guitar talents for more grandiose cover projects. In particular, his love of Brian May and Queen developed into a tribute act that keeps him busier than ever these days. But this weekend, Wegner goes solo to explore the work of another influential guitarist and band.
"It's been a really good year of running around with three or four acts - mostly with Simply Queen - since that film came out, we've gotten a lot of work," says Wegner referencing the recent biopic Bohemian Rhapsody based on the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen. "We've gone from two two gigs a month to two shows a week all over Canada and the US. The response we get now is totally different with ten year old kids at the shows singing along with the whole catalog. It's been a trip literally and figuratively.
"But I've recently gotten into the music of Pink Floyd - I'm subbing in a band called Floyd Factor so I've been journeying through that music and I'm really enjoying it. I always knew Floyd and the big songs from The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon but never truly discovered it and dug into the back catalog until my thirties. It was about five years ago and I bought the box set and dug into all of these gems. It's a fascinating journey to go through their music but it would take a lifetime to go through all of it. Gilmour is more pensive, atmospheric and much more about the space between the notes while Brian May is more of an architect layering parts. What I've come to see is that Floyd fans have more of a personal almost spiritual connection with the music. When you're doing one thing a lot, It's fun to have something else to do because it gives you a renewed enthusiasm for something that you've forgotten or maybe you didn't have time to do. That's one of the perks of exhaustion, I guess. It was so much fun, I thought why not play a whole night of that stuff?"
With over fifty years, classic rock icons Pink Floyd offer a litany of psychedelic and art rock to choose from and Wegner picks some of his favourites for this show but Wegner has many muses. As we discuss music, Wegner reveals he's been writing a Max Webster biography as well during his down time over the last few years that could be seeing the light of day as early as next year. This weekend, Wegner offers up the fruits of his investigations into David Gilmour and Pink Floyd in a unique musical interpretation. Armed with just a guitar, a lap steel and some electronics, Wegner has an instrumental showcase of a variety of tracks from Pink Floyd's catalog. Fans of the guitar, of Wegner and of course Pink Floyd will want to check out this unusual showcase.
"I've had to put some time in to learn these songs but the fun of it is with this kind of thing you can take liberties and be true to the music but make it your own with some little liberties here and there," says Wegner. "They never played the same song the same way twice so I find there is a lot of wiggle room to play these songs in my style. With a very simple looping system, Floyd works organically with the way I tend to layer parts and it's worked out so well, that's why I decided to do a whole night of it. I go through a lot of music making for show that's about two hours long.
"There's the music but I have a fuller experience going on and I always have my visuals behind me," adds Wegner about the live show. "It's been my experience that people most sing along the most to "Wish You Were Here", particularly when they imbibe but I don't know how much of that will happen here. Doing this without vocals, maybe it'll take people on a different trip. The vocals are the most relate-able aspect of a song so naturally we gravitate to that but if you take that out of the mix, it forces the listener to look at all of the other things that are going on and I've found people have enjoyed it."
Bob Wegner: An evening of Pink Floyd happens this Friday October 18 at the Pearl Company. Doors open at 7:30pm and $20 gets you in. Click on bobwegner.ca