Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Monday, December 20, 2004

Weekend at Hugh's Room 

We knew it would be a long day. We knew it would be a fun day. It was both. We got to Hugh's Room at about 10am for a rehearsal and soundcheck. Trevor and I had been there just a few hours before singing with Betty and the Bobs at their Christmas show. Fun. We should have just slept over. It was also the first real cold snap so far this year in Toronto and it was really really really cold. Glad I bought a new hat with ear flaps.

We augmented our band with two of the finest musicians we know - Anne Lindsay on the fiddle and Mike Ford on congas, keyboards and electric guitar. This combo was hard-wired for fun. The rehearsal and soundcheck went along well thanks to the efforts of sound-goddess Anne Keillor. She can handle any curve we throw. The crowd starting coming in at around noon and it was a great mix of kids and parents and grandparents and everyone else. It was standing room only by the time Mike Ford hit the stage for his super fantastic set to start the show. Only Mike would have the stuff to open his show with one of our songs. He sang I Am Not American so well that I was sure it was his song by the end.

We hit the stage and had a ball. Anne and Mike are total pros and really add so much to the stage dynamic. Trevor, Mike and I are fairly used to each other and our on-stage habits and antics so it's nice to mix it up a bit. The crowd certainly was a big part of the show as well. It was like a big old Christmas party on a Sunday afternoon. The kids didn't get all the jokes but they didn't care. Hard-wired for fun. We did a mix of Christmas and other tunes and talked about various topics such as Canadian Tire commercials, MXC on Spike TV (right you are, Ken) and cassettes. We brought a few boxes of tapes of the first four albums to give away. We wanted to be like Oprah so we brought about 400 tapes so we could give them out at both shows. Lets just say that the kids went crazy and they were all gone after the first show. We were happy to be rid of them as they were taking up valuable space in the storage locker.

After a dinner break it was time for the evening show. The room was once again packed to the rafters with those about to rock. It was a very fun crowd. Quite chatty too which got us going on many topics likes cows riding the bus and streetcar. Odd. Fordy's amp cut out as his big moment arrived in The Christmas Blues. His one request for these shows was that he could do a big stupid electric guitar solo. We were happy to oblige and then the amp cut out. Rats. He looked good though.

We finished the show with what was probably our most stirring performance of Christmas in Ignace to date. We were fairly tired by this point and the song went in some sonic directions that we weren't expecting. Anyone who would have walked in at that moment would have thought there was something quite horrid going on. They would have been right.

And that wraps up the year for us. No more shows until January. We wish you all the best for the holidays. Check back here in the new year for more banal musings and keep an eye on www.arrogant-worms.com for tour dates and such.

Happy Ho Ho!

Monday, December 13, 2004

In memory of a good friend 

On Saturday December 11th, we were given the great honour to play at a memorial celebration of the life of our friend David Grierson. David was a CBC fixture in BC and was one of our earliest and most vocal supporters on the radio. The world lost David suddenly on November 20th at the too-young age of 49.

The memorial for David on Saturday included many of the musical artists, poets, authors and friends whose lives he touched. The show was at times solemn, reverent, irreverent and hilarious. There was no place we would have rather been. We treasure our friendship and we have so many great memories of the short time we had with him. David was one of the good people in the world. He was tireless in his support of the arts but his greatest passion was for the people he loved.

To know more about our friend David Grierson, have a look at vancouver.cbc.ca/ontheisland. There is a touching tribute there as well as information about the memorial concert.

Thank you, David. We miss you.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Daytona Rock City 

For a Canadian to swim in the Atlantic Ocean in December is a rare and exciting treat. That’s what I did on Friday in Daytona Beach, Florida. I think I may have been the only one in the water that day and a few passersby stared a bit at the weirdo Canadian. The locals were wearing long pants and light jackets because it was only about 20 degrees Celsius at the time.

But we weren’t just in Florida to swim in the ocean. We had to work too. We had shows at the fantastic Seaside Music Theater in Daytona on Thursday and Friday. Daytona is the home to car racing and motorcycle mayhem and spring break. Apparently Canadian musical comedy is fine too. The folks in Daytona were great to us. We had some friendly faces in the crowd from previous trips to Florida. It was great to see friends from Orlando, Vero Beach, Stuart and Atlanta at the shows. On Thursday night, a new superhero was created onstage – Turtle Man. When things get too dicey for him, he just retracts into his shell until danger passes. We thought it was hilarious.

The Orlando airport has a monorail. I rode it more than I had to. Monorails are fun. Monorail monorail.

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