Back in the early 00’s (pronounced: ūz) I was shocked and delighted at the rise of Oysterhead, a supergroup comprised of one of my favourite jam-rock guitar players (Trey Anastasio), one of my favourite reggae-rock drummers (Stewart Copeland), and one of my favourite wonk-rock bass players (Les Claypool). And if you though that the stunning convergence of the soul of Phish, the heart of The Police, and the warped mind of Primus was going to be a disappointment [foreshadowing], well, then you just don’t listen to the same music that I do.
The album came out, it was gold (not in sales, of course), and be-still-my-heart, my three hearoes** announced a tour. And on November 7th, 2001 that tour pulled into Toronto for a show at the most classic vintage venue in town, the many storeyed* Massey Hall. Hence, so did I.
Now, you would think I would be thrilled to attend this show and I was. Why then do I recall this concert mostly with [foreshadowed] disappointment? Unfortunately it was due to another significant convergence of forces: that of my big, gaping mouth and way too many beers.
So while I promise you I had a rip-roarin’ ball at this concert, I awoke on November 8th with very, very little memory of what remains a very rare and unique musical opportunity, and I have nobody to blame but myself. And Oysterhead for getting me so excited. But probably mostly myself.
Essentially, there’s a balance to be achieved, and the guy in charge of achieving that balance is sometimes a bit tipsy, making the task particularly difficult. So sometimes things become unbalanced. Fortunately, after a thick life kept busy working on problems such as these, the lack of balance is not very common. But it happens, and it happened here.
I mean, Trey played a guitar made out of an actual set of deer antlers and they next day someone had to tell me about it. And here I am almost twenty years later still waiting for another Oysterhead tour. If they did tour again I’d be so damn excited…
*Not a typo (no matter what stupid, uncreative spell check thinks). As a matter of fact for this concert I was up in the second storey, stage right.
**This actually was a typo – and a rather brilliant one at that – which I will file under the John Cage category of error: “A ‘mistake’ is beside the point, for once anything happens it authentically is.”
***And no, putting the first two asterisk points in the wrong order wasn’t a typo either****. It may be grammatically wrong and somewhat confusing, but it reads better that way. It with this care and regard that I approach all of these stories. You’re welcome.
****Certainly, having a triple-asterisk footnote without having a triple-asterisk anywhere in the body of the prose is risky but again, it just reads better this way.