Ghosts Of Number One

Happy New Year to you, dearest reader! Was the year stellar or stupendous for you? Receive a surprise stipend? Or were you stuck in a stupor? No matter! Figure it all out later. Until then, just sit back, relax and read on about our kooky NYE misadventures!

This particular issue of The Unvarnished Truth chronicles both the triumphant last gig of 2013 and the possible telltale first one of 2014. And like any good tale of rock, it was not without it's interesting tidbits.

DQ Blizzard

December 31st was one of those infamously crisp and cold Alberta days where the birds, if there were any, didn't sing and the neighborhood cats dared not expose themselves for a disrespectful poop in your yard. No... on this day, one stays inside, huddled under a warm blankey, sipping soup or a pannikin of rum whist listening to the Victrola. Even a snowy blizzard couldn't disqualify the event at the historic Bailey Theatre in Camrose. One thing your humble scribe has learned over the years is that when people pay for a premium event, like your typical NYE show, folks are bound & determined to show up in their finest baubles and trumpery despite the foreboding climes and have themselves a damned good time.

That Rascal Flasky

One cannot possibly start the year off right without a wee celebratory nip with a beloved friend. Our unofficial mascot, Flasky, is both! It warmed my soul to see Flasky the flask and his keeper, D'Jeff Nyback in the house, out of the cold and relatively out of trouble, See, little red flasks have an impish tendency to get (you) into all kinds of monkeyshine.

Flasky and Friend


New Year... New Axe To Grind

Bandmeister Randy B welcomed a new year baby of another kind in the form of a brand spankin' new Gretsch White Falcon geetar! Partnered with your ol' Sawbones's 12-string bass and you've got the most kickass yin/yang the western world has ever seen! Take that, Asia!

Ivory and Ebony


Tit For Tat

Edmonton's River City Revue burlesque troupe opened the show to rave reviews and racing hearts. These classy dames can do things with tassels that defy gravity and modesty at the same time! You may have recognized a couple of the ladies from their cameo in our last video, "The Immaculate Pompadours". And do you think I could wangle a new year's kiss out of any of 'em?!?!! Nope. Like I said, classy dames.... they know better than to fraternize with the likes of snake oil salesmen like us.

Rock 'N' Roll Creation Revisited

The first act on day one of 2014 brought the curtain down on your punch drunk pals, in a manner of speaking.

It didn't take long to have our our first Spinal Tap moment of the new year. What was supposed to be the usual pre-midnight countdown complete with confetti, balloons and a crescendo of good cheers & kisses from strangers turned out to be a comedy of errors and potential drummer combustion.

Starting with the countdown, as we tuned up our instruments preparing for the second set at midnight, suddenly a giant graphic of numbers counting backwards from ten appeared on the wall signalling the big moment. There was no lead-up time nor were we prepared quite yet to say anything particularly auld lang syne-y. Zero hour hit and a slowish swell of a cheer came from the sold out crowd while we  yelled obligatory happy new years and hoorays into the microphone. Now, normally, I don't mind getting caught with my proverbial pants down but like with the perfect lover, this of all occasions is the one where you'd like to climax at the same time.

Didn't happen. Oh well. Cue cigarette and then go make me a sammich.

Stage tech Craig, pre-show,



But wait, there's more! During the first song of that set and without warning, the literal curtain came down on us. Like a big, red, rude, communist cloak threatening our show business freedoms, down slowly from the rafters it unfurled, visually separating us from our drummer. Being the consummate professionals that we are, we kept playing, having a chuckle and hoping whoever pressed the wrong button would unpress it quickly. Meanwhile, the Rev. Robin Eklund is querying with the Queen's English into the mic where the help might be and something about burning his retinas.

The curtain rises only to reveal the lighting truss had lowered itself somehow on top of the Rev's drum kit, nearly preventing him from playing and giving him quite the suntan at the same time.

Finishing the song like troopers, we announced a five minute break so that that house techs could figure out the haunted hydraulics. Which they did. Ok, break's over... keep going!! A couple of minutes later and without warning, a barrage of happy new year! balloons and confetti come falling from the ceiling for no apparent reason. Again, anti-climactic and well after the event. In coital terms, this would be known as the postmature ejaculation.

Was it spectres of the Bailey Theatre's past? Human incompetence? Too much musical foreplay? You be the judge.

Got It Bad, Got It Bad, Etc

Like you will be privy to in 2014, our live shows are featuring glistening musical newborns, uterus fresh and ready to scream! Tunes like "Digg", "Furnace Full Of Fire" and "Columbian Smokeshow" will be on the next opus. Another treat we busted out for the Camrose faithful this night was a rockabilly version of Van Halen's "Hot For Teacher" that would make crazy ol' toothless EVH proud.

Baby Pictures

After the night's wacky but successful gig, the Rev and I stumbled our way to his place (thankfully mere blocks away) where I flopped for the night. My first morning of 2014, I was awakened to the pitter-patter of little feet. Realizing it was not some recurring nightmare of trysts past, I emerged from Rev's basement to meet his daughter, Emily, innocently playing with her mom as well as torturing the family cat's whiskers.

In between blurry slurps of coffee I managed to snap a pic or two of daddy and daughter before she could epiphanize that the mangy, long hair pointing a camera phone at her did not belong here.

Father Eklund and Emily



Thanks to the evening's house crew.... Simon, Craig, Al, Evan and especially Diamond Dave Neher for braving the tundrous roads from thither and yon to do sound.

Soundman Diamond Dave... so good you'd think he's got four hands!

With the first gig of the year in the books, look forward to some interesting things to come over the next twelve months, dear devoted reader. While 2013 was a banner year for your punch drunk heroes, '14 will shape up nicely with a new album almost complete and a spate of dates to play. We made a lot of new friends this past year and look forward to spreading the communicable musical disease that is PDC!!!

And that's the unvarnished truth.