Archive for September, 2004


Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

F3 MAFEKING Manitoba

It is several weeks later, as I write this. It is getting late in the night, and I must be awake at 7 am so I can drive to Scott’s house, pick him up, onto the ferry, off to the airport in Vancouver, off to Calgary.

I had been approached, and asked to help the new guy across the road (on Protection Island) who had a recycled house brought in. He was pouring his foundation, I said, “Yes”, and then later I said, “Yes, I’ll be there at 8 am.”

I was on the early ferry, worked all day, and it was a race against the clock all day. I sweated almost as much as the gig where I had to play left-hand bass, (Halloween lower mainland a few years ago),and totally wratched my hands on rubber gloves and concrete. The day before, I slipped on some seaweed and cut my hands on barnacles as I hit the ground, and then after participating in the concrete spazz work-fest I tore a layer of skin off of about 10 different spots on my hands. Sore as hell. Bad bad bad. I can still play, but no better than before. I spend my life protecting my hands. This is the worst one yet.

My hands are STINGING. Can’t even tell how sore they are inside.

I am not going to continue the report until I get back next week, see what I recall about the remaining few shows and get this posted. Currently I am listening to the music of a girl that I gigged with about 10 years ago in Vancouver.

I remember sitting at Granville Island (in Vancouver) with her, and she was telling me her plans. I remember that her sister had gotten a job, saved, bought a car, set herself up, and Kelly was all alone with a ton of songs. It was a funny time. Everyone was soooooooooooo broke! How I would love to write a few cheques to all of us back then. Send them through a time machine post office. Not that I am so rich now, but wow, what a time we all had!

When I left school to go on the road, (had a cooking course) at 185 pounds, I came back a year (?) later at 129 pounds. Old friends said “what happened to you?” Bastards who had stayed in town, got jobs bought houses and now have multiple incomes. I bought fake leather pants, but I don’t think that they still fit.

Life is grand. We are having a great time!

Yes, a lot of musicians dropped out of the SCENE and there are still a few of us still doing this music stuff. I did my google search for Kelly and I am so happy to see her, and several others doing so well.

I am, of course, equally happy for those who did drop out of the music scene and are happy where they are. As long as someone is happy, contributing to the good of the world and not hurting anyone. What more can I wish for anyone?


We played in the Agribition building, which is a big arena; like open cement floor palace that needs a million people to make it look like a decent size crowd. A popular local cover band called Men Without Shame opened the show with very funky outfits, glasses and wigs. Heather, Doc and their friend’s daughter Sharron were there. They laughed their butts off at some our backstage goof-outs. The dressing room was a curtained off rook with a light inside. Frankie was jumping up really high (as he does often) and I was on a chair tapping his head like a basketball, so the silhouettes through the curtain looked pretty convincing, like Frankie really was a basketball.

This was the last night that Mike Pacholuk was to mix the front of house sound system. The whole gang all went to The Pump for the after-party for Mikey. Ra sang with the Poverty Plainsmen and friends who were jamming, I stayed until about 3am. It was a great party, open bar and tons of people, all friendly. The party went for hours, I walked across the highway to the hotel and saw my friends again several hours later when we met in the lobby, off to the airport, say good-bye to Mike, who was staying in the Prairies to be with his Dad.

F17 CALGARY Alberta

Tracy went out of town for a few days, so I had to set an alarm clock, wake up at 4am all by myself, drive to Scott’s house and pick him up to catch the first ferry to Vancouver. I even had to pack my own snacks. Pretty lame snack too, I tell you.

I had my regular 3 huge cups of herbal tea on the ferry, Scott drove through Vancouver, met lighting guy Gary Redcliffe at the airport, who took my keyboard out of the car and wheeled it to the check-in desk.

With all of the talk about Mike Pacholuk leaving, I forgot to mention that Mike Stober, the lighting guy left at the same time. Wow, total crew shift.

Paul Cloutier filled in as soundman, and told me to NEVER hurt my hands ever again. He said “Tell people that you can help them; you can supervise, you can tell people what to do, but you CAN’T USE YOUR HANDS!”

Once again, I breezed through airport security.

We played Calgary Alberta, ate at a Mongoli grill, which everyone liked, and I thought was a bit bland. Hung out all day with the guy who takes pictures for huge magazines Todd is a great fun guy, brilliant conversationalist, fits in wonderfully with the group, and a pleasure to have around. He has been a photographer all of his working life and has really been around.

He shot a ton of photos for a Macleans article (coming out soon), we hung out with Heather, our webmaster, and played in a huge hall at an old military base. It was an Octoberfest, complete with excellent OMMPAAPAA band, so we stayed up late jamming with Newfie accordian guys and being fools.

Another show in the small town of HANNA, ate cookies, watched the prairie sunset that looked like the world was on fire. Played a $125 per ticket gig, with bottomless drinks. It was a really old hotel, the kind I used to play at, and often stay at in the ‘80s. The backstage was a residential old upstairs situation with an old lady who didn’t say anything as you walk by and say HI. There was fresh fruit and cheese backstage, which was really nice. I watched the end of SCARFACE backstage by myself after the show, or the last bit of it anyway, (never seen it before, whereas SUBWAY STEVE has), before getting restless and insisting that I drive everyone home. The venue was still full when we left.

An old guy (not as old as he thinks he is) was talking about his prostrate cancer, how he didn’t want to get it fixed because it would make him less of a man, bummed me out unnecessarily, I don’t need to hear this, and later he freaked, broke bottles backstage and tried to get Craig all irate at the very end of the night. Doesn’t work. Craig doesn’t shake up very easily. Too level headed.

More to say, but let‘s wrap it up anyway. It is a sunny day, gotta go to the post office, submitting super groovy Music for a film thing. Wish me luck.

Great summer stories hey?

Oh ya! I finally got the heels fixed on my 1985 stage boots! Cost $36 to buy them at the west Edmonton mall in 1985, and $34 to fix them in 2004.

Wow, what we rock musos did to keep gigging in the ‘80s hey? I bought these excellent Peter Pan boots in 1985 and have worn them at every gig since, (except for some summer shows where you wear shorts.) The raunchy-looking fake heavy metal band earlier in this report had a singer (the guitar player’s girlfriend, fought all the time) who insisted that I get black boots to wear onstage to replace the white sneakers from my last group PASSION PLAY.

Google search produces NOTHING on these bands. Faded into time, except for this brief mention.

This was a group that I had put together, thus we had a black light in front of us. We were ultra-violet, ultra bizarre. Ra remembers this group. I could tell a million funny stories about this one, and often do.

If I was really smart, I would also fix the strap on my gig bag, so that I am healthy for more years on the road.

If you are still with me, and need some more fun, three of The Super Groovy videos are posted here, and over the winter, or sooner we will stick some more up there.

This is the stuff I work on in my time off from Trooper tours. If I need a break from that, I will volunteer to go to the neighbour’s construction site and tell people what to do.

Have a great fall, folks.

Thank you for going to our gigs.

Thank you for reading or scanning this text.

See you on the road, or sooner………..