Thursday 19 November 2009

A Van Halen Christmas

It is a little early for Christmas, but all these commercials and jingles in the malls reminded me of how my buddy French got involved one year.

French had a plan brewing. There was a Christmas themed talent show coming up soon at our High School. The principal, George Stackhouse, knew that French could be a bit of a wild child; so George hold French that he could play in the show as long as he played a Christmas song. So French practiced "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" with his band (Godzilla and the Liquid Sound Dragons). This was not the band's usual material. But G-LSD worked hard. This was their roster: French on guitar, Sweaty on rhythm, Pancake on drums, and Turkey on Bass.

I hung out with the lads , but they wouldn't say anything more about their plan. French told them all not to drink before the show (right after the show French downed a Mickey of rye in the front foyer of the school).

The day of the show came - the lads ripped into the tune...for a the bridge French unleashed his plan. He had learned Eruption by Van Halen note by note. He wailed it hard. French started in slow, but he went crazy. The crowd was loving it - they all rose to their feet and started to stomp and stand on their chairs. After about a second Stackhouse was trying to get to the stage. The gym only had stackable chairs. They all went flying back and flying through the air smashing against the basketball backboards. Almost 800 fans/students rushed the stage. French started to play one handed and with the other hand he pounded his amp up and down against the stage. Next he started to rub his Gibson SG up and down on the amp. The amp was cracking and booming. Turkey just keep the solid thrums of his bass coming. Pancake broke his sticks and then ripped off his shirt and played with his hands. His hand split open - blood sprayed out! Sweaty laughed and laughed. It was a mad scene.

Stackhouse cut the power to the stage and the crowd streamed out - taking the band with them. Stackhouse kept yelling: " You're suspended...You're all suspended!"

Good thing French was the last act of the show.

Tuesday 10 November 2009


Somedays, many days, I want to strum my flat-top and make my fingers bleed, or at least, sting and flatten out. I gotta be able to feel 'em throb.
I'm no gifted musician, but it is bliss bomb to play some seriously great songs, and sing 'em loud. Shake my house, room, desk, make sh*t fall of my shelves - with boot stomps, body shakes, head-bobbing, eye closing passion.
I found some chords of songs that I love - Joel Plaskett, Jon Foreman are today's guests in my hootenanny.
There are songs that can just make ya cry. I'm no pro - nobody needs to hear me perform, but I'm my concert in this house.
There are no records, tours, or mp3s on the way, but I know I'm doing it right if I'm sweating, tired, voice hurts, and low rumbles make things tumble down. If my guitar is cracking, and wearing away I'm playing the song just right.
Friends: go guitaring. - It is good.

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Sweaty Bacon

French had left for college, and Sweaty was pretty bored without his big bro around. So Sweaty would ring my bell to see what I was up to. Everyone did this, but Sweaty would approach it differently. For example, one day he shows up and "calls on me" and says: "I have bacon". Bacon nice! So we followed this old cow track down to the river and set up a campfire. Sweaty kept a black frying pan up in a tree down by this favourite spot. We cooked this bacon up. It was more than a kilo of Canadian or peameal bacon. I didn't ask where he got it, but it sure was nice. The sun was going down slowly, the smoke was floating out over the marshy river, a couple of ducks were swimming out in the bay...sublime.

Another time Sweaty showed up again and said: "There was a party at the locks last night." I was like: "Oh yeah?" I was not too concerned about a past tense party. He then explained that there were a tonne of empties and we could make some serious beer money. We collected over 300 empties and brought them back. French was in town so he bought us some beers. All three of us wandered down to the river, stoked the fire, cooked up more bacon and told some stories. We kept the beers chilled in the river. French said: "We gotta throw a line in here some day." Next time out we were frying perch in a whack of butter and chives.

I wonder if that frying pan is still up that tree.