Home Read Features Read Exclusive Excerpts From Bob Wegner’s Definitive Max Webster Bio High Class

Read Exclusive Excerpts From Bob Wegner’s Definitive Max Webster Bio High Class

Check out six pages from a new book chronicling the eccentric Can-rockers’ career.

“This guy just asked me if I want to buy some hash!” Kim Mitchell announced to the crowd at Winnipeg Arena, pointing down at the supposed wannabe dealer — me.

As several thousand concertgoers laughed, I sheepishly protested, waving off his accusations. Not that I really needed to. Clearly, I wasn’t trying to sell weed to the lead singer of Max Webster in the middle of their set opening for Styx (though from my shoulder-length hair and the grubby hoodie I wore everywhere, I might have looked the part). But I did have a question for him:

“Where’s your mask?” I repeated, referring to the clear-plastic disguise Mitchell had sported during the band’s inaugural visit to the city a year earlier in 1976, opening for Rush at the Playhouse Theatre. After seeing that first show, I had become an instant and fervent fan of the oddball Toronto rockers — which is how I ended up standing alone down front at their second local appearance, getting razzed by the quick-witted singer-guitarist after gently but foolishly heckling him in front of an audience of ’70s rock fans. (I don’t remember if he ever answered my question, which he presumably misheard — or pretended to mishear — as ‘Want some hash?’. I do remember telling the story to Mitchell decades later when I interviewed him over lunch. Naturally, he didn’t recall the event, but laughed at the story — and then very needlessly apologized for embarrassing me, which I also waved off.)

What I didn’t know until this week was that their arena show — held on June 12, 1977 — took place just three days after a pivotal moment in their career: Max’s first headlining gig at Toronto’s Massey Hall, where they played for more than 2,000 hometown fans. I learned that tidbit from Canadian author and musician Bob Wegner’s excellent new coffee-table book Max Webster: High Class, a massive and magnificent chronicle of the band’s entire career. Filled to the brim with details, recollections, anecdotes and rare photos — including, unbeknownst to me, a picture I shot of Mitchell in that mask during their 1976 show — this 400-page labour of love is essential reading for any Max, Mitchell or Canadian-rock fan. I told you about the book the other day HERE. And after skimming the PDF his publicist sent, I asked if Wegner would be willing to let me run an excerpt. He generously sent over six pages, covering events from 1975, 1977 and 1979. Enjoy — and then order your copy of the High Class HERE: