022189 The Spoons, Moncton, NB

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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 eve of my good friend (and the drummer in my band) Derrick’s nineteenth birthday (which is slightly ironic, as he would have been underage by just a couple of hours).  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.

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