photos: Right: Vendor Bernie Bouzane photographed by Sammy Pranteau. Above: Photo by Priscilla Du Perez.

A story about 'Sam'

For musician and Megaphone vendor Bernie Bouzane, his original songs often take up the tempo of real life

Get on your megaphone

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Bernie Bouzane  is a long-time Downtown Eastside resident who has been a part of the Megaphone family since 2015. He was born in Newfoundland—the third-oldest of seven children—was raised in Kitimat, B.C. and came to Vancouver in 1973.

He’s worked in the dry ice industry, run his own businesses and was the maintenance supervisor at Mica Dam north of Revelstoke.

He’s also a lifelong musician.

“I play almost every musical instrument there is,” he says. “Guitar—bass and rhythm—violin, organ, piano, accordion, banjo, harmonica, drums.”

He still has an electric guitar at home, though he doesn’t crank it up too loudly these days.

Bernie also writes poems, many of them songs. Several have been published  in Megaphone magazine and the Voices of the Street literary edition. He started taking music lessons when he was 16 years old, paying for them himself. As a young man, he played in several bands.

“Organized Confusion was the main one,” Bernie says.

He stopped by the Megaphone office in January to drop off the lyrics to his latest tune, which we’ve published below. Is the 16-year-old who got kicked out of school by a principal named Magraw autobiographical?

“Yes,” Bernie says chuckling. “Yes it is.”



Sam went home

With note in hand

It said something like this:


“Sam did wrong, he does not belong

He’s caused so much distress

Sam wore clickers on his boots

And he’s made me

Lose my cool

So please consider him hereby 

Expelled from this school

Your insubordination

Has brought shame

Upon this school

You’re a disgrace to your classmates

You've made me lose my cool

This will be the last day

That you wear 

Clickers on your boots.”


I’m no fool, I’m wiser now

You’ve made me more astute

Now principal Magraw

Was a patient man they say

But his face turned red

A bright beet red

Upon that fateful day

He hollered as he shook 

As he wrung his hands with wrath

He said, “I’ll teach you Sam

You know I can

You must walk a different path.”


Now Sam felt so self-conscious

His spirits sank so low

How he could live another day

Without his boots He didn’t know

He paid a pretty penny

From his paper route

It’s true

For the jet black boots

With the clickers

For the fashionable crew.  

— Bernie Bouzane sells Megaphone outside High Point liquor store on East Hastings and Slocan in Vancouver.

Get on your megaphone

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  • Bernie Bouzane
    followed this page 2022-03-22 01:24:38 -0700
  • Paula Carlson
    published this page in Vendors Stories 2022-02-28 13:29:51 -0800
312 Main St
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