Photo: It’s been a long time since they rocked and rolled but a Teaze resurrection takes place at the Olde Walkerville Theatre on April 6, 2019. From left: Chuck Lambrick (a multi talented musician and local favourite with Greatest Hits Live, who replaces Chuck Price), Mark Bradac, Mike Kozak and Brian Danter. All proceeds from the event benefit the “Kids Beating Cancer” program by In Honour Of The Ones We Love. Tickets available at the theatre box office.
One Night Stands Equal 40 Years In The Making For Teaze
It took 12 high school gigs in the mid -’70s to move local band Teaze from the beginnings of a dream into a small recording studio in Ajax, Ontario to record their first LP.
From there, it was a move to Toronto, which had them playing in signature clubs on small tours. Another move to Montreal had them signing with Aquarius Records and booked by legendary promoter Donald K. Donald.
Their first tour with Triumph propelled them to a solid opening act spot on numerous major tours with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Street Heart, Toronto, Toto, April Wine, Meatloaf and many more.
Fifty shows later they were headlining 14,000 to 15,000 seat theatres in Japan. It was a long way from the band’s very early days in a dilapidated industrial warehouse on Walker Road where Chuck Price, Mike Kozak, Brian Danter and Mark Bradac took turns shooting off illegal pyrotechnics in an effort to add to their shows.
Not bad for a few scrappy kids from Windsor, who had to stretch out their shows because they didn’t have enough songs!
One would think with that kind of momentum, success was assured.
Are you new? This is the music industry and what you think should happen and what you prepare for is still a crap shoot to what really happens!
Keep in mind that, like Windsor’s Tea Party, Teaze received ZERO airplay in their own home town, yet managed to rock the rest of Canada.
Sadly, it all ended with a whimper, not a bang, as the world of music changed with the release of The Knack’s song “My Sharona.” It moved the needle of the public’s musical taste to new wave, punk, and early rap.
At the time Bradac was told by a record executive that Foreigner was the last rock act in the door to be signed.
“Things just didn’t move,” he recalls.
Following this shakeup, Danter had his fill of the business and left the band. Unfortunately, the band’s last album didn’t measure up to the expectations of the record label and, with no hits, no album, and no tour prospects — it was over for Teaze.
Yet what goes around comes around and seven years ago, through radio in the U.K., came a release of their third album “One Night Stands” and Teaze was rediscovered!
It moved impressively onto the retro charts on Rock Candy Records.More of their catalog was to be released but, in typical music business fashion, the red tape stopped things before they could even begin.
Since then, Bradac has remained in the music industry, playing with various musicians and bands. Danter rediscovered his voice through his church. Kozak stayed in the city, working in the automotive industry and Price now works in the trades. Forty years later — and a secure place in suburbia with wives, children and grandchildren — Teaze is scheduled to reunite for one show.
I sat down for a coffee at a local Tim Hortons location in mid-January with Kozak and shortly afterwards on that day with Bradac, at his pawn shop in Windsor, to talk about preparing for the band’s 40 year resurrection concert on April 6 at The Walkerville Theatre, in support of In Honour Of The Ones We Love’s “Kids Beating Cancer” program.
Biz X: What musical influences did you have?
Mike Kozak (MK): I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times — it starts with The Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” That’s what got your attention. Beyond that, you move on to The Rolling Stones and all the other groups of the times. But, you know what? Local bands were a huge influence. It’s the first time you get to see live rock and roll. For me, it was The Lonely Knights, they were a local band that played a lot of Stones’ music. You went to different high school dances and you would see different bands like Jazzmen and Joe Konus, who was a huge influence on everyone around here. Those are the things I think have the biggest impact on you to light that fuse to want to play yourself. You see The Beatles and all those other big names, but they’re untouchable, you don’t think that’s possible, but you see guys locally that you could actually talk to and you think “maybe.”
Mark Bradac (MB): I was always a blues guy. Johnny Winter was always my favourite, by far. (Also) Leslie West of Mountain. I was a Stones guy more than The Beatles. My first concert was Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, (and) Albert King.
Biz X: Where was your first show?
MK: (Our) First show was Western High School ’cause that’s all there was then — high school dances to play. But, here’s the trick that no one else has done: we played 12 high schools and got a record deal. We never played a club! We played 12 high schools and moved to Toronto with a record deal. It’s the stupidest thing — we were the Halley’s Comet of music. It was a guy whom Brian knew, through working at a music store in Windsor that came to hear us and had some connections. He was impressed and said to us, “Do you have any original music?” We said, “Yes, about 11 songs.” He said, “OK, let me get back to you.” We had no songs at all! It was time to get busy.
Biz X: What kind of plan did you have in the beginning?
MB: We didn’t know anything, we were just young and reckless. You think you’re invincible when you’re young and, back then, you would meet the right people who would build you and groom you and place you where you needed to be. Today, you’re expected to do everything yourself — press your own records and sell a zillion copies before a record label would look at you, print your own shirts, etcetera, and then they are on YouTube and videos and streaming. It’s all on you now.
Biz X: Touring as an opening act for such big names, what was that like?
MB: It was great. There was no pressure. We got better and better and better, to the point that we weren’t scared anymore. I remember opening for Aerosmith and Cheap Trick and thinking, “We’re gonna kick their butt!” You have to remember we saw bands like J. Geils and Foghat. They were professional opening acts, and they were only opening acts for people like Johnny Winter and big-time headlining acts. It was always fabulous. When we toured with April Wine, the road crew was from Pink and they would watch us, and I think the headliners thought we were humorous, ‘cause we played so hard and we would just try and break our necks to try and impress anybody and we would do whatever it took. We gained the respect that way.
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