Daryl "D" Wadsworth
Valerie "Val" Tuck
In 1970 three founding members of the Esquires -- Gary Comeau, Paul Huot and Richard Patterson -- reunited to form a weekend band. Patterson was the only working musician at the time, and had just returned home to Ottawa after three years with the band 3's A Crowd. Comeau & Huot had left music and had gone on to raise familys and take on day gigs full-time.
At that time there were few spots in the Ottawa downtown area where adults could enjoy commercial Pop music and Oldies that also boasted a dance floor, making The Tabu Room in Ottawa's Beacon Arms Hotel a perfect place.
The trio was soon joined by other members of mid-1960's Ottawa bands along with newcomer Barbra Bullard on vocals. With that, they decided to cash in on their previous success as the Esquires and rename themselves The New Esquires.
With only weekend gigs at the venue, eventually Wednesday nights were also added to accomodate the full house every night the band played.
In 1971 local music impressario Harvey Glatt, who had been manager of both The Esquires and 3's A Crowd, suggested that the band make a recording to sell at the club. Glatt paid for a three song session and shopped the demo tape around for reaction in the music industry itself.
The best reseponse came from New York producer/songwriter Jerry Ragavoy who was doing A&R work for a new American record label called Tonsil Records. The act was soon signed.
Due to the success of a Black American R & B group called The Esquires, it was decided the act should find a new name for the release of the first single .
During Patterson's days living in Yorkville Village in Toronto while a member of 3's A Crowd, he had become a fan of the folk jugband The Dirty Shames that featured guitarist Amos Garrett. Garrett once said, jokingly, that if he ever put a rock group together he was going to call it The Toronto Maple leafs or possibly Canada Goose.
Patterson had remembered the Garrett quote and suggested it to the New Esquires members. Following approval from Garrett himself for the use of the name, the group became Canada Goose.
The success of the recording "Higher And Higher" placed the band in high demand and they had to turn down regular work at their hotspot, The Tabu Room, as they started accepting concert engagements in Ontario, Quebec, and the Northern USA.
The highlight of the American dates came while playing in Burlington, Vermont at a local College club. After the second night of performances, the manager asked the band if they would do him a favor and play for the President of the United States during his visit to Burlington that weekend. The Canadian group obliged and Richard Nixon's office sent the members a thank you letter for their efforts.
However, soon Patterson received a call from former 3's A Crowd member Trevor Veitch and working with American Folk legend Tom Rush who needed a drummer for a Fall tour of North America. Patterson accepted the offer and left the band.
It wasn't long before Canada Goose called it quits due to conflicts in scheduling surrounding the personal lives of the various members.
But, months later, one of the last members to join, Daryl Wadsworth formed a new band under the name Canada Goose to continue the success of the original band and accept another house gig at an Ottawa club.
The new Canada Goose featured lead singers Paul Huot and Barbara Bullard, former Liverpool Set member Lach MacFadyen (guitar), Wadsworth (piano), Barry Gosselin (bass) and Phil Downey (drums). They played at The Plaza on Sparks Street in Ottawa. Various line-up changes followed and the band would finally call it quits in 1973.
Garry Comeau and Val Tuck joined GRT recording band James Leroy And Denim; Wayne Leslie went on to play with Wells Fargo and did a tour with Tom Rush; Derek O'Neil went on to become a successful studio musician, writer, and producer in Los Angeles; Patterson went on to tour & record with Tom Rush, David Wiffen, Ian & Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird, American Pop legend Bobby Vee, and then onto a 16 year contract with CBC Radio & TV in Ottawa. He died in 2011; Lach MacFadyen (who had been in The Liverpool Set with future producer Jack Douglas) went on to produce Harlequin, Joe Hall & The Continental Drift, and others.
Comeau, Huot and Patterson reunited in 1987 with other members of The Esquires for their 25th anniversary concert and charity event for the Eastern Ontario Childrens Hospital. The City of Ottawa proclaimed it Esquires Day.
with notes from Richard Patterson, Daryl Wadsworth and Doug Grose.
Higher And Higher/Answer Man (Tonsil/Quality) T-0002X
Submit corrections, additions and feedback