My Liner Notes - Deane Cameron - How I got interested in the music business
By Deane Cameron, President, EMI Music Canada on Sep 28, 2011
How I got interested in the music business
I was a typical child of the 60’s and one of millions of people around the world who were caught up by that Cultural Revolution. The era has been stylized now as so often happens when we look back on history – giving it a caricature quality. But when I was in my teens the Cultural Revolution changed my life.
It all began in the early 60’s, when I was at the age of 10 or 11. Like people all over North America and Europe, the British Invasion caught my imagination and turned me into a music lover. I became a huge Beatles fan. By the late 60’s it was Dylan, The Band and Crosby Stills and Nash. But the song that really changed my thinking and got me to see that there was a revolution going on was the Buffalo Springfield song, “For What It’s Worth” that was released in 1966 by Atlantic Records. It was a hit single not unlike the British pop that had surfaced years earlier, but I could tell that there was something different with the sound and poetry of the lyrics.
Even today Jimi Hendrix’s music changes people’s lives but believe me, he definitely changed them back then. The impact was greater in the 60’s because there had developed an FM radio culture that dedicated itself to that music so you could get more of it. It wasn’t just about popular music. The new Rock FM Radio exposed us to all the songs that formed the basis of the Cultural Revolution.
Ultimately, I became so attracted to music that I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t come from a family of musicians, but I met a lot of kids at Martin Grove Collegiate in Etobicoke who loved it too, including my friend Tom Cochrane. By the time I was 14 I had 3 paper routes and 5 lawn cutting jobs so I could buy my first set of drums and a friend from school taught me how to play.
Harvest L-R: Deane Cameron, Tom Cochrane, Rick Nickerson
Later, I formed a band with Tom Cochrane called Harvest which was influenced by the music of The Band, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young. We were together for a few years during high school and developed to a point where, after persistent bugging, we were able to get in the door at Capitol-EMI Records which was located in the West end of Toronto, not far from where I lived. Capitol paid for our demos. While we didn’t get signed at the time, the irony of the situation is that later I would work in their warehouse. In fact, after high school, it would be my first job in the music business. In an effort to become more involved with the music part of the industry I pursued other opportunities but I returned to Capitol-EMI as an A&R person early in 1977 and have been here ever since, a true child of the 60’s and a music lover to the core.
Are you a child of the Cultural Revolution? If so, what music most influenced you and where did it lead you?