Buzz July 18, 1944 – April 5, 2013

NewHdrPic2Brian “Major Buzz” Leboe, our friend the fiddlefoot, raconteur, broadcaster, communicator, environmentalist, adventurer and cosmic cowboy has signed off air …permanently. On Easter Sunday while sitting on his favourite bench outside my front door just reading and waiting for Easter Dinner he had a massive heart attack and died. He was revived by our CPR efforts and the paramedics who arrived within 5 minutes and took him to St. Paul’s with a heartbeat and breathing…but sadly we were to discover on Friday April 5th that he had no brain response to the EEG tests and the family came back to say goodbye and release him from his body. He was gone on to the next adventure and there was no calling him back.
He begins his book “Tales of a Fiddlefoot” like this :

“ My first memory in this body, this life, is of lying beside my mother just falling asleep again after feeding, when a bright light irritated my eyes and caused me to focus on the white haired doctor and the black haired nurse with a chubby face and a great huge smile with big black eyes and brown skin.  I knew she was nurse Fraser, although I can’t remember how I knew.  The next thing I remember clearly is the small black hairs on the back of her neck while she was burping me, in our living room in Crescent Spur.”

It makes me wonder what his final memory was…he was reading Winston Churchill’s “Gathering Storm” on his Kindle that laid at his feet when my son Blake came upon him on his way in for Easter dinner.

I will post more memories and stories later in this blog and many will come from Buzz’s “Fiddlefoot journal” but here is one of my favourites about his cosmic communications skills when he arrived at C-JAY 92 in Calgary around 1979…

“The Friday before I was to start a regular show, I went on the air with Wes Erickson, who was moving to mid-day.  He said, “What shall we talk about?”  I replied, “Most people on first meeting talk about the weather.  It’s bloody cold outside.  I think we should invite out listeners to join in an experiment.  Out on the west coast there is warm air.  Let’s think about that warm air and pull it up through the valleys between mountain ranges and enjoy a Chinook.  Here at the station we can play Chinook music to keep the mood.

By the time we left the air at 6 pm, the temperature had risen to zero.  When I opened my first show on Monday, it was plus 35 in brilliant sunshine!”

That was our Buzz…he felt if collectively he could get his audience in sync with the universe…then anything could happen. He maintained this faith until the very end. More from Buzz and I later…your turn now

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You can view Buzz in an old TV spot here

27 thoughts on “Buzz July 18, 1944 – April 5, 2013

  1. Prague….Radio free Europe…… that’s what comes to mind…the Buzz and Mike show… the right place at the right time…sitting on the terrace in Manes restaurant next to the river in the “centrum” of Prague with Buzz and Paul and waiting for Mike….. great memories…
    Sbohem Buzz

  2. Our friend Buzz was one of a kind. I remember that show. In FM radio at that time, we picked our own music from a floor to ceiling wall of albums. To kick the Chinook show off, we chose “Here Comes The Sun – Beatles”. Buzz and I were so enthralled in our conversation the song ended and proceeded to go into the next track. We laughed and let side 2 Abbey Road play to The End! This is not the end for Buzz. It’s only the beginning. Love ya buddy. Peace.

  3. 1994: When I heard Buzz was stepping down from Radio Metropolis’ morning show I ambushed him one morning at 0430 by the entrance to Radio Komunikace bunker in Žižkov. Chuckling in his rich laconic baritone, Buzz offered me a chance to audition. After a half hour on the air Buzz smiled his toothy grin and told me that he’d be down the hall playing solitaire on the PC – transition complete. That was the beginning of my long history of voice work in Prague which carries on ’til today. Thanks, Buzz. Tell Dorian I said “hi”.

    • Thank you for your memory Robert, I am sorry to tell you that Dorian passed away March 12,2005 from Graves disease. It never sits quite right when a son or daughter dies before the parent and so it was with Buzz,,,although he did remain pretty philosophical about life and death in general as one endless journey. So now he’s off to find Dorian.
      Paul Hovan

      • hi Paul, Dorian”s passing in 2005 was a sad day for all of us here in Prague. My comment spoke more to the fact that father and son are together now. Be well, Robert

  4. Brian, he was, back when I remember him as a blond blue-eyed 2 year old, with his ear down close to the old phonograph. He spent many hours listening to Wilf Carter, the Sons of the Pioneers and other Western singers. Then it was the hockey games on the radio, and soon he was doing a good rendition of Foster Hewitt “calling the shots”, using an old microphone of dad’s. Eventually, he broadcast whole games from somewhere deep in his imagination.
    By the time he was 8 years old he was often out on our front lawn, dressed in his cowboy outfit—guns, cowboy hat and all, having a serious punch-out with a bad guy in a small town in Texas. He took turns being good and bad, and when he took a punch on the jaw, he would jerk his head back and fall to the ground.
    Always anticipating the first stage of his woking adventures, his deep voice hit the airwaves of C.K.P.G. before he finished high school. He was hooked. Radio would become his way of life, until deafness robbed him of doing the thing he loved to do most.
    More later…Rest in peace, brother, Love Verdie

  5. I remember spending some evenings up on the hill at CJAY with Buzz. I think it was there that I first truly appreciated his artistry. He could really take people on a magical mystery tour with one of his shows.

    I have a much different perspective on Buzz’s life than my siblings since I was the youngest of eight and I don’t even remember meeting Buzz until I was nine years old.

    He was a full-on free spirit and since I have no connection to his early days in the interior, that’s all he will ever be to me.

    I remember the day he arrived at the house in Peachland. He had a VW bus (of course), two standard poodles, an acoustic guitar (Norman) and a Fender Jazz bass. I’m pretty sure he told me not to touch the guitars when he wasn’t around, probably the very reason I started playing.

    I remember trying to reconcile this mysterious figure with mom and dad. They seemed to be from different planets or maybe even different universes. I remember thinking “there’s no way he could be related to mom!”

    He came and went and even lived in the Okanagan for a while. When he was around he told stories that meandered casually from the mundane to the fantastic and always left me with a great story to share with others. It was always seemed to me that when he was spinning a good tale he was often hearing some of it for the first time himself. The good parts would stick of course. As Paul pointed out the other week he was very consistent with the delivery, although the telling usually improved with age.

    Such a character, like a book come to life. I’m looking forward to reading his stories and reminiscing. I really miss him.

  6. Passing this along from David Palmer, who worked with Buzz at CFUN
    Yes indeed I recognize everyone in the picture, including Buzz, along with Fred Latrimo,(that’s the simply spelling) Paul Ski,
    and Daryl B (who passed away several years ago) and of course an old friend I’ve known since I first arrived in Vancouver,
    Red Robinson… !

    Those were fun days in the radio biz .. It’s the good times we remember… Like so many others I’ve known, Buzz will be missed.

    David

  7. I met Buzz in Prague in the early 90’s. He originally arrived after spending some time in London working on a technology to produce leather out of fish skin. A project he was working on together with his friend Bruce Bott and a group of investors from Vancouver. Czechoslovakia, where carp is a traditional meal, had lots of state run fishponds for carp breeding in those days. Buzz found out that carp skin was being thrown away and saw this as a great opportunity to test the technology in practice, while working with a local tanner with an abundance of the resource.
    We met at a Prague lawyers office accidentally and started chatting about things. As one can imagine meeting a Canadian arriving to Prague after the revolution to process carp skin into leather boots and other elements of designer clothes with the intention of world wide distribution is something that does not happen to one every day. It also sounded quite “fishy” in a way.
    In those days I worked as an English language broadcaster for Public Radio in Prague and for me, meeting a real life North American DJ from the 70’s was an amazing experience.
    Don’t tell me about the fish, tell me more about the spirit of free format rock radio, Buzz…. What?!! No technicians and musical programmers in the studio?!! It’s a one man show and you choose the music as you play it, interacting with the audience telepathically?!! You take time walking around the streets before the show reading the mood of the city to decide what music you’re going to play?!! You choose the tempo of the show and the length of the music sweeps depending on the time of the day and the weather conditions when you are On Air?!!
    Buzz was a great poet and storyteller and one could sit back and listen with awe to his On Air recollections of the 70’s in Canada. Why have you stopped doing radio Buzz? The greedy three piece suit people have taken over Radio in the 80’s and have formatted everything since… it’s not creative, its not free, it’s not for me… was his answer.
    In 1991 a bill was passed enabling private radio in Czechoslovakia, and I was offered to do an English language radio show for the tourists by people I new from the Public Radio who were granted a radio license.
    Buzzes business was on hold due to local red tape so I invited him to join me on air and do the show together. He agreed but insisted that we call it the Life Systems Program (after Life Systems Ltd dealing with carp skin) so that he could explain to the investors that it was an additional promotional effort and not a detour from the fish business.
    He went back on the air and recreated the magic of free format radio of the 70’s in Prague of the 90’s.
    The amazing thing was that all the «radio tales» that he told me before getting back on the air were actually coming alive day after day as we progressed with the show with two turntables, a box of LP’s and two studio mics. What was most astonishing and next to impossible to describe was the intense electrifying presence of the audience in the studio that Buzz managed to conjure show after show. ‘Oh they’re certainly out there today…” he would say, always blasting the music loud and dancing to the rhythm, then suddenly standing still and concentrating as if probing the cosmic presence for a clue on where to take the show next, then shuffling the LP’s looking at album covers for inspiration for the next track. Yes! He found it!!! ..a short glimpse at the vinyl to estimate the remaining time of the playing track, checking the rhythm while queuing in the next one…and finally… the mix. Both turntables are runing, there is no stopping now. Both hands on the mix board, a concentrated stern look…The outgoing track perfectly blends with the incoming one.. a bit of finger work on the board to amplify the fading track and level in the new one. A perfect mix… A thundering feeling of joy for the choice transmitted by the cosmic presence … a cheeky smile on Buzzes face as if he is saying: “Gotcha…”
    97.3 Hello World, 97.3 RTL ,106.2 Metropolis FM are the milestones of his radio performance in Prague in 1991 -1995. And for many, who had worked with Buzz in those days, he remains a great inspiration in their media careers at present.

    Thank you for the great times Buzz and Bon Voyage !!!

  8. Thank you for sharing Mike! We knew nothing of Buzz’s activities while in Prague until he came back home, and recounted some of his adventures there. But you have given a whole new and wonderful glimpse of what he was doing day to day, and the energy and enthusiasm he put into his programs! I will read your account again…and again. Buzz’s sister, Verdie
    p.s. See my note above on the 13th.

  9. Another Buzz story….we would talk about how radio waves go off into space and, as electromagnetic energy, they would travel forever! The shows we were doing would be able to be heard millions of miles away for infinity. I know. Crazy stuff. Somewhere someone is listening to an old Buzz radio show.

  10. Thanks very much Mike.

    I’ve been in the room with him on air so many times and witnessed Buzz spin his magic, but I have never seen it written down in words. I’m grateful that you took the time to do so.

    It was easy to think he got lucky with some of his on air antics, but I saw him pull off the most amazing “moments” time and time again. He always finished with ‘the grin’. He was a true master of the art.

  11. You have read many comments about my brother, always Brian to me, and his fascination with sound, music, and performance. When he was about 15, my husband Art recognized “the voice” and, having close associations with some of the staff at CKPG, arranged for Brian to have an audition. They hired him for after school work, and he could be heard in the afternoon reading “the messages”. People from outlying communities would use the radio station as a message service. A very common message would be “Billy Joe, please up Mary and the new baby from the hospital.’ We have some of his early sessions on tape, reel to reel of course, and the challenge is to find them.
    Art also visited Brian in Prague, and his coming was announced on the air and made to feel welcome. He spent a couple of very enjoyable days there with him. My mother, especially, was glad to hear about his life there, because there were great spans of time when he was so busy living his life, that he forgot that she would be wondering where in the world he was.
    I noticed a change in him when he came back from Peru where he experienced very close family connections. He had a special place in his heart for our youngest sister, Rilla, and we recently enjoyed a visit with him in here Victoria, where Rilla, and our sister Faye also live.
    When I think of him, I think of Maria in the Sound of Music, so many facets to a personality that one can’t say, he is this or he is that, because this or that will change at any moment. That was the magic of him, and we will miss him greatly.
    Vivian

  12. I am his youngest Sister and I think his favourite one. My earliest Memory of Buzz was when he showed up at our house in Kelowna when I was about twelve, with his long hair and beard, after hitch-hiking across Canada. He brought us a T.V. and there’s a picture of Robin and I holding a sign that says thank you Brian for the T.V. He made our house smell like cigars! I next remember visiting him and Leslie in Vancouver when Dorian was a baby and being surprised that he actually was enjoying changing Dorian’s Diapers.Then I next remember him dropping by after we moved to peachland with his dog that was going to have puppies and then leaving his dog there while he continued his travels. Needless to say the dog had eight puppies while he was away! He said he could communicate with the dog by rubbing it’s tongue and the roof of it’s mouth. He lived in Peachland for awhile and had a radio show where he called himself Uncle Ebenezer. I went to visit Him and Leslie and Leslie offered me a drink of Grand Marnier and I accidentally took a big gulp and It burned all the way down. I’ve never touched the stuff since! I remember he left some wine in our fridge when he left and I sneaked a sip of it. I had never had wine before. Even though he was one of my favourite brothers I never got used to calling him Buzz, I always called him Brian!

  13. My last memory of Uncle Buzz was when I was living in Victoria with my girlfriend, Emma. The Aunties mentioned that he was going to be in town, so we got together and had dinner and a great visit. I feel blessed that I got to see him before he passed… We connected really well. He regaled me with stories of his adventures and plans for the future, and I shared my hopes and dreams with him… It was a beautiful experience. I’m glad that the last time I saw him was after I had quit smoking- the time we’d spent together before was at Uncle Wilf’s memorial service, and we stood outside and smoked and talked… But this time, I was able to connect with him sans cigarette. I like to think he was proud of me.
    My first memory of Buzz was when we lived in Cloverdale, in our old town house. I remember he just showed up one day out of the blue- up until then I had no idea he’d existed. I remember his face, his hair, and especially his voice… From that point on, he was my Uncle Buzz. I remember sitting on his lap and watching him play Civilization on his laptop at our dining room table. I remember my dad telling me all these incredible tales of his adventures; I’d always take these stories and tell my friends. He became a bit of a legend among my friend group. Every story I heard inspired me. I knew I wanted to have adventures like those… I guess now that I think about it, he’s always been one of my heroes. I just wish I’d gotten a chance to tell him that before he left.
    In a way, I feel like he’s passed a torch to me… It’s hard to put in to words. I remember the last time I saw him ,though, he told me all about this van he’d bought, and this big road trip he was planning to take. He was really excited about it; he had almost a childlike air of giddiness when he talked about it. I told him about the trip Emma and I were planning- coincidentally, our planned routes were almost identical.
    Sadly, he passed before he got to take his trip. However, I inherited his van- so we’re taking it on the road trip he never got to take, in his memory. I can’t think of a better way that I can celebrate his life.
    Goodbye, Uncle Buzz. You’ll be missed greatly. I know in my heart, though, that you’re roadtrippin’ on a whole different level now, and having way more fun than you ever did here. You lived a beautiful life. You lived more in a year than most people do in an entire lifetime… And I know that you’d much rather people celebrated your life, instead of mourning your death. Because what is death, really? It’s just the next step to something far more beautiful. So congratulations: you leveled up. I know you’re loving every moment of it.

    Thank you. I feel privileged to be your nephew. I’m gonna take that torch you passed me and I’m going to run with it as fast and as far as I can.

  14. Hi Ben: What a beautiful tribute to Buzz. I am so glad you inherited Buzz’s van, and will use it in the same way he wanted to. He visited me for three days, less than two weeks before he died, very excited about his travel plans. He gave me a “tour” of the van, and I helped him find a dealer that would repair the hole in the roof. Just as he was driving away, I was overcome with sudden deep, deep feelings that I would never again see him alive in this world. I began to cry, and blurted out to my husband this strong forboding. But now I know he is dancing all over in the spirit realm, entertaining Dorian and other friends and relatives with his harmonica, and his guitar…his deep voice telling them of all the excitement of his life down here…and he will be able to hear every word they say to him!
    I would love to see that blue van again, with you behind the wheel and Emma next to you.
    Please stop for a visit in on your way to your own adventures and “the joys of the road”.
    Love, Auntie Verdie

  15. I first met Buzz in 1994 by listening to him on Radio Metropolis while I laboured away at my Czech grammar on the 5th floor of my panelak block on one of Prague’s huge housing blocks.
    Later I would work with him on air – a very generous soul on my first day as a nervous newsreader. And even later he would be best man at my wedding to his on-air pal Mike!
    In 2007 he came and spent time with us in the UK living by the sea in Lowestoft, Suffolk. We had a memorable day out in King’s Lynn, a surprise visit to the George Vancouver festival to celebrate the Captain’s 250th birthday, since he came from there.

    So many stories, so eloquently told. Such a gentle man with a giant intellect, a passion for the truth and a kind friend to all.
    Sbohem Buzz, you found friends wherever you went, and always looked for the good in everyone. What a bloke! xx

  16. Hello to Brian’s family and friends.
    I was owner/manager of CJDV radio in Drumheller. Brian worked with us for a couple of years..
    His on air name was Cousin Lee. Never met a person with such self confidence,before or since. And what a voice!!! He could play it…like a clarient. We had lot’s of politics on our airways..and Brian loved..that..having an MP father,and having lived in Ottawa..
    I was asking our former staff…if anybody knew of his whereabouts. John Bruins one of our
    original employees…sent me this contact. Hopefully..I be able to spend a little time at the
    Vancouver memorial. Best regards..to all.
    Tony(Saint Anthony)Mayer

  17. What a nice surprise to read your comments. My husband Art and I lived for a time in Trochu, and were very familiar with CKDA. We were recalling my brother’s time there just the other day. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
    Vivian Wiebe

  18. I am so deeply saddened at Buzz’ passing. I think about his gifts, including his warmth, his insightful commentary on pretty much everything, and his incredible ability to make people around him feel great. He would always light up when I walked through Paul’s door, as though I was the most incredible person in the world to land on his part of the planet. Of course Buzz made us all feel that way – which is a small part of why I will miss him so much. How could someone so damn deaf be such an awesome listener !!!!:)
    Every once in a while someone touches you in a profound way – effortlessly, or so it seems.
    I can only hope to connect with people in my life the way Buzz did in his.
    A little magic has left us – and we’re all the better for having had him in our world.

  19. I met Buzz in Prague in the mid 90ies where I – originating from Vienna, Austria – „accidentially“ got a job at the Radio station Metropolis FM. Buzz with his many many years of on air experience was an inspiration for me (a real DJ greenhorn at that time). One day we met at a bar and I was expecting him to talk radio business with me as the station was looking for new voices to record commercials.
    When I entered the bar I noticed that Buzz was wearing a very nice and elegant but at the same time casual looking black hat. I told him that it really suited him…and he started to explain how important it was to keep the head warm. Especially for someone who is doing voice work. I was stunned about this topic but of course kept listening. You could have enjoyed his extraordinarily sounding voice even if he had been reading the phone book. So I never recorded a commercial for the station but still like wearing black (men´s) hats ; – ))

    One commercial comes to my mind though – Buzz recorded it for a restaurant in Prague:

    „Restaurace Pod Kridlem – which means Under the Wing.“

    Buzz, I am sure that now you are under a beautiful angel´s wing, and that all angels sing
    your favourite radio songs for you – somewhere in the space you loved so much.

    Veronika
    (still on the radio btw)

  20. Well, Buzz – you’ve stayed true to form. Since you headed off when I was in grade school you’ve been consistently unpredictable, We miss you, you know, even if we didn’t see you often. We always knew you’d be back – more stories, more passions, more plans. Now you’ve left again without warning, but now we know you won’t be back, not in this world. But then, you could never be pinned down to just one world anyway. . .

    Early memories of a big brother, next up from me, 5 down from the top – still Brian then, always around somewhere: he & brother Barry letting me pitch my few hockey cards or shoot my handful of marbles (no impertinence, please), knowing I’d always lose them; he & cousin Ernie making roads for their cars in a pile of dirt, telling me I was too little to play, besides being a girl; on his own in front of a mirror, practising his quick-draw – with sound effects, of course! A warm memory: Brian abandoning his 5-year superiority and playing with me through a rainy afternoon, fashioning a landscape of his imagining (which our usually-calm mother quite failed to admire – something to do with our creative use of the furniture and the contents of the linen cupboard, perhaps?)
    Fuller memories, but more scattered – Brian moving away from my childhood, heading into the grown-up world, not as present in mine: his voice on the radio reading out “the Messages”; at home, talking nonchalantly of “the Station” and tossing out newly-acquired jargon; listening to election returns with out father, their uneasy generation gap bridged for an evening with the seriousness of their discussion; playing in a charity hockey game along with the “real” djs and newsmen (CKPG vs police and firemen, maybe?); finding his radio voice which seemed too big and much too deep for his mid-teen frame. . . beginning to become Buzz.
    It was when Brian left home, I think, that I began to see him as a person apart from the family whole, apart in a way the others didn’t seem to be. Did I know then about those who march to the beat of a different drummer? Over the years I often heard its echo in my brother’s feet as he followed his own music to so many places.
    Always something new – Buzz’s peregrinations could be mapped by call letters, sometimes within reception range, most often not. His on-air name and his persona changed a few times. I remember the sharp dresser describing his apartment where the carpet went right up one wall; the cowboy in black, complete with a holstered six-gun of carefully carved and smoothed wood – painted black, of course; the hippie. . . that one never really left, did it?
    Memory clips: Stampede week when I was 17, Brian’s voice, unexpected but unmistakable, sounding out over displays of “best preserves” and hobby collections in the Big Four Building – his quick hello on the phone link between CJDV in Drumheller and their on-site booth, then on air dedicating the next song to his little sister Faye and his little cousin Beckie, and smoothly into. . . “Hey, waterboy” (!) Another clip: a couple of years later, election time in Prince George, letting me drive his lovely red convertible, then – wonder of wonders – leaving the keys with me when he popped back out of town for a time! He was forgiven much brotherliness for that.
    Sometimes we lost track of Brian for a year or two, but he’d be back – with new tales (tall and taller) and spilling over with ideas and facts and images. People, places, causes to promote, underdogs to fight for, windmills to tilt – Buzz seemed to be sharpening his lifelong talent for provoking into a tool with which he meant to change the world. From fun cheering for BC on CHIQ Hamilton when the Lions and the Ti-Cats were gearing up for a Grey Cup match (’64, I think – we won!) to the passionate on-air espousal of geodesic domes as a means to help end poverty (Buckminster Fuller) and war by bringing the world into greater harmony with the universe, eliminating the negativity produced by the hard lines and sharp corners of our existing rectilinear world. (Definitely Buzz now – can you hear him?)
    Domestic clip, Buzz and his miniature: Dorian always moving, almost tranparent then in his fairness; a new light in Buzz’s eyes.
    Years of distance: Buzz in Poland, Prague, Bosnia, learning-seeing-feeling things we saw only through the lens of his experience. Buzz bringing back new stories, new names, a new hat, a new look – new faces on old angers: war, deprivation, death-dealing prejudice. . . Buzz gone south, living on a beach in Peru, finding kindred souls among inheritors of an ancient culture, discovering a new passion – maca as a near-perfect food.
    Then Buzz back home more often for longer stretches. Still fighting, but with less fire, it seemed. Was it just the slip of sand in the glass, I wonder, or had some life-force left him with Dorian’s leaving? Still, I think I expected Buzz to polish into old age like a piece of old scrimshaw. . .
    It was raining when we arrived at St.Paul’s and made our way dry-mouthed and hunched against shock, to see our brother of the fiddle-dancing feet and a thousand voices so utterly still. So silent.
    It was raining again when we went back five days later and listened to a young doctor telling us what we already knew. I listened intently to his explanations of the neural damage, what the scans found, what it meant. Technology is easier than grief. Technology had done its best, and now it left him in peace, only his own heart, his own breath to hold him a few minutes more. Then absolute stillness: off air.

    Perhaps Brian was looking at another rain then. . .
    “The grey rain curtain was rolled back, and turned all to silver glass, and he
    beheld white shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.”
    . . .And new horizons – always, new horizons. . . . . .

    Catch you later, big brother.

  21. Remember when we turned him into Einstein for a commercial? He accepted it all (even the shorn locks and perm) with such grace and humor. But I think the part that he liked best was the pretty girl who did his hair. I’m very sorry to hear of his passing and hope that his adventures continue in the next life. Ciao Buzz!

  22. Just learning of this passing of my old friend, mentor and business partner swept a shudder though me like a cool fingered vesper on the nape of my neck . . . and the memories just flooded through my consciousness. Still the remembrances keep flowing.

    I first met Brian, or as he was known in Kelowna back then, “The Leboe” in the dressing room at the local arena, after a practice session for an upcoming charity “Schmocky Game” between the local RCMP and the media. I was toiling as a over night DJ at rival CKOV while he was the morning show host non CKIQ.

    We were the only two people left in the dressing room: – this smallish man with long, long hair,& even longer beard, looking like Rasputin . . and me wondering just who is this rather odd looking hippy? I had no idea!

    And then he spoke. My gawd you are The Leboe I exclaimed out loud, startling even myself with this almost gushing adulation. He smiled, that impish smile that draws you in. To fully understand this recognition of him without ever meeting him i will digress a spell. You see the new radio station CKIQ had only been on the air for a couple of months but all of the announcers (including me) at my station,CKOV, were listening to The Leboe in the morning and buzzing about him. Why? – well firstly, it was the Voice – his voice was an instrument – beautifully resonant, mellifluous and unmistakeable. As deep, assured and as controlled as Lorne Greene. And in my mind even better. And he was a remarkable disc jockey, playing just the right song with just the right intro with intelligent and sometimes ironic plays on words. In other words, the consumate companion. No one was like him. He was an original.

    So as a 20 year old dj doing my first gig in 1970’ish Kelowna, this was an incredible moment – and I will always remember his grace and humour in those opening moments of our meeting.

    As previously stated, when i gushed forth my “oh my gawd, you’re The Leboe”! He smiled and simply said “Hello” A very deep and resonant Hello. He then said “and you are the all night guy from CKOV!” . . and he knew my name . . what? . . . he recognized my voice? Wow was all I could utter. I said your voice does not seem to match your appearance. And he said he just wanted to shake up the neighbourhood he had moved into, saying that some neighbours had already shown their true colours, by calling him while on air to say the rather costly home that he owned and was obviously renting was being over run with long haired hippies, with dogs all over the front lawn and on and on.

    I was with him one morning a few days later in the on air studio, (something I did everyday he was on air for the next 6 months, as he invited me to learn from observing and listening. I would get off the all night show at 6AM at CKOV and go directly to CKIQ and stay til 10AM – Monday to Friday) Anyway, this particular morning a close neighbour called to tell him the horror of these vile hippies with unkempt long hair and beards, with VW van and dogs everywhere and who were my gawd, lowering the property value of the house, and to strongly advise that he should evict them immediately. He calmly said, in his best Edward R. Murrow impersonation, to the caller (it was on speaker phone by the way so I could hear it all), that he wondered if the caller had noticed the really long bearded one that looked a little like Rip Van Winkle, . . Yes, Yes said the voice on the other end, he was surely the most disgusting, the caller went on without prompting, long long hair and even longer beard, and out playing frisbee with this big dog . . Brian jumps in, “not on the front lawn?” . . “Yes yes”, came the reply . . “in broad day light”!. So then Buzz, in feigned horror says “please do me a favour, The next time you see this individual on the front lawn cavorting with the dog, playing frisbee, go over to the property, to the front lawn, say excuse me, and introduce yourself.” . . . “Yes, yes I will and then what, should i say I have spoken with you and that you are going to be evicted ? .. And with a little chuckle Buzz says ” No, no not at all just introduce yourself” because that person, that vilest, dirtiest looking hippie . . duh duh, . IS ME!” And then we just laughed and laughed.

    Such was the imp . . . such a brilliant mind . . such a sense of humour and so full of the joy of life.

    The stories with Buzz and our adventures are so numerous spread over a period 40 odd years, and I will post more later just to have some record of then. By the way my group of investors from Victoria put all the money up to obtain the first Privatized FM license in Praha, Czechoslovakia and I was Buzz’s radio partner in Prague, on air at Hello World and RTL as we split and shared the week as hosts 9 AM to Noon 7 days a week with Mike Borosov, whose father was the one time interpreter for Nikita Khrushchev.

    And we set Prague on it ears, . . . . . and it was The Leboe who set it all in motion. Such a time.

    I will miss you Buzz but you will never be forgotten my old friend, mentor and teacher . . such good times

  23. I am so glad that I got to re-connect after many years and share a glass of New Zealand Pinot Noir with Buzz when I was back in Vancouver last year. RIP Buzz, much love xx

    Jo Silverthorn – Christchurch, New Zealand

  24. A two-step full of smiles and laughter. That is my Buzz. “For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed”. Khalil Gibran… Warm hugs always in my heart for you Buzz.

  25. Well,my friend Mike Shopka and myself would stop in at Biminis on fourth on fridays and Buzz and Darrell B.would be having a beer,we would join them for laughs. we said together as we had waited so they were both there, “you guys here about the hot new radio station” !

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