Greg Godovitz

Q & A With a Legend

  • by Dan Brisebois
  • As one of the founders of Fludd, one of Canada’s dominant groups during the early seventies, or the man behind Goddo, perhaps one of this country’s most influential groups of the 70’s and 80’s, Greg Godovitz has seen it all in Canadian music. Never sacrificing his ethics for the sake of a “trendy hit”, he’s always maintained a level of standard mostly long since forgotten by today’s stars … stardom just came naturally … He’s just penned his first book, TRAVELS WITH MY AMP, due out in early 2000, in celebration of Goddo’s 25th anniversary. Join me as I ask Greg Godovitz the really tough questions and find out what makes a Canadian rock God tick …

    DB: Pro wrestling … sport or drama?
    GG: The new religion. The only thing left that you can truly believe in.

    DB: No one had a slicker sound with minimal studio work than Goddo. Do you think musicians today sacrifice actual artistic quality for the sake of making a record sound good with lots of fancy production?
    GG: That would depend on the artist. Personally I haven`t heard a record in ages that did anything for me.

    DB: How do you view the current Canadian music scene in general?
    GG: Sloan is at one end of the scale, the Barenaked Ladies are at the other. I`ll leave it to your imagination as to which end is up.

    DB: What are your thoughts on music being pegged “metal”, “hip hop”, “grunge”, whatever …. and what category would you say Goddo best fell under?
    GG: I dont like labels. Goddo fell under the category of `good music`.

    DB: Here’s an open-forum chance for a shameless plug for your new book … Is TRAVELS WITH MY AMP more an autobiography of life on the road, or a reflection on the Canadian music business as a whole?
    GG: You could sum up the Canadian Music Business in a comic book. I had loftier fish to fry so I decided to write about something interesting … ME.

    DB: I heard the only time the Maple Leafs ever won the cup was in the forties when they played a bunch of Montreal women who were duped into thinking Game 7 was a players’ wives charity game.
    GG: I have no interest in hockey at all. I wrote some music for TV and radio with Andy Curran based on my love of filthy lucre.

    editor’s note(editor’s note: that’s ok Greg. I really just wanted to bad mouth the Leafs more than anything) .

    DB: What’s been your greatest accomplishment as a musician so far?
    GG: Staying alive – I’m a musician.

    DB: Looking back, do you ever regret not deliberately writing a more commercially-friendly tune, since the advent of the classic rock format would have meant more airplay today?
    GG: “Pretty Bad Boy” was commercial. I travelled the world on royalties from that song. I never wrote songs to be commercial. The songs wrote themselves. I was merely the conduit.

    DB: When you left Fludd to form Goddo, what expectations did you have for yourself?
    GG: To boss people around the way The Pillings bossed me around.

    DB: What was your take on the whole idea of the CFL expanding to the States?
    GG: What`s the CFL?

    DB: What was the first record you ever bought?
    GG: “Rubber Ball” by Jimmy Gilmour.

    DB: What direction do you think Fludd’s music would have taken had the group stayed together?
    GG: More of the same probably. The LP we were working on at The Manor in England was very melodic and orchestrated.

    DB: What’s your favourite city to play outside Canada and since there’s obviously at least one good story as to why, care to share it with us?
    GG: We only ever played two tours of the States and were so out of it that I can`t remember one gig from the next. Winnipeg is my favourite place to play because the girls there are very friendly.

    DB: What legacy would you like your music to leave behind?
    GG: People name their daughters Chantal and some people get married to my songs. That`s legacy enough for me.

    DB: In what ways do you think the Canadian government could improve the support for homegrown talent?
    GG: By firing everyone currently involved with loans, grants etc. and staffing the new regime with people who are not so jaded.

    DB: Had Canadian radio properly supported homegrown talent and given you the support you deserved , where do you think Goddo would have gone?
    GG: Radio did support us and most of the others, but there are other factors involved too, like management. But generally if the records were good they got played, if the records were not so good they got shelved. That being said, it’s safe to say Canadian radio stations don’t play as many of the good songs from each artist as they could – same songs all the time.

    DB: What are your thoughts on online Canadian Music Rings in general, and their ability or lack thereof to preserve Canadian music from yesterday that radio stations ignored at the time?
    GG: What?

    DB: What would you like to see done to the character that invented the glowing hockey puck?
    GG: See above.

    DB: What was the greatest advantage when you broke onto the scene that today’s artists don’t have?
    GG: No AIDS …

    DB: You’re a God – – so it’s unlikely you have many regrets about your career. But in hindsight, is there anything you would do slightly different?
    GG: NOT A THING …. your pal, GOD(DO)