Trooper thrills thousands at Aldergrove Fair Days

A huge crowd of several thousand at the Fair Days concert cheered enthusiastically as McGuire recollected how he and guitarist Smith have been playing together in bands for 51 years

During their performance at the 2017 Aldergrove Fair Days on Saturday, July 15, Trooper’s Ra McGuire and Brian Smith recalled performing at the 1969 Aldergrove Beach Rock Festival in May of 1969 with their first band Winter’s Green.

A huge crowd of several thousand at the Fair Days concert cheered enthusiastically as McGuire recollected how he and guitarist Smith have been playing together in bands for 51 years — and they performed a “new” song in honour of the memories.

“If you like it (the song, called Cold Water, video attached) hold your hand up with five,” said McGuire, “and if you don’t give it a one.”

It was one of the highlights of a 90-minute show that offered all the big hits of the band, which debuted in 1975 with the hit “Two for the Show” album.

We’re Here for a Good Time opened and closed the show, which included such memorable hits as Santa Maria, Oh, Pretty Lady, Janine and many more.

The crowd cheered wildly and sang along with many of the songs, and all left with smiles on their faces. Trooper was definitely the crowd pleaser of the fair. Current band members are McGuire and Smith, along with drummer Clayton Hill, bassist Scott Brown and keyboardist Gogo.

It capped a day-long series of 1960s themed performers, including the True North Troubadours (tribute to Peter, Paul and Mary), Big Guitar (a tribute to CCR and Janis Joplin) and Daytripper (a tribute to The Beatles).

The 1969 Aldergrove Beach Rock Festival featured mostly bands from the Pacific Northwest, such as The Seeds of Time, Black Snake Blues Band, Guitar Shorty and Valdy.

The 1969 festival was promoted by an Aldergrove entrepreneur, Brent Joliffe along with DJs from LG73 and CKLG-FM, and was a financial flop as most of the attendees had jumped the fence rather than pay at the gate.

The following year Joliffe tried again with the 1970 Strawberry Mountain Festival near Deroche, featuring top names such as Rod Stewart and The Faces in their first west coast concert together. That festival was also a financial disaster, and Joliffe retired from the concert promotion business.

The Aldergrove Fair Days concert series was sponsored by Aldergrove businessman Craig Nicholson and his family’s Nicholson Group of Companies, which paid for all the performance costs of this year’s fair concerts.

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