Drums, Percussion, Voice, Theremin
Eric began drum lessons at the early age of 5. He learned technique and reading under Al Bleue (a semi-famous jazz drummer ) and studied with him for 11 years. During this time he also took extensive lessons on classical and latin percussion, vibraphone, piano, voice, violin and guitar . He moved on to study with many other teachers over the years while concentrating primarily on drums and percussion. In 1981 he was accepted to the Etobicoke School for the Arts. In 1984 Eric won the “All-Star Percussionist” award at the Canadian Stage Band Festival, beating out(!) literally hundreds of other candidates.
Eric continued his interests in music by playing with many local top 40 cover bands and began writing music and lyrics of his own. He moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina after accepting an offer to play with a working band there. A few months later, another offer from Tupelo Mississippi found him playing in an outfit there. Upon returning to Canada, Eric rekindled his musical friendship with Jamie Robinson, a classically trained keyboardist with whom he had played previously. In 1989 the two started to write music in a genre they were both now exploring – Progressive Rock. The writing continued and a plan to write and record an album of original music was hatched. The premise of this exercise was to musically document their interests and abilities at that time in their lives. This was the beginning of what would become PLENTY. Auditions continued and the musician line-up changed extensively but eventually Doug Stevens (guitar) and Al Webster (bass/ lead vocals) would become the musicians to record “Headphone Gallery” the debut album. Hundreds of live shows honed the tight musicianship and visual spectacles that PLENTY performances would become known for.
Tempus (Canada) custom fiberglass drums: toms-8x12, 10x12, 12x12, 13x12, (floor)16x18, (bass x2) 20x18
Premier 14x6.5” snare
4- 6” octobans, 12&14” timbales
Zildjian cymbals: 22” medium ride, 20” Jack DeJohnette ride, 16" medium crash, 16“ el Sabor crash, 16” chinese, 12” splash, 8” splash, 14” flathats, 16” Wuhan chinese
Assorted hardware by Yamaha, Tama, Sonor, Dixon & Gibraltar
Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Doug entered the world of music at a very early age, intrigued by his father’s classical record collection and the family piano. At age 7 he started formal piano lessons and continued for 5 years. Doug also played woodwind and percussion briefly before becoming captivated by the guitar at age 12. By 13 his guitar instructor had him teaching the overflow of students. Doug continued to study both classical and electric guitars in parallel.
Doug’s musical interests and influences have always encompassed a wide range of rock, classical, jazz and almost everything else… Aerosmith to Zappa… Beethoven to Vivaldi.
Doug played and recorded with several cover and original projects. In 1993 the audition for a guitarist and writing partner led to Doug joining what would become The Last Placid Days of Plenty.
Doug recounts the audition as unique and memorable: “Eric starts telling this story about being alone in the wilderness and losing your canoe in the rapids. All that is salvaged is your guitar. You manage to light a fire as darkness and a storm approach… then Eric says to me, ‘Now capture this by playing your guitar.’ I found myself sonically using the guitar as a paint brush, and a lasting creative rapport was instantly formed at that audition.” With Doug’s presence the band’s song writing continued to expand in new directions while the members challenged each other musically and creatively.
John grew up surrounded by a family full of musicians and a wide variety of musical influences. His grandfather had a Big Band in the 30s and 40s (The Jack Evans Orchestra) which played all the big dance halls in Toronto and beyond. His father is Norm Amadio, the legendary Toronto-based jazz pianist who has worked with all the great American jazz stars: Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Coleman Hawkins, Mel Torme, and Judy Garland among many others. Four of his uncles were also full time musicians, so there was always a live gig just around the corner as John was growing up.
After a few years of Conservatory piano lessons around age 10, John quit in a huff and didn’t play for a year before coming back to the piano on his own terms, playing by ear, developing his improvisation skills, and quickly adapting to the world of jazz fake books and rock lead sheets, interpreting on piano everything from jazz standards to Beatles to Pink Floyd.
This versatility kicked in when he turned 20 and began to perform publicly in a variety of settings: solo/duo/trio bar gigs, Top 40 showband for private and public functions, and pit orchestra for musical theatre productions. Later he learned how to score for larger ensembles and added the titles of arranger, audition pianist and musical director to his theatrical resume, working on four or five shows a year, all the while accompanying plenty(!) of singers and keeping a solo career going.
He has also taught keyboard music and high school band, and performs with fellow teachers in a funk/rock combo called Dollops of Feedback.
In the 2000s, John played with and wrote for the 8-piece R&B band Out Of The Blues, which played everything from Blood, Sweat and Tears and James Brown to Zappa, King Crimson and Queen, as well as with the 4-piece combo Jazz Unhinged, which mixed unusual takes on jazz and pop covers with original material. He is currently playing a mix of originals and covers as a member of Hank’s Aluminum Siding, a 6-piece blues based band that hails from nowhere near Louisiana.
Through an amazing coincidence in 2011, Eric spotted John playing with Dollops of Feedback and the rest is (recent) history. John has been thrilled to return somewhat to his Floydian roots by joining these prog rockers extraordinaire, and to be a part of the next phase of The Last Placid Days of Plenty.
Lead Vocals, Percussion
Jeff was introduced to music at the age of 8. He learned to read music and play piano from his mother (Zila, who graduated from the Toronto Conservatory of Music) and who still teaches music and theory. At 13, Jeff decided to switch instruments and taught himself the bass guitar and shortly after, formed a band in Montreal . At the age of 18, Jeff was asked if he could ‘jam' with a band which already had a bass guitar player. “Two bass players?” he said. The band replied, “No, we thought you could try to sing since you know all the lyrics, so that we would know where we are in the songs, while we get "the real vocalist" up to speed.” Jeff remained singing and performing live with the band Jagwire in and around the Quebec and North Eastern United States for 6 years.
In 1985, Jeff moved to Toronto and was asked to cut a few tracks for a studio project. With the project taking shape the band Cerafim was born. Jeff was with the Cerafim for about 12 years. During that time he had taken some classical vocal training and performed in the Kiwanis Music Festival. With Cerafim, Jeff has also performed songs playing the bass guitar, rhythm guitar, keyboards and midi-saxaphone. Cerafim had participated in and won many music competitions in Canada and in the United States .
In 1997 Jeff decided it was time to start a family, so he left the world of music.
In 2005, after hearing an early demo of Plenty's "Headphone Gallery" he was asked to come out and meet the band. Knowing that the singer was leaving, and that their style was well suited to his vocals, he agreed to become the new frontman for The Last Placid Days of Plenty.
Nick’s affection for the bass guitar began in his late teens as a high school jazz band became a rock cover band with contribution to original ideas. Nick's musical influences vary widely: from the melodious techniques of Chris Squire and the thundering complex lines of Geddy Lee to the percussive funk of Mark King. Clearly Nick has a respect for those bass players who expand the traditional role.
A musical hiatus while raising a new family and establishing a career ended when Nick joined The Last Placid Days of Plenty in June of 2014. Experimenting with extended ranges and breadth of technique, Nick adds a unique flavour to Plenty that solidifies the progressive aspect of the music.
Basses: 1982 Rickenbacker 4001 (modified). Ibanez BTB7, Ibanez BTB6, Dingwall Combusion 6 string.
Amps: Traynor YBA300 & SB500H
Cabinets: TC1510, 2 X TC410