road tales

Raymore Sk Aug 4 '13

(wow I started writing this tale and I guess it kinda got away from me...and as if it wasn't long enough, I added pictures lol...apologies if it's a little long winded...I can get that way)

Sunday Aug 4

we actually slept in a bit today. Didn't even wink until about 11 a.m. but damn was I tired after the previous night's show. (and subsequent beers with the boys..and girls)

Another beautiful sunny day..

Yawn...stretch...step outside the motel room into the morning sun to get a glimpse of the day and have a smoke.(Yes it's a disgusting habit I need to leave... again)
I Decide to walk to the front office where, hanging on a sign in the window is the phone number for Vicky's Kitchen..then quickly realize the shorts I think I'm wearing are actually boxer shorts.(oops)

So..pants first..then breakfast

G was awake sitting outside her room having a smoke...
"you in for some bacon and eggs?"
"sure"

Nix wasn't up yet and he had his wife along so we didn't want to go a knockin'

As we waited for the time to go pick up our breakfast, there was a fan staying in the room across from us that came out to say hello.. Seems he had wanted to buy a T-Shirt at last night's show but we broke down the merch table too quickly...wanted to know if we had any there. "sure" Dee went to the van to retrieve the T's and a marker to sign them..sweet folks. He bought 2 for him and his wife

So, the four of us scarfed our breakfast from the styrofoam containers outside our prairie motel room (just like yesterday) and poured a couple of beer 'n' juice...all the while constantly moving our chairs to hide from the (already) ridiculously hot sun..Then we headed over to the event grounds to get a feel for the rest of the day.

The grounds were already buzzing with ball players and beer drinkers.

We hung out a bit with the band "Magnum" in the beer tent (once again getting ready for their matinee performance)
Spoke to lots of folks
took a few pic's
took part in a big pic' with the event committee
I was standing around while the photo shoot was going on with the event committee, waiting till they wanted me and the band in there. A young guy in a striped shirt (working for the event) says to me.. "you with the band?" "nah" I said straight faced
"I'm just hangin' out"
then I laughed and said "no, I'm with the band"
While we were lining up for the pic' the photographer said "maybe we should move Vern more to the middle"
After the shoot was done the kid came up to me so sheepish and apologetic and shook my hand ...
"I'm SO sorry man, I feel so embarrassed...you're not just with the band..you're the main guy!"
I laughed.."no worries"..
the guys in my band laughed even harder...I docked their pay for it...(YES I'm kidding..geez)
The security at this event was second to none! Cheers to them all!!!

Harlequin was supposed to sound check at 6 Then we'd have a quick "check..check" of our own...
After showering back at the hotel we were in our trailer backstage by 7(ish) when the new word came that Harlequin wouldn't roll in until 8...
Then it came that they wouldn't be in Regina till 8, which would put them at the gig around 9(ish)
We were to proceed and they would do a quick line check before they started.

I really enjoyed this night more than the previous. Mostly because I was well rested where the previous night I was just beat after the opening set. Plus I was a huge Harlequin fan when I was a kid so to be on the bill with them was a rush. That "fan" in me was really looking forward to seeing their show and hopefully meeting them..
I never expect to meet the headline band in a situation like this cuz often they are busy after the show with meet and greets and the like...before their show we are on stage so it doesn't always pan out...

This night was wildly different!

We did our opening set.
I went to hang at the merch table.

When Harlequin hit the stage I was transfixed...opening with the classic "I did it for love" their whole show was fantastic! I went backstage in the wings to watch the last couple of songs.

When they came off stage I introduced myself to George (singer) ...I only meant to say something like "amazing set" but we ended up talking for a minute. Then the rest of the guys came off and we all chatted a bit...

They headed to their merch table and the crew were busy changing the stage over for our closing set. We wanted a pic' with them before we went on but they were busy signing autographs so they told Dee they'd come up on stage for a pic' when they were done.

We launched our closing set

The second song in, (Greg Kihn Band's "breakup song") I noticed some extra backing vocals Look to my left and there was George Belanger and guitar player Gary Gottfried singing in Nix's mic'...
...to my right, the rest of the guys were singing with G..
I was Grinnin' baby!!

We finished the song and I said "people once again give it up for Harlequin"!!
A classy bunch of guys!
some handshakes and hugs all around....a helluva memory But the story doesn't end there...

We proceeded with a set that just felt great! We were clicking and having a blast with an amazing crowd in Raymore!

We hit the final song of our set and...I'll let Dee tell this part

(meanwhile..backstage)
The guys from Harlequin were hangin' out backstage drinking and diggin the set. Paul McNair, the bass player says "fuck I love these guys" "makes me wanna play" "well get out there" "nah I don't wanna step on their gig" he says I told him "I'm Vern's wife and manager and I know he'd love it if you did!!" So he went up on stage and started singing with Vern.

So I look over during our final song (American Pie) and see Paul singing harmony with me! I couldn't remember the last verse all of a sudden so I motioned the guys and we took it down to the quiet ending verse.
As we did I looked over at Paul and said into my mic' with a grin.. "by the way, I should mention I change this song a bit"


While we were doing this, Dee had been encouraging a number of the event committee that were backstage to join us all onstage...(the "stripe shirts" we called them")..so it really was a great finale with 2 bands plus the event organizers all onstage together....
We finished up to a helluva great ovation!!

(meanwhile backstage)...Dee
Gary Golden the keyboard player saw Paul onstage and said "hey, cool" "get out there too" I said "all of you can go out" So AJ the drummer followed out while Gary said he was gonna go get George from the trailer...

So we had AJ Chabidon and my man Neil both beind the kit..Paul on Lead vocals with Gary Golden and G sharing the keyboard
Quick decision...Led Zeppelin's "rock n roll"
when it came to the finale of that song, it was a 2 drummer assault!

With that song done, it seemed only right to get the other 2 guys up there... Gary comes up and I give him my Les Paul I stuck with the acoustic. He leans in to me and says with a grin..
"man we've been drinkin' backstage and watching you so this might not be good"
I said "yeah but it'll sure as hell be fun"

next up, after a brief huddle.. Bad Company's "feel like makin' love"

This crowd wasn't letting up! I swear we could have stayed all night till they all just fell over!
But... The final song of the Jam session finale to a great event... AC-DC "Highway to Hell"

As I walked off stage AJ grabbed be in a hug and said "thanks man that was a blast..sorry for steppin' on your gig" I said "what!! You didn't step on anything, I wanted you guys up here! I had a blast!!!..Thank YOU!

We hung out with everyone backstage and did a few pic's...had a couple drinks. Eventually we were back at the hotel winding down with a beer and some chat about an incredible night...a couple of the guys from the crew came by for a cold one. I didn't last...I was exhausted...
The thing is about a magical night..you can keep it in your mind forever, but ya can't live it forever ....
...sleep has to come.

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