... & OTHER ODDBALL STORIES

According to the Book of Lists, Kapuskasing, Ontario is the third coldest city in the world. We used to play the "Jack Pine Room" at the Kapuskasing Inn, the hotel where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip once visited. Here are some of the things I remember about Kapuskasing:

1) We used to eat breakfast at a little restaurant called the "Community Dairy". One morning we noticed this guy with a back pack. He looked pretty down and out, so Brent asked him if he was okay. The guy gave us this hard luck story about no one liking him everywhere he travelled, and he was hitch-hiking across the country and was out of cash, so big-hearted Brent buys him breakfast and talks the rest of us into buying the guy his supper in return for helping to do some work on our P.A. system. We get back to the hotel and we're working away, and this guy keeps disappearing into the bathroom for extended periods of time. Finally Kenny (our soundman) decides to see what the hell is going on, so he follows the guy into the bathroom and catches him with his head in a paper bag sniffing glue. He pulls his head out of the bag, and with white glue running out of both nostrils says to Ken, "Neat, eh?"

Ken comes back and tells us about it and we immediately want to turf the guy, but Brent insists that the guy is down on his luck and that we need to give him a chance. We all agreed that as long as he stayed in Brent's room that we didn't give a crap.

That night we took the stage to a full house, as we were the biggest thing to hit Kapuskasing since sliced bread. We were in the middle of the set when suddenly "Mr. Glue Head" appears out of nowhere on the dance floor. He's wearing eye shadow, a halter top, and high heels. He starts dancing in front of Brent doing the bumps and grinds and making suggestive moves. We finish the set, and Brian Doerner (Brent's identical twin brother) jumps offstage and immediately confronts the guy with, "If you aren't out of that room by the end of our next set, I'll rip your face off!" I remember following the guy down the hallway and he's crying that "nobody understands me!"

2) The walk from the Kap Inn to the Community Dairy where we ate breakfast ran along the lake by the pulp mill. One cold crisp morning shortly after we had walked down, a native woman walked into the water and committed suicide by drowning.

3) In the middle of our set at the Jack Pine Room, a guy rode through the hotel on a motorcycle and out the back door.

4) Once when we played in Kap, the band Vehicle was playing in town at the Commercial. They were riding high on their hit, "Mr. Love". On the Friday night we all ended up partying there, with several of the party goers very high on mesculine.

5) In those days of the band, we used to have to take turns riding in the back of the truck with the equipment. Many of these Northern Ontario dates would be in the middle of winter in the freezing cold. You couldn't lay down, and you always had to be aware of falling objects, ie. falling cast iron microphone stands. If you had to take a leak, bring a bottle, 'cause the chances of the driver hearing you screaming to stop were about nill. We would play all night and at the end of the night load up. Then we would have to ride for 16 hours in the back with the gear in -30 degree weather. Usually we would pick up a "micky" at the liquor store Saturday afternoon, and drink it before we left, hoping that it would help us sleep sitting up.

6) One of the guys in the band had this "girlfriend" in Kap, so we asked her if she would run the smoke machine for us in our opening song of the first set. The smoke machine was under the drum stage, and we showed her how to turn it on, and when and how to turn it off. We started the show and on comes the smoke machine, but at the end of the song it's still going. The whole Jack Pine room is filling with smoke, and being in the basement of the hotel, it had no place to escape.  Finally we had to take a break, as the room was so full of smoke people were gagging, and it was impossible to see!!
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