SEAN KELLY – “It’s Such An Honour And Blessing To Be Working With LEE AARON; An Even Greater Honour To Call Her My Friend”

By Carl Begai


Sean Kelly’s career as a professional musician is “only” 13 years young in 2016. In that time he’s made a mark on the Canadian rock scene not only with his own band, Crash Kelly, but as a solo act and as a player/collaborator with artists including Helix, Nelly Furtado, Gilby Clarke and Carol Pope. An additional feather in his cap is his Metal On Ice book published in 2013, which takes a look back at the Canadian rock and metal scene of the ’80s. During the making of the book, which was followed-up by a CD and a live show featuring the musicians that recorded it, Kelly connected with Canada’s metal queen and rock icon, Lee Aaron. The interview for the book and Kelly’s request that she re-record her legendary ‘Metal Queen’ for the Metal On Ice album eventually led to the duo working on new song material for what has become Lee Aaron’s return to the spotlight, Fire And Gasoline. No big deal on the one hand for a guy that has worked with a wide variety of artists in the years up to this point, but also a “pinch me” wish come true for someone who is a fan first and foremost.

“It’s such an honour and blessing to be working with Lee, and an even greater honour to call her my friend,” says Kelly. “I was absolutely a Lee Aaron fan and remain so to this day. She’s one of the finest musicians I’ve ever worked with, and I thank my lucky stars for every opportunity we get to hang out and make music together.”

“I co-wrote five songs on the new album, and our collaboration was done long distance; I would send her demos via email. Sometimes there were fully formed musical arrangements, and sometimes just iPhone memos of riffs and ideas. We would go back and forth once she picked up on ideas she liked, and I have to tell you that I was blown away with the results. I live in Toronto, and she’s out in BC, so sitting in a room together is a luxury we don’t have – aside from when we’re on the road doing concerts – so we made the best out of the technological advancements of our current age. Most of the material I sent was brand new, but one song I actually wrote with Gilby Clarke in mind when we were writing together a few years ago. It was a Badfinger-esque track that he dug, but was not quite right at the time. What Lee did to it was breathtaking, and that became the song ‘Nothing Says Everything’.” Continue reading SEAN KELLY – “It’s Such An Honour And Blessing To Be Working With LEE AARON; An Even Greater Honour To Call Her My Friend”

Beer, ICE, And A Honeymoon Suite

A blast from the past, posted a few years ago on Facebook and resurrected here in the now because it’s one of those fond memories that never gets old for me. Any Canadians reading this will appreciate the irony that wraps this tale up…

Some names have been changed to protect the presumed innocent…

A few years back, my best bud Paco decided he was going to visit me in Germany. He was overdue for a vacation and worked out a trip where he’d spend time in Holland with friends, then come visit me in Nuremberg, and cap things off with a jaunt through the pubs of Ireland (I’m happy to report he survived the last bit). I was all for it and was looking forward to four days of playing tour guide, talking metal, drinking copious amounts of beer, and (as it turned out) adopting the word “SMORE!” to express our appreciation of the opposite sex. We used it a lot.

Things began in Munich where, following the 45 minute subway trip from the airport into the city, I dragged Paco to the infamous Hofbräuhaus, a tourist trap armed to the rafters with beer. In other words, our version of Disneyland. We stashed his bags in a locker at the train beforehand and took our time doing The Walk downtown. We had a good two and a half hours to kill before our train to Nuremberg was due to leave, so no rush, everything was cool. Good weather, awesome scenery of the female variety – there’s something to be said for German engineering after all – and when we finally got to the ‘Haus, great malt beverages. We killed a liter each, shot the shit, I think I may have ordered a second beer (dumb idea). We took our time leaving, even getting one of the girls working there to show us her rather large pretzels (no, really) figuring 20 minutes was plenty of time to get back to the station.

My dear friend Audrey will tell you this is one of the dumbest assumptions person can make when travelling around Munich…

Paco and I quickly realized I’d made a “slight” error in judgment with regards to time versus distance, a fact we were reminded of by the clocks that were seemingly hanging on every street corner and on the side of every building. We were forced to run for our train; not a fun exercise when you’ve really gotta pee and you’re buzzing. Continue reading Beer, ICE, And A Honeymoon Suite