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Music Memory - Topher Stott

Music Memory is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto, offering the "Music For Memory Project":  a program based on the effects of music and stimulation on people with dementia, by providing them with iPods containing personalized music. For more information, visit

This week's Music Memory comes to us from drummer, producer, and entrepreneur Topher Stott.  Topher is the co-founder of the League Of Rock - a music league for adult non-pro musicians and has performed with Steve Cropper, Alice Cooper, Richie Sambora, Earl Slick, Clifton Broadbridge & Classic Albums Live.

One of my strongest musical memories comes from my time at York University, I was messing around on a bass playing the ONLY rhythm changes pattern that I knew while the rest of my shop band was on a break.  The door opened slowly and in came Oscar Peterson (Who was attached to York as a mentor and Chancellor at the time)  I was about to stop playing to introduce myself when he started soloing over my VERY limited bass playing.  It was getting scary quick.  It only took about 2 minutes for Oscar to stop me and say "What instrument do you really play?"  I said the drums, and he looked at the drums and said, "Well?"  

By the time I sat down on the stool, Oscar was playing at a "take no prisoner" tempo and starting to smile.  We started to play and did my best to hang on.  Around this time Don Thompson came in and picked up the bass and jumped in.  I was in heaven as the tune progressed, we hit what I thought was the end of the tune and nothing happened, we just kept playing,  This went on for many rounds, every time we should have ended, THEY didn't do anything.  The next time around, I played a fill to signal the ending, and we ended.  I was exhausted, and Don and Oscar smiling.  Oscar pointed at me and said - "Now you get it"  

I can't say enough about a musicians ability to pass on the love of music.  The ability to light someone up through a groove or melody is something that we need to encourage.  Oscar taught me about the role and responsibility of my chosen instrument in a single song.  
Thank you Oscar!

To learn more about Topher, CLICK HERE.


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