Friday, November 27, 1992
Dawn is still not back, so Lorraine and I got Mark “Bird” Stafford to sit in, and he did a great job too. This is the same room I had played the day the Blue Jays won their pennant and the streets were packed with people (the club wasn’t, though). This time it was packed, they are next door to Phantom of the Opera so they get the crowd as they leave the theatre.
Sunday, November 15, 1992
Benefit for Sick Kids organized by Dave Glover of Sizzling Productions (he produces instructional guitar videos). This was not what you would call running smooth. First of all it was poorly attended. The Casby Awards were the same night, but that’s not exactly the blues crowd. Anyway, I went to check out some of the local blues guitarists that I hadn’t heard yet. Tony D. was set to open the show (which was set to start at 8 p.m.). At 9:30 Tony D. walks on stage. We get ready for some music. Then Tony D. gets his coat from behind the amp, puts it on, and leaves the stage. The club was not full, but there were a lot of people who had been waiting a long time. Ten minutes later he appears with his guitar, plugs in, sets up – then leaves the stage. Finally, he takes the stage and his female bassist/singer launches into some rocking (sizzling) blues. Donny Walsh of Downchild sat in and sang a song that should have been called “How many times can I sing ‘been so long’”? All the sizzling guitar playing seemed to melt together at a certain point and by the time Jack deKeyzer took the stage, I had reached telecaster overdose. I was glad to stick it out to the end of deKeyzer’s set because it was something to see him blaze through his finale undeterred by not one but two broken strings.
Tuesday, November 10, 1992
Last night Dawn got a call that her father had a heart attack and she raced back to Quebec in the middle of the night. Lorraine called me at 3 a.m. to tell me that we’d have to find a sub for our gig the next night. After going through a lot of options, it finally occurred to me that I needed the money and I had some sort of priority. Lorraine didn’t want to do it because she was still sick with the flu, but I volunteered that I could do it with Steve, the piano player I used at Chicago’s. I told Rosemary, the agent, that I could do it with Steve but he bowed out (didn’t want to move his piano, he had a dinner planned with his girlfriend). She was a little miffed when I called her back to say I wouldn’t be doing it, but then she called in another group – but they couldn’t find the drummer and the leader of that group said he’d do it with me as a duo. We actually met at the stage and did a first set which was fine through on song before I realized I was reading the wrong chart – and at about that moment he launched into a single string solo leaving me to play the chords, which I had not figured out at all. Then I couldn’t pronounce his name, Peter Ochipinti (“Just Peter” he finally said). He had a huge repertoire and the only request he didn’t fill was “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.