Monday, May 16, 2011

Heather Bishop & the 4th Dimension

Heather Bishop
Music and Art

So here’s the story.........I had my first professional gig when I was 16 years old and a senior in high school. It was 1965. There was a wonderful coffee house in Regina back then appropriately called the Fourth Dimension. It was – it had to be – housed in the basement of a pizza joint and came complete with red-checkered table clothes and old Cinzano bottles with candles dripping wax all down the sides. If memory serves, I was so scared I just mouthed the words and chunked away on my banjo ukulele while my two colleagues, Mel Graham and Ted Quade, did the rest. The little freckle-faced redhead that I was did not at the time recognize the foreshadowing of her life long career.

Photo of the interior of the 4th Dimension coffee house in Regina, as printed in Gene’s Ltd., 1954-2004: 50 Years of People by Brita Lind, (Regina: Gene’s Ltd., 2004), page 39
Creativity has always been my passion. In my teen years, while my friends were discovering the Beatles, I had discovered Nina Simone, Ma Rainey, Besse Smith, Billie Holiday…..the great black women blues singers….. I was hooked for life. Not only did I develop a deep-rooted love and respect for the blues and early jazz, but also those women taught me about the world and life. This white girl in Regina began to learn about racism and then Buffy Sainte Marie taught me how close to home that racism really was.

I was working two jobs by then to put myself through university. Art School further opened up my world and I buried myself in the studios on the Old Campus at the University of Regina and loved every minute of it. It was the 60s and the left had hit the campus full on with a cadre of radical professors from California. It worked for me. The second wave of the women’s movement had just begun its creep into Regina. I was sold and off I went into my life armed more with the worldview I was developing than the degree I had received.

Read more HERE

Voucher for free time at the 4th Dimension coffee house in Regina (cover charge was by the hour), signed by club owner Gene Ciuca. Ciuca also owned 4th Dimension coffee houses in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.

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