Jack Lehoux Rocked Into Retirement With Accomplished Local Musicians

(Jack Lehoux singing with his former Max Apple bandmates during his retirement celebration at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo above by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.)

Not since 1979 has Max Apple been in the house. But Sunday, after a 50-year absence, they were live and personal and back on stage. This one-time bring them back together was their way of honouring Jack Lehoux, the man of honour at a retirement celebration at the RockStar Music Hall.

Drummer Jack Lehoux

Drummer Jack Lehoux performing his final songs with the Source Band during a retirement celebration in his honour at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

In the 1970s, the young Lehoux joined the popular Windsor rock band and never looked back in what has been a well-respected career behind the skins. The event was attended by almost all of the city’s most accomplished musicians and many of them took to the stage to do what they do best, rock the hall.

Windsor area musicians celebrating Jack Lehoux's retirement

Co-organizer Michael Hereford (with microphone) with some of the musicians who attended a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

As the 1970s ended Max Apple folded. Then young drummer, the youngster in the group the audience was told, joined such groups as Still At Large, East Side Boys and most recently, The Source.

Nino Maniaci, Kevin Harris, David Michael and Greg Alzner

Nino Maniaci, Kevin Harris, David Michael and Greg Alzner performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

According to The Source bassist Nino Maniaci, the group has been playing locally for the past 26 years and over that time has had about 26 different members. They form a large nucleus of musicians who have played with Lehoux over the years. So, it is no wonder the RockStar stage was filled to the brim with all manner of pickers, drummers, singers and other music makers.

Nino Maniaci and Jack Lehoux

Nino Maniaci handing drummer Jack Lehoux a retirement gift during his retirement celebration for at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

They were all there to properly honour Lehoux and celebrate his life of music before he trades his drumsticks in for a retirement that, as he told Eyes on Windsor, will largely consist of doing little.

Although he played his last sessions with The Source on Friday and Saturday, at Average Joes, he was coaxed to not only rejoin the band for a few numbers but also to take to the microphone and sing a song with what he called his peers from Max Apple.

Jack Lehoux performing with Max Apple band

Jack Lehoux singing with his former Max Apple bandmates during his retirement celebration at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

But it wasn’t the number of musicians in the hall that made it such a spectacular afternoon. It was the quality. It exploded with some of the best performances all done with smiles. It was nothing if not an incredibly happy occasion.

That was particularly notable in the work of current The Source singer Candi Doherty. She brought her high voltage energy to the stage, matched only with the incredible singing prowess of former Source singer Jessica Loiselle. They sang solo and joined together in some bring the roof down duets. All of their singing backed by such seasoned musicians as guitarists Keith Harris and Greg Alzner with bassist Maniaci.

Singers Candi Doherty, Jessica Loiselle and David Michael

Singers Candi Doherty, Jessica Loiselle and David Michael performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Nino Maniaci, Candi Doherty and guitarist Kevin Harris

Bassist Nino Maniaci, singer Candi Doherty and guitarist Kevin Harris, performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

If nothing else The Source had set the afternoon in motion, a momentum that reached its peak when Angelo Alfini, Ron McMinn, Larry Poulin and Dave Lambert walked onto the stage, along with drummer Al Hughes, for an emotional return performance.

The reunion is somewhat of a trend in Windsor music circles. A few years ago its famed Tea Party reformed and went on a tour with a few Windsor performances. And Teaze, found its way back on stage locally last year.

The Blues Side band

The Blues Side band members Mike Hereford, Ron McMinn, John Kersey and Rick LaBonté (drummer Matthew David is not seen) performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Even more interesting is despite this being a ceremonial way to mark the end of a career, there were young musicians in the building ready to carry on. After only two months of serious drumming practice 14-year old Michael Alexander Schifanelli rocked AC/DC’s Highway to Hell. While he admitted to being a bit nervous surrounded by so much seasoned talent, the talent was watching intently, obviously impressed.

Drummer Michael Alexander Schifanelli

Drummer Michael Alexander Schifanelli smiling after his performance at a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Later 11-year old Ava Schifanelli took to the stage in a solo performance, proving that the youth of Windsor are ready to move ahead musically. This didn’t surprise The Source’s guitar player Kevin Harris.

Ava Schifanelli and John Kersey

Ava Schifanelli in front of John Kersey performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Harris is a local grade 5 music teacher and tells Eyes on Windsor there are 600 students currently enrolled in music lessons at Essex Public School. Lehoux himself has also been a teacher at LaSalle’s Makin’ Music Music School. The school was founded by Max Apple’s guitarist Ron McMinn. He told the audience that Lehoux is a rather good teacher. The proof, a number of his students are now working professionally.

Jack Lehoux and Marie Johnson

Jack Lehoux holding a “jack-o-lantern” made by Marie Johnson and presented to him during his retirement celebration at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Lehoux was presented with a number of retirement gifts including a hand-made jack-o-lantern by music fan Marie Johnson. Addressing the gathering, he talked of how appropriate it was to be at RockStar. When he young, his parents would bring him to the building, although back then it was called Club Alouette, for him to play drums. His parents were also musicians.

Reminiscing, he says in his career, “I’ve made a lot of people dance.” And they certainly were dancing on a snowy Sunday afternoon.

Michael Hereford introduces Max Apple band

Co-organizer Michael Hereford (right) preparing to introduce the Max Apple band during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Rick Rock

Rick Rock performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Guitarist Greg Alzner

Guitarist Greg Alzner performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Jessica Loiselle with Nino Maniaci, Kevin Harris and Greg Alzner

Singer Jessica Loiselle with musicians Nino Maniaci, Kevin Harris and Greg Alzner performing a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Candi Doherty and Kevin Harris

Candi Doherty singing and Kevin Harris playing guitar during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Max Apple band members Ron McMinn, Larry Poulin, Angelo Alfini and Dave Lambert

Max Apple band members Ron McMinn, Larry Poulin, Angelo Alfini and Dave Lambert performing during a retirement celebration for local drummer Jack Lehoux at Rockstar Music Hall in Windsor, Ontario on January 5, 2020. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi

Article by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.