It’s Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1968. Expedition to Earth, a band of prairie brothers with rock in their veins and a shredding guitar sound set two songs down onto a 45” single. The A-side is their eponymously named calling-card song, the B-side an equally impressive number called “Time Time Time”, both written by band leader Danny Norton. The single connected with small town Canadian crowds from Portage La Prairie, MB to Sioux Lookout, ON, who found a distinct pride in calling home-grown talent like Expedition to Earth their own. A spat with an agent cuts this leg of the odyssey short. A full album never materializes, and Expedition to Earth splinters, turning to cosmic dust blown apart by the prairie winds.
It’s the global village of the internet, 2016. Norton’s wife, maybe on a hunch, maybe out of boredom, discovers an original edition, orange labeled copy of Expedition To Earth’s only single sells in an online auction for over $800. The next time a similar copy of the single hits the eBay listings, it goes for over $1000. Time time time catches up with Norton, and the journey resumes, this time under the name Expedition Back to Earth.
“I have no delusions about being a rock star,” Norton said when talking to the CBC about returning to the studio to make a new record due out later this fall. “I don’t want to be. I never did. I just have some stories and if people are interested then — fine.” That his story started some 48 years ago, and is now moving into its second chapter suggests that Expedition to Earth’s narrative is far from being over. Like the ethereal female voice presciently whispers at the end of “Expedition to Earth”, “Examine your past and know your future.”