By Roy L Hales
While better known as an environmentalist and one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, some of Rex’s earliest memories involve singing. “Being with a group of people and making music together is one of the most intense forms of communication I’ve ever experienced.” In this morning’s interview we get to hear a little of the music in Rex Weyler’s life.
Music In Rex Weyler’s Life
“I did not have any musical training. Our family did not have a piano. We didn’t have any guitars around. I just sang songs and made up the verses. Often when we were travelling in a car, I’d just sit there and sing Hank Williams songs to myself – making up the verses. It wasn’t until I was 19-years-old that a friend of mine taught me how to play the guitar and , in fact, gave me a guitar . A whole other world opened up for me, because then I could hear the notes … and the cord changes, the rhythm and so forth – and so I have been writing songs ever since.”
When he was In his twenties, Rex travelled all over the world – from North America to Europe, the Middle East and India. He took his guitar everywhere.
“I spent a lot of time on my own: learning, playing, playing with other people … picking up guitar skills and basically learning how to play. I played in a couple of bands and wrote some songs in the 70s and 80s. Then I moved to Cortes in 1981 and continued to write songs here … Eventually I kept thinking, I should record these songs.”
Lets Do It!
Some musician friends of his said, “Let’s do it!”
Weyler and his friends recorded all fourteen songs on the CD Catch The Light, in a single day at Mushroom studio in Vancouver.
“Most of these musicians had never even heard these songs, let alone knew them. We ran through the songs one time and they were all: ‘We’re ready, and one, two, three, hit it … All the musicians improvised their parts. We structured them a little bit, but basically we just played the songs. One of the things that is so interesting to me – about this recording; about those musicians – is they played precisely the right thing for every song .,. These are really skilled musician.”
Songs In The Podcast:
- I’ll Wait (opening song)
- Bounty Hunter
- Half Moon
- How Do I Love You
- Night Vision
- Sailors Lullaby
- River of Light (closing song)
Musicians in Songs Above
- Rex Weyler: vocals
- Miles Black: piano, keyboards, guitar
- Brett Wade: guitars, harmony vocals
- Dan Brubeck: Drums
- Tom Neville: violin, mandolin
- Tom Stacey: Bass
- Gordy Ryan: congas, ashikos, djembe
- Glenda Rae: harmony vocals
- Rick Bockner: acoustic guitar on Bounty Hunter & Half Moon
“I will perform at Lovefest (at Linnaea Farm on August 10, 2019) and I perform sometimes at the coffee houses during the winter. I just love playing music, its a part of my life I am really glad I have.”
Top photo credit: Rex Weyler with guitar, his son Liam on the drum – courtesy Rex Weyler