Frak Ney was known for his eccentricities.
He would dress up as a pirate and wave a plastic sword around and sing sea shanties.
Ney was Nanaimo’s longest-serving mayor and manned the helm of the city from 1967-1984 and 1986-1990.
His granddaughter Kaliandra Capri, lead singer for the band Mr. Goshness which includes guitarist Mark Tardif, is paying tribute to her grandfather in the song Black Frank.
“Mark was writing a song about his grandpa and I was like, ‘let’s do a song about my grandpa,’” said Capri.
The two found some video Capri’s dad, Brad Ney, had and used parts of the audio in the song and portions for the music video.
The footage is of Frank Ney during his role as Mayor of Nanaimo and in another portion Capri says almost comes off as a campaign video. He is dressed as a pirate on a plastic pedal boat.
“There are clips of him singing old sea shanties,” said Tardif, adding parts were incorporated into the song. “We just really wanted to capture the spirit of Frank in a musical way. It’s definitely a colourful song to match his colourful personality.”
Ney’s big personality shines through in his audio clips and the two said because of that he has become the star of the song.
“That’s just how much of a character he is. Somehow he has become the central character in the song,” said Capri.
The duo researched historical facts. During the songwriting process they referenced Paul Gogo’s book Frank Ney: A Canadian Legend.
“There are so many cool personal stories,” said Capri.
“A lot of the inspiration came from that book,” added Tardif.
The songwriting process began with Tardif creating the frame of the song.
“Usually I’ll write the bones of a song and we will work together to rebuild it,” said Tardif. “With this one in particular I knew Kali wanted me to write a song about her grandfather.”
The song is being released this weekend to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Bathtub race, which Ney was instrumental in starting. The song will be available on www.mrgoshness.com and other download sites.