Once I started going to see live music there was basically no stopping me aside from the fact that I lived in a geographical area (Moncton) that was largely ignored by musicians big and small (especially big). With such a dearth of options I ended up jumping at even the barest inkling of live music, which saw me see a fair amount of sub-par shows in even subber-par venues (I’m looking at you, old Centrum on Collishaw Street, with your semi-regular suspension of exotic dancers big and small [especially big] in favour of classic rock cover bands including the Blushing Brides, The White, and The Back Doors), but hey, that’s where experience comes from.
And to be fair I pulled a few lucky Golden Tickets along the way too, like agreeing with a nonchalant shrug to join a friend at a Stevie Ray Vaughan concert in Fredericton and seeing a hitherto unknown Jeff Healey perform a sparsely attended show at a downtown nightclub called Ziggy’s.
Which segues me nicely to the target of today’s missive, a show on February 22nd, 1989 at that same downtown bar (Ziggy’s) featuring The Spoons.
I’m embarrassed to admit that I was probably even a little bit excited to be seeing a band that I had actually heard of in a local bar. Like, The Spoons were on MuchMusic and everything! Crazy!!! Who cared that they were barely a flash-in-the-pan even by Canadian music standards, with just a single hit in their decade-long career (can you name it?*)? Not me!
I was so excited in fact that I got very, very drunk and missed most of the show, though I’m sure I was being a little extra-celebratory as it was also the nineteenth birthday of my good friend (and the drummer in my band) Derrick. I (barely) recall nodding off early in the first set whilst sitting on the side of the “stage” (which under normal circumstances was merely a raised seating area adjacent to the disco-lighted dancefloor). Derrick recalls spending the second set standing alone on the dancefloor wondering where I had disappeared to, only to find me after the show asleep in my ’82 Buick Skylark, with my evening’s libations pooled on the asphalt aside the back door (it was a four-door – how cool was that?**).
And while I would normally trust his recollections over mine, in this case it’s safe to surmise that we both recall the evening rather accurately. Which is surprising, all things considered.
Regardless, when I woke up in the morning I could add The Spoons to my “seen-‘em” list. And oh, the difference that has made in this little life of mine.
*Romantic Traffic. And if you insist that The Spoons had other popular songs too then I insist that you must have owned one of their records, and that you probably pushed the ill-begotten album on your unsuspecting and un-appreciative friends. “They actually have more good songs too…” I can hear you saying, as your friends roll their eyes and reach for the newest Def Leppard CD.
**I know: not very.