” I love the VCR. You put in the tape, relax and enjoy it right until the end.”
– Tyson, in response to watching “The Jackal” on VHS
Sunday, March 11, Nelson
We wake up at 9:00 am and Handsome Anthony gets a hold of our “music-rope,” the tiny, fragile wire attached to our tape-deck adapter which makes music, other than randomly broadcasted scratchy soft jazz, marching band and country stations, happen. They are also $15.00 and difficult to find these days. Anthony is a hit machine and a pop-culture guru, therefore we listen to the new greats by Carly Rae Jepsen, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Marianas Trench, Hedley. And yes, of course, even Ke$ha. There is a brief dude-moment where we all talk about how cool it would be to “meet” Ke$ha and be any member of a backing band for a pop-star. Silence follows, and we are ashamed for a minute. It passes.
We make the usual stops when we enter the West Kootenays, the Rock Creek deli for snacks, the Copper Eagle in Greenwood for coffee, Grand Forks for fuel. The scenery is beautiful, frozen and serene, and particularly nostalgic for me, as I grew up in the area, a constant reminder of my old home and why I remember where I’m from and have the friends I have. To our dismay, we find that the Grand Forks Hotel, an ancient Doukhobour landmark in the area, had burned down only 2 weeks prior to us passing through. This makes me sad, a part of my heritage destroyed. If anyone is familiar with what borscht is, they made the best of the best. No question. It is a sad day. Cue “D.I.N.O.S.A.U.R.” by Ke$ha to lighten the mood.
We arrive at my parent’s house, a lovely spot located an equal distance between Backwater Station (Castlegar) and the peaceful monument of Nelson. You guessed it, in the middle of nowhere, which means amazing coffee provided by my Mother and a free rehearsal space provided by my Father in his garage with no neighbours to disturb. I grab extension cords and space heaters from the shop, taking comfort in the fact that they are still where I remember them. “Just like old times, eh bud?” I ask Dan. Dan is so exhausted at this point, as are we all, he simply replies “I’m into it.” Bless his heart, and his effortless catch-phrasing abilities.
We rehearse for a couple hours and head into Nelson, noting subtle changes in the passing scenery, clear-cuts, new buildings, old buildings torn down, the ever-flourishing Chahko Mika Mall with it’s expanded liquor store, the over-run A&W, where Dan worked as manager for years and currently claims they were a test-restaurant for new products, the giant all-year-round Santa Clause meet’n’greet display, cruelly fenced-off in view of the children is also something I look forward to. The memories Dan and I have here, much like my constant run-on sentences, just kind of invade our thoughts in no particular order and overwhelm us to no end. We will be seeing our old friends and haunts and playing a show in our home-town tonight, something we have wanted to do for so long, but somehow just never got around to it. Excitement.
We arrive at The Royal on Baker Street and are greeted by a lovely and excellent sound-tech named Jen, who makes the recently renovated room in The Royal sound like magic. It is a different bar then we remember. No more tiny stage crammed in the corner of the room, less tables and chairs, no more smoking room, which is something we always got a kick out of, and cancer from. I can’t believe they still exist in places? Instead there is a giant stage and dance-floor, making the venue more geared towards live music than a restaurant, and they still make incredible food. Dan’s mom and dad arrive while we are sound-checking, and it is great to see them. Dans dad, our biggest most enthusiastic fan, is even wearing an old school “Destined For Nothing” t-shirt, you know, the one with the bleeding nautical star? If you’re not familiar with Destined For Nothing, well, that’s a story best told one day in person.
The show is wonderful and it is great to see all of our old friends and family. My mom and dad, aunts and uncles, even my high school friends Robyn and Julian show up, driving 3 hours from Kimberly just for the show. Our old friends and band-mates. Nigel and Chris, who at one point with Dan and I, made up the awesome emo-power-house that was “Accident Scene,” also come and heckle us the entire time. It is great, a tremendous night, followed by a short late-night hang at the local karaoke bar, Finley’s, where we drink these awesome 1oz glasses of hard alcohol quickly. I think they are called shots, and we make a game of this, seeing how many of these we can inhale in an hour before the bar closes, and as we do more and more, the temptation to go up and sing “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “Smoke on the water,” or Dan calls it now, “Slow-talkin’ Walter,” a common misinterpretation of the lyrics, as a group grows stronger and stronger. We witness an awesome (debatable) rendition of “Thunderstruck” in which we cheer loudly. Cody stays sober to drive us back to my mom and dad’s in the middle of nowhere, where we hibernate well into the next morning.
Here’s an idea of what we were up against at the Karaoke bar. Thunderstruck, definitely.