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High Adventure: Tales of Canadian Rock & Roll Survival

High Adventure: Tales of Canadian Rock & Roll Survival

High Adventure chronicles the outrageous musical adventures of a boy from the tiny village of Chester Basin, Nova Scotia, who became a rabid pop music fan, musician and finally a recording and touring member of some of Canada's foremost pop groups. From the early bands playing high schools, universities and teen dances to capacity crowds at Maple Leaf Gardens, The Montreal Forum and Massey Hall, his experiences somehow never remained ordinary.

Ritchie Henman and his brother David started their first band in Halifax in 1962 and were thrilled to perform on stage in local schools, church basements and any other venue possible. Initially awed by the notion that they were actually paid to perform, they adopted a businesslike attitude and channeled the income back into the shows, acquiring ever more professional equipment as well as proper stage attire. The Sixties saw them relocate to St. John's, Newfoundland, then Saint John, New Brunswick, and ultimately back to Halifax. Each band quickly rose to the top level of success in those cities.

In 1969, Ritchie's band decided to forego all other considerations such as formal education and a secure home in order to pursue the ultimate goal for any pop group, a chance at a recording career. April Wine was formed in December of 1969 and in April of 1970 departed for Montreal to seek fame and fortune. Through sheer hard work and perseverance, April Wine paid its dues and was rewarded with a recording contract from Aquarius Records, a management contract from the already successful Terry Flood and exclusive booking from the DKD Agency, already a major player in Montreal and, shortly thereafter, the rest of Canada.

By 1971 April Wine was a hitmaker from coast to coast and success continued for the next three years until the Henman brothers responded to the ever-present desire to do something different and embark on new adventures. Further success and occasional failure continued for over a decade down a path that was virtually always marked by the unusual and the bizarre.