If you haven’t met Saxophone Freddie up in Dawson City, you should. He is, after all, the first face you see when you fly into Whitehorse — if you enter through the new side of the airport. There is a huge photo of him playing… you’ve got it, the saxophone.
When Fred was in Grade 9 he had a crush on an alto sax player at his school. He started playing the saxophone and diligently practiced over the summer so he’d have the opportunity to sit next to her in band class. I’d like to think it worked out in his favour but a lady never asks and a gentleman never tells. It certainly worked for all of us up North though, because we now have the glorious music of Mr. Osson.
Frédérique Osson may hail from Montreal, but he has been a bona fide Yukoner since 2001. That year, his roomie from Peterborough, Steph Penrose (née Williams), moved to Dawson. Fred went up to visit her, left to sail the Caribbean (with a picture of the Tombstone mountains in his pocket), and then went back to Dawson to stay.
Freddie was a constant member of the Midnight Sun Hotel Soul Sunday band from 2003 to 2014. In 2004, I joined the band and we called ourselves Big Daddy Moses & the Monday Morning Revelations. That was my first band ever. We would often play the arcade game Bubble Bobble with Mike Pett during our intermissions. It was during this time that we both realized that gin and soda is the best drink ever.
The Midnight Sun Hotel closed in 2014 and with it Dawson City lost two music venues.
As a history buff/information sponge, Freddie is living his dream. He has been a happy employee of Parks Canada as a heritage interpreter since 2006. He gets to dress all dapperlike and recite Robert Service poetry and other Yukon nuggets to tourists all the daylong. He has a “deep and abiding passion” for all things historical.
Fred also has a great love for the band Ween and has been involved in many Ween Fests over the years, playing weird, amazing tracks for the people with World Famous in the Yukon veteran, Ben Mahony. Please listen to Flutes of the Chi when you finish reading this. You won’t be sorry for long.
Saxophone Freddie has a degree in biochemistry and has a very pretty and talented girlfriend who is the singer of the epic rock band, Snake Face, and is well versed in the world of animal husbandry.
Bless the long years of our friendship.