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My Family Top Bands Top Movies

My Family

This is my wife, Carole, known to much of the world as Dr. Carole Peterson, Professor of Psychology and University Research Professor (first woman in Science to receive that honour). To me she's simply my great life partner, a wonderful mother to our son (not to mention half his friends) and my best friend.

She also bakes incredible Christmas cookies!

And this is Cullam, honours graduate of York University's Fine Arts program (Jazz performance, piano), hot keyboardist for 709, and, now, a MUN engineering student.

As well as being a professional jazz and rock musician (and an excellent music teacher), he holds a black belt in kenpo Karate and is a mean gamer—Crokinole is the only game at which I can beat him consistently!

Top Lists

Just for fun

Top Six Bands

Cullam has made me think a lot more about music than I have done for a long time. He and I share a number of tastes although he is far more eclectic than I. Nevertheless, talking to him about music made me consider who I thought were the top Rock and Roll bands of all time. I mulled that over for some weeks before deciding on the list. Once I got it settled I told him I had done it. Although he hadn't known I'd been considering such a list he at once said, "Let me see if I can guess." He mulled it over for about a minute then proceeded to rhyme off my list, in order. He doesn't necessarily agree with me, by the way, he just knows my taste, apparently better than I do.

Anyway, here they are:

The Beatles

The USS Enterprise of bands—To bravely go where no band has gone before. They brought musical innovation to a whole new level and so much of it was flat out wonderful: great lyrics, great tunes, great sounds. What amazes me today is how thoroughly young musicians know the Beatles. They were rated the number one influence on my son's generation in a recent poll.

The Doors

Another old band from the sixties.Sorry about that but it's hard to beat some of the best musicians to ever play rock and roll combined with one of its leading poets. And their sound still stands up today, probably more so than any other band of their era. Certainly they're played more on wrinkly-rock radio.

The Rolling Stones

Here we go again, you'll say, but the amazing Stones are still playing even though Keith and Mick have more wrinkles than an old-age home. In the summer of '97 Cullam & I were cutting slate and laying a patio. As he was in junior high we listened to American Top Forty. Even then he was becoming disenchanted. For much of the afternoon the saw sounded better. Suddenly, a new riff cut through the air. That's better, we both nodded at each other. The Stones, Has Anybody Seen my Baby, still on the charts after thirty-five years, a nugget of gold swirled up out of a pan of mud.


I only really found out about Queen when Freddy Mercury died. We were in New Zealand and channel 3 television, the national alternative station, devoted half an hour of their evening news to him. Who is this guy? Of course I recognized a lot of the tunes they played. I've been a fan ever since. Got their 1986 Wembley Stadium concert for Christmas. Highly recommended!

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Sadness. I never saw them live. A friend who did told me "Take the best five concerts you've ever seen, roll them into one and it was still way better!" Needless to say, I was one of the first in line when they finally released their three disc live album. Again, great lyrics and a tight band of really first class players.

Dave Matthews Band

Thanks to the guys from Sweet Apple Pie for introducing me to this one. Innovative, driving, georgeous sound. Boyd Tinsley on the electric blue fiddle, Dave with great acoustic guitar and I could watch Carter Beauford drumming for hours. Love Two Step. And their version of Watchtower. And practically everything they've done.


Top Movies

Hmm. Much harder. Ohh, well, here's a stab—

  1. Bull Durham. The greatest opening line in the movies - "Ahh worship in the church of baseball...."
  2. Star Wars trilogy. (The original, of course. My whole family agrees on this one. Die, Jar-Jar. Die, die, die.)
  3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Peter Jackson is a genius!
  4. The Princess Bride. Meathead's not so bad either.
  5. Avatar. We were so blown away. Even on the second viewing we enjoyed every second. Good Sci-Fi. The 3D is immersive, without being intrusive, what 3D ought to be. This one's a game changer!
  6. Robin Hood. (Walt Disney cartoon version—just had to get one of those in!)
  7. A Fish Called Wanda. Made me wish I could speak in tongues.
  8. When Harry Met Sally. Rob Reiner again.
  9. A Knight's Tale. It just keeps growing on us. Heath Ledger at his best and wonderful use of anachronism.