B.C. broadcasters honour the ubiquitous Terry David Mulligan
By Jeremy Shepherd, North Shore News June 15, 2012
Terry David Mulligan, a fixture on the Canadian music scene for more than four decades, was recently named Broadcaster of the Year by the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters. He is currently the creator and host of the wine and food radio show Tasting Room Radio. Photograph supplied , for North Shore News
TERRY DAVID MULLIGAN IS NOT DEAD.
"Some people actually have the gall to say, 'Hey whatever happened to you?'" the DJ vents. "Someone actually said, 'I thought you died.'"
The actor, interviewer, author, former Mountie, and advocate for the free flow of wine across Canada is decidedly vital for someone who downed drinks with Janis Joplin in the 1960s and endured the relentless PR machine of glam rock giants Kiss in the 1970s.
Mulligan, 69, was recently named Broadcaster of the Year by the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters.
Speaking over the phone, the North Vancouver resident seems tireless as he recaps his colourful career while prepping the next instalment of his rock radio show, Mulligan Stew.
"I'm going to be editing and working while I'm talking to you if that's OK," he says, speaking with a swiftness that has not slowed in nearly 50 years on the air. "If I can't do both I'll admit defeat."
While the whirring of audiotape sounds in the background, Mulligan tears into Canada's liquor control board, whom he dubs: "True, bureaucratic bullies."
Protesting a 1928 law that restricts the transportation of wine across provincial borders, Mulligan, the co-host of wine-swilling travel TV show Hollywood and Vines decided he would risk arrest to call attention to what he sees as an obsolete and unfair rule.
"I was just so pissed off," he says. "The liquor control boards love to hit the wineries over the head with the threat of charging them in a court of law because they're shipping wines from B.C. to Alberta."
Heading from B.C. to the Banff food and wine festival earlier this summer, Mulligan hit the road as a bootlegger with thunder as his engine and chardonnay as his load.
"I sent two registered letters to the liquor control boards in Victoria and Edmonton . . . . and said this is what I'm doing and this is why I'm doing it, and if you have charges, go ahead," he says. "The media showed up, and God bless 'em, they told the story."
In Ottawa, the senate is currently considering passing a bill that would do away with the regulation and allow wine to be shipped across provincial boundaries, but Mulligan has not relaxed on the issue.
"Some of the provinces are going to play hardball because they've had their hand in our pockets for a long time and they've gotten very used to taking money from us and they're not going to give up this pipeline easily," Mulligan says, pausing. "Some of them are just going to be dorks."
Growing up in the section of North Vancouver known as Skunk Hollow in the 1940s and '50s, Mulligan has been dealing with bullies and dodging gangs since rock 'n' roll was called race music.
The son of a game warden, Mulligan found his father's livelihood often put him in conflict with his schoolmates.
"My father was busting the same kids that I was going to school with . . . . they were carrying guns or BB guns," he recalls. "I'd know when one of them got busted because they'd punch my lights out at school or pin me into a corner: 'Your old man took my gun, man. I want it back,'" he says, imitating the schoolyard snarl.
Mulligan says he could sometimes promise his way out of danger, but other times, the future 21 Jumpstreet guest star resorted to more drastic moves.
"On occasion, when I thought I was seriously in trouble, I would take that BB gun and I would return it to its owner and my father, thankfully, never missed it," he says.
Living near the intersection of Fell Avenue and 17th Street, Mulligan found respite from disgruntled firearms enthusiasts in his father's collection of jazz records.
But as Red Robinson brought rock 'n' roll to Vancouver's airwaves, the Mulligan family headed for the Interior.
"When I got to Kamloops, the only time there was rock 'n' roll on the radio was 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
When it was daylight out, and kids wouldn't riot. That was the thinking then," Mulligan explains.
But while Robinson was out of reach, another DJ, one even farther away, was within earshot, depending on the weather.
"If I took the cover off my radio and lay my alarm clock on a certain wire, it became the aerial and I could hear Wolfman Jack. It was fantastic," Mulligan says, recalling the raspy-voiced disc jockey. "I had never heard anybody like that, and I'd never heard anybody play R&B and blues on the radio."
After coming of age in Kamloops, Mulligan decided he needed to get out of Kamloops and promptly joined the RCMP.
In his autobiography Mulligan Stew: My Life. . . So Far, Mulligan writes about hearing Love Me Do by the Beatles for the first time while riding around Red Deer, Alberta in his police cruiser.
"The music had an innocence and a joy that brought such happiness to people. I can't remember when that has happened since," he writes.
Read the rest of this North Shore News story HERE!