Bonnie Hart, that is one heck of a 1960s music scrapbook!

John, Paul and George

I believe you know who these gentlemen are. It’s the yellowed, scotch-taped pages on which I found these photos that I want to tell you about. Remember scrapbooks?

“What should I write about for my Thanksgiving-weekend instalment of Mondays at the Manse?” was the question on my mind last Friday afternoon as I drove home to Queensborough after a long week at work. I was admiring the beautiful fall foliage as the northward-on-Highway-62 miles sped by when the answer came to me out of my radio, courtesy of an old Beatles song – I think it was Please Please Me. Freddy Vette, the hugely popular host of the afternoon/early evening show of 1950s and ’60s hits on good old CJBQ radio, was devoting the whole program to the music of John Lennon. Why? Because Friday would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday. Wow.

(If you’re in the mood for a lot of John Lennon music, Freddy has posted the whole show on his blog. Click here for a listen.)

Anyway, those great old songs – many of which, I should add, date from the years when I was a kid growing up here at the Manse – got me thinking about something I’ve been wanting to share with Meanwhile, at the Manse readers. It is a treasure that came in the form of a gift from Raymond on my birthday this past July, and it was one of the best gifts ever. And appropriately enough, it came from a little antiques and collectibles shop in the hamlet of Ivanhoe, through which I zoomed on Friday on my way home as Freddy played Stand By Me and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and Norwegian Wood and so on.

It was a scrapbook, people! Remember scrapbooks? Yes, I know that “scrapbooking” is kind of a thing once again, but I confess that as a grammar nerd I am put off by the fake verb alone. So whatever people (and I believe it is grownups, not teenage girls) are putting in scrapbooks in 2015 – well, you’re on your own, folks. Not my thing.

Bonnie Hart's scrapbook

But this was a real scrapbook, a 29¢ product from the venerable Canadian company Hilroy, one in which a teenage girl of the 1960s – perhaps growing up somewhere in the Ivanhoe area, i.e. right here in Hastings County – had taped and pasted and otherwise preserved photos and news clippings and bubble-gum cards featuring primarily the Beatles but also a treasure trove of other 1960s bands and performers, including some rather weird and obscure Canadian ones. To flip through this scrapbook’s fragile, yellowed pages is to enter a lost world; it is an utterly delightful exercise in nostalgia.

Bonnie Hart

But before I show you some of those pages, a question: does anyone know who Bonnie Hart might be? I ask because Bonnie Hart was the maker and keeper of this scrapbook. I know this thanks to her signature on the front cover – along with the handwritten notation (though that might have been added later, perhaps by an antiques dealer) “67 Beatle Cards.” I imagine it’s eminently possible that teenage Bonnie Hart now has, these several decades later, a different last name because of marriage, but I would be tickled to death if any reader might be able to steer me to her. I’d like to say thanks for putting together such a fantastic scrapbook, and to assure her that it has found its way to a good home here at the Manse.

Anyway, I’m sure you’d like to see some of the pictures that Bonnie collected, and enjoy your own little trip through some musical nostalgia. So let’s go, starting with black-and-white Beatles bubble-gum cards:

Black-and-white Beatles cards

Wacky Beatle card

The Beatles as you’ve rarely seen them!

Paul and Ringo

Now we move into colour bubble-gum Beatles cards. Groovy!

Beatles cards in colour

And now we start to move on from the Beatles to some other classic bands. I’m feeling Glad All Over!

The Beatles and the Dave Clark Five

Ah yes, the competition – the Stones. And one of my own personal favourites, The Monkees!

The Rolling Stones and the Monkees

Peter Tork of The Monkees

I think Peter was Bonnie’s favourite Monkee. Me, I’m a Micky girl.

All right. Shall we move into the heady days of life in the canyons of Los Angeles with the Mamas and the Papas and friends?

John and Michelle Phillips

It looks like Bonnie was keen on The Lovin’ Spoonful‘s Zal Yanofsky, very probably because he was Canadian:

Zal Yanofsky

And now we start to get photos of bands that are (to put it mildly) not quite as much household names as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Monkees, the Mamas and the Papas and the Lovin’ Spoonful. The Fiends, anyone?

The Fiends

How about the Wee Beasties? Evidently a Toronto band; don’t you just love that the chaps’ outfits are by another venerable Canadian company, Tip Top Tailors?

The Wee Beasties

Okay, here’s The Trackers, apparently out of Rochester, N.Y.:

The Trackers

The Trackers

And The Westbury Union. Anybody know anything about them? Great outfits, guys!

The Westbury Union

I think we are now seriously into Canadian, and more specifically Toronto, bands. Ah, the Yorkville scene

The Last Words

Little Caesar and the Consuls

The Quiet Jungle

And here, people, is the absolute best. Have you ever heard of Marshmallow Soup Group? Well, neither had I. But after this photo from Bonnie’s scrapbook. you’re unlikely to forget them. After all, their slogan seems to have been “M.S.G. until eternity” …

Marshmallow Soup Group

Really, you could not make this stuff up. And I don’t just mean the weirdness of Marshamallow Soup Group. I mean the great days preserved in Bonnie Hart’s scrapbook: when Yorkville was a musical scene; when the Mamas and the Papas were living the Summer of Love in California in 1967; when the Monkees were starring in a goofy TV show and producing great pop songs; when the Dave Clark Five were hitting it out of the park with catchy, memorable stuff.

And when John Lennon was a young Beatle. Happy birthday, John, wherever you are.

And to Bonnie Hart (and Raymond): thank you so much for the memories!

28 thoughts on “Bonnie Hart, that is one heck of a 1960s music scrapbook!

  1. Having caught Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band in Victoria last week, I strongly recommend catching them either in Toronto (Oct. 20 at Massey Hall) or Montreal (Oct. 21 at Théâtre St-Denis) if you can. Ringo is an amazingly agile 75 and looks 20 years younger, but you may never get this chance again. This review was pretty much spot-on from where I was sitting:

    http://www.timescolonist.com/entertainment/review-at-75-ringo-starr-still-inspires-rockers-of-all-ages-1.2081495

  2. Terrific! I often think of Neil Young whenever I pass the intersection of Hazelton Avenue & Yorkville Avenue. He played in a club near that corner (not that I was ever there at the time), to supplement his job in a Coles Book Store at Charles & Yonge (which happened to be his last regular job.) This scrapbook is wonderful, and I hope Bonnie will learn of this blog item. She was quite a devoted fan!

    • Hi Gerry! I’m so glad you found my post and liked those amazing photos of 1960s Canadian bands. I think I included all of them in the post. For the foreseeable future I’m going to hang on to the collection, because I think it is absolutely delightful. And hey, Bonnie Hart might appear and be able to talk about them!

      • Thanks, I also saw a picture of the Mandala on the next page beside Zal from the Lovin Spoonful…I have a mint copy of the Soup Group !!! but do not have the Quiet Jungle….I have been gathering stuff for almost 40 years, and have around 4000 images of Canadian bands, and hope to open a museum in Niagara Falls Canada in the next 5 to 10 years…thanks GERRY

        Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:07:56 +0000 To: kootch45@hotmail.com

      • Oh WOW, Gerry – what a fantastic project! Let’s keep in touch. If you need photos for your museum, maybe we can arrange a loan or something. A mint copy of the Marshamallow Soup Group – does it get any better than that?

      • thanks for your quick response. Yeah, let’s keep in touch, and I’ll keep you up dated on my project. I live in Crystal Beach, which is across the river from Buffalo, NY…Niagara Falls is about a 20 minute drive…GERRY

        Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2015 00:24:16 +0000 To: kootch45@hotmail.com

  3. Hi, I’m Alan from the Wee Beasties (bass player and vocals). That photo was our first promo photo and yes the suits were specially made by Tip Top tailors who made three more designs for us. We were a Yorkville band, based at Charlie Browns around the time that the Ugly Ducklings were at the Mynah Bird. We put out two records on Nimbus nine label the same as the original Guess Who (same producers too) and we played all the big spots including Maple Leaf Gardens, Electric Circus and the Rock Pile and the ones in the suburbs. Great life. Never thought I’d see that photo on the web !! Thanks for liking us Bonnie wherever you are!!

    • Hi Alan, I’m Gerry, president of the Canadian Records and Artists Appreciation Society, and it is my goal to set up an all Canadian Music Museum within the next 10 years. Always looking for rare photos of Canadian bands from the 60’s and 70’s. email me at kootch45@hotmail.com

      • Hey Gerry, great to hear from you again! I hope your work on the planned museum is making good progress. It will be the best thing ever – and something that’s long overdue.

    • Oh my goodness, Alan! WHAT a thrill to hear from you! I was just speechless when I saw your comment. It never ceases to amaze me how connections can be made (and information shared, to everyone’s benefit) through the proverbial internet. You must have thousands of great memories and stories about the Toronto music scene in the ’60s, and I for one would love to hear them. (And I am sure I am not alone – witness the followup comment from Gerry Miskolczi, who is working on the fantastic project of establishing a Canadian Music Museum.) Which Beastie are you in the photo from Bonnie Hart’s scrapbook? (Bless your heart, Bonnie, for preserving it.) And hey, can I find any of the Beasties’ music online? But mainly – thank you so much for finding my post and sharing a little bit of Canadian music history!

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV6AeHvMFi0 try this link, its the A side of the Wee Beasties first record, and with comments by Don Reeves our singer and rythm player. Unfortunately the photo is that of the Ugly Ducks as the uploader obviously made an error. I have to say that the fuzz sound of the lead guitar was our invention, we made the first ever fuzzbox from a plan from Popular Mechanics long before any major artist worked out how to do it.!! We think Yorkville Sound stole the idea and started selling them under the Traynor brand of electric amplifyers!! Robbie Roberts from Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks (they owned the Hawks nest on Yonge St) made little nicks in his amplifyer speakers with a razor blade to get the same sound. Robbie and the rest of the Hawks went on to be Bob Dylan’s band after that. A lot of big names came out of the Toronto music scene back then. It was very vibrant indeed and Yorkville was a musicians hangout after 2.00 am when all the guys finished their gigs in the suburbs or the universities or out of town performances in the smaller nearby cities. A lot of camaradarie and jam sessions.
        regards
        Alan (front right in the picture)

      • Alan, thank you so much for the video link – what a great song! The harmonies are fab. And yes, the fuzz is very cool. So amazing to think that there was a time when that sound was brand-new. And what an honour it is for me to be in touch with the band that came up with it! Your memories of those Yorkville days make my heart ache with nostalgia. Yours too, I bet…

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