Everyday People photo courtesy of Pamela Marsh
I always welcome covers over here at FMF, and it’s probably why I bought this record back in the day. It had a cover of Sly’s “Everyday People”, and well I just couldn’t get enough of Mr. Stewart and thought it looked interesting. Like many records you get when you’re buying vinyl 3 or 4 days a week for many years, it gets shelved until you pull it out and give it a listen again. I was and still do buy anything that looks interesting, and the caricature logo on the front of the Lp was good enough to go along with the Sly Stone cover. Here’s Everyday People with “I Like What I Like” from 1971 on Paramount Records.
“A completely strange production that builds from a jungle-drum and throbbing bass introduction with an echoed jumble of vocals that sound like bird cries to a basic rock song with just the sort of minimal message that you can connect with when you’re dancing.”- Rolling Stone, September 1973
Former Stitch In Tyme singer/ guitarist Bruce Wheaton had just left the band and needed a change. He packed it up and headed to Canada, Toronto to be exact, and after a short lived time in the band SOMA in Nova Scotia, got this band together. Recruiting singer Pamela Marsh, bassist Carson Richards, drummer Alan Muggeridge, keyboardist David Hare, and guitarist Christ Paputts, Everyday People was formed. Fusing Soul, Blues, Jazz, and Rock Wheaton recorded only one full length with these musicians.
The record was full of singles, but “I Like What I Like” became the underground hit at the disco, and eventually a record that was recorded and performed by others, most notably Mama Cass (who died before she could record her version of it, but played it live). However, there was another American band called The Everyday People who did a cover of this song and can be explained by Wheaton himself via a post on youtube:
“Hello, My name is Bruce Wheaton and I’m the guy that wrote this song…. (…..) This band has been a thorn in my side over the years, as it was my band the original “Everyday People” from “Canada” that created and made this song famous, you can find our version of the song on youtube also. In the 90s this other band that you have on your youtube decided to re release their album from the 70s. Their original album didn’t contain my song at all… They recorded my song and put it on their CD and then called their CD “I Like What I Like”…. I feel they tried to steal the identity of my band by doing this. Yeah this story is pretty incredible really. Back in the 70s when my band released our album, our lawyers wrote this band to tell them to stop using the “Everyday People” name which I had registered internationally. But they didn’t stop using it and the only way to stop them from using the name would have been for us to spend a whole bunch of money that we didn’t have on lawyers to take them to court in the USA. Our record was released on “Paramount Records USA” as well as “GRT Records Canada” and for them to come back in the 90s and to record my song and release the CD with my songs name was a real insult. That goes to show you that crooked things go on all the time and people get away with it. They even released their CD on a Canadian companies label which is where I am from. I never found out about it until years later when the internet kicked in and I then found out all of this information. I’ve even seen their CD listed and they just take the information off, as to who produced it etc. It’s a real mess actually.”
No love there (or payment from the other band it seems) from Bruce on the American group covering this tune. The Canadian Everyday People was around for about four years, where they toured extensively, got reviewed in Rolling Stone (“A completely strange production that builds from a jungle-drum and throbbing bass introduction with an echoed jumble of vocals that sound like bird cries to a basic rock song with just the sort of minimal message that you can connect with when you’re dancing. I Like what I like/ Because I like it.” ) and eventually split up to move on to other bands like the Halifax outfit Molly Oliver, etc. Bruce Wheaton has gone on to still play and write music, and is a a Nova Scotia and Maritimes music legend still doing his thing today.
When I think about Toronto music, I always think about the Jamaica connection and the great records that were put out from ’67-’74. Artists like Wayne McGhie & The Sounds Of Joy and legends like Johnnie Osborne and a whole slew of Soul, Funk, and Reggae artists were recording in Toronto. This scene was recognized not too long ago in the Light in the Attic compilation Jamaica to Toronto. This record definitely falls into the interesting category. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this record is straight heat, but it has it’s moments. What I do like about this song (at over 6 minutes) are the great drums in the intro, and that sort of washed out fuzzy guitar before the War inspired cowbell and harmonies break out. Wheaton did something right with this track as it got a bit of shine in it’s day. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I guess after all, I like what I like.