Drummer Marc LaFrance, of rock band Cease and Desist, has lived a musician's dream and is still living it.
With a career as a singer, drummer and producer that has lasted over 40 years, he looks back with a certain amount of awe in his voice.
"I almost can't believe that I managed to make it this far and make a reasonable living. There's been some really exciting stuff," LaFrance says. "You end up doing all kinds of stuff with this career."
This includes the current regular concerts he and fellow Cease and Desist members Mick Dalla-Vee and Brent Howard perform with Canadian rock legend Randy Bachman, both on his solo tours and with Bachman Turner Overdrive.
La France, Dalla-Vee and Howard have accompanied Bachman on 30 to 40 shows recently, including performing on Bachman's Vinyl Tap tour.
"When we do Bachman Turner shows, I don't even get a break between songs. I get off that stage after drumming 90 minutes or two hours solid and it's like running a bloody marathon! But I am in the gym five days a week... my wife and I. We get up in the morning and hit the gym," LaFrance says.
As a session-backing vocalist he has performed on albums made by rockers Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi, among others.
One of La France's latest projects includes having co-produced the third album of Polish band Chemia, in a recording studio on the Baltic Sea with Mike Frazer, who had joined the project after completing AC/DC's latest album.
"I just found out that one of the songs has gone to No. 1 in Poland," LaFrance says.
LaFrance recognizes that it isn't easy for musicians. Having turned 60 in December, he chalks it up to experience gained in over 40 years of music making.
"Basically, I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan. I was nine years old and there were all these chicks freaking out, screaming, and I thought, 'That's a good job for me!'" he laughs. "It had nothing to do with the music!"
The band, missing Howard on this occasion, but with La France, Dalla-Vee and guests, bassist Dave Reimer and Whistler musician Greg Garland, are performing at the Garibaldi Lift Company on Saturday, Feb. 7. In fact, it is Garland's 50th birthday party. Tickets are $15.
"We used to play in Whistler a whole bunch. But now we've been busy... everybody's been doing a lot of different projects, a fair amount of corporate stuff and a lot of casinos and stuff now. It will be great to be back in town," LaFrance says.
And last July he sang vocals for L.A. rock band Black Veil Bride. To contrast, LaFrance also sang backing vocals in Michael Buble's recent Christmas special.
He says he came into it when "rock and roll became an industry," starting off with the Winnipeg music scene.
"Back when I started playing you could do every weekend playing dances. Then the club scene opened up, six nights a week for years and years," LaFrance says.
"You end up doing so much stuff, it's interesting. I love it because I love drumming. It's very physical. I'm a singing drummer, so I will scream out the AC/DC at the top of my voice, pounding the song out like an animal."