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The Mecca, CKUA, and Listener Brian Pahl


Do you (or someone you know) have a 200-300 word story about you and CKUA that you’d like to share with us? Please let us know by writing us. We’d love to feature it! What do such stories look like?

Well, here’s one by listener and CKUA donor, Brian Pahl!

The Co-Dependants at the Mecca (Neil MacConigill)

Growing up in the town of Devon, like most teenagers in the 1960s, we were huge rock and roll fans.

The British had invaded and Americana responded. Our local heroes were Mel Degen & the A&W Lords, Willy and the Walkers, Wes Dakus and The Rebels, and Barry Allen and the Southbound Freeway (later The Purple Haze, but that’s another story). CHED was our radio station. Occasionally I would tune in to CKUA, but it remained largely unknown to me.

Fast forward to the summer of 2000. My brother Russ called me and said I had to come down to Calgary to hear Billy Cowsill and The Co-dependants. The Cowsills were a 60s band that embodied the sprit of the Summer Of Love (1967). My wife Sherry and I went that weekend.

The venue was the Mecca Café, a small, broken down doublewide trailer with plywood floors and garage sale furniture. It was teeming with patrons that I recognized right away, were from my generation.

The chatter temporarily subsided when a thin, be speckled man with salt-and-pepper hair cautiously came through the front door and made his way through the crowd to just in front of the only window. There was a buzz: “Billy’s here.”

He went straight to work setting up. Finally satisfied, he nodded to his bandmates, Steve Pineo, Tim Leacock, and Ross Watson, and counted into “Anna (Go to Him).” I was mesmerized for the rest of the night, and many nights after that, by the music and the camaraderie of this weekly gathering.

And it was there that my appreciation for CKUA began. I soon found out from my many new Mecca friends that CKUA was their station, and I too became a faithful listener, supporter, and monthly contributor.

Thanks again for sharing this story about you and CKUA, Brian!

Please email us if you would like to share your own 200-300 word CKUA story with our community! And tell a friend, too! We’d love to hear from listeners of all generations and backgrounds!