The Story Behind Say and Play


If I met Billy eight years ago (which I did), that would have made me fourteen at the time (which I was). Now, as we can all do math, you’ll note that I’m old enough to legally vote, drink and buy cigarettes- most of which I do. Yet somehow, maybe by virtue of our age difference and his attitude, I’m the recipient of constant free lessons from Big Billy. Most of these lessons are about 60’s-90’s era pop rock, and as he emphatically air drums while singing the second verse to “Anthony’s Song” by Billy Joel or something, I usually find myself annoyed.

Then he stops giving me the Bill Hamilton rendition, puts the actual song on and it changes my life. At least, that’s what Bill wants you believe. So much so, in fact, that he proposed this blog.

Of course, I’m pretty self involved so I agreed to it whole heartedly. Plus, for all my complaining, all the hours of my life wasted watching him struggle to remember the opening line in some Gillian Welch song, and all the drinks that have been spilled by his errant air drumming, nearly all the songs I now frequently listen to and love are a direct result of Billy’s free lessons.

So, to Billy’s international network of buddies we bring the cover songs. Cover your ears! No, wait. That’s no good.

Covers in your ears?




I met Paul Marc when he was really young and thought he was one of the most hilarious, smart and talented kids I’ve ever met.  He became sort of like a little brother to me and seeing as I learned a lot about music through my older siblings and friends in the music scene, I decided to make the effort to show him some music.  He was really into technical metal and loved fast, aggressive music, but didn’t seem to know much about punk rock and hardcore.  I decided to make him a mixtape with some of my favourite bands, which included bands like Alkaline Trio, Descendents, Smoke Or Fire, Propagandhi and so on. 

As we became closer friends and moved to Toronto, we started attending weekly karaoke nights.  I learned that aside from punk and hardcore, there was a lot of classic songs from the past 50 years that Paul Marc seemed to be in the dark about. 

In the early weeks of December 2011, Paul and I were driving from Windsor to London Ontario where we stumbled across to a radio show dedicated to George Harrison.  My mind was blown when he admitted he’d never heard “I Got My Mind Set On You”.  Needless to say that song got scratched into his soul because he rushed home and recorded a cover of it.  That gave me the idea to start this little project! 

Let the free lessons begin!

- Billy