Thursday, December 22, 2011

ROAD Stories: "The Moustache" in Montreal

In a rare moment of clarity, I remembered this story ...

Most of our "intro tapes" were a foray into our own special brand of insanity (ie left channel: Johnny Mann Singers doing "Baubles, Bangles and Beads, right channel: Napoleon XIV - "They're Coming To Take Me Away").

But in a rare occurrence, we played a Jeff Beck tune where we "intro taped" the 1st 15 secs of "El Becko", then came in live with the rest of the song at about 16 secs (...most nights), while our soundman faded the tape.

One time ... at band camp ...we were playing at "The Moustache" Club, across from the Forum, in Montreal and the place was packed with hundreds of rabid Canadians. This intro tape started the first set and Richard, our guitarist, normally came "shweeing" in at the 16 second mark. Picture lights, fog, big sound system, very exciting, impressive, "big rock show" stuff ...

Well that time, he was playing his Vantage guitar w/active electronics and the band came crashing in only to find Richard playing a guitar that sounded like a freaking banjo! The battery in his guitar had died ... and we had to finish the song posing as the Mahavishnu Return to Oak Ridge Boys Orchestra. Guess what else? No spare 9V batteries on our truck, in an "english-speaking, non-english-speaking country"!

Our main man, Rikk Feulner, spent the next 30 minutes running up and down St. Catherine Street in -20 degree weather, trying to find a store open at 11pm that sold batteries, while the rest of us tested our reflexes participating, as targets, in the annual Canadian "Hurling of the Holy Brador Bottle" festival. Imagine all the guitar lines in this tune proudly presented on banjo ... classic!

Years later, Rikk would go on to emit this pearl of wisdom, "Canadians ... they look like us, they sound like us ... they're not us".

Currently, we all have day jobs ...