End of 2009

16) So we gotta drive…………..

(…written in the van, early afternoon in the Kootneys………..)

We are going down hill now, highway, in the snow storm, this is freaky. This kinda stuff never used to bother me. It is not like I have never been through a snow storm on the road before, a million times. I dunno.

Update: snow stopped, and we stopped, in Creston. Coffee shop, a granola bar with almonds and cranberries, the Something Buffalo Coffee House, across from the Big Foot Lounge, by the Sleeping Sasquatch……man, these little towns have become so funky and cool.
ZZ Top could have gone unnoticed at this cafe, next to the other beard guys.

Ok, our Calgary gig is packed already,
and we are on in 6 hours……..hope this next flight is not cancelled too.

17) ….but only to the next airport.

(…written on a Central Mountain Air Flight………..)

Now, we are on a really small narrow cute plane, now flying towards Calgary, with a 4-hour waiting time to join the 5000 waiting at the Telus Convention Center. I predict a wild crowd tonight. The place has been packed since noon, (we are told) and we are on at, what 11pm, or something. If people go out, the cops let more fresh people in. This is The Grey Cup party.

OK there is the landing gear, I should put this away…….

(…written in the hotel in Calgary….before the gig…….)

We have almost an hour in this new hotel, and off to find the venue. I am going to read these notes so far and clean them up a bit………

(…written in the hotel in Calgary…….after the gig….)

We circle some blocks, get directed to the loading bay and walked through a city block labyrinth of underground hallways. Presented with Saskatchewan Roughriders jerseys, (thank you !)..we are ready to hit the concert stage, facing a sea of green sports fans, the craziest in the world. Chanting, hat throwing…..

You know what thousands of people cheering sounds like…loud, and I love it…..by the end of the night, with friends backstage (including the most excellent comedy writer Harry Dupe) I was feeling it…….bagged. All my energy was spent onstage.

I feel that it was the uncertainty of the day that caused the run down, I mean, we have tons of long travel days……we do two shows in different towns in the summer….but this travel day was kinda heavy…….and now arriving at the hotel, 2am…….I drove the band back to the hotel again and went by myself to park the huge new SUV. It took me a while to figure out how to turn the lights off on this spaceship, and to deal with how awesome the stereo sounded.

(…written in the hotel in Calgary…..in the lobby……)

18) My early morning grumppy spazz…..

I text Scott, from my room, to see if our lobby call, leave time, is for 5am or 5:30. I can not really go to sleep until I know. Well, I have the truck keys, not like they are going to leave without me. That is 2am attitude logic.

We always set a leave time at the end of every gig, or at least text each other with a leave time. I got left out this time ‘cause I was out parking the truck, I guess.

I guess Scott was asleep already, at 2 am, and did not get my texts, so here it is 5am, the alarm went off 3 hours into a disturbing dream. What should I do now?

Not much I can do, other than wake someone up and ask them when I am supposed to wake up.
So I get dressed, bring my stuff to the lobby and wait for everyone, and here I sit now, by a beautiful gas fire, with really loud soft jazz over my head.

6:30 and the rest of the band arrives. No, Scott did not get my texts ‘cause I am using an old phone and he has a new number now. Technology. Bullshit. You spent $300 replacing one part of a broken electric car window. We had a ‘fridge from 1930 that still worked in the ‘80s.

Those are my grumpy thoughts after 3 hours sleep.

(…written in the van going to the Calgary Airport………..)

So really, my options in retrieving leave-time information are to actually phone someone, or knock on someone’s door, risking waking them up……like the old days….or I could get an iPhone, I am the only guy in the band without one………I am also the only guy in the band that buys a new synth every year…….or I could switch to the newer cell phone that Scott just gave me.

Yes, this is my brain on not much sleep.
Yesterday was a bit of a burn.

I know very well that this is all really stupid, and a terrible way to end this road report, and that I really should delete this last section. I can rant that modern stuff is all useless……but I did enjoy having this little notebook in the bathroom listening to Gino Vinelli
“It hurts to be in loooove…”…………youtube, stuff we didn’t even dream about to discuss at teenage stoner parties in the ’70s. Amazing.

19) let’s try GOOD MORNING !!!!!!!!

(…written in the Calgary airport, past the security gates……….)

Yes, let’s try this again.
It is a beautiful morning.
I met up with the guys, Scott navigated the huge SUV to the airport, passed the gas station that was still closed…. and boarded a 3-week old jet; the newest one in the fleet. Clean, smooth…I love new stuff !!!!!!! The Prairie sunrise was stunning. I even ran into the drummer from Chilliwack at the terminal.

A great early flight gets us home early.
And I sit here by the new little airplane window, with no water vapor, no scratches…Craig in the aisle seat, his 2 computers going on the other 2 fold-out trays…….and in 2 minutes he had answered all of my PC questions, set-up my machine and made me confident to run this new computer safely. For this I am thankful.

I think we all played well on this trip as well. Clayton in particular, makes us sound like a record, like a live album. I am astounded at how tight he and Scott are sometimes. Other than that, it is just one big groove that we all settle into. No problem getting into the zone. These are the good times.

(…written on the B.C. Ferry ride back home to Nanaimo………..)

We mildly said Merry Christmas to each other as we waited for the special baggage to unload all the instrument and monitor cases at the Vancouver Airport. I grabbed my keyboard and Scott’s bass as he went to get the Izuzu Trooper, and the crew loaded everything into the van that Joe arrived with. Scott and I took off to catch the 10:15 am ferry back to the Island, and got hung-up in the ferry Terminal lobby waiting for the Chinese food place to open. You could see all the food but couldn’t get any, yet.

I always just get a nice bowl of rice, ‘cause I love rice, and as soon as we sat down to eat, I said “hey doesn’t the ferry go in 5 minutes.” We looked out the window and the cars were all driving on already, so by the time we walked across the parking lot, the truck was standing alone, with a BC Ferry guy parked next to it. So we got in the truck and happily we didn’t miss this ferry. It would have been totally our fault. I think we are all a bit tired, that was a pretty full weekend.

There is an old lady snoring on the ferry here, and another old gal just asked me if that was my cell phone making that noise. Didn’t she read earlier where cell phones don’t all work on the ferry? Sounds more like a big cat. I can’t believe how many people are passed out here, Sunday, at 11am. We have bearded touque-hippies, cowboys, Indians, two Elvis tribute artists, a plethora of elderly…………..I slept on the last ferry back, and woke up so stiff I had to use my arms to get myself standing up again. Richard said that he thought he was going to have to call a paramedic for himself. These ships are not built to sleep on. Not like the old ones with the big McDonalds orange benches, which were also pretty cheesy at the time.

I don’t expect to go home to any emergencies, other than 2 kids (international students) need to be picked up at the ferry sometime today. One of the students has a drivers licence, and as long as he is OK with doing some of that, he can use the car too. Why not hey. As long as I can get up to the pool or over to the Island. That is my plan for the rest of the month.

According to Smitty, this was the most difficult Trooper tour ever assembled, between himself and Annie the travel agent……….and for only 2 shows. That is why the crew had to drive to those two shows, leaving after the gig to pull-it off. Between 3 airlines, it was not possible to do this smoothly. The details are far too nasty to publish here, and I can not follow it anyway.

20) ……………..thank you………

My closing thoughts:
———Happy first day of Advent…….

———Ra found it strange to see a young person talking on a payphone,
at the airport, another airport………

———And I never did stop singing the soprano vocal solo from Harry Chapin’s Taxi
Baby’s so high that she’s skying,
Yes she’s flying, afraid to fall.
I’ll tell you why baby’s crying,
Cause she’s dying, aren’t we all.

You know, the ’70s could be brutal.

And now we get to watch singing parrots on Youtube,
any time of the day. Life is good.

Thank God for Canadian rock and roll, hey.
———And Thank You
for reading this
and for going to our shows

———–I am going to get some sleep now……….


end of 2009

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