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The Taxi Passenger Revue – The Mike Robillard Ride (Act III)

theBorderline 3 November 2023 945 126 4

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Mike Robillard created The Taxi Passenger Revue, a podcast series. in which he told the story of Sault Ste. Marie through the eyes of the passengers riding in his cab. This three act tribute remembers the man through his musical journey and in his own words. Along for The Mike Robillard Ride are his friends and bandmates. Together they tell a story of a time where the music bonded a ragtag community to create a special era in Sault Ste. Marie. And how Mike Robillard was always the driver.


STARRING (in order of appearance) ***

* Mike Robillard * Dwayne Slack * Craig West * Shayne Patrick Wigglesworth * Ian McDougal * Scott Kaija * Darryl Patterson * Bill Cowen *

Mike Robillard. Nov. 2, 1970 – Apr. 25, 2022


Spiderback – Acrobiotics (Instrumental)
Forty Thousand Years – Pensivity
Spiderback – Twisting Chills (Demo)
Spiderback – Vacuum Tube
Spiderback – Turn It Over (Demo)
Spiderback – Collapsing
Startlefish – Lazarus
Startlefish – Lazarus
Startlefish – Always Been Me
Shannon Weir and The Even Strangers – Cars In Kensington
Shannon Weir and The Even Strangers – Destination Nowhere
Shannon Weir and The Even Strangers – Castles In The Sand
Christopher Shoust – Different Eyes
Varmint – Dance Of The Fools
4 Really Nice Guys – Drunk Song
Wojtek Pilichowski – Incredible Bass Solo
Smetana – Moldou
Patti Goodwin & the Bads – I’m So Lonesome
Patti Goodwin & the Bads – Mansion On The Hill
Patti Goodwin & the Bads – Honky Tonk Blues
Spiderback – Bass Track 11

Meeting Mike by Adrian Vilaca

When the time had arrived for the idea of The Borderline Network to hit the world wide wavelength, there were a few people in mind that we knew could be key contributors. At the front of that list was Mike Robillard.

It was the summer of 1988. I was the owner of Jersey Dean, a downtown clothing store at the Paul Mall, specializing in graphic design wear. Jersey Dean was planning to shoot a tv commercial and I had asked some teens to participate. They had been hanging around downtown riding skateboards and unicycles. It turned out they also were musicians. One of them was Mike Robillard, another was Bill Cowen.

They shot the commercial for laughs and a free t-shirt. They were in the beginnings of forming a band, 4 Really Nice Guys. I got a kick out of the name and the fact that they were an 8-piece, with horns. Mike, of course, played bass. Mike played in a lot of bands over the following years.

Mike also traveled to Europe. Prague, Czechoslovakia in particular was a favourite for him. French was a natural language for him. He read extensively and took keen interest in world events. He had nuanced political views with a passionate way of expressing them. He was somewhat of a music historian with detailed knowledge of the 1990’s era. He knew the local history inside out. He was an artist beyond the music he loved playing. He loved to draw, paint, sketch and write. He loved cats.

Mike lived in an apartment downtown on Queen Street, next door to where The Borderline would make its home. I had only bumped into Mike on and off over the years. He was always open with me, as I imagined he must be with everyone he knew, and would sometimes share with me his battle with his mental health. Often, it would be outside a club, late night as he awaited a fare for his cab. Mike was a taxi driver.

We reconnected on the idea of The Borderline. This hyper local, hyper sonic platform appealed to Mike’s creative soul. He agreed to start a podcast of his own, an idea he had actually had in mind for many years. Over a long period of time he had collected music and sound bites for this very purpose. He dove in and began creating something smart, unique, entertaining, informative, cutting-edge, a world perspective from his distinctly personal point of view. Mike called the podcast, The Taxi Passenger Revue.

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