The Burner Boys were a jug rock band when they first began, similar in style to the skiffle music the Quarrymen played before they became the Beatles – but very loudly amplified. They cut a swathe across Vancouver and British Columbia between 1970 and 1972. They wrote almost all their own material – rare at the time – irreverent and humorous songs which often got them into trouble. The wild stage presence of their lead singer drew loyal crowds to hear original songs they could hear nowhere else. They were at the center of riots, were chased by shotgun wielding millionaires and had the loyalty of every gang that counted.
Dave Jenneson, the former lead singer for the Burner Boys, has written a novel based on the journal he kept during the time the Burner Boys played together. That book – A Band is a Beautiful Thing – has attracted readers from all over the world. In recent years there has been even more interest in the story of the Burner Boys. People interested in the music and history of Vancouver in the 1960’s and 70’s have been drawn to the book and become fascinated with the story.
A Band is a Beautiful Thing is not just the story of The Burner Boys – it is the story of people everywhere that try against all odds to make their mark in the world. Not just artists – anyone that strives to follow their passion or dream. And it is especially the story of all those unsung bands in every city and in every corner of our world that had dreams of success but were never fortunate enough to realize them on the larger stages of the music world.
The song heard on this page – Play It For Your Friends – was based on the idea that success is not always measured by the number of fans you might have or the amount of money you make – but, for any band large or small – or any person – the love and recognition you receive from those that are close to you. In the end, as the song says, “if your friends say they like it – it’s a hit…”.
Most of the music the Burner Boys wrote and performed was never recorded. We hope soon to be able to record the songs referenced in the book so the rest of the world will be able to hear the music of The Burner Boys.
A Band is a Beautiful Thing is currently in the process of being turned into a feature length documentary film. See the Movie section.