Monday, March 02, 2015

Just To Be A Part Of It - Part 1

I've been pretty lucky in this life to get sneak peeks into private rooms - stepping on ground where most don't dare to tread.

I think since I was a kid, I have always had a desire to get into the places that hung signs that have clearly said 'keep out'. I always wanted to see what was behind the curtain.

In the fall of 2011, while being a Journalism student, I had a life-altering opportunity to travel around Atlantic Canada with a Manitoba-based country band called Doc Walker. Over the course of that tour, I got to see some things. I saw some beautiful theatres - like the Savoy in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. When you look up at that ceiling, you know that the hands of many dreamers made something special in that tiny Cape town. I saw George Street in St. Johns, Newfoundland - one of my favourite digs on this planet. I saw dreams become work. But best of all, I saw some people pull together make the best of it in tight circumstances on a metal tube barreling down a jagged-cut highway.

When I first met these guys, I filled in as a tour driver for a friend and drove them around Northern Ontario a few years earlier. Sudury. Orillia. All the awesome parts of Canada. I immediately wanted to spend more time with all of them. They were loud, laugh-obsessed, hilarious, coarse, fart-obsessed, totally uncorked and the kind of dudes who continually strove to make everyone around them laugh. They had all these strange slang terms that I'd never heard of before, but that I instantly adopted - words like 'hangsy' or 'dangsy' and 'reet'.

One night at a sleepy East Side Mario's near Casino-Rama, Steve (the drummer) kept pretending to incorrectly pronounce completely normal/known-to-everyone words like 'salad' and 'pasta'. He would hold the A and say it like 'pay-sta' or 'say-lad' to our middle-aged female server. The best part was watching her not know how to respond, and seeing Steve pull off this feat with a totally razor-straight face while all of us gutted ourselves in silent pain.

As the years passed, I stayed in touch with their manager and pitched the idea of doing some video for different tours. After a few tries, the mathematical combinations finally aligned and I found myself on a plane to St Johns, NFLD all by my lonesome to meet the band. The clouds danced across a glassy November sea, and I felt like I was in a movie.

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