#434: The Moment That It Takes by Trooper
In 1967 Ra McGuire and Brian Smith played in a Vancouver band named Winter’s Green. The band recorded two songs, “Are You a Monkey” and “Jump in the River Blues” on the Rumble Records Label. “Are You A Monkey” later appeared on a rock collection: 1983’s “The History of Vancouver Rock and Roll, Vol. 3.” In the early seventies Winter’s Green changed their name to Applejack and added drummer Tommy Stewart and bassist Harry Kalensky to their lineup. Applejack became a very popular band in the Vancouver area, and began touring extensively in British Columbia. The band played a few original tunes such as “Raise A Little Hell”, and “Oh, Pretty Lady”, as well as Top 40 songs by artists such as Neil Young, and Chicago.
After hearing Applejack perform, Randy Bachman of Bachman–Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who signed the band to his Legend label. The band changed their name from Applejack to Trooper. Bachman produced the band’s self-titled debut album, Trooper, which contained the Canadian hits “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” and “General Hand Grenade”.
Managed by Sam Feldman, Trooper began touring extensively in both Canada and the United States. After moving from Legend Records to MCA Records, Trooper added Frank Ludwig on keyboards. A second album, Two For The Show, featured the title track “Two For The Show” and “Santa Maria.” In 1976, Trooper first appeared in concert on March 21 at the PNE Garden Auditorium, and later on September 4 at the Pacific Coliseum – opening for Bachman-Turner Overdrive. In Vancouver, the band had a third hit single from the album titled “Ready”.
In 1977 Trooper released their third album, Knock ‘Em Dead Kid. By this time Harry Kalensky had been replaced by bass guitarist Doni Underhill. Doni Underhill spent his early days in Toronto. He playing with Robbie Lane, and was in the bands Fludd and Brutus.
The first single from the album, “We’re Here For A Good Time (Not A Long Time)”, was the bands highest charting single at the time, peaking on the RPM charts at #12. The 70’s ended well for Trooper with “Raise A Little Hell”, “Round Round We Go” and “3 Dressed Up As A Nine” among their Canadian hits.
Trooper appeared in concert in Vancouver on October 5 at the PNE Garden Auditorium, and on November 25, 1978, at The Cave. Earlier that year, the band gave a four-night-stand at The Cave from May 3rd to 6th.
Trooper’s album, Thick As Thieves, was nominated for Best Selling Album Juno Award. And in 1979 the band won the Juno Award for Group of the Year. Early in 1979, Trooper had another single climb into the Top 20 in Vancouver titled “The Moment It Takes”.
“The Moment That It Takes” is a song written by Trooper bandmates Tommy Stewart and the bass guitarist, Doni Underhill, who joined Trooper in 1977. Underhill joined the band in time to record their June 1977 album Knock ‘Em Dead Kid. Both Stewart and Underhill remained with Trooper into the early 80s. “The Moment It Takes” is a song about the moment that it starts to sink in that a relationship is really over. Now that the couple are apart, when the guy calls her on the phone she doesn’t answer. She has moved on with her life. But he reveals “I’ve been crying to sleep every night…. I’ve been dying to hold you again.” The difficulty he is having to reconnect suggests that she has gotten over the relationship, while he is still brokenhearted.
“The Moment It Takes” peaked at #13 on CFUN in Vancouver (BC) and #21 in Ottawa (ON).
In the early 1980s, Trooper gave numbers of concerts at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. They appeared on November 13-14-15, 1980, and again on July 16-17, 1982. As well, the band gave several concerts at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on November 3, 1979, and the following year on October 25, 1980. On February 15, 1985, Trooper came to the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby to perform at the North Burnaby Inn.
Trooper won a SOCAN Classic Award in 2005 for “Oh, Pretty Lady”. SOCAN is an acronym for the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada. Trooper has 401 photographs housed in the Library and Archives Canada’s Gatineau Preservation Centre. Between 1975 and 1991 Trooper charted a dozen singles into the Canadian RPM Top 40, and released nine studio albums.
On December 4, 1999, and again on July 2, 2001, Trooper appeared in concert at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. On May 23, 2007, Trooper gave another concert in Vancouver, this time at PNE Rollerland. On September 6, 2010, and again on August 31, 2012, Trooper gave concerts at the PNE Exhibition Bowl. Two years later, on August 22, 2014, Trooper appeared at the PNE Amphitheatre in Vancouver. On November 29, 2014, Trooper was the stage act at the post-Grey Cup celebrations at the Vancouver Convention Centre. On December 31, 2015, Trooper was in concert at the Hard Rock Casino in the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam. On July 30, 2016, Trooper gave a concert at Shorefest in Vancouver. On August 18, 2018, Trooper performed in concert at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.
June 12, 2020
Trooper bio, Canadian Bands.com.
Trooper concert schedule, Trooper.com
Tim Lewis, “Buffy Sainte-Marie: ‘My Music is Much More Diverse than Almost any Singer You Can Think of’,” Guardian, August 2, 2015.
“CFUN Top 30,” CFUN 1410 AM, Vancouver, BC, February 24, 1979.
For more song reviews visit the Countdown.