Super Trooper

Welcome to the Valentine's Day edition of The Unvarnished Truth... the blog that whole-heartedly endorses the concept of true love. Anything that doesn't put you in jail is alright by us. 

Last Saturday, we zipped down Hwy 2 to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We were simply giddy at the thought of opening a(nother) show for our friends in Trooper. Yes, that Trooper. Canadian legends who've written some of the most iconic songs in rock, and, I'll have you know, a few time-tested radio-friendly ballads that some of you may or may not have kanoodled to (or worse) in your youth.



Raise A Little Kelp


Thorncliffe Greenview Community Hall was the venue as the locals organized this event to raise funds for the purchase of a Zamboni. Yup. Trooper in Calgary to help buy an ice resurfacing machine. Is there anything more Canadian?


You won't find anyone more friendly than these fellas. And for some reason, they really like us! Despite our carefully sculpted reputation as travelling snake oil minstrels, the Trooper boys have seen thru this veil of scalliwaggery and befriended us anyway. Why, keyboardist Gogo hisself greeted us at soundcheck with hugs and correct nicknames all-around. Even singer and beauty of a guy, Ra McGuire, also took time out to hobknob with the likes of us. It makes it all the more shame that I was plotting to steal their rider snack plate the whole time. Yeah, that's right. Guard your veggies around us. We ain't to be reckoned with.


While they were doin' this.....                                                   ....I was eyein' up the Trooper rider booty




Gogo & The Captain.... "Call me!"



Sawbones, Ra McGuire throwin' the horns, Bandmeister Randy B



Round, Round We Go


If you -- dear, silly, naive reader --  think that performing on a bill with a well-known classic rock act is nothin' but booze, broads & barbiturates.... well, that can be the case sometimes. And most days I really wish it were, trust me. But usually it's about tight timelines, professional respect and good ol' fashioned brow sweat. And... a lot of waiting around.

While you're at home primping & preening for a big night out at the rock show, a dedicated armada of working stiffs are putting that show together so you can enjoy good food & drink, great music and perhaps even something a little extra when you go home with a special, new friend you met at the concert! 

But before your Punch Drunk pals hit the stage, we do plenty of this:



That's right. Bide our time and wait. Wait for our chance to entertain. Wait for an opportunity for rock glory. Wait for a shot of our fair share of booze, broads & barbiturates. Sometimes rock 'n' roll ain't so glamourous. Come to think of it.... barbiturates aren't really, either.



We're Here For A Good Time, Not A Long Time... About 45 Minutes, Actually


When we did finally get on stage, we were ready. Like an excited young calf escaped from it's pen, we gave it all we had in front of up to 600 patrons, all hungry for rock! The one thing they weren't hungry for was food.... for the hall masses had just consumed a full meal before the first note was struck by Bandmeister's mighty electric lute. The aforementioned young calf frolicking in freedom? That was supper.

Suffice it to say that a tall order lay before us: entertain a packed house of folks ready for a nice, post-meal nap. Well, thank goodness for liquor and volume cuz that combination did the trick as the rockabilly rocked, the steampunk swing swung and none of the PDC Three fell off the cramped stage. That, friends, is victory. Not so much for the calf.



Fans, Friends & Foppery



Cap't Sean E. Watts and Bandmeister Randy B                                                 Sawbones & new fan Tammy

Why is it when I take a completely innocuous picture with the purest of intentions, it always looks worse than it really is? 



Sawbones & new friend Al: part of the amazing staff at Thorncliffe Greenview Community Hall



New friend Brad from metal masters Kobra And The Lotus (!) with Sawbones. Kindred bassists and facial hair growers



Arrive. Raise A Little Hell. Leave.


I surmise that the organizers did raise the money for their Zamboni. The event seemed like a smashing success with hundreds of folks leaving tired and happy after a long night of hits and hats. In fact, we tip them to you, Thorncliffe Greenview Community Hall! Thank you for hosting this great night of Canadian rock. May all your ice be smooth.   


And that's the unvarnished truth.




Additional photos by Cap't Sean E. Watts