road tales

Northern Sk. July 2011

July 2011...northern sk

This show stands out to me for weird reasons. It's a sports day celebration in a small town. Booked through my agent, though I had spoken myself on a couple of occasions to the event organizer about details like accommodations and rider.

We rolled in to set up in the open air under a tent. The kind of event that usually has fun in the air. This was no different.

I immediately tracked down the buyer just to touch base as I, or my manager (/sound person/organizer of Vern) Dee always do. She seemed quite nice and told me she had arranged our accommodations at a nice bed and breakfast outside of town. Said we would be the only ones there and even the owners don't stay there. (I was concerned about our late hours offending other folk that may be staying there)

So we went about setting up. Had a beer or two and a bite to eat on site. We headed out to the bed and breakfast at around 8:00. Showtime was 10 and the BB was a mile or so outside of town. Although there was no sign to indicate it was anything but a farm. (raised eyebrows all around)

The man at the BB was outside and came up to greet.

Average height, overalls, rubber boots, balding (just that hair ring around his head) and no teeth. Likely around 65. Pigs roamed the farmyard.(Or seemed to) The house was a big old 2 story from another era. Some broken down equipment he was working on looked as old as him. (and the house)

He took us in and we met his wife. A complete contrast. Old style frock dress buttoned up her neck. Cross around her neck. Very old fashioned proper. Like in an episode of little house on the prairie heading for church in a horse drawn buggy. The house was old and dated but well kept. Everything in it seemed as old as the house itself. She showed us upstairs to our rooms. And for the record, ma and pa actually DO live there.

Just before we left for the show I saw the old guy wandering outside with the dog. Figured I'd chat a bit....even though I was still uncomfortable. The chat didn't help ease my uneasy feeling as I'd hoped. Maybe it was the lack of teeth...the pigs... I dunno. Too many movies maybe?

We hit the gig and the turnout was less than stellar at first. They had put the all ages area right up front so most that were there were away at the back section. Lovely. And the buyer (who was to pay us out and see to the rider before we start) was not to be found. In spite of my contractual concerns, we did our first set for the small but appreciative crowd.

A few minutes before we were to start round two, the buyer who was nowhere to be found before we started, walked up. 

I said with a smile "hey how are things now?".."you're a tough lady to find".
She says "well I've just been waiting for you guys to play something". I laughed, thinking she was kidding.
"you missed the first set" I said
"nope I've been here all night and haven't heard you play"
"we're just about ready for another set"
With that she just gave me a look I could place well...a look that confirmed she'd been drinking heavily and wasn't happy. I mean she seriously didn't think we had played a note yet!! I mentioned that, as per the contract we still needed to settle up. She said she'd find the money and be back.

We never saw her again.

The crowd grew and the party was in full swing by shows end at 2am. Still no sign of the buyer. My concern elevated to anger. We were just about finished tear down and I was getting really pissed off by this time. I was about to go on an out of character (but very businesslike) tirade when a bouncer walked up and said "I was told to give you this when you're finished" and he handed me a cheque. Not the certified kind or cash as contracted. A personal cheque. 

Hmm goes my radar.

Then we were talking to some fans and having a beer before we left when a girl said "where are you staying"? 

"at the BB outside of town" I said "
she looks funny and says "I've lived around here my whole life and there's no BB here".
We described it to her and she just stared blankly and said "nope"
Cue the horror movie music (and the vision of the old man with no teeth and the pigs and the righteous old woman)....say what?? I said to Dee "damn I just want outta this place"

We tiptoed in to the BB and once in our room (with no lock) I was about to move this big heavy old chair in front of our door.."no murderous shit's gonna see us fed to the pigs tonight".... Dee said I was being ridiculous so I opted for the foot stool...at least that would wake me and give me a chance against Norman Bates' grampa should he get the inclination.

Well nothing happened (in spite of my apparent fertile imagination) and we checked out at 10 the next morning with no offer of breakfast. ( like one would expect at a real BB)

....in the end the cheque cleared and nobody got killed and fed to the pigs....but would I do it again? 

Did this buyer/promoter have an effect on me? Well.....
Contract clearly states now, in letters about this big....
"NO BED AND BREAKFASTS"
(as for that promoter....I remember her name)
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