Well I’ve never written about this story so here goes.
Dave and I were dating for about a year. He owned a yellow Econo-line van, that he bought from John Rive. Anyway somehow Dave and I got hooked up with Stephen Hubert, a wonderful guitarist from Hawaii. I believe Pete Gunstone saw him walking down the street, the Hoskin hill, and anyway, we picked him up. Turns out Stephen Hubert was associated with Gary Taylor, from Gary’s Rock Room. Ray Pettinger, the owner of Casino Records was involved.
Anyway….somehow Dave and I ended up in a CP Air pilot’s home in West Vancouver. It was a Sunday afternoon in 1977. We were invited by Shannon Aldridge. His young daughter, Naomi, was a Munchkin on stage with me in 1976. Turns out this Shannon guy was a pimp, a drug dealer, just an awful person. And yet, he seemed quite charming at the time. I think he invited us to the Sunday afternoon session.He wanted Ray Pettinger to hear us sing. Again I think the connection was with Gary Taylor and Stephen Hubert.
So there we were, two teenagers in this very fancy home in West Vancouver.The CP air pilot (cannot remember his name) was running around, answering the door.People were coming in and out the back door.I remember there was a teacher or a hairdresser named Richards Zaks. I think his wife’s name was Angela. They were there.I was playing a gorgeous white grand piano and singing in a mike.Dave was playing guitar. A Frenchman was hooking up German MK tiny speakers in the house.
I looked out the bay window and saw several men scurrying around the pilot’s property.
“Uh, excuse me sir, but there are several men climbing up your front window”. Uh, excuse sir, there appears to be several men on your property….
“Yeah, yeah, shut up kid, keep singing.” Then I would hear people sayin g”oh, yeah, it’s pretty good stuff”. I assumed they were talking about my singing. Yeah, right! I was so, so naive.
BOOM! The door is kicked in. “RCMP DRUG SQUAD.
EVERYBODY UP AGAINST THE WALL!”
Screaming, freaking out, guns, etc. I went up against the wall. So did Dave. I wasn’t scared. I thought it was a joke. Turns out it wasn’t a joke. It was real.
So Dave and I were hauled off in a paddy wagon to the RCMP West Van Cop Shop. Or it might have just been the WEST VAN cop shop.
I had no idea what was going on. We were led into the WEST VAN cop shop. I was thrown into an interview room and locked up for 12 hours.
Dave was thrown into a cell with Shannon Aldridge. the cops said to Dave:
“Have you had any prior arrests?”
Dave: “No, only juvenile crimes.”
Shannon:”Yeah, manslaughter, but I got off”
At this point Dave is feeling really, really nervous about being in a cell with a guy who killed someone.Shannon also asked Dave to go back to his condo and collect a ton of cash because he figured the cops would go to his house, raid it, and keep the money.
What a bunch of criminals!! Thank God I don’t have anything to do with these people. But it sure taught me that I did not want to be in the music industry at that time. So dangerous.
Anyway, after insulting us both, calling me a slut, calling Dave some very bad names, the police let us go. I think they dropped us off back at the West Van mansion because Dave’s very expensive Guild guitar was in the house and also his yellow Van was there.
We both went “back” into the house and what a mess.The cops threw pizza on the walls, and slit the furniture with knives, pulling all the stuffing out of the couches.The cocaine apparently was hidden under the Japanese maple trees.
My memory isn’t as sharp as it should be, but I think that’s what happened. Dave retrieved his guitar and we headed out to his van.He was so nervous and upset that he drove into a ditch. I can’t remember how we pulled it out of the ditch but we did.Dave tells me that a neighbour came out and pulled us out of the ditch. No doubt we told him the entire story. Still can’t remember the name of the CP Air pilot!
Then Dave drove me home to my house on Langworthy Street.It was now very late on a Sunday night and I had to go to school the next day. I’m guessing this happened Dave says we got home at 6am. They had kept us in jail all night. My parents must have been worried about me but I don’t remember. Maybe they finally let me mcall my Dad and I told him where I was.I do remember sitting in that damn interview room for 12 hours and my only entertainment was looking up names in the phone book.
Maybe it was sometime in the summer of 1977, maybe sometime in June. What a horrible experience for a 16 year old kid. Those cops were terrible to us. We were 100% completely innocent and yet we were thrown in with a bunch of criminals. The cops couldn’t have cared less about us. I don’t think they could get away with it now.
But then again, why were we sitting in a mansion in West Van, owned by a huge drug dealer?It was an 11million dollar drug bust.The cocaine was hidden under the maple trees. We simply were asked to go there by Shannon Aldridge, a friend of Stephen Hubert’s. My God, we were so naive. I tell you, any thoughts of the music business went straight out of my mind after that experience!!
It was in the paper later that week and the reporters said “two unknown teenagers were let go”.That was Dave and I. My piano teacher’s husband called me “The Cocaine Kid”.I guess I must have explained it all to Mrs Levesque, although why I would tell her, is beyond me.
Years later, in 1982, I was at The Sting, with all the Bank girls. We were hopping and bopping to music, when I saw a very good looking but strange looking guy sitting at the bar. I walked up to him and said “Have you been in jail?”
What a weird thing for me to say! Anyway, yes, he had just gotten out of prison that night and he was there with a buddy of his, a former CP air pilot who was busted for a very big cocaine seizure, back in 1977, in West Van. Oh really? T he good looking fellow was named “Danny O Sullivan” and he definitely reformed and went on to be a great barber in Victoria.
I said, “Well excuse me, Mr. Whatever, but thanks to you, I was thrown into jail at age 17 and treated terribly by the West Van cops. I was locked up for 12 hours, not allowed to go to the bathroom, not allowed to have water, it was horrible!
“Oh, yeah, sorry about that,” he said to me. He didn’t care one bit about me.He was just happy to be out of jail I guess!
OMG I could not believe that pilot was right in front of me. They were both put into William Head prison and tonight of all nights, this guy was let out of jail. What were the chances? He never spoke to me again that night, and I can’t even remember his name!!
But over the years I said hi to Danny O’Sullivan, as I really liked him. I guess he just got into trouble at a young age. I remember his haunting blue eyes. How on earth did I know he had just gotten out of jail and why on earth would I walk up to a perfect stranger and ask him that? I must have been crazy.
So that’s my scary, crazy West Vancouver drug story.