Posts Tagged ‘Canadian rockabilly’

East Van Rockabilly The Lowriders

Mark Twang & Ronnie HaywardHoward Rix & Mark Twang  with

The Lowriders Lights Out

Listen to the song here “Lights Out” live at the Commodore Ballroom in Dec. 1983 or by the player below:

In 1983 I answered an ad in a local Vancouver Rag. To my surprise a band actually looking for a full-time rockabilly guitar player. Rockabilly back then was still unknown to most people.

They were a singer – Howard Rix, bass player – Rick, and drummer -Brian “Hoss” Andrishak who had lost their guitar player. They were called The Lowriders.

Lowriders Mark Twang Howard Rix

The Lowriders

I got the gig and played with Howard Rix for many years following in a few rockabilly bands including The Bopsters with Ronnie Hayward and Britt Hagerty.

The drummer Hoss had setup a living/ practice space in what they called City Space which was an illegal warehouse in East Vancouver’s Chinatown area where we practiced and also gigged.

The band only had learned about 6 songs so we had fun bringing our rockabilly records and listening and picking songs for the new lineup. We added another 30 songs over the next few months as well got some promo pics and a bio and hit some booking agencies in Vancouver.

Howard Rix was born with a natural singing voice and one of the best rockabilly singers out there – still going strong in East Van.

Here is a cover of “Lights Out” live at the Commodore Ballroom in Dec. 1983.


The Nervous Fellas Crazy Alone & Blue “Live”

Original Rockabilly tune by Mark Twang written about the life of the “Untameable” Ronnie Hayward

Crazy, Alone & Blue

Live at the Railway Club, Vancouver, Canada
by The Nervous Fellas in 1991

Mark Twang – Guitar
Ronnie Hayward – Doghouse Bass
Butch Murphy – Vocals
Billy Rogers – Drums

Edited by Mark Twang
Twang Design & Communication


Live at the Heritage Train Kept A-Rollin The Rockin Daddys

The Rockin Daddys Rockabilly Band playing live in New Westminster, Canada at the Heritage Grill.
Their version of Tiny Bradshaw’s Train Kept A-Rollin inspired by Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio.
A rockabilly classic recorded in 1956 on Coral Records.

Special Thanks to David Charan and the Owner and Staff at the Heritage Grill for keeping live Rockabilly and Roots music alive in Vancouver, Canada.


A lose train wreak raw and biting tune dedicated to the memory of Paul Burlison, who with his octave pops and pull-offs on his Fender Telecaster, was one of the first to get a feedback/distortion guitar sound on record.

This song is always fun to play and has been covered by stacks of bands.

Rich Hagensen – Vocals and Flattop
Mark Twang  – Tele Geetar
Kenny “Rebelrouser” Wilson – Slap Bass
Sandy McSnare – Skins

Long live Rockabilly!

More Info and Rockabilly at
Also Check out Rich Hagensen label for more rockabilly, surf and roots music at  and

Born To Be Wild Nervous Fellas With Pete Turland

The Rockabilly Band the Nervous Fellas playing one night of 3 sold out shows at Vancouver Canada’s the Railway Club in July, 1990 doing their title track “Born To Be Wild” and a tribute to the Canadian Mars Bonfile, who wrote the tune for his band Steppenwolf for the classic movie “Easy RIder”

Featuring on Slap Bass the young Buzzsaw Pete Turland who had joined the Nervous Fellas a year before replacing Rockin Ronnie Hayward when Ronnie went to Texas to join the band the Tail Gators.
Pete Turland came from London, England with the help of Roy Williams of Nervous Records U.K. Mark Twang had stayed in contact through his connection with his Trouble Bound’s Muddy Waters on a Nervous Records compilation as well as a Nervous Fellas song  that Mark Twang wrote called Wild Wild Baby released on a CD Boppin in Canada.

Roy Williams gave Mark Pete Turland’s number in London and he contacted Pete and persuaded him coming to Canada would be a good thing. (He is still here over 20 years later so I guess it was) Thanks Roy!
I had an offer he could not refuse as we were lucky at that time to be signed and managed by Laurie Mercer at S.L. Feldman & Associates who bought and fronted us a return one year open ticket for Pete and organized all the papers to obtain a working visa for Canada.

Also, before Ronnie left and with the help of Steve Macklam (who came out from Toronto to help Sam Feldman break into the Toronto east coast music market), we got set up at COCA – the Canadian Organization of Campus Activities. There we got picked up by lots of colleges and universities across Canada, meaning a lot of good paying gigs not only at night but also daytime on campus which left open the night time to play at local clubs resulting in a lot of double gigs. That meant we could offer Pete Turland over 2 months of steady work across Canada and back right away not only to get the band very tight, but to actually make good cash

Pete Turland – Doghouse  Psychobilly Slap Bass
Mark Twang – Geetar
John Decan – Skins
Crazy Tom Lavelle – Piano
Butch Murphy – Vocals


Pete was a great guy and fantastic rockabilly slap bass player adding his own element and sound to the Nervous Fellas. Without Pete making the move half way around the world the Fellas would have been dead as there was no rockabilly Slap players available at that time, believe me we looked.
Thanks Pete!

In the years later Pete Turland went on to play with tons of Canadian bands such as Harp Dog Brown, Ray Condo, Ronnie Hayward, Paul Pigat and Cousin Harley, The Twisters and more. As well he released his own CDs playing guitar and singing. Go Pete Go

The audio’s not great but it  captures the night as it was, live and raw!

More info at

Edited by Mark Twang
Twang Design & Communication

Nervous Fellas with Billy Rogers Bad Bad Boy

Vancouver, Canada’s Rockabilly Madmen playing an obscure rockabilly cover of BOBBY LOLLAR’s Bad Bad Boy at a live gig at the Cruel Elephant in Vancouver B.C. Canada.

Although the sound is not great the footage of Ronnie Hayward is, as Ronnie is in great form with an awesome slap bass solo and stage presence.


Billy “Rockabilly” Rogers was on drums by this time with the Nervous Fellas in 1991 and was one of the best rockabilly drummer I ever played with and, for that matter, one of the best drummers ever.

Billy Rogers was from Queens, New York and grew up playing snare in a marching band. While still living in New York, he played places like CBGB. He recorded and played in those years with The Ramones and Johnny Thunders (New York Dolls) in The Heartbreakers as well as in some rockabilly bands.
Years later Billy played on Dee Dee Ramones‘s solo album.

After playing with The Tailgators in Texas, Ronnie Hayward moved to Toronto where he met Billy Rogers who was living there after marrying a Canadian woman. Billy and Ronnie came out together to Vancouver to join the Nervous Fellas in 1990 after the band’s current lineup with Pete Turland had disbanded.

Mark Twang and Butch Murphy by this time had been playing together with in the Nervous Fellas for about 5 long years.

Mark Twang (don’t Call me Johnson) on Geetar, Ronnie Hayward on Doghouse Bass, Butch Murphy on Vocals and the one and only Billy Rogers on Drums.

Nervous Fellas 1990

Nervous Fellas with Billy Rogers 1990

Billy Rogers was born in Feb 1957 and passed in Aug, 2001. This video (more songs and vid’s to come with Billy) is dedicated to his memory.

More info pics, tunes to come at

The Nervous Fellas Blues Band I’m A King Bee

The Canadian Rockabilly band The Nervous Fellas playing some blues on their first  road trip in 1988 in one of the best blues cities in Canada: Hamilton “The Hammer”  in the province of Ontario.
I’m A King Bee is a Slim Harpo song on Excello Records. The Fellas version was inspired by Muddy Waters from the Johnny Winters produced Blue Sky Records he put out and played on in the 70’s. Thanks Johnny.


The Fabulous Al Black on Skins
Ronnie Hayward on Doghouse Bass
Shaun Butch Murphy on Vocals
Mark Twang on Geetar

Ronnie Hayward and Mark Twang had been in at least 4 other bands since 1984. Over that time, with their hard work and love of blues and rockabilly, they got down their own blues grooves together. Add the energy of Al Black laying down the beat and the great blues singing in his own style of Butch Murphy, doing songs like King Bee was a great pleasure and our little part to help carry on the tradition and keep the music alive as we did with the obscure rockabilly songs we covered.

The Nervous Fellas had recorded their first songs mostly originals to sell on the road on the East Side Label 1988
“The Other Side of Rock n Roll”

The Nervous Fellas

Nervous Fellas Commodore 1988

This was the last tour Al Black would do with the Nervous Fellas. Shortly after we got back to Vancouver in the fall of 1988 Al quit the band to work full time and play with the Last Wild Sons part-time.

For me that was a disappointment of course as after about 8 months of hard work and lots of playing, writing and recording and with the road trip to Toronto and back, the band was really tight. Al became a good friend who still is to this day.

However such is band life and you have to always move forward, road life is not for everyone.

Special thanks to Doug “Cool Fool” Carter AKA Brother Twang for shooting the whole night for us.

Info on Cool Fool the book and blues in Hamilton and some great MP3’s to listen to with Doug Cool Fool Carter, King Biscuit Boy, Ronnie Copple go to

More info at

Some Twang &Nervous Fellas on ReverbNation