Pt. 2: Canada
As always, getting over the border is something to sweat. You never know how severe the Canadian customs agents are going to be. When we piled out of the van to deal with the visa paperwork, an official walked up and asked us what we were going to be doing in Canada. We told him that we were a band and had some concerts to play.
“Oh, a band. What kind of band, what kind of music do you play?”
“Well, I guess you could call it jazz.”
“Jazz? Forget it, I’m not interested. Go inside.”
Thankfully the audience in Toronto was interested, a packed house at the Music Gallery and lots of records sold (in addition to “A Discontinuous Line,” we brought along copies of the new double lp, “Four Sides To The Story,” which was released by Not Two in November). Our gig on the 10th in Ottawa, at a place called Zaphod Beeblebrox, also proved to be a success. There were four articles in the press and a live interview on the CBC, which is probably the most publicity for a show I’ve ever had. The band had to clear the stage as soon as we were finished so the club could present its dance night. I went to get paid while the rest of the guys moved equipment. We made more than our guarantee (another rare occurrence) and I was feeling pretty good about our turnout for the show until I saw the huge line of people waiting to get into the same place in order to bang around under the weight of 120 clicks a minute (give or take a click).
I’ve said it before, and I know that I’ll say it again, but the Casa del Popolo crew and the Montreal audience have created one of the best places in the world to play. I know that everyone in the band was excited to be back at La Sala Rossa and it sounded like it- a truly great gig. We celebrated late and dragged ourselves towards Burlington the next morning. Faced with a detour, we crisscrossed lower Quebec trying to figure out how to find the U.S. border. At one point snow had blown across the road, completely covering it, there was nothing left but an unbelievably flat white ground against an endless grey sky. We finally found an intersection, and it seemed like it could be the junction with the highway we were looking for. Dave Rempis was driving, and Tim Daisy was next to him trying to figure out where we were with a road atlas. Tim looked to the right at a perfectly straight, completely deserted road that ran west for several miles. Dave was looking east at exactly the same thing.
“Hey Tim, what do you think, is it safe to pull out?”
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