TRANSGRESSION TRAIL 2010, dr.joeyonly
Read for yourself how I was barred from the bar in Halifax, how a bar owner in Quebec had his head split open by bikers, how a poser band in Toronto tried to fight us, how I got oral herpes in Winnipeg and a whole lot more…all true tour stories…
OCTOBER29-CALGARY ALBERTA-THE PALOMINO
We (Leah, Krish the Cat and I) left Vancouver the day before with mandolin player Dave Soehner, stayed at Neskie Manuals house on the Neskonlith Reserve and then made way for Calgary Alberta which we got to just in time to play the happy hour gig. Our bass player that night was Spider Bishop best known for his 1000 gigs with Tim Hus. With no rehearsals we called keys out to Spider and he stayed right with us the whole way rockin out three sweet sets and collecting our money. We love the Palomino because no matter how big the crowd or how terrible we sound we can always count on them for an easy payout…though we’ve done 30 shows in that bar and a lot of them have been proffitable for the bar. There is nowhere else in Cowtown we need to play, we get all we need at the Palomino. Afterward we crashed at Brooke Wylie’s house and struck out for Brandon Manitoba first thing in the morning.
OCTOBER30-BRANDON MANITOBA-CAMPUS PUB
Finding the gig was difficult. I have found myself hating campus gigs cause the Pubs are always in the weirdest places. Nonetheless we got there and did our gig. There was a nice girl who played upright bass who jumped on for half the show which was put on by the Brandon Folk Festival Society as a Halloween gig. It wasn’t that well attended but we had a lot of fun, it was also our first time hanging out in temperatures below -10. The mascat (Krish) came in and hung out on a chair for the whole show near the merch table. His presence at the merch table instantly boosted our sales to young women…what a brilliant gimmick!
OCOBTER31-THUNDER BAY ONTARIO-THE APPOLLO
It was Halloween but it was Sunday night when we played to our smallest crowd of the entire tour. There was three people in the audience, plus the bar owner and the sound guy. Strangely it was the best that the three of us sounded the whole trip and for a place to stay and a meal it was worth the stop in the void of northern Ontario. The unfortunate part was the speed limit. You drive through BC and the limit is 100, then the prairies allow you to go 110 until you hit the Ontario border which varies between 80-90. It is impossible to drive that slow after being free to go as fast as the van will go. The Kenora OPP know this and wait for guys like Dave Soehner to rip past town where he got our first ticket of the tour and lost 3 demerit points.
THE DRIVE THROUGH NORTHERN ONTARIO
Driving through northern Ontario is hair raising! The ball broke off the trailer hitch and the tongue ground itself into an un-useable form. The good news was there’s 1000km of wilderness in Northern Ontario and this near disaster happened in a 70kmh zone coming in to Terrace Bay which has a NAPA auto-parts. After a two hour delay we were able to get back on the road with a jimmied up trailer hitch, they didn’t have the right size of gear but Soehner rigged it up to work regardless. That got us to Leah’s parents in Sudbury and two days after that we got to Peterborough Ontario where we played a small gig and met up with Scott Dunbar the One Man Band…he opened all our shows up for the next few weeks. We departed to my mothers house north of Madoc after the show and began a week long process of putting together a show.
NOVEMBER5-TRENTON ONTARIO-THE CELTIC PUB
Our only show for the next week was in Trenton Ontario with old friends Liqourbox opening the show up. We’d booked the Celtic Pub because my Uncle Jack had been the bar-tender there for a long time, however the week before the owner accused him of stealing and he quit the job because of his pride. My whole family on mom’s side came out to the gig and Uncle Jack eventually showed up quite late…he gathered up his courage at the strip club for six or seven hours and the night was on. Liqourbox rocked it and my whole family went nuts dancing. Landon stood in and played double bass for my show as he remembered most of the songs since my tour with Liqourbox in April 2009. It was also my cousin Jason’s birthday so the party was on in a hard way. So many rounds of drinks came our way!!
After the gig we went to a cottage on Moira Lake Mom and Tom had rented at a discount because they didn’t want a huge crowd in their little house in the woods. There’s a reason they moved so far away from everything in the world and that’s because they need their peace. So we gladly stayed down at the cottage which is owned by Member of Parliament Daryl Kramp, a close friend of the family…so close that my step dad was the pallbearer at his mothers funeral. Unfortunately Daryl is in the Conservative Party and I don’t think he is aware that we have entire songs dedicated to the coming demise of Stephen Harper! At the cottage we rehearsed and welcomed Jamie Guitar who played bass for the rest of the tour and Pat Philips who was going to be our drummer but only did one show. After the majority of a week of practicing we got the show together and hit the road.
Before we left Hastings County we took our last night off and went to my Uncle Gary’s for supper and visited with my Opa who lives up the road. Opa was a church organist for 60 years and was reputed as the best accordion player around back in the day, though I had never seen him play. Once we arrived and he heard Scott had an accordion the party was on. He fed us beer and whipped out his accordion and sang rockin waltzes in Dutch with a smile on his face like I had never seen before. Scott was blown away by his musical knowledge and ate it up…then thanked Opa about twenty times for the lessons. What a party on the farm that was. The next morning we went over the hill to Uncle Franks and looked at his professional Maple Syrup operation before he fed us pancakes and give us a litre of the good stuff for the road.
NOVEMBER11-ELMIRA ONTARIO-ELMIRA CENTRAL TAVERN
Soehner got us a great gig at the Central Tavern which surprised us when every last seat got filled up. It was the only gig Pat Philips played with us and we sounded amazing with the Bad Bong Water Boys (Soehners band) opening the show! People got stupidly drunk in that bar and we didn’t behave much differently…afterward we crashed at Soehners parents house which became our operating base for most of the next week. My teenage-hood friends Mark and Carrie came to the show and invited us all over for supper the next night.
NOVEMBER12-GUELPH ONTARIO-SOME CHURCH
The unfortunate reality of Mark and Carrie is that they appear to be directionally challenged…the map they drew us to get to their house had everything upside-down, backwards and dyslexic to the point that it took us 1.5 hours to find their new house…in a town I know my way around pretty good. Nonetheless we arrived and discovered the gig was not at the Unitarian Church, as it was the year before…it was at the United Church. Thankfully Mark and Carrie drew us a map to the United Church…but unfortunately it was completely fucked up…so with the help of God we found the gig. Pat Philips was not so lucky to have God on his side and he was quite upset…as were the boys we had coming to open the show up. There wasn’t a big crowd their either but we accepted it as our last rehearsal for the real gigs. It was nice that it was in a church so that Mark and Carrie’s kids could come and see us play. It was also the night we tried something completely different for rhythm.
We took Scott Dunbar off of the accordion and used his one man band set up so that he had a suit-case with a bass kick, chains on his left leg which stomped on a metal tray, a washboard and some bells and whistles. Once he got rippin on that the combination of Leah’s tambourine and Jamie Guitars (Jimbobs) slap bass style…you barely noticed the lack of drums. This became our setup for the rest of tour!
NOVEMBER13-KITCHENER ONTARIO-THE BOATHOUSE
That Saturday morning we all struck out for the farmers market in Waterloo which is mind-bogglingly huge. In 30 minutes we attracted a huge crowd and made over $150. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay long as Leah’s parents were in town visiting her family and we had lunch plans at a Mennonite Smorgasborg! That was delicious and fun! We went back to the Farmers Market and met the boys afterward who’d kept busking but didn’t have the financial success we enjoyed as a full unit. At the Market Leah purchased my Christmas present which was an RBK Replica Leafs Jersey with Phil Kessels numbers on the back. Then we went to a friend of Soehners who builds instruments, Scotty and Leah both picked up home-made mandolins at thievery prices!
By the time we got to the Boathouse for the gig we’d already had at least six beer each. The whole tour was a beer drinking marathon. The show was sold out and a lot of people were turned away. It was a lot different than my first show at the Boathouse in 2006 with Rae Spoon…this time people really paid attention. We did two sets, the first was a little calmer and folkier as Leah’s whole family was in attendance. It was her mothers first time EVER in a bar after 59 years! They left after the first set and then our rowdiest, nastiest songs full of cursing and boozing came out…the crowd lost it. I also had a cousin in attendance and was able to party with him…so that was nice. Mark and Carrie also came, it was their third show in a row which made me feel like the Grateful Dead. My best friend John Gils and his wife Jen also came and we spent the next day at Carrie and Mark’s playing video games and street hockey.
The last time I was at the Boathouse I had asked the owner Kevin if anyone was dumb enough to jump in the stagnant pond that the bar was built around. He told me that these guys had dared a dude to go in, which he did, only to sink up to his neck in goose-shit. As we were leaving BC a few weeks before that I was telling Soehner this story and he started laughing out loud…’yeah I know the story, I was the guy who paid that fool $25 to jump in.’ What a small country. The point of the story is, don’t jump in stagnant ponds in the middle of a big city like Kitchener!
NOVEMBER15-PETERBOROUGH ONTARIO-FORGOT THE BARS NAME
It used to be called the Rusty Snail…but the name doesn’t matter. Scott Dunbar did a great opening set, we kicked it and the night was rocking! Then Knifehammer closed the show with a totally inspiring set! The plan was that we were all going to go party at Jason Plouffe’s house afterward which was two blocks from the bar. Leah decided to drive the van over and park at his place even though she’s had a lot to drink…it was only two blocks. Unbeknownst to her a headlight went out and it took the Peterborough City Police twenty seconds to see her and pull her over. I was walking up the road when I seen that she was pulled over. I was panicking, I figured she was going to jail for absolute sure. Yet somehow, she turned on the charm and got a warning to replace the headlight before she left town. One show proved to the cops the next day that she had completed their request they ripped the ticket up! During all this we had lunch with Troy Boy Thompson, the singer of my first band the Persecuted, then hit the road.
NOVEMBER16-CAMBRIDGE ONTARIO-THE GROOVE KITCHEN
Tuesdays are usually the jam night at the Groove Kitchen…so we had to allow people to jam. That was fine, the owner threw pitchers of beer on our table and a stack of gourmet food. We only played for 45 mins and got paid in full, then partied with all the locals. There was some strange tension between Scotty and I that was brewing all trip which we sorted out that night once and for all…from there on in we were all on the same page!
NOVEMBER17-TORONTO ONTARIO-HARD LUCK BAR
We were late leaving town, we had a flat tire to fix and then the cat pissed on Soehner’s sleeping bag before we left town. On our way out of Elmira for the last time a crazy bastard kept cutting us off and trying to run us off the road. He had a bumper sticker that said ‘Graduate from the University of Road Rage’ which helped me finish writing my new song called ‘Sixteen Lanes of Douchebags on the Highway 401’.
We got to the gig and the bar filled up pretty nice. The opening band was called Propane Propane and it was obvious they hadn’t been a band for very long. Their harmonies didn’t harmonize, they had three electric guitars which played the same licks and the songs were sort of like an emo-country. They were downtown Toronto folks all wearing Hank III and Iron Maiden shirts. But they had a couple of songs that were coming from the right place, especially this one about Bob Probert. When we got to rocking I dedicated Honky Tonky Hockey to them and made the mistake of saying a bit too much.
‘You guys are an alright band, you just got to buckle down and rehearse some more and you’ll be right there, this song is for you.’
Now to me saying you got to rehearse is just an obvious statement that all professionals should accept. But Propane Propane seem to think that their hair styles and hip clothing should be enough to make them a good band. They were really offended and started talking amongst themselves angrily while we continued to play. Now you could tell me I have to rehearse more and you could tell Mats Sundin he’s got to train harder…but you can’t tell a Toronto Indie band nothing!
Their lead singer grabbed the mic and told me to shut the fuck up! So without hesitation I walked off the stage and said SHOWS OVER. Next thing I knew they were all in the green room shouting and swearing at us until I nearly lost it and said, ‘we dedicated two fucking songs to you guys. Who are you to think you don’t need to rehearse! The truth hurts! You do need to fuckin practice, you aren’t a country band!’
Then I told them they all better leave the green room because we’ve had it with being nice. Now if they had been an Edmonton or Winnipeg band the fight would have been on…but Torontonians aren’t as tough as they like to pretend and once all my band stood up to them they suddenly wanted to shake hands and make up. Five minutes later there wasn’t a trace of them to be found in the bar.
We have attitude because we are good at what we do. For that reason we cancelled our Ottawa show the next night. I’d booked the Rainbow 9 months in advance…at some point they decided that their Thursdays were to be Reggae Nights and asked us if we would play earlier in the night…we agreed to this. But then some corporate types rented the bar out and we were told we’d have to go on between the Reggae Bands sets. NO FUCKIN WAY! She appologized and said maybe next time we’ll work it out better, and I said ‘there won’t be a next time’. So there was no gig to be had that night.
NOVEMBER19-ST.HYACINTHE QUEBEC-BAR LE TRASH
We were originally going to do this gig with Joel Kaiser but his guitarist was thrown out of the bar and he decided they would never play there again. Somehow that was misconstrued into a rumour that there was no show. So we got there and Marc Andre was surprised we arrived and relayed to us that everyone in town made different plans. This enfuriated me but we decided to play any way. At this point my cousin Dean had joined the tour as roadie like he had done all summer and was also working the door. These two guys refused to pay him and started acting tough on him yet he didn’t back down. A few minutes later, while we were playing, the same two guys followed the bar owner Marc Andre into the bathroom and smashed his head open with a steel pipe.
As I am a health care worker of sorts I held Marc Andre’s head together while the ambulance and police came and eventually took over. The show was over at this point and Dean gave witness statements to the cops who couldn’t speak english at all. Meanwhile our cat, who had been hanging out in the bar, sat with the police the whole time and kept them company. So the drug turf wars carry on in Quebec.
NOVEMBER20-MONTREAL QUEBEC-HEMISPHERE LA GAUCHE
Finaly came one of those days you spend your life dreaming about when you are an indie musician. I would have been happy if all that happened that day was we went to Schwartz on St.Laurent for a real Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich…but the goodness didn’t end there. We had a gig at a hot club with Joel Kaiser and the Devils Own and our pals Liqourbox opening the show! It was Saturday night, the Leafs were in town getting clobbered by the Habs and all the cool kids came out to the show at a great club. This was the night where I realized that all the good turnouts we been having weren’t a fluke…that people were coming to our shows to see us and it wasn’t going to change.
The best part for me was that so many people I loved were there. My mom and her sisters plan a weekend every year to a big city, get hotels and go shopping for Christmas. This year they picked Montreal long before they realized I would be playing there. They all arrived and got to see a totally ripping show, we were hot and the crowd was big and hungry. A couple of my aunts are pretty square and had never witnessed a mosh pit before.
Afterward my Aunt Karen was saying,’I couldn’t believe it. The kids were all running into eachother and knocking each other hard. But then, one guy fell down and everyone stopped and picked him back up. I couldn’t believe it!’
What I couldn’t believe was that all three bands got paid really well, and Scott Dunbar sold a crazy amount of CD’s after his short opening set. Then we went to a little bar and the local IWW members bought us lots of beers. It was an intensely fun affair, adding to it was that my friends Rachelle and Myles (from Peterborough) both happened to be there that weekend and were staying at my wonderful friend Amy Millers house around the corner. Rachelle is a food security activist and Myles does all my merch. The next morning she made an amazing breakfast!
After the show Leah also blew a tire when she came to close to the curb and hit it while parking. Luckily there was a Canadian Tire just around the corner. So we got all that dealt with and then enjoyed a couple days off.
Dean and Leah and I went all the way back to Madoc Ontario dropping Jimbob off at his place in Gatineau on the way. Dean and I took my cousin Jason up to the hunting camp for a night…on our way through the bush we came across the scene of mass devastation where a plough wind (similar to a tornado cept not spinning) had destroyed dozens of hectares of forest and ripped the old cabin at the firetower lookout off its foundations and threw it some distance! The fog was so thick that day in the bush that when we went off the trail for a ways we had a really hard time finding our way back…it was getting dark and it seemed like we would have to spend a night in the bush when we managed to find the trail right at the last possible moment before it would be to dark to navigate. Close call there.
NOVEMBER23-SHERBROOKE QUEBEC-BAR LE MAGOG
Leaving Madoc we drove straight to the most southern tip of western Quebec and had a great gig at Bar Le Magog! We nearly left thinking the bar wasn’t open only to realize later that the door in was behind the bar and the front was only a front. We went back to Montreal and stayed at Amy Miller and Bobins place again, then had the next day off which we used finding more Montreal Smoked Meat and Poutine.
NOVEMBER25-QUEBEC CITY-BAR LE SCANNER
The gig was a lot of fun in Quebec City. What impressed me the most though was the city itself. Driving in on the 40 I seen Quebec City for the first time with new eyes. I had never played there before and had only driven through and stopped in a few times. This time we came in along the north shore and I was awestruck at the city, the mountains, the river…the whole works. I realized that Quebec City is by far the most scenic city in all of Canada.
What shocks me though is how out west most bars feed you and give you a place to stay. That is just not the case in eastern Canada. Luckily some nice young guys at the bar took us in for the night, but we had a spotty nights sleep at best. The next morning we awoke to a snowstorm, it was a white-out! We had to drive to Moncton through terrible conditions and it took us all day long. Luckily Jimbob is a machine behind the wheel and we got to Moncton safe and sound.
NOVEMBER26-MONCTON NEW BRUNSWICK-PARAMOUNT LOUNGE
Unfortunately the Paramount Lounge is connected to an even bigger bar which had a TOOL cover band rocking the place up. I never liked Tool and this didn’t help win me over. The promoter made no effort to make sure we had a place to stay so again we had to beg the audience for help. The crowd of 20 was really enthusiastic though so it helped. The opening band were these kids from PEI who left the one guys wife behind to try and squeeze money out of us. After driving through a blizzard and having a band on the bill that wasn’t supposed to play in the first place, we didn’t feel very generous. What didn’t help their case either was that this opening band didn’t start till half an hour after they were supposed to…and then they play 40 minutes longer than they were supposed to. I consider it professional to start on time and play the length of set you are asked to. So we gave them nothing and that made for a difficult scene.
NOVEMBER27-HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA-REFLECTIONS CABARET
The same promoter who set up our kinda lame show in Moncton had hooked this show up too. We found out during supper time that the bar we were to play in was voted best gay bar in Halifax. Then when we came in to set up the manager asked me for two peices of ID, health cards don’t count. Well I didn’t have two peices of photo ID and he told me I had to leave. I was pretty shocked but no ammount of reasoning with him changed his tune. We were told that if Scott Dunbar did a set we could have the door. So I sat out in the van drinking my face off for hours until Scott was done, only to find out after he finished that we wouldn’t be getting anything. That was enough to make me lose my mind…driving through a blizzard, no gig, no money, no food, no place to stay and not even an appology! So we did what any Outlaw band might do in that circumstance. We filled bottles up with piss and threw them at the club!
These nice kids told us about a house party where people would love it if I came to play…then offered their own place to stay in. So off we went and were able to buy beer after hours at a brewery. The party was fun and all and people wanted us to play. Right before we were to do so the police came and shut the party down. The girl who ran the house said we could still stay there though so we figured things could be worse. But then the cops came back and gave them a second warning. Everything went upside down at this point. The young fella who brought us there in the first place asked us if we still needed somewhere to stay so we double checked with the girl who ran the house and she said it was fine that we stayed…so our friend left us there.
Then five minutes later the girl came back and told us we couldn’t stay there afterall. I began to politely protest saying that she should have told us before the other kids left because we could have stayed with them…and now we were screwed. One of her room-mates got real butch with me and told us tat it wasn’t his problem and he didn’t care what we did…we just had to leave. Then we went on about the $500 fine they were facing and he didn’t care about our problems. At that point I decided I could help him have a noise violation and things got pretty heated. Luckily one of their friends took us in to her little appartment where our cats fought all night and we ate donair flavoured pizza.
Overall, I would say that was a shitty night in Halifax if I ever had one.
Things got a little better in PEI for us though. It was a Sunday night and it wasn’t quite as bad-ass as my last PEI show…but my good friend and one time co-defendent in the Westmount Trial in Montreal Aaron Koleszar showed up…and we all partied hard. That night we stayed at our friend Story’s cabin and had a lot of fun while her two dogs, rabitt and chicken had strange interactions with our cat Krish. The next day we completed an oil change and then went to our friends house to stay, who gave us 60lbs of PEI organic potatoes.
After all that we had our last gig in Halifax at Gus’s Pub the next night, but we should have just kept driving west. The gig was a bust and the rumour mill was turning all around town that I was an asshole who threw piss at Reflections and nearly caused a riot at a house party. Unfortunately you can’t win them all. So we left after the gig in Halifax for a long drive to Ontario. It was our last gig as a group together and we were all sad to see it end on such a low note after so many amazing gigs and hilarious stories.
Leah and I drove all the way to Thunder Bay after brief stops at both of our parents house’s…the weather was wonderful in northern Ontario and we had a lot of fun driving through the north, even though we witnessed a fatal head on crash between a car driven by a young lady and a transport. We’d tried to cook a roast on the engine block but discovered this does not work when the weather is -15c. The Thunder Bay gig was fun, the opening band was Art School…the same kids who were playing the Halifax house party. We didn’t make much though and the next day had a long drive to Winnipeg.
DECEMBER4-WINNIPEG MANITOBA-TIMES CHANGED, HIGH AND LONESOME CLUB
On our way to the show our starvation was starting to set in, Leah and I were really broke and could barely spend a dime at this point. We didn’t know that our show in Winnipeg would undo our poverty so we were being tight pursed. We stopped at a gas station outside Kenora and somehow the manager found out we were really poor. Next thing we knew there was Buffalo Burgers on our table, a big order of hamburger helper for the road and the gift of $20. So we gave them a CD and left with a smile. I had noticed before this how everything in the store was very Christian…turns out, they are the real Christians! It was the last Christian thing we would see that day though as we hit rowdy Winnipeg with its sinful habits.
I had been bugging John Scoles for years to let me in to the club. One time we were booked to play there but he canceled on us cause Corb Lund’s guitarist Grant Seimans had a new side project and wanted to gig on that night. That was the show we did with Five Star Homeless in 2008 where we realized we weren’t going to make anything so I fed all our bandmates acid and made fools of ourselves…turned out the only people in the audience were Andrew Neville and Twisy who were actually impressed that we gave that bar (Ozzy’s) the royal finger.
The word went around to John that we were the real deal and ought to be playing his club…so John decided to innitiate us in a huge way this December evening. We got to the club and seen that the stage was defended by chicken wire. All the amps were covered in plastic as were the microphones…and there were rental guitars on stage. Turns out that it was chicken wire night, a gig usually reserved for Andrew Neville and the Poor Choices.
A punk band opened the show, which is unusual for that country bar, and then it was my turn. Romi Mayes told me, ‘you wanted this’ and I promised her Leah and I could handle it. So I pulled my shirt off and went into the cage beginning the show with ‘I love cold draft beer’. The beer sure flew…litres of it were whipped at Leah and I…Leah broke the gender barrier for a chicken wire show that night and I broke the all time beer throwin record. So much beer and whiskey were thrown at us that there were times I couldn’t see. ‘Come on you pansies’ I yelled at them…and yell back I did. I called the audience every sort of name and made up songs about how stupid they all were. Then eventually played the song ‘Stupid Fuckin Things I Done’ by Andrew Neville who took joy in huckin as much booze into my face as he could.
The crowd loved it, and owner John Scoles came into the cage and told the audience how awesome we were…then gave the capacity crowd permission to hit him with booze. Every last person with a full drink threw it at John who laughed the whole time…then eventually said, ‘I hope that was fun for you. Now, go to the bar and buy more booze.’
How clever I thought! So we finished the set and were allowed to drink all the booze we wanted. Another punk band closed the show and laughing never stopped. Later, when everyone had left, we had a good game of ‘throw the rubber chicken in the bucket’ which Joanne won. We all got loaded and Andrew Neville gave me a lift home and promised that our next show in Winnipeg would be with him. We officially got into the High and Lonesome Club…they all loved us.
Unfortunately the next morning some weird sore started developing on my face. A few days later it was diagnosed as oral herpes. Somehow, while in the cage, some herpefied asshole got me good! I went to Winnipeg and all I got was a free t-shirt, free hat, $500 and oral herpes.
DECEMBER5-FORT FRANCES ONTARIO-LITTLE BEAVER CULTURAL CENTRE
The next show was an accoustic set and nothing quite so crazy as flying beer and oral herpes happened. Nonetheless we had fun, were fed prime rib and enjoyed our new friends we met immensely. The next day we drove up to Kenora and played a gig at the Cornerstone who fed us steak and lobster. It was December 6th and our friend John Thompson turned the show into a Memorial for the women murdered by Marc Lepine in Montreal back 1989. What I thought was really moving was that they collected all the names of women in the Kenora area that were murdered by their partners and each of their names was read out. We had a total blast their meeting John Thompson, who wrote a book on homelessness in Thunder Bay and our new friend Sean from the punk band Hennessy. It was real sad to leave them.
The van’s heat was broken and it hadn’t bothered us up to this point. The prairies were in a cold snap dipping below -20. It was hard on us. Leah and I stopped at a hotel outside of Saskatoon in Borden and stayed the night. Made good friends with the bar owners who fed us for free and promised us we could play a gig there someday. So off we went to Edmonton for our final shows. We partied with Landon from Whiskey Wagon and then played the Blackdog that night and all got wretchedly smashed with the Give Em Hell Boys.
The next day we went out for breakfast with our friend Darren Zenko, a well known author. When we got back to the Calaboose (The Give Em Hell Boys House) we were surprised that our trailer was no longer attached to the van. It had busted right off the bar! Luckily it was only five minutes away sitting in the middle of traffic. We called CAA and waited for three hours as bad weather had them tied right up! They towed it to a place that specialized in transport truck trailers and the next morning we got them to weld it.
That night though the Give Em Hell Boys were playing with a Winnipeg band called the Magnificent 7’s. I asked them where they were playing next and they said the Palomino dinner show. But I was booked to play that show I thought! Uh oh!
So we called Spencer Brown the next day and he said he would work things out. Turns out, he mistakenly double booked us. So we didn’t have to play, he fed us, gave us free booze and paid us the same anyway! It was to have been our last show, we were sad that we didn’t get to play with Spider Bishop again…but really relieved to be done giggin for a while. We partied with Hurricane Harley and slept at Brooke’s then hit the road the next morning towards Vancouver.
We picked up a punk rocker hitch hiking who smoked us a joint, dropped him off in Canmore then continued on toward the coast. Unfortunately we didn’t get past Kelowna. The weather was terrible! We made it 10 clicks out of Wesbtank up the 97C highway when we saw four vehicles in the ditch. One was a truck on its roof and the firefighters were using the Jaws of Life to pull the mangled driver out. Also in the ditch right near there was an ambulance! We took that as a bad sign.
So we turned around and went to a hostel in Kelowna where we enjoyed a hot tub (outside in the snow), cooked food, made love, watched the Leafs defeat the Canadiens and struck out the next morning for Vancouver in better road conditions.
Unfortunately our house was a disaster when we got home and a huge fight ensued with our room-mates who were mad at the fleas our remaining cats spread through the house. It was a rather tragic way to end what was actually an amazing tour, with amazing people and a great line-up on stage.
Thanx to Dave Soehner (mandolin), Jamie Guitar (double bass), Scott Dunbar (percussion), Leah Martin, cousin Dean and the of course our families who took us in (Dave’s, mine and Leah’s). Thanx to Liqourbox and Joel Kaiser and to all the bars that paid us. Thanx to Winnipeg for the herpes and thanx to God for getting us through every jam we experienced every time. That’s how the Transgression Trail rolls! And if you actually took the time to read this documentation of our adventures…we’d like to thank you two (you two who read it…I mean, me and you!)
Love and rage…joeyonly