010188 Fear of Flying, Moncton, NB

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This torn bit of paper is emblematic of how rabidly I collected ticket stubs back in the early days.  This is hardly a ticket stub; it looks more like a section torn from a handbill of upcoming nightclub events, of which there would have been very few at Moncton’s Club Cosmopolitan (AKA The Cosmo).  I don’t even have the date of this show nailed down.  All I wrote in my ticket album was that the show was in January of 1988 and that I went with someone named Gordie Revelle.

All these years later I have absolutely no idea who Gordie Revelle is or was, though as I type the name now it rings a bell somewhere deep in my memory banks.  I do recall a bit about the band Fear Of Flying though.  They were a really good cover band with a really horrible name (obviously).  I always get suspicious when I hear a band name so steeped in non-creativity, band names like Free Beer Tomorrow or New And Improved spring to mind.  You just know these must be cover bands because clearly nobody connected to the group has a creative bone in their body.  

I’ve seen it happen a thousand times teaching band camps over the years.  As soon as you ask a young group to come up with a band name they invariably start looking around the room.  “Let’s call ourselves the Pencil Sharpeners!”  

“No, we should be called Broken Light Bulb!”  

“No, let’s call ourselves Ruggedly Handsome Music Teacher!”

You get the idea.

Anyway, I remember Fear Of Flying performing bang-on covers of very tricky tunes.  I recall them pulling off a clever medley that started with the vocal harmony opening from Renegade by Styx and ended with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody after a few clever turns in between.

So yeah, they were a pretty solid cover band.

The guitar player was really good.  He and the singer had this nifty schtick where the guitar player shredded a crazy solo while the vocalist stood behind him and extended his arms under the guitar player’s armpits, making it look like the shredder had four arms.  So while the hairy musician widdly-widdlied away, the singer’s hands were scratching the guitarist’s head, pointing to the crowd and pretending to clean his fingernails and of course the guitar player played along the whole time (both literally and figuratively), looking at the crowd and checking his nails and just generally reacting to his bandmate’s hand motions as if he wasn’t actually incredibly busy racing up and down his well-practised pentatonic scales.

But I digress.  The main point and sole reason that I wrote up this vaguely dated entry was to rail against stupid band names, of which the cover band circuit has many (not surprisingly).

But I gotta admit Fear Of Flying was actually a pretty good band.  Though there’s a chance I’m confusing them with Closer Than They Appear, or was it The Patch Chords?

Okay, The Patch Chords isn’t too bad of a name, but I just made that one up.  Believe it or not Closer Than They Appear was a real band from Saint John, NB. 

I‘m guessing they ended up with the career they deserved.

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