Brother-in-law and old bandmate Chad graciously sent me a DVD copy of a show we played in Angelo's dad's paint shop in 1993. Rock 'n roll night in Rosenort, Manitoba. I cobbled together some of the clips into this short video of the last song we played, called "What Makes You Hate?" The sound is terrible and the editing is worse, but I get all nostalgic seeing and remembering this stuff:
I wrote the song in an angrier time, and it seems a bit comical now, but I'm stoked on how HEADBANGINGLY HEAVY it is. I'm typing with one hand right now because the other fist is raised in the air in a metal salute.
Fortunately this recording dates back to our post-hairband era and not earlier, but Chad's hair was still super long. I apparently had an poofy ponytail attempting to contain the quasi-afro I was sporting at the time, which really complemented that blue Adidas zip-up jacket.
We were really tight on a few of the songs we played that night...there's something so amazing about playing music with people who are totally on the same page. I miss that.
If I remember right, it was bloody cold outside. There was no publicity -- a locals-only show, I guess, as you can surmise from that last shot panning the "crowd". 40 people, maybe? Many dear folks in attendance, though.
Steve started that incredibly odd frog-hop-moshing, and was joined by Tom, Will and I think Jesse or Jeff. I'm so glad that the weirdness was recorded for posterity.
Trev joined in later when it turned into more legit moshing for about a minute -- I'm surprised he didn't dismiss our efforts altogether. I noticed a few other characters in the audience: Kristin, Ang, The Johns from Niverville, KenQ, Marj...the picture isn't very clear. Anyone else remember who else was there? Plett, Greg and Brent must have shown up at some point. I seem to remember Boot making a late appearance.
I assume that Mal was there, because we were opening for Jean Pool (Mal's band with Tom and Will), but I don't see him. I think I played bass for them that night without really knowing any of the songs, including their one song that kicked so much ass (RPC? RBG?). As hideously bad as my bass playing for them must have sounded, I'd love to see the video of that set.
This was 14 YEARS AGO. I'm old. If you were there, then you're old too.
I was hesitant to watch the video, sometimes a person doesn't want to see how badly things have aged. I would rather remember my past as being cheese-free. All things considered, this aged pretty well. The music improved as Chad abandonned his Stryper roots.
You won't find me in the video, I think I was holding the camera - although that could have been during one of our 2,000 smoke breaks.
Too many memories, not all good, but most. And everything we did revolved around our friends. School, work, all that other stuff was always a distant second on the priority list. Can't live like that forever, but it's fun while it lasts.
Plett, thanks for not taking this gift-wrapped opportunity to mock every attempt I ever made at playing music in public. Plenty of rich fodder there.
And yes, we are old. That era (early years of university) seems so rich in memories and connections, yet I was flat broke and kind of messed up for years (Fall '91-Winter '95). You're right, though -- it was all about the friends.
Yeah, Mission pretty much ended with high school, but Chad and Reg and I got together for fun in those wandering years after we graduated. We had great chemistry and loved the process more than the product -- it was all about getting together in Reg's garage to jam and laugh and eat cupcakes.
Once in a while a jam would sound vaguely songworthy, so we'd add singing and craft it into something more normal. In '93-'94 we were actually sitting down to write songs, informally record them and played a few small shows, but more often we'd be switching instruments (usually Chad on drums, Reg on bass, and me brutalizing Chad's guitar) to see what kind of noise we could make. I have really fond memories of those sessions.
And yes, this one was on the heavier end of the spectrum. I was still listening to a lot of Alice in Chains and Soundgarden at the time; hence the minor-key harmonies and chugging riffs. We also did some quirky, funkier stuff, and some more experimental prog-rock that revealed my Les Claypool obsession. Chad's chops were as awesome as his hair at that time, and Reg was always amazing...I was mostly along for the ride.
Jer: I knew nothing about these times in your life but good for you guys that you have such memories on video, wait another 20 years and your own kids will see this as adults themselves, then you will feel old. Jean
Isn't it always the case, that when you watch these old videos, you end up aching for the camera to pan-around, or even just zoom-out abit? It's still pretty classic stuff, and I seem to recall that there was always just as much going on in the parking lot as in the garage (99.9% of everyone I knew was up to a pack a day). It was an impressive gathering for sure.
This video looks like it was recorded by aiming a camcorder at the TV. Who has the original tape? It would be easy to make a better quality copy.
Yeah, the crowd is way more interesting than the band. There are a couple of pans across the audience, but they're so fast and shaky that it's hard to recognize most people.
The DVD Chad sent is transfered directly from the original camcorder tape and the quality is ok (for a handheld camcorder with built-in mic). I don't have any video editing software and didn't know how I'd convert the DVD video to something web-friendly, so I just took those few clips pointing my camera at the TV. Better than nothing, but some day I'll have to create something nicer.
Do you remember that specific show? There's one guy sorta lounged out near the front in a colourful toque that might have been you or Mal.
I wondered where you might have been...didn't see you in the footage. I don't know how the show came about, but it was a fantastic venue for a little event like that. I suppose Mal and Tom and Will set it up with your folks and then invited us to play too.
Evocative is so the right word. The artifact itself is interesting, but the memories and vignettes it triggers that are more fascinating.
Hmmm - makes me wonder where the video footage is of "Mission" - you and I share the privilege of being the bass players for that band. I was your replacement and I remember having Marsh coach me with every note initially. I learned to play bass in the Zach barn and recall Chris Z teaching me to harmonize with Chad - hilarious. Hardest part was headbanging in time with Reg's wicked kick. I know Jason Dueck (Trev's brother) made a video for a song - I wonder if Chad has a copy of that too?
Yeah, I guess you filled in from July-October in 1990 while I was away. I'm not sure how much we played that winter. It's funny; although Mission was my introduction to playing in a band, and was pretty legit for the time, it's not really what I think of when I'm nostalgic about playing music in the past. I suppose it was sort of Marsh's baby, and didn't really reflect where I was at. Some good memories, though...and some very odd ones. There must be some video floating around out there.
Thanks Jer. I have watched that video 5 times today, mostly to catch a glimpse of Tom. I laughed at the crazy hopping around and remember being there (briefly) and enduring the "noise" in order to support and enjoy that child of mine and his friends. What a crazy, fun time it was. Reading the dialogue between you guys tonight made me a bit weepy, mostly sad that Tom's not here to put in his two cents worth. How I miss that child of mine, who would also have been a man by now. Jeepers, you're all DADs by now! I am so grateful to have Tom's friends in my life and to get an idea of what he would have, could have been. Thanks for some good moments for me today.
Thanks for this note, Marj. It sure was a crazy, fun time, and I also found myself rewinding to repeat the few shots of the audience, with special attention to any where Tom appeared. This was really his scene more than mine -- we were lucky to be part of it.
I hadn't seen anything from that era in many years. Photos are great, but video can really evoke different kinds of memories...the movement and noise. I also cried and laughed out loud watching it the first time, remembering the joy of connection and the later pain of loss.
Thanks for dropping in, Chad...and thanks so much for that DVD...and to Crystal for taping it to begin with. I so enjoyed watching it, busting out laughing a bunch of times -- the nostalgia is great.
We played some of our more obscure stuff in that show -- songs I had forgotten and ones I don't think we played often or recorded (Stuck in the Mud, Little Man, that funky instrumental). Maybe not the strongest material, but with lots of cool, interesting parts...illustrating the piecemeal approach we took to some of those, cobbling together neat snippets of jams we had recorded.
If I remember correctly, I fudged Sgt. Baker, playing a somewhat simplified version. My point still stands -- in terms of musical virtuosity, I was the freeloader in the band, the beneficiary of much more accomplished musicians.