The Feminists: Mike’s First Pickled Egg

Well, here we are in New Brunswick. It’s very surreal. We have driven over 6000 km to get here. We are on the other side of Canada. And, I’d just like to confirm for all of you who have not driven across Canada, it’s a very large country. The distances that we have covered are unbelievable. For example, 672 km form Fort Frances to Sault Ste Marie, and that was just to get across Ontario. Now, there was no gig in the Soo because the club didn’t have a PA and also wasn’t aware that we were supposed to play there. So we loaded the gear back in the van, went to Wendy’s, dropped off a promo package at a better club there and drove on to Sudbury. Didn’t make it that night, though. Camped out on the van in Thessalon, Ont. The Grief was quite cranky the next morning. The nice thing about Grief though is that if you ignore him, he will ignore you at least until he’s had his first 20 cups of coffee to get himself going.
Sudbury was a good show. Also our first rock star-like experience as we did our first group interview for the college radio station there. We were playing at a college bar in the summer, so there wasn’t much of a crowd, but we did meet The Smacks, the band that was playing with us there and most delightful they were. Mike had his first pickled egg, which I caught on video. Sold a couple more cd’s, and they had a band room downstairs which meant that I got to sleep in a room with a door, 4 walls, and a bed. I have informed all that when the opportunity arises for me to have my own room , that is what is going to happen. As long as I can get away from them at every possible opportunity, I’m fine. Not that they’re bad, far from it. I’d just rather be happy to see them instead of imagining how I could torture each of them into a quivering broken mass on a concrete floor…you can see why it’s good for me to follow my instinct and be solitary and quiet where I will harm no one.
On to Montreal. What a beautiful city. I could have stayed for weeks in Montreal. So far I have loved Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, and now Saint John. Montreal was so hip and happening and exciting and lovely. The streets were packed with people, and where we were playing there were tons of bars, restaurants, all with live music. We played at a club called the Jupiter Room. The bathrooms were filthy, the ashtrays were overflowing, there was no clientele. There was also not one single poster promoting our show. There was no indication of any kind that this place had bands, ever. This did not bode well.
We played with a band called The Ride Theory, and they were great. 1966 Beatles flavor all the way, killer harmonies and all. Very nice guys too. We took the stage after them to play one long set. A few people had drifted in off the street at this point, and we played very well.
During our third-to-last song, Ferdy’s bass cut out, most annoying and disastrous. Keith leaped over his guitar amp to try and fix Ferdy’s rig. In the process, he knocked the amp over. It crashed off the drum riser face down on the floor. The house microphones also went flying, their flight of fancy of course amplified and quite loud. I could feel chaos start to descend upon us, which was also the moment that my organ solo was supposed to happen. All I knew was that K. was messing around during my solo. Rage filled my normally calm and friendly being. I never feel this rage unless I perceive that someone is interfering with my solo. Usually I am quite well mannered, but I demand that I get the chance to play my goddamn solo and my bandmates will not take this moment to draw attention to themselves. I went to music school for 7 years. I get to play my solos with the band supporting me, not competing with me. I don’t expect that audience to drop what they’re doing and listen – that’s pretty unlikely in a bar setting – but I do expect my band to listen and accompany.
As my field of vision became tinged with scarlet, I gave up on the solo and signaled the cue to end it. But K. missed my cue, which enraged me further. “PAY ATTENTION!” I screamed at him, unable to hear myself over the chaotic roar of the drums and organ He saw me yelling, though and as soon as he realized I was very, very angry he became angry too. He glared at me, face red and purpling, as he savagely yanked screaming dissonance out of his guitar. “YEAH, FUCK YOU” I roared, inches away from him. He definitely heard that one, and then we experienced what we like to call a train wreck. He’s supposed to sing by himself, but he didn’t. He’s also supposed to play his guitar, but that didn’t happen either. After a few seconds of painful silence, in which all of wondered what was going to happen next, he started singing. The band limped in. He threw his guitar on the stage and stormed off. End of show.
Although I was quite confused as to what was going on, I smiled to myself quietly. How great was that, I thought. Our first true rock and roll moment. I wonder if we can do that more often. What a cathartic experience. The audience gazed at us with wonder and awe. A (small) line formed at my feet of people wanting to buy cd’s.
As I packed up my gear, K. came up to me. We realized it had all been a big misunderstanding – he wasn’t trying to deliberately sabotage my solo, as I had assumed. Hugs and kisses were exchanged all around, apologies offered to all band members. We quickly slipped back into our soft-core attitudes. The most dramatic, intense conflict that he and I have ever had (and we’ve had a few), but also the quickest, cleanest resolution. For a moment, it seemed like we were turning into grownups.
That wasn’t the end of the excitement though. They tried to make us pay for the soundman because there wasn’t enough money from the door. Ferdy told the owner to go fuck himself. It was quite rewarding. We lost $20 playing in Montreal. I don’t care if we ever play there again.
From there it was on to Ottawa. Another non-paying show, and our show afterward in Toronto got canceled. But I did get to see the Parliament buildings. We sold some more cd’s and filmed our show, which was exciting as we have never seen what we look like playing a show before. Quite frankly, not as cool as I thought.
And now we are in Saint John. We play tonight, and may get an interview and a review from a local music mag. Our lost tour diary has been found, we have some paying gigs this week, and we heard a radio ad for the show tonight. All is well in Femland, there have been no more onstage or otherwise screaming matches. New Brunswick is beautiful. The sun has come out, and I can see the mist rising off the Bay of Fundy. Only 3 more days until my next shower.
cd’s sold:37
km traveled: 6000
lost articles: toothbrush, pjs, towel, shampoo, facial cleanser, sunglasses, playstation controller, Mike’s book. We thought the Game Boy got lost, but Keith found it so our hearts could start beating again.
finances: don’t get me started.