A Band Is A Beautiful Thing


The story of the rise and fall of the great Vancouver rock band The Burner Boys


The Burner Boys were a jug rock band when they first began, similar in style to the skiffle music the Quarrymen played before they became the Beatles - but very loudly amplified. They cut a swathe across Vancouver and British Columbia. between 1970 and 1972. They were one of the first bands to write all their own material in Vancouver at the time - which often got them into trouble. Their wild stage presence drew loyal crowds to hear original songs they could hear nowhere else. They caused riots, were chased by shotgun wielding millionaires and had the loyalty of every gang that counted.


Check out the new Burner Boys web site. We are now in production on the new documentary film based on this book.


***Read the first three chapters. If you wish to read more let me know who you are and we can make the whole book available to you. We are trying not to leak the book out to the public while the film is being produced and we look for a publisher for the book. Contact:




The Burner Boys in front of the Big-O Hotel, North Vancouver, B.C. - publicity shot around 1971. The band members knew the woman in the photo only as a passing aquaintance. Obviously some wanted to get to know her better.


*** It is with great sorrow that we announce the death of David Jenneson, the author of this autobiographical novel "A Band Is A Beautfiul Thing". He passed away January 24, 2009 after a 6 month battle with cancer. He will be greatly missed - there was no one like him in this quadrant of the universe. This was Dave's last finished work and happily he has left this glimpse back to when our lives were full of hope and boundless energy - and a band was a beautiful thing.


Contact me if you are interested in this project in any way.


Alan Hovden




Lead singer David “Big D” Jenneson wrote the story of the Burner Boys, a book of Creative Non-Fiction called A Band is a Beautiful Thing Dave had three books published before his sad and untimely death in 2008. But Seriously is a collection of his internationally published columns of observational wit. Night of the Realtors was his first high concept novel about a realtor who sells the White House and The Helping Hands Of Christmas is a short novella about 12 small flying helping hands that arrive at his home one Christmas – hilarity ensues!  The first two are available on in Canada or in the U.S. Helping Hands Of Christmas is currently out of print.


A Band is a Beautiful Thing is not only the story of the Burner Boys, but what has become a distant time – when the idealism of the 1960′s collided with the hedonism and repression of the 1970′s. It was the last gasp of the 1950′s old guard establishment. Drugs like LSD, MDA, methadrine, marijuana, peyote, and a hundred others were freely available yet possession of a gram of hash could get you two years in Federal prison. People were beaten by mounted riot police for smoking a joint in public.


The homeless were arrested for vagrancy and thrown on an outbound Greyhound with a one way ticket. A relatively minor charge could literally get you sent into internal exile – banned from the province for a year. Feminism and the environmental movement were still a twinkle in God’s eye and mounted riot police attacked a crowd in the Gastown Riot.


It is widely believed that the Burner Boys still secretly perform in a basement in Lynn Valley, perfecting new original songs for their return. Perhaps this is so. It is said that late at night when everything is closed, as busses and cabs hiss up and down Lonsdale in the rain, you can still hear the ghostly whine of the orange Burner Boy van. There have been sightings. Classics like Greaseball Heaven and I Deliver Chicken may capture the heart of another generation. Are the Burner Boys returning?

It's up to you.


Let People Know


There are many people who came in contact with the band during the period from late 1969 to 1972. If you know of anyone who might be able to contribute to this story please email them the location of this wiki.


Email Alan Hovden at  if you need help in any way.





Dave Jenneson on stage at the Club 140 in the Big-O Hotel in North Vancouver


Praise for A Band is a Beautiful thing.


`Dave Jenneson was not your typical rock star wannabe. He didn’t even try to affect that stance. While not of the wiry frame, layered hair and sculpted facial features of the gum-chewing rockers of the day, Dave had a high-energy stage presence and way of moving that worked well. The white shoes, various cuts of sports jackets, even square-dance lace ties told you he was here to testify. I always imagined if Hemingway and the Lost Generation gang had decided to rock in Paris during their stay in the 1920s, Dave would be their man. He was literate rock. ' - Al Harlow, Prism


I just finished reading A Band Is A Beautiful Thing and really enjoyed it. Some of the band names brought back memories of living in Vancouver. I sure hope that you are shopping this story around as a movie, it would be great! - Gary Ranson, Victoria, B.C.


Thank you for your query. The chapter you sent is wonderful. My son John has been in various bands in Montreal, The Brains being the present one. I recalled stories of their adventures and road trips when I read about yours. Shoreline is a very small press, and we are terribly backed up. I wish I could said yes to reading your manuscript, but I can't. With your other successes you can probably find a publisher on the West Coast or anywhere. We do wish you luck with this project. - Judith Isherwood, Shoreline Publishing, Montreal.




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