the Vee Gates archive


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London, Ontario<--PREVIOUS PAGE | NEXT PAGE -->

In January 1985, the first incarnation of the Vee Gates was born in London, Ontario.  Don't get overly impressed by the name London, because it's not London, England were talking about here. 

Rule #1:  When one gets to the big city to form a band, put an ad in the local arts paper and be specific about what you type of musicians you want.  (pre-internet days)

"Wanted, drummer (male or female). Guitarist/singer and bassist are seeking a drummer to form an originals only band to play pop/rock material. Influences: Crenshaw, Stray Cats..."

Though "this specific" with Crenshaw and the Stray Cats would make anyone head's spin!  No wonder no one answered for two months!  hehe

Rule # 2:  Fashion the mandatory bio, and preferably with a typewriter.  Give it that 80s retro look and you're sure to make a splash.  Though, do avoid food and coffee stains and redlined text edits in the copy one gives out.


LeVasseur and Trent Rogers formed Vee Gates in early 1982 in Sarnia, Ontario. John McGrath completed the line up later that year. Under various names (Small Profits, The Prisoners of a Different War) the band played numerous parties, talent shows and battle of the bands. The members, however, became disillusioned with the stagnant Sarnia music scene and stopped playing in late 1983.

After a short term in University, LeVasseur and McGrath decided to leave school and reform the band. London, Ontario was chosen as their new base. The goal is to break through the current cold wave of synth pop with a blend of Beatles/Buddy Holly influenced Rock and Roll music.


LeVasseur: Lead Vocals, guitar (Age 20)

Trent Rogers: Drums, vocals (Age 19)

John McGrath: Bass guitars (Age 19)

Next Gig:

Rule # 3: Find a photographer and get a band shot.  The 1st rule of rock and roll is to leave the audience wanting more so get a good band shot even before you write any songs!  Maybe even get a band shot before you learn to play an instrument too.  That creates artistic tension.

Photographic golden rule of cool: Never take a band photo wearing a watch, or the same coloured hat as your own hair!  I wish someone would have told us!  Also, make sure you have a Rickenbacker bass in all of your photos.  It usually looks better than most of the band members!

Things weren't that easy to get a good band photo or make a demo recording back in 1985 as they are now in internet age.  It cost money to get any sort of photo and passable recording.  From our dwindling resources as two unemployed dropouts, we somehow cobbled together some cash (don't remember how much) and found a woman photographer and got shots done.  Don't even remember her name but I think we found her in the yellow pages.

Vee Gates band shot

Trent Rogers, John McGrath, Peter Forrest (April 1985)

Vee Gates band shot

Peter Forrest, John McGrath, Trent Rogers (April 1985)

Vee Gates band shot

Peter Forrest, John McGrath, Trent Rogers (April 1985)

Vee Gates band shot

Trent Rogers, John McGrath, Peter Forrest (April 1985)