It’s possible Bryson Dick knows more about Nazareth than the band does themselves.
Ask this 18-year-old Sicamous man anything about the band – when they formed, who has come and gone from the lineup and when, or what Nazareth album holds the record number of weeks on the top of the charts in Norway – and you’ll get an answer faster than you can type the band’s name into a Google search.
So one can just imagine Bryson’s excitement when he, by chance, came across the rock legends from Dunfermline, Scotland having a rest and a beverage last Monday evening in downtown Sicamous at Brothers Pub.
Bryson says he and a friend were riding their bikes along Main Street when they spotted a large, unmarked bus. They began guessing what it could be, but Bryson had an inkling it had something to do with the upcoming Sturgis North Motorcycle Rally and Music Festival.
“So we crossed the road and got up on the sidewalk, and there was this little old fellow getting out of the bus with long, grey hair and a grey goatee,” recounts Bryson. “And I said, ‘what’s the name of your band? And he had such a thick accent, I didn’t even understand him. It was like, ‘pardon me?’ He said, ‘Nazareth, we’re from the ’70s,’ and I said, ‘oh cool, I know who you guys are.’”
The man turned out to be Jim Murrison, Nazareth’s guitarist since 1994. The rest of the band was inside, enjoying a brief stop while en route from playing in Lethbridge, to Vancouver, and then back to Salmon Arm Friday for Sturgis
Bryson raced home to tell his family who he’d just met. Excited, he and his older brothers, Brandon and Colton, popped back over to the pub to see if they could get a better look.
“There was hardly anybody in there. There was a few people and they had their backs turned to them. I guess they just thought it was a bunch of old people from Scotland who walked in or something,” says Bryson.
Brandon was first to make a move, heading straight over to Dan McCafferty, Nazereth’s lead singer, to shake his hand. Bryson headed over to another table where the band’s original bassist, Pete Agnew and son/drummer Lee Agnew were seated.
“I went up to them and I said, ‘friggin’ mosquitoes, eh?’” said Bryson.
After this brief, albeit awkward conversation given his difficulty understanding the bandmates’ thick brogue accents, Bryson made his way over to McCafferty. The next thing Bryson knew, he and his brothers were having their pictures taken with a personal hero.
“He was very polite – he got out of his chair and said, ‘Yup, just make it quick,’” says Bryson. “That’s basically all that happened. We didn’t want to bother them too much because they were basically just a bunch of Scottish gentleman sitting down drinking coffee and drinking beer. They looked really tired. They were really nice people, and that’s basically what happened.”
The band likely didn’t realize the importance of this encounter for Bryson, who is something of an historian of classic rock, particularly music between 1960 and 1995.
“I saw Aerosmith and Blue Oyster Cult last year in Tampa, Florida live, and that was at the Hard Rock Cafe,” says Bryson. “I would have to say that meeting Nazareth was more exciting than seeing Aerosmith with 40,000 people around me. So it was pretty cool.”
Asked about his love of classic rock, Bryson, who also collects guitars (but doesn’t play), admits to being a man out of time.
“I almost feel like I was born in the wrong era because I don’t know how to run a computer, all I know how to do on my cellphone is just text… All I know how to do is put music on and go to work,” says Bryson, who is still on Cloud 9 over his chance encounter with Nazareth.
“As soon as I saw the guy who stepped out of the bus had grey hair, I knew it was one of the good bands, because the good bands are pretty well older people,” said Bryson, who was unable to see the band perform, but is thrilled to have met them.
“It was really, really exciting.”