It’s rather fitting that this episode of Scene In the Wild is dropping during Sled Island week.
The annual alternative arts and music festival likely owes a great deal to Mike Bezzeg.
I certainly do.
As the host of the cable TV show FM Moving Pictures during the late ’70s and early ’80s, Bezzeg held a great deal of influence over my life and musical tastes — and those of many in this city. The music video, interview and opinion program, which often featured as its co-host James Muretich — the late, big-hearted, bigger-than-life and painfully missed Calgary Herald music critic — was alternative before that musical classification was a thing.
At a time when MuchMusic didn’t exist, the program and its bargain-basement, or bus-fare, production, exposed thousands of Calgarians to music they wouldn’t and couldn’t hear anywhere else.
In this conversation at the Wild Rose Taproom I was able to meet Mike for the first time and thank him for all that he did.
In return, he gave me an amazing and lengthy conversation that included: the origins of FM Moving Pictures; thoughts about its eventual rise as an unlikely musical voice in this city; several incidents during its run, including meeting Iggy Pop, threats of lawsuits and an infamous physical altercation at the place of his work; his friendship with Muretich; why he eventually pulled the plug on the show; his role as manager for a pair of local acts at the time; and his plans for bringing FM back in a different manner and medium.
For some background to those who weren’t alive during its time, I direct you to Bezzeg’s YouTube channel, which features a few clips and episodes that we discuss. Even those who grew up with it will definitely want to relive a piece of your past.
Again, I need to publicly thank Mike for all that he did for me and music in this city, and for sharing his story. I also need to thank Wild Rose for supporting the Podcask and their Taproom staff for treating us as well as they do. And one last thanks to its amazing producer Mr. Lorrie Matheson, who prettied it up at his Arch Audio Studio in Inglewood.
Please enjoy this episode below and, if you do, please find previous ones on this site or subscribe on iTunes, where you can download past and future episodes for free.
(Photo courtesy David Kotsibie of Persuasion Photography.)
Mike Bell has been covering the Calgary music scene for the past 25 years with publications such as VOX, Fast Forward, the Calgary Sun and, most recently, the Calgary Herald. He is currently the music writer and content editor for theYYSCENE.com. Follow him on Twitter/@mrbell_23 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He likes beer. Buy him one.