Krazy Kenny [aka “Kenneth Koekstat”]
It was the 60’s and “Krazy Kenny” Koekstat went to a teen dance and saw his paperboy “Guy Dupuis and the Ramblers” playing music. Guy was playing his guitar and singing, and the front of the stage was filled with girls. That was it ! Krazy Kenny talked his parents into a Gibson guitar and took a few lessons. Falling on hard times, he had to quit lessons for lack of dough and began to practice with records.
He formed his first band with a classmate, and called it “The Hearts of Stone” after a Rolling Stones song. A singer named Claude Pinard joined the group and then Mary Steele joined the band. Ernie Lamont who later became the “Bacon Man” was running band contests and when The Hearts won the contest a judge told Krazy Kenny he should be doing this for money.
After doing warm up shows with the likes of Stevie Wonder for only $25 dollars, this advice seemed not a bad idea.
Shortly afterwards the band reformed with the name “The Second Story” as Kenny and Claude continued. This lasted a short while and Krazy Kenny and Claude went to see a band in a basement on Rossini Ave. Upon leaving, they took with them several players and formed a new group later named “The Power and the Glory”.
Performing at local teen clubs and high school dances, Krazy Kenny was now sneaking into bars to jam with the professionals.
Kenny was asked to do an audition at the Riviera Night Club and the audition turned into a year long house gig. Some members were intent on hitting the road so it was off to the
U.S. in an old converted school bus. The band was called The Gass Inc. and they toured the
Midwest clubs for over a year, sometimes backing recording artists.
Len Barry of the Dovells and Bunny Sieglar were a few artists who were backed by the Gass. Returning to Canada, Kenny was a member of the Three Penny Upright, who played cover songs and originals. A huge stepping stone was backing up singer Johnny Thunder who had the hit record “Here We Go Loopy Loop”. He was a member of the Legendary Sam Cooke band and showed Krazy how you do it as a professional.
A power trio was formed called “Dagwood”. Their invasion was not to
England but to the Drop In Tavern and the first to bring rock and roll to this club.
After two years, and several member changes, Krazy Kenny decided it was time to freelance. After several years, he was asked to join a band by John Burrows, father of Jeff Burrows who would later become the drummer for The Tea Party.
John named the band, Brand X after a label on the bass player’s pants. Twenty eight years later, Krazy Kenny is still performing with the Brand X Band. His zany antics, hats and jokes combined with playing music people want to hear has certainly made a lot of people happy and given dancers a chance to strut their stuff.
Many people ask Krazy Kenny the question “How long will you play?” and his answer is: “Les Paul was 93 and still going strong, Chuck Berry and BB King are in their mid eighties, so I guess I will just keep moving along to try and catch up”.