Goddo finds muse, falls in love, settles down – in Calgary
Fact: Hot young women fall for wrinkly old rock stars all the time.
It’s not just the rock stardom itself. It’s the character and stamina and ego required to become a rock star in the first place that’s so attractive. It’s obviously hard-wired.
One so rarely gets a chance to explore this topic, so it’s fortunate that Greg Godovitz is coming to town. The Canadian ‘70s rocker perhaps best known as “Goddo” plays the Blue Chair Café on Friday along with his girlfriend almost half his age, Calgary singer-guitarist Carla Olive. You could say Goddo is an open book. His 1999 autobiography, “Travels With My Amp,” was purposely “as lascivious as possible,” and turns out to be a helpful manual for rock star behaviour, i.e., how to have sex with as many hot young women as possible. No secrets here. His ex-wives have read it, Olive has read it, so did his mom – who called it “that dirty little book you wrote” – and perhaps most disconcerting, so has his grown daughter. The 62-year-old rocker says, “Did I see the same glint in her eye afterwards? Maybe not. But we still have a great relationship.”
Greg and Carla met when he was hosting an open stage in Calgary – where he’d settled five years ago after a lifetime in Toronto. She was going to play some of her music, approached the stage, said something lascivious, Godovitz says, “And my reaction was, ‘You can’t talk to me that way. You’re young enough to be my girlfriend’ and I walked away.”
That’s a good line that most old guys don’t get to say to hot young women – “and it worked,” Godovitz laughs. “One thing led to another, and we, you know, hit it off.”
Not only did he wind up producing Olive’s music, but the love affair brought him out of a dry spell where he hadn’t written a note in 10 years. Godovitz says he was depressed that a record he’d put a lot of time and money on “did nothing” (and he certainly wasn’t alone). It seems Goddo fans weren’t interested in new Goddo songs. Once his soulmate came along, however, there was more motivation than selling records. She became his muse, he says, hence the title of Godovitz’s latest album, “aMuseMe,” typically all over the map stylistically and produced to a shine (he and Paul Dean of Loverboy often work together in the $3 million Calgary recording studio OCL Studios; when you have all the toys, you play with them). The same can be said for Olive’s new album, “Black Tie Affair.”
“When I met Carla it was like a floodgate opened,” Godovitz says, “And these songs just started falling out. Everybody seems to agree that the maturity level of the songwriting has caught up with my age.”
Relationships, too: The couple doesn’t actually live together, but they are committed, he says: “When someone tells you they love you, you’d better believe them.” So there probably won’t be a Travels With My Amp: Part II.
First song that broke the writer’s block was called “Come Back, Rita,” because Olive was in a band called the Rebel Ritas. There were more to come. Nine of the 11 songs on the new album are about her. He also took a passionate interest in Olive’s musical career – starting with introducing her to Rickie Lee Jones, who was “my ideal woman back in the day, sexy, great writer, great singer. And so I stuck on one her early albums and Carla said, ‘she sounds like me.’ And I said, ‘well, actually, you sound like her.’ She had never heard of Rickie Lee Jones.”
Godovitz offers other May-September anecdotes, including an encounter with a local butcher: “We walked into the butcher’s when we were first dating, and the butcher says, ‘is this your daughter?’ and she said, ‘oh, Christ,’ and walked away. And I said, as a matter of fact it’s not my daughter. It’s my girlfriend. He said maybe he shouldn’t have said anything. And I said, ‘ya think?’ And he said, ‘There’s a lot of guys with a lot of money in Calgary that have girlfriends who look like that.’ And I said, ‘There’s a big difference here, pal. I don’t have any money.’ And he said, ‘well, what’s the attraction?’ I said, ‘I’m cool – and you just lost my business’ and I walked away.”
At least he’s not Bill Wyman, who hooked up with the daughter of the woman his son was dating – and thus became his own grandfather. Occupational hazard.