Phil Cunliffe



A couple of years after I retired from The Presidents my life took a significant turn when in late 1965 I was hired by a Montreal-based design firm to work on a major project for the city's world fair, Expo ’67. My contract was for 12 to 18 months, after which I'd planned to return to London but fate intervened and completely changed my life.

A few weeks after arriving in Montreal I met my future (and present!) wife, Louise. 18 months later we married in Cheam, Surrey. By that time I had already decided to return to Canada, where I’ve lived for over 50 years.

I left the design business in 1969 and went into the advertising industry, eventually becoming one of three partners in a mid-sized advertising agency with offices in Montreal, Toronto and Brussels. In 1986 we moved, for business reasons, to Toronto, where we lived for three years before deciding to make a significant lifestyle change, I sold my interest in the agency and we trundled off to Vancouver, in beautiful British Columbia, to open a marketing communications consulting practice. In July 2006 our daughter, ,Martine, presented us with Sophia, our delightful granddaughter who gives us much joy.

For my 50th birthday in 1992, I bought a second-hand set of drums but as I hadn't played for some 30 years was in dire need of tuition and one heck of a lot of practice! I'd developed a renewed appreciation for (modern) jazz and this led me to study under one of the city’s top jazz drummers. Over the years I played with a variety of swing and jazz bands and six months’ of weekend gigs with a trio in a local jazz restaurant, backing a procession of jazz singers.

I retired in mid-2004, and now enjoy a more leisurely, lifestyle, surrounded by mountains and sea in the city that The Economist magazine once rated as "the world’s most liveable city".

It seems a lifetime ago when The Presidents first played with so much trepidation at Bermondsey, and our first trip to the IBC Studios in London for a four-track (wow!) recording session with Glyn Johns. My time with The Presidents was perhaps the most memorable period of my life in England. In those days we worked and played hard, hoping to 'make it big' while earning next-to-nothing for our considerable efforts. Regardless, we had one heck of a lot of fun during what were probably some of the best years of the 20th Century.

PC January 2017.