A&E » Arts

Portrait of a music junkie

Wayne Flebbe's life dedicated to music — and now, at 60, he's living his own life for the first time



Page 2 of 4

Wayne's one of the more recognizable figures in town. He's affectionately known as "Disco Stu" to complete strangers, despite a style that is blatantly hipster — the skinny black jeans, the poof of curly, greying hair, the Coke-bottle eye glasses, the purposefully mismatched Chuck Taylors. He can be seen at every single live show — usually the oldest guy in the room, a touch out of place among the 20 to 30-somethings — with a camera in hand. The only evidence that this is a man pushing old age is the greying at his temples and the hearing aids occupying both his ears.

And as far as he knows, he holds the crown for top music junkie in town. He's never met another who could beat him (and neither have we).

Born in Chilliwack, he and Rick moved to Vancouver in the '70s. In the '80s, they were well-known regulars on the live music circuit, often hitting concerts every night. They were the subjects of several newspaper features, thanks in no small part to Rick's cowboy get-up and alpha personality.

In 1988, they moved to Whistler so Rick could start the first postcard business. Together they ran the company — Rick handling all creative and business aspects, Wayne making deliveries. During Whistler's heyday in the '90s, Rick also worked as a promoter and was instrumental in bringing live shows through town.

"I miss those days," Wayne says. "Like in Buffalo Bills... you could see live music almost every night. It was the good old days."

At least four times a week, starting at 1 p.m., Rick and Wayne would make their rounds through the village. They'd stop by some pre-determined bar, drop off the latest mix CD that Rick and Wayne had carefully created from the stacks of albums they had recently purchased, and over beers, chat with the bar staff about the music.

Wayne still lives by this routine. Bar staff in the village have come to depend on his visits. By 5 p.m., he's picked up his groceries and he heads home to make his dinner and, naturally, tend to his ever-expanding music collection.

"Music has always been a big part of my life," he says.

It's noon and he's sipping a vodka and water. The ice cubes clink against the sides of the glass when he moves, in his characteristic jerky manner, about the room, to show off some piece of memorabilia.