March 13, 2013, Ottawa – Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago this month, live music venue Zaphod Beeblebrox first opened its doors on York Street here in Ottawa. Today, I would like to honour this extraordinary achievement and that of the club’s iconic proprietor, Eugene Haslam.
I performed in this long, narrow landmark many times over the years. Some nights we played to an empty house, some nights it was packed. But what never changed was the fair and respectful way we were treated as artists at Zaphod’s. In other words, Eugene Haslam, like so many cultural pioneers in this country, has done this for the love of it, the love of music and the love of community. To run a small business for 20 years and have it survive is tough enough, but to run a live music club in Ottawa, now that is a mission of mercy.
On behalf of all music lovers, geeks and punters, wannabes and has-beens, DJs, punk rockers and even legislators, thanks to Eugene Haslam and all the great staff at Zaphod’s for giving this city and this country 20 years of heart, soul, and rock and roll.