Film–maker turned band leader turned television and radio talk show host, Cadillac Bill Boyd–Wilson has donned many a hat over the last three decades but recently he decided to add author to his resume and that culminates this weekend with the release of his book Downton Alley. With distinctly different tastes, Cadillac Bill was renown for his “Awful Evening Out” showcases that taunted attendees as much as titillated them. He’s continued that same vibe with his television broadcasting and his book is based on “A Rat Tale of Hamilton” so be forewarned.
“I had invited local artist and taxidermist Ankixa Risk to be an interview guest on the Cadillac Bill Show and I was surrounded by all of these rats and they were all dressed up,” recalls Boyd–Wilson. “They got my mind going and I thought I had to use them in some movie or something. But then I thought, everyone I know watches Downton Abbey, why not do a spoof on that using the rats? I’d never personally watched the show but the scripts were easy to download from the Internet. We made some sets and costumes and I re–wrote and shortened the scripts for season one to be seven minute shows. A year after I made it, a couple of the episodes I spoofed ended up being on TV and I realized that the voice actors that did my rats were way better with more emotion.”
Boyd–Wilson enlisted Hamilton notables like Lori Yates, Tim Gibbons, Ginger St. James, Sammy Squid, Chaos Divine and more for the voice over work with the only English people involved being Boyd–Wilson and his cousin. Filmed in the Stinson Neighbourhood, Boyd–Wilson was thrilled with the seven episodes he created. The Downton Alley saga would be incorporated into the later seasons of the Cadillac Bill Show — seventy episodes that aired for the last six years on Cable 14 but is also available via Amazon Live, Sony TV, iTunes, YouTube and more in Australia, Russia and the show is being translated into French, German, Japanese and Chinese.
“I don’t know if I’m an international star but I do know that the whole world is learning about Hamilton,” says Boyd–Wilson. “I get emails from around the world from people that say they want to come to Hamilton just because of my TV show. I think Hamilton Tourism should know about me because I’m doing my part on getting Hamilton known worldwide — the seedy, dark, underground... the fun side of Hamilton.
“I took a year off from the show and season five became the behind the scenes worst of the Cadillac Bill Show and two episodes were the making of Downton Alley,” adds Boyd–Wilson. “I filmed all the actors voicing their characters so we’ve got that as well. But a friend suggested that I should make a coffee table book of this. I used a high quality camera fortunately so we just used freeze frames from that so it’s more like a graphic novel with photos instead of drawings. Each book is numbered and I’ll be happy to sell people this limited edition pressing that could be worth a lot of money some day... maybe.”
For the people that appreciate a different side of Hamilton, Cadillac Bill brings you visuals, reading material and live music to entertain and there seems there is little that will stop his creative thrust.
“To celebrate the new book we’ve got a giant screen at the Casbah where we’ll have the seven episodes playing and then we’ll play the behind the scenes footage of the Making of Downton Abbey,” says Boyd–Wilson. “It’ll be somewhat of a film night. My book will be there, I will be there and most of the people who did the voices will be there so it’ll be a bit of a party. It’ll be a dynamite night — a good clean evening of crazy movies and people can check out the book. Normally I’ll sell the book for more but at this show, it’s only $20.
“Then Cadillac Bill and the Creeping Bent will play a live show,” adds Boyd–Wilson. “It’ll be the first time we play the Lazy Flamingo in Hess Village so we’re excited. So you can see my book and then see my crazy band. If you can’t make the book launch come and see the band or come to the Casbah grab some dinner and then come to the Flamingo. There will be smoke, bubbles, fire and chord changes — rock and roll really. Can you imagine a better night?” V
Cadillac Bill's "Downton Alley" book launch happens this Saturday September 14 at the Casbah from 6pm to 8pm. Admission is $5 and books are $20. Then Cadillac Bill and the Creeping Bent play the Lazy Flamingo from 9pm to 2am and there is no cover. Click on cadillacbill.ca