Reading: the “F” in Funk


Orson Clarke Tribute 2017, reading by Caroline Venor

The “F” in Funk

First of all, Thank You.

Second of all, in the Honor of, and in the words of Orson Clarke:

“Funk You”

Yes, I said Funk…I’m ALWAYS po-lite.

We all know Mr. Clarke, as a genuine “#onelove” kinda guy. Just one love for many passions, one love for the many offerings of Life.

Passions that made him smile, that made him laugh, which in turn, made him share and pass the laughter forward. Those that knew him will be forever marked by that smile, and forever scarred by his laugh. Look at his daughters, and you see and hear both of these, as well as that glimmer in the eyes that you just know is that “something is up” look.

Back to the “Funk You” part tho…

Carolyn Fe gave us the nice clean build up presentation before…

I’m here to give you my side of the story. The “adult” stage and “dirty”musical side of the story…

The tail end, or “hatchback” view that Orson had on life, because he had the best view in the house,


and well, from his perspective.

Orson, as a stage partner, was a pocket man. He forever held that low funky groove. Hard, tight and firm when needed, or gentle soft and soulful, spiritually filling, and resoundingly climactic.

Yes, I am talking about his bass playing.

Orson knew how to play his instrument so well that he could play it so softly that the the gentlest of melodies would be coaxed from that wooden tool of his, or he could thump, bump, snap, pop, or ground and pound his instrument that you’d think the thunder from on high was controlled from his groove. The groove that became, was, and is, what we call Orson’s Funk.

Regardless of  styles musical styles, y’always knew it was Orson. Pop, Funk, Rock, Blues, yep, and even Disco.

All grooved, all had style. All had junk in the trunk. You rocked, you grooved, you moved, you danced when he played.

Orson loved that bottom end, and he wanted everyone to enjoy it.

And we did.

Big guy gave as much as he got, the more you enjoyed his stage antics, the more he enjoyed playing for you.

Orson was a Giver, not a taker.

Once again…talking about Music…

Oh yeah, I do digress…but so did Orson…changing the topic, well we share that…I’m just not gonna talk about Batman, Star Wars, Camaros, or droptops or hatchbacks…but we are gonna talk a bit about the F words. The F words that bring us here to make music and noise.

We all love those F words.


Tonight we celebrate the F in Friends

Tonight we celebrate the F in Family

Tonight we celebrate the F in Fun

Tonight we celebrate the F in Funk


So, please, lets put our hands together, clap for those we’ve lost, clap for those we love.

The friends, the Family, that Help us celebrate the Funk.

And let’s all just say together, in harmony, in unison, as Family

…for Orson…

Funk You!

#thefinfunk words by Rik Roe



Friends In Deed. Thank You.



Thank you.

For 3 years: friends, family, musicians and well-wishers have gathered to commemorate and honor the memory of Orson Clarke.

Gone too soon, our eye-glinting ever-smiling and jovial friend, left us to contribute to the thunder that we occasionally hear rolling overhead, reminding us of musicians on high, and of that rolling baritone of his that has us always look up yonder with that same eye sparkle we miss of his.

We have payed homage to Orson’s life, with a musical gathering, for 3 years now, and I am proud to have been able to count on those that came, participated, and enjoyed.

It is an evening that this year I dedicated to the sentiment of “One Love”, that is forever mantra-ed by friends, and fit the evening’s intent fully

Leslie “Snooksta” Alston, along with Ben Comeau, Daniel “DJ” Joseph, and Naveen Uttamchandani, were the musical hosts, and also great friends of Orson’s, that have continued the tradition of lyrical honor, and supplied the Heart, Funk, and Soul to the beauty of the evening that brought and brings us all together.

To Snooki, Ben, DJ & Nav, I say Thank You.

Special guest, orator, and singer, Carolyn Fe, gave an eloquent presentation and reading of “One Love”, a piece written for the evening, and brought to light with her unrehearsed and enraptured delivery. Having words put to voice, in that special way, is a gift. Thank you for giving the words I put to paper life, and expressing them with the intentions of which I had put pen to paper.

To Carolyn, I say Thank You.

Victor Cowen’s annual Opening introduction started our evening, as Orson’s daughter Jazz’s closing comments graced the evening’s honors. Everything that transpired between these two, were true and just, and deserving of the man they were meant for.

I thank you both for speaking in earnest, and in respect.

Music drove the night, initiated by the dedication, and the care, the “One Love” that all present shared for Orson Clarke. Many took to the stage, and many more were just as content to sit, watch, and listen (myself included).

Singers, guitarists, bassists, drummers. A plethora of people that love to play, are what made us remember what Orson loved doing.

Photos were taken, video was made…but more importantly the “magic” that has surrounded these memory making honors to our friend; in the gifts of your presence, and the presence of the gifts of your time and  spirit, makes having these get-togethers all the more spiritually enriching.

It was about the Music.

It was about the Kinship.

It was about the Camaraderie.

It was about the Stories.

It was about having a Good Time.

It is about One Love.

Officially, I raise my hands, and I clap them to you, for making this annual event, in My and My Family’s eyes, a great success.

I, and We, Thank You.

See you next year…











In Spirit & Song Remembered


With this past 4th of July being a Friday, a day that nominally has time flying too fast, or not quick enough. Yet on this particular day, memories made the day, and time, seem to just stand still.

Memory is a very subjective and personal thing, and I nominally much prefer to keep the inner “whirring of the gears” inside this head of mine to myself, but every now and then a shared peak isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

A year ago, this past 4th, I lost a friend.
My Family lost a friend.
And the world changed.
Not for an instance.
Not for a moment.

It changed.

This “Change” came with surprise, loss, amazement, and hurt, but also with a little understanding that later turned to acceptance. An acceptance that led me to Honour a friend that inspired so many; family and I included.

A gathering was to be planned; of family, of friends, and of fellow musicians, that revered the awesome-sauce that was the Papa-Bear, Orson Clarke.

And…a Gathering was had.

The 4th of July at Duffy’s in Dorval, was an evening of grand proportions (not to aggrandize or make it ostentatious, but those that were there know of which and what I speak). We gathered to pay homage to an awe-inspiring spirit of a man.

Titling the event as “We Got the FUNK” Jam Nite – ORSON CLARKE Tribute, we had a chance to reunite those who wanted to share in the memories and the gifts that this man left to us.

And those that just appreciated what the man stood for, and wanted to experience firsthand what the entire hullabaloo was all about.

Of what I knew from Orson, he appreciated certain simple gifts of life.
• Family
• Friends
• Music
• Instruments
• Conversation
• Comics & Science Fiction
• Cars
• The Fairer sex
• Good Food

These life gifts, never necessarily in any given order, were always enjoyed dependant on the time, place and company.

The evening at Duffy’s was plotted with this in mind. Keep it simple. Just give “folks” a chance to come sit and relax, have a drink, make conversation, and listen to some great music. Not just any music, but a focus on the Funk that Orson Clarke loved and adored!

The evening began like a true fashionable concert, people arriving slowly, building anticipation. Duffy’s terrace contained the early comers, who benefitted from the day’s changed weather that foreshadowed the evening to come.

Though sombre in pretext, this tribute evening had friends and family talking one year after Orson’s passing. Like the sun breaking through the clouds on this day, people entered with shoulders and spirits that lifted just a tad on seeing familiar faces, hearing the stories, and just remembering the Man and Character that Mr. Clarke was.

He wore many hats, was proud and adept of many things, and was ardent and vocal in his convictions. He also found these things in the people that he surrounded himself with.

Some of these individuals found their way to Duffy’s that evening, and created a night of musical mastery that was indeed a very, very special event.

Bass, drums, guitar, keys and vocals all united to honour this fallen Funk Soldier. Honest and pure, every musician that played throughout the night gave it their all and had listeners transfixed and glued to the raw emotion, and more importantly, “fun”, (that Orson I’m sure would appreciate) was had on his behalf.

a few photos…more to come

a sample Video


I’d like to personally thank my friends at Duffy’s for entertaining the lot of us.

I’d like to thank all the fantastic Musicians that came out, and gave of their time and energy to Honor the Spirit of Orson Clarke.

I would also like to thank all the family and friends, old and new, that joined in this evening, and made it the great memory that it is.

And, I would like to extend my hand…to hopefully welcome you back and aboard in 2015.

To let the Funk Live On.

Same Bat Channel.