Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Toronto…

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Toronto”.

A collective sigh of relief as the Air Canada 747 comes to a slow stop. The tension, hovering in the Economy cab since take off…Releasing.

I reach for my phone. Before I can even scroll through the list of contacts, organized by city in case I happen to be in your town, I realize:

“Shiiiiiit…”

The adorable elderly woman sitting beside me jerks her gaze in my direction. I instantly feel embarrassed. If she had ever owned a cell phone in her life, I might be able to explain, perhaps garner some sympathy. Not this Grandma…

It troubles me to think about how many phone numbers I’ve had in the last year. It scares me to try and explain why. Even the amount of PHONES I have owned is ridiculous, to say the least.

The repercussions of this devastating fact were soon to be felt, as I scrolled in vain to find my ride from the airport’s name.

I guess it was in my American phone. Nope, must be in the old Blackberry. Gosh has it really been THAT long…

There’s a saying that has stayed close to me in the past few years and I couldn’t help but smirk as it ran through my mind:

“Well, if that’s the worst of your problems…”

I collect my small backpack and, guitar in hand, walk past all the shmucks who insist on checking luggage. A two week tour with ten shows? No Problem! I can fit all I could possibly need in one backpack! Besides, I had a show to play!

Onward and outward.

Through the airport. Double glass doors open automatically. Insert every swear word you could possibly imagine.

See, in Toronto, it’s cold. Cold is an understatement. If you grew up in BC and had just spent about half a year in California riding your bike around in January in nothing more than a t-shirt, it’s the kind of cold that slaps you in the face and makes you want to walk RIGHT back on the plane. In that moment, I was glad I’d booked myself a show in Cambridge that was set to start in about 2 hours. Sense of purpose, I guess.

There’s really no interesting way I can describe how brutal the next hour was. I did it though, I stood outside, hoping that my friend John would drive by and see me shivering like Paris Hilton’s Chihuahua.

I called everyone I could think of. I went against my better judgment and hopped on Facebook, in hopes that someone there would be able to help me (fast forward: $500 in data roaming charges in two weeks. Oops). Finally, after the YVR Security Guard’s third attempt at “humour” (‘Gee you’ve almost been here as long as I have!”) I bailed. Inside I went.

Double glass doors. Heat wave. Warmth smacking you in the face and wrapping all around you like a blanket. Tingly wollen mittens of Toronto Airport heating system. Feeling…in hands…slowly…returning…

More phones. More expensive internet with no data plan. Long distance calls to boyfriend in L.A. to see if he can track anyone down.

“John!”

“Billy!”

Glass window. Nose basically pressed up against it. John walking by. Victory.

We get to the venue in Cambridge, an hour away. I can say it was the first time I’ve ever walked in to a venue while the headlining band was onstage setting up and heard “Oh, Billy…we thought you’d be here earlier…”

I set up. Tuner in guitar case. Harmonica in the backpack. Try not to pull all my underwear and t-shirts out on to the stage while I try and squeeze the harmonica free from in between scores of CDs, cables and clothes. Try to take my guitar out of the case without people seeing all the socks I have stuffed in to the case all around it.

While onstage my friend Sean Ashby goes: “Billy the Kid has clothes in her guitar case. Tell THAT story at the Junos.”

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CONTACT

Twitter

http://www.twitter.com/billypettinger

Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/billythekid

Email Billy
billy@billythekidonline.com

Label:
LOST RECORDS
6447 133 A Street
Surrey, BC
V3W 9Y2

http://lostrecords.ca/

PRESS

“Precociously gifted.” The Georgia Straight

“One of Canada’s rising stars.” – See Magazine

“Prolific and incredibly talented.” – The Leader-Post

“Billy is a DIY poster girl.” – Vue Weekly

‘Lost – a phenomenon, not a trend.” – The Cambridge Voice

“It’s not enough to say that Billy The Kid is a talented artist. It isn’t enough to say she’s successful. It isn’t even enough to say that Billy and her band of Lost Boys have a stage–presence worth seeing over and over again. Billy the Kid exemplifies the essence of the independent spirit, charisma and inspiration for artists on the rise or for those hoping for the chance to make it that far. ” – Echo Weekly

“Always stood apart from the pack with true street-level integrity, an almost Mennonitish indie-rock work ethic and outstanding musicianship.” – Nerve Magazine

“With her popularity spreading and in no sign of waning, her many musical endeavours are beginning to pay off and no one deserves it more. After a chat with this winsome pixie, it would be difficult to dislike her.” – The Gauntlet Magazine

“I bought her independently produced CD on the spot and have been trying to find out as much as I can about her because I know she is going to be huge one day soon.” Canoe Live

“One of the best female guitarists I’ve ever met.” – The Daily Nar

“(Billy)’s the kind of thorough, do-it-yourself poster girl that will go to hell and back in order to put out a good record.” – Beatroute Magazine

“Bespectacled singer/songwriter and D.I.Y. poster girl Billy the Kid possesses an impressive arsenal, including an enchanting voice, strong musicianship, and well-crafted tunes. Expect Billy to wear her heart on her (tattooed) sleeves.” – A Lawyer

“If you need any inspiration to keep your New Year’s Resolution “I shall cast off the shackles of procrastination and actually do something with myself…” look no further than a young lady who goes by the name of Billy the Kid.” – Chartattack

FRIENDS

Booking Inquiries
Joel Baskin – The Pilot Agency
joelbaskin@thepilotagency.com
http://www.thepilotagency.com

All Other Inquiries

Todd Arkell – Cool Planet Entertainment
todd@coolplanet.ca

Publicity
Dawn Dwyer – 2 Degrees of Separation
dawn@coolplanet.com
(416) 540-3411

Email Billy

billy@billythekidonline.com

Billy and The Lost Boyshttp://www.billyandthelostboys.com

Billy the Kid MySpacehttp://www.myspace.com/billythekid

Billy the Kid Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BillyTheKid

Billy Pettinger Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/billypettinger

Billy the Kid YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/billythekidofficial

Lost Recordshttp://www.lostrecords.ca

Lost Records Online Storehttp://www.lost.bigcartel.com

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Life tends to give us what we want…but never how we expect it.

Witness phenomenal Vancouver, B.C. singer/songwriter Billy The Kid. Culled from the same passionate ambrosia that spawned musical greats such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg and Elvis Costello, this golden throat has been accosting the world of music for years with her refined craftsmanship, bold musical talent, extraordinary songs and overt beauty—aesthetically and aurally—epitomized on latest EP The Lost Cause (Lost Records).

As The Kid will admit however, while initial goals of success were envisioned as a collective, Life had other plans in store. Recognizing her innate abilities, it prodded her towards independence and therefore greatness.

“My parents put me in piano lessons at eight. I hated it,” she notes, admitting that despite a sour introduction to music compounded by her difficult early life as a foster child who left home at 12, creativity quickly took over her life. “I’ve been playing solo for as long as I can remember. I started learning to play guitar in the corridors of my high school and my first show was around 16 years old. I had a band but any time the band couldn’t show up, I’d still take the gig. Any chance to play, I’d take it.”

Grasping those opportunities eventually thrust Billy The Kid into many unexpected spotlights. From punk rocker to pianist, folk crooner and eventually label owner (founding Lost Records in order to support poignant underground music), all of these experiences culminate in the striking and powerful experience that is The Lost Cause, a call-to-arms for individual thinking, personal pride and refusal to relent.

“I’ve always liked all sorts of music and I’ve always played all sorts of music,” she notes about her musical diversity. “I grew up in punk but always loved roots and folk. Songs, really. Any song with a story or a life of it’s own were always my favourites. I’ll still put out rock music and write songs on pianos because at the end of the day, they’re all songs, aren’t they? That’s the thing about The Lost Cause and those whom adhere to it. It’s about finding your own way regardless of what others may think.”

Contextually, The Lost Cause is founded on The Kid’s desire to stay rooted, natural and sincere. Compelled by her struggles as a genuine artist constantly confronted by masked jackals both personally and professionally, The Kid never finds herself with a lack of inspiration, deeming The Lost Cause to be culled from one particular emotion:

“Honesty,” she declares bluntly. “I write a lot about hard times. There seems to be a lot of inspiration for that these days. There is a lot of music out there that is made to make money. It doesn’t really stand up for much. I strive to stand up for what I believe in; don’t really care about what musicians are ’supposed to do’ in order to succeed.”

“My hope is that this thirst for honesty is what attracts our supporters,” she continues. “People are smart. They know they’re being advertised to and music is just the soundtrack to the pop star commodity which takes away all credibility. I’m independent through and through. I believe in throwing out the map and finding my own way.”

Considering that The Lost Cause was produced by Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace, Kelly Clarkson, Hillary Duff, Avril Lavigne) and boasts a vast array of legendary talent including pianist Garth Hudson (The Band, Bob Dylan), drummer Randy Cooke (Ringo Starr/Dave Stewart), guitarist Ben Peeler (Jacob Dylan/The Wallflowers) and harmonica player Stan Behrens (Ruth Brown, The Four Tops) it’s safe to say that Billy The Kid was never off course.

In fact, amassing accolades faster than one can keep count, The Lost Cause is becoming a blueprint of its own for heartfelt music: attaining the Number One position on Much Loud’s charts, The Kid being hand-picked to perform as a part of the legendary Warped Tour, featured Indie Spotlight/Folk Music Spotlight on iTunes Canada, an MSN Sympatico Indiscover Featured Artist, nominated for XM Radio’s The Verge Artist of the Year, holding the top two positions on Earshot’s college listings, radio and television support, winner of three Georgia Straight Reader’s Choice Awards and more. The Lost Cause has certainly found itself at the top of the musical Mecca.

Still, with The Kid’s congenital musicality, professionalism and spirit comes a healthy dose of humility. Gracious, she is thankful for The Lost Cause’s distinctions yet refuses to let them throw her off balance. Instead, they prompt her to sets sights even stronger on the ultimate goal: creating the music in whatever fashion Life has in store.

“The main goal always has been and always will be to just keep on keeping on,” she smiles. “I’m here to spread the Gospel of The Lost Cause; make music for whomever will lend their ears to listen.”

———————————————————————————————————–

If we’ve met, you’ll know that I have the words “GIVE BACK” and “LOST!” tattooed on me.

Anyone that doesn’t know me is prone to ask the meaning of these words, forever inscribed into my body. “GIVE BACK” speaks for itself, but “LOST!”… well, that’s another story…

When I was 14 I started playing in bands. I picked up guitar at 12, 4 years after my parents put me in piano lessons and I instantly began creating my own music. Eventually I’d end up behind a drum set because no I knew could play them and even further down the road I’d teach myself harmonica while driving around in my 15 passenger van (The “Lost” Bus).

Music. I was in it for the long haul before I even knew it. How was I to know it would become my life? It’s nothing you can prepare yourself for. All I ever felt like I knew was that at 12, 18 and even 24 years old it was the binding force that got me out of bed, carried me through my days and got me through those tough nights.

At 18 I got together with a group of friends and we started calling ourselves Billy the Kid and the Lost Boys. It was a name that seemed to convey the spirit of the project and our manifesto; at the time we were living under a credo of quotes and mantras that read like a time line and became the soundtrack of our lives. It was our way of surviving amidst the mishaps of independence, by throwing out the maps that resulted in a conventional lifestyle and embracing a fierce determination to find our way (even if others deemed it to be a “Lost” Cause).

Little did I know that the term “Lost” would consume not only my vocabulary but my adopted way of life: There’s Lost Records, the label I started to put out our second album that now houses 9 acts and 12 releases and operates as a collective of friends running under the motto “Kids in Bands Helping Kids in Bands”. There’s the Lostice, or Lost Office, where I’ve spent years booking not only my own projects but any friend who needed a helping hand, as well as promoting new musical endeavors and preaching the gospel of the Lost Cause. There’s the Lost Bus, which has taken me a great number of miles beyond what I expected it would and now, there’s the Lost Youth Music Society.

Once I began embracing the path that I had chosen, as random and sometimes meandering as it may seem, it dawned on me that perhaps to be a so-called “Lost Cause” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I began meeting kids across the country who felt the same way I did…they believed that we could find our own way and change the definition of “Lost”. Now, if you’re down with the Cause, you’re LOST! and it’s a darn good thing.

It was with the help of these exceptional people, the crew who are down with the Lost Cause and my amazing family, that I began to realize it was now my turn to give back. I’ve been so fortunate during my time on this planet that I’ve always felt as if there’s got to be something MORE that I can do. So, we’ve started a charity that is going to GIVE BACK, using the power of music to inspire and enhance the lives of kids who might not be as fortunate as we are right now. With the help of donations, music lessons, instruments and a scholarship program we’ll find the Lost Causes out there and help them to find their own way. Remember, it’s a good thing.

Forever LOST!

Billy Pettinger


The Lost Cause is a way of life that started with “Fun Is Number One” and ended with “Give Back”.

The Lost Cause reads like a timeline of how we found our own way and, in doing so, realized it is now OUR TURN to GIVE BACK.

By donating to the Lost Cause you’re helping us to create a scholarship for foster kids who seek post-secondary education as a means of “Finding Their Own Way”, give guitars to schools in low rent areas and donate to programs helping street kids and drug affected youth.

1. Fun Is Number One
2. We’re the Kids and Nothing Can Touch Us
3. Our Lives Are An Endless Summer
4. Go Team
5. Hanging Out, Being Sweet and Getting Stoked
6. Throw Out Your Map and You Will Find A Way
7. D.I.Y Pimpin
8. If That’s The Worst Of Your Problems…
9. Sometimes You’ve Got to Get Lost Just to Wind Up Someplace New
10. If You Follow All Your Dreams, You Might Get Lost
11. You’ve Got Nothing to Lose When You’re Already Lost
12. Don’t Ever Forget Where You Came From
13. Give Back
14. Forgive Everyone, Including Yourself
15. Believe



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I need your help promoting! Let me know your ideas/fees! :)

Because you are so awesome, I’m going to do a couple things here so as to help out the Lost Cause/Lost Causes

1) The Lost Records Hoodies/Shirts are now available on the online store. AND, they are on sale 🙂

2) As a thank you, there will be a bunch of songs available for FREE download on iLike. But keep on spreading the love! Email these songs to your friends, make a mixed CD, make a play list on iTunes…anything you can think of 🙂 Click here for free Billy the Kid downloads

3) For those of you who said you would help out by putting stickers on your car/desk/bike/house/guitar etc, let me know your address and I will send you some FREE stickers. Sound like a plan?

4) Last but not least, there are only a few Billy and the Lost Boys shirts left over and they are now on sale for $10 at the Lost Store.

Thank You, Thank You, THANK YOU.

Let’s do this!!! 🙂

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Happy Birthday

A surprise birthday party can be a huge undertaking, and a substantial amount of work depending on how many friends the person has.

A person’s FIFTIETH birthday should essentially be the birthday that puts all other birthdays to shame. Not that there should be any shame in birthdays. Scratch that. Bad analogy hee hee.

My friend John Maksym has been a dear friend to me for a number of years now. John sings, writes and plays guitar in a band called Breaching Vista and is one of those guys who just gets out in the world and gets things done, y’know? In fact, he is the person who booked my very first solo show in Kitchener Ontario, where I ended up living for two years.

I should be clear that the main purpose for this leg of shows was to end up at my Canadian Music Week show in Toronto at the Rivoli. I figured “Hey, I’m gonna be in the area…let’s play some shows!” Long story short, I put out the call and within no time at all, I had ten shows. This is a testament to the collective of indie musicians in this country. No joke.

Booking my way back in time from the Toronto showcase landed me in Kitchener for (surprise surprise) John’s mom’s 50th birthday! There’s something about John’s family that seems to attract the touring musician (I blame the food. Okay, and the hospitality. Okay they’re all great to hang out with, too!) It should be duly noted that for all the hospitality June has extended to me and my various musical groups, being ASKED to play her surprise birthday was both an honor and a privilege.
The day commenced as such: Coffee! There’s a certain chain that is all over Ontario. I’m won’t mention any names but I think you know who I’m talking about. While this isn’t necessarily the best coffee in the world, it certainly brought back a ton of memories a.k.a. The Two Years I Lived In Ontario and Drank A Substantial Amount of Tim Horton’s Coffee.

Step two: Pick up birthday supplies! Picking up birthday supplies is a very fun endeavor. Anyone who doesn’t think this is fun is obviously not capable of fun. It is the funnest thing. We got huge custom balloon bundles for both Charlotte and June, as was a dual birthday, as well as streamers, birthday girl pins, banners…a whole bunch of awesome. We also picked up The World’s Coolest Cake from The World’s Coolest Cake place. See: photo.

Then it was off to decorate the venue, load in the PA and wait for the birthday girls to arrive!

I just hope my 50th birthday is half as fun as June’s…she spent the whole night dancing her heart out to her son’s band and I gotta say, it was one of my favourite shows I’ve ever been a part of. Thanks guys!!!