On the road. Typing this on my laptop in the back seat of Allan’s Dodge Caravan, the cargo area packed to the roof with drums, amps, and guitars. Surrounded on all sides by the majestic Rocky Mountains. Taking the Canmore exit to pick up some breakfast before we head on to Calgary.
Played the Rose and Crown in Banff last night to a mildly appreciative audience. Some drunk guy named Paul comes up to Josh between sets and asks if we know any Rolling Stones songs. â€œMy favourite is â€˜You Can’t Always Get What You Wantâ€™, man.â€ As it turns out, we actually do cover that song and itâ€™s in our second set. Just the latest in a series of strange coincidences that includes Josh summoning a police officer through sheer force of conjecture, finding a television show about the ability of elephants to detect subsonic vibrations with their feet after discussing that very thing that afternoon, and something else which I cannot recall at the moment.
Anyways, just before we play the song, Jay asks me, â€œShould we invite Paul up to sing?â€ I reply in the negative; Jay invites him up anyways. Sometimes Jay is right. Paul canâ€™t sing worth a damn but his wild gesticulations are entertaining.
As we are packing up our instruments, another inebriated patron — a cute girl there with her boyfriend — asks us if we could play a few more songs. â€œSorry,â€ I reply, â€œbut if you buy our album, you can listen to us play whenever you want.â€ â€œDonâ€™t be smart,â€ comes the boyfriendâ€™s retort. â€œNo, you know what? I am going to buy your album,â€ the girl declares. Sweet. Iâ€™m not above manipulating drunk women to further our bandâ€™s financial aims.
â€œAll right, blow me,â€ Jay has just demanded. This is the routine we go through whenever Jay needs a smoke: his request is fulfilled by the driver turning on the blower and opening the vent. This combined with Jay opening the fold-out window in the sliding door helps keep smoke in the vehicle to a minimum.
Back to last night. I walk over to the merch table to grab a CD. By the time I get back to the girl, â€œBreak On Throughâ€ by The Doors is playing, and sheâ€™s dancing with her boyfriend. Damn, cockblocked by Jim Morrison. We load up our gear and Allan, Josh and I head to the band house while Jay waits to get paid. When 3am rolls along and Jay still hasnâ€™t shown up, we launch a search party. Turns out that Jay was getting drunk(!) with the staff back at the pub.
We did manage to sell a couple albums that night. Thatâ€™s two more than we sold the night before, when our audience numbered around ten patrons. Of course, it probably didnâ€™t help that we didnâ€™t bother to set out the merch. A sample of my witty on-stage banter that night: â€œYouâ€™ve heard of hotels with vibrating beds? Last night we stayed in a vibrating room.â€ It was kind of true; our suite at the Canyon Motor Inn in Revelstoke was directly above a noisy steam valve that sounded at regular intervals. Jay and I went for dinner at the restaurant in the nearby Best Western that night. My Mediterranean chicken was delicious, except they forgot the chicken. â€œMustâ€™ve flown away,â€ the waitress quipped. A small dish of sautÃ©ed chicken was eventually procured.
No Jay Dunphy tour would be complete without the coining of numerous euphemisms. Trout figured heavily into last yearâ€™s lexicon. Some entries from the current tour glossary: baking a Walnut Crunch, dumping the puck in for Buffalo, riding the steel horse, the Bronx Johnny, visiting the hatchery (another trout reference sneaking its way in). Iâ€™ll leave their meanings up to your imagination.
Our first two shows were a kind of exchange program with The Shine On from Vancouver. They opened for us at Steamers on Thursday, and we opened for them on Friday night at a coffee house/pub called CafÃ© deux Soleils in Vancouver. Good turnout and an appreciative audience at both. Lots of my friends came out to the Vancouver show which is always nice. Due to a miscommunication some of them missed most of our set, but câ€™est la Facebook. Big props to Jess and Rob for the burgers and corn that night.
Weâ€™re in Calgary now, relaxing at Jayâ€™s sisterâ€™s place and stealing her neighbourâ€™s Internets. Tonight, we shall rock off the faces of all the good people at the Ironwood Stage and Grill. Tomorrow Jay plays a solo acoustic set in Oâ€™Byrneâ€™s Pub in Edmonton, then we head for St. Albert for a two-night stand at the Castle Rock Pub.
There, Iâ€™ve updated my blog! Is everybody happy now?