Langley Good Times Cruise-in: Old car lover excited to perform at car show

Neil Young impersonator Roger Potter fondly remembers his first car, a 1967 Pontiac, Beaumont he bought for $500 and fixed up with his father’s help.

Of course, that car is no longer. Part of Potter wishes he still had the Beaumont.

But failing that, he said there’s a slight chance he’ll find a replacement at this year’s Langley Good Times Cruise-in. That is if the old car lover has time – between his shows on the Douglas Park bandshell – to check out the hundreds of automobiles that will line the streets of downtown Langley Saturday during Cruise-in.

The 50-year-old Cloverdale singer and guitarist who’s also prone to picking up the harmonica on occasion, started a band called Live Rust back in 2007 as a tribute to one of his heroes in the music industry, Neil Young – someone he describes as a fellow car lover.

This band – whose music, Potter said, is popular among the classic and hot rod car aficionados – is the newest addition to the Cruise-in’s entertainment roster.

And the four-piece band is scheduled to perform four different, 40-minute sets, at 11 a.m., noon, 1, and 2 p.m.

“We’re going to be covering everything from the first band that made [Young] famous, which was Buffalo Springfield (1956) up to the 1990s with Crazy Horse… We’re going to cover four decades of music,” Potter elaborated.

At age 11, he started teaching himself guitar. In short order, people started telling him he had a style similar to Neil Young. While Potter had heard of the man, he admitted he wasn’t a fan.

That all turned around for Potter when, at age 14, he received Young’s triple album, Decade.

While he broke onto the music scene at age 15, playing cover tunes in Ontario bars, it wasn’t until he moved to B.C. in 1995 that Potter began thinking of setting up a tribute band to his idol.

With prompting from a friend, he heard a Young impersonator out of Maple Ridge. Convinced he could “do a better job” he started Live Rust.

While there have been a number of changes through the years, Potter’s been playing with the existing band members for the past two years, and describes their synergy as nothing short of “magical.”

Adorning a flannel shirt like Young’s and pulling a felt hat down over his head, Potter said many audience members commend him for his realistic Young sound – even if there isn’t much of a physical resemblance.

“We try to look the part,” Potter said. “But it’s all about the music. That’s the most essential part for us.”

Potter has seen Young perform live 24 times and admires not only the man’s talents but his perseverance. Young is a Canadian singer-songwriter who first emerged onto the music scene in the early 1960s and who is still on stage at age 68.

Potter hopes he too can still be performing at that age. He last saw Young in 2007, but said his favourite concert of all time is still the Live In A Rusted Out Garage tour in 1986 at the former Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

He vowed to give the Cruise-in audience just a taste of what won him over all those years ago.

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