05.23.2020 03:01 PM

Allen Baekeland, RIP

We were friends in high school, at Bishop Carroll. We all loved punk rock and he sort of managed those of us in the unmanageable Social Blemishes.

That’s Allen wearing shades and a Union Jack pinned to his shirt, in a photograph of the Blemishes that appeared in the Calgary Herald in 1978 or so. We had lots of fun in that basement.

Anyway, after high school, we all took different paths. He loved country music and was in a band that played Greek stuff. We stuck with punk rock.

You can hear Allen hollering the count-in (in German, natch) on the Hot Nasties’ anthem, Invasion of the Tribbles. He always, always encouraged us to keep going, and so we did.

Our deepest condolences to his family.

5 Comments

  1. Leeanimal says:

    You and Allen went back an awfully long time but I didn’t realize as far as the Social Blemishes! My memories of Allen begin in about 1979 or 80, drunkenly crawling up on his lap from my kitchen floor at one of my old punk ass parties. I remember the Patabeatniks, CJSW and various gatherings of the artsy fartsies, punks and musical types of all sorts. I remember he had a huge record collection, local and otherwise and even still had an original cassette of Animal Kingdom that I had to actually borrow off him once. Sad and shocking news of his passing

  2. Nasty Bob says:

    I will forever be indebted to Allen for expanding my musical horizons. Not just punk but all genres. He was encyclopedic and always happy to share his knowledge.

    In fact, many Calgarians – and beyond- are indebted to Allen because he saved CJSW . I can’t remember the year (early 80 ‘s ) but it was April 15 and Allen had somehow caught wind that the Students ‘ Union was going to change the lock on the door to the station and sell off all the equipment. He slept that night in the studio , waited for the lock to change , then started broadcasting in protest.

    People heard it and were upset that the SU would try to do that without so much as a notice of motion or vote. The blowback was so enormous that the SU wound up doing a 180 degree turn and agreed to fund the station through the next few years so we could put a plan in place to get our FM broadcast license . All thanks to “ the April 15th brigade “ !

  3. Brandi says:

    Listen to How Allen Saved the Radio Station by the Bownesians here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3jENXLU0q5E ❤️

  4. What a loss to the music community. I worked with Allen and Janet Baker at the U of C, record store. Faithfully hit Ten Foot Henrys with him, pogoing to the Patabeatniks, Saw The Alleycats, 999, Kd Lang and many others at Mac Hall with him, Super Talented and always into learning about what was going on in the music world. I am Gobsmacked

  5. Martin Adam says:

    This is a hammerblow to the heart. He was a genuine friend, someone who was really “there” to talk with. It’s been years since we met in person, but with a person like Allen the connection remains. Sad, sad news.

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