Rod McCrimmon, VHS 1968 “I’ve Got the Music In Me”

Rod McCrimmon, VHS 1968   “I’ve Got the Music In Me”

by Gerald Pash, VHS 1962

Kiki Dee’s 1974 hit must have been written for Rod McCrimmon. It’s been 60 years now, and he hasn’t stopped rocking yet.

Rod began his love affair with music at the age of 13 at Central Junior High School, playing clarinet and saxophone in the school concert band. But the guitar was a big draw so he learned that instrument as well, found a group of like-minded friends, and they formed a band.  “It was the 60’s”, says Rod, “Everyone wanted to form a band!  I’ve been playing in various bands ever since.”

Rod was at Vic High for grades 11 and 12, and fondly recalls his favourite teachers, Mr. Jamieson for Economics and Law and Tommy Mayne for History.  After-school employment in a variety of jobs led to purchasing guitars, and cars, and a career selling display advertising for the Times-Colonist newspaper. At the age of 30 he became involved in marathon running, participating in marathons and ultra-marathons. He continues to run today to maintain his fitness.

Ten years ago, he and two other Vic High grads came together to provide music for the Class of 68 40th reunion. They called their group “The Attic Boys” named after Vic High’s iconic attic. That band evolved into Undertow, a trio that can be found entertaining at Christie’s Carriage Pub, The Oaks, Mary’s Bleue Moon and other Victoria locales.

Rob Lifton, Dave Hill, Rod McCrimmon of Undertow.

UVic students reap the benefit of his love of music and years of experience via his weekly program on the university’s radio station, CFUV-FM. And now  future Vic High students will benefit from his legacy via the Rod McCrimmon Music Bursary the Alumni has established for aspiring musicians with his recent $25k donation.

“Music wasn’t my full-time career,” says Rod, “but it’s always been a large part of my life. If the bursary encourages budding musicians to continue playing past high school, full or part-time, it will be a great success. And maybe other alumni will be inspired to support future students, too.”

Meanwhile, you really should check out Undertow, where the 60’s groove lives on with Dave Hill, VHS 1968, on drums; Rob Lifton, VHS 1967 on guitar, bass and vocals, and Rod on guitar and vocals.  LiveVictoria is the best place to keep up with the local music scene, and is associated with the Royal City Music Project, a website founded by Vic High’s own Glenn Parfitt, VHS 1972, to celebrate the history of music in Victoria and beyond.

Rock on, guys!  And thanks, Rod, on behalf of all those students who will benefit from your bursary and from your lifelong love of music.


If, like Rod, you’re interested in establishing a scholarship or bursary for a Vic High student,  just send us an email and we’ll help you make it happen, too. The Alumni deposits the funds with the Victoria Foundation to invest in our Alumni accounts and generate interest every year for awards.