Tails Of Whoa!

Hey Y'all! This installment of The Unvarnished Truth may be the most rockin' one yet! It takes place at the annual Edmonton Rock Music Fest so it durned well should be. But your ol' Sawbones is so behind on bloggin' chores that I'll just have to encapsulate the last insane month just to get it the hell off'n my plate.



Gamblin' Men


August 4th.... Our first casino gig at Apex in St. Albert! They had an outdoor classic car show going on and PDC provided the soundtrack. Folks gamble giant sums of money in casinos. Hearts are broken. Lives shattered. But we had a great time!!

Our crew chief for the month was none other than our good friend and jack of all trades (including booze mule), Craig "The Wrench" Hansen. Or, less intimidatingly, C.W.


Like the traveling sideshows of yore -- PDC via flatbed



Dog Patch Adams


Next stop was Whelan, SK for the Dog Patch Music Festival... our first gig in the five year history of the band in Sackdechewon (Editor's Note: Spelling!)

Truly one of the strangest dates we've ever played... though it wasn't unlike any other small rural festival -- free-love attitude, emphasis on artists and creating, ample tents of interesting bobbles, interestingly ample boobles in tents... a feel good weekend of music and lovers thereof.

Some of the fine, fine scenery at Dog Patch


The weirdness began when we were the only band of the day to be nearly completely rained out. The heavens shined on the excellent Johnny Cash tribute earlier in the day as if ol' John hisself blessed the event. But the skies opened up just before our first song. And being the seasoned snake-oil pros that we are, we soldiered on, practically daring the person in charge of meteorological phenomena to smite us as we played. The challenge was accepted and this, of course, decimated the crowd that gathered -- scattering like old testament sheep fearful of being smited by the aforementioned mighty smite-or.

In literature, this is called foreshadowing


Just before we finished the set, the sky cleared and the weather sweetened, as if to say, "Take that, you incredibly charming & awesome well-dressed Albertans! You won't be stealing our women this day!"

Ok, maybe it was just me that was thinking that. But it was weird.

After the overly moist set was complete, the lads and I partook in the usual post-performance shenanigans -- hobnobbing with fellow musos, chit-chatting with patrons & new fans and trying in vain to score. Well, I was, at least. You would think that a man of my world experience, renown and fashion advantage could arrange a romantic liaison for himself! But as usual, it was not to be. Damn you, ZZ Top! As it turns out, not every girl crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man.

Dog Patch performer David James influencing a young lad.... or is it the other way around?



Weepin' in Whelan


Now because we hadn't checked in to designated band chalets down the road earlier in the day, a contact at Dog Patch told us to just pick an empty one and walk in as there were no keys. Hmmm.... okee doke. And being quite late in checking in (about 2 or 3 in the morn), we hoofed it to the chalet site a-a-a-and kept-a-hoofin', looking for an empty cottage.... in the dark.... creeping around the complex.... like four dirty but incredibly talented hobos looking for a meal and some loose change.

As we peeping tom'd our way thru every shack to see if each were occupied (they were), it became dishearteningly clear that rock 'n' roll actually is a vicious game. But just before I was about to sing a half-drunken version of that old chestnut to my disgruntled band mates, we found the kitchen house.... unlocked, fully stocked and about to rock!

Craig "The Wrench" Hansen considering a new nickname


Upon entering we found a lovely camp kitchen complete with picnic tables, fireplace, comfy chairs and, oh yes, food and booze. So when in Rome.... ransack! Since we felt we were cheated out of properly accommodated accommodations, your punchy Punch Drunk pals feasted, gorged and drowned ourselves in whatever delicious excesses we could find. The list included, eggs, bread, sausages, several cheesecakes, some red wine and a keg of beer. Truth be told we didn't consume all of it.... some fell on the floor or was spilt upon ourselves. It was a damned, gastronomic orgy of self-justified delight.

Then we passed out on top of the picnic tables, awoke two hours later and drove home.


The Lord helps those who help themselves..... right????



Sweet Victory


After all our kooky adventures, we had to put our game facial hair on and prepare for the big 'un of the summer: opening the annual Edmonton Rock Music Festival! Sharing the stage with us on August 14 were none other than The Stampeders and.... Sweet. Yes, that Sweet. Well, partly Sweet. Actually, one guy from Sweet. It was hard to tell. But it didn't matter none no never how. This kinda thing looks great on the resume.


lil ol' PDC amongst the legends of rock                                                       literal hard rock mascot



All Rise


As we got prepared for our auspicious debut at this near legendary festival (which included being kicked out of The Stampeders dressing room.... more foreshadowing!), we were informed at side stage that the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, the honourable Lois Mitchell, was to be in attendance and escorted into the venue moments prior to our performance. This struck us funny. Was she lost? Accidentally misdirected by her armed & cranky bodyguard? No sir/madam. She wanted to be there. The bodyguard didn't. Do your job, soldier, and let the lady rock! 

Never got the pleasure of meeting her but we do know it was the first time we've played in front of a bona fide dignitary. That's not rock 'n' roll! Is it????


Pre-show: Sawbones and good pal, Michael Kryton        Bandmeister Randy B testing delicate equipment 



Awaiting the arrival of the lieutenant governor. Tick tock, Your Eminence... tick tock



Great And Terrible Loss


I must take this time, dear reader, to lament the loss of a beloved family member. Are you sitting down? Because the emptiness I feel in my heart after losing a loved one is difficult to bear let alone share. About four songs into our set (which overall, was simply boffo!), I removed my custom-made black tailcoat, placed it on a mic stand just off stage left..... and never saw it again! I looked everywhere for it, even coming down to the venue the next day but to no avail. Lost forever.

As some of you may know my fondness for children, your hearts must break realizing that this special jacket was like a son to me.... a son that never sassed me, disrespected me nor shat on me (as real human spawn are wont). This was one of the worst moments in my professional life. And though I've come to terms with the fact I may never see it again, I have my suspicions as to where it may still be. Since Calgary's The Stampeders were onstage right after us and obviously tempted by my astoundingly good taste in couture, I am publically blaming and shaming them. Maybe it serves us right in using their change room (we left it only lightly soiled) but to take a man's coat is down there with skunks, salamander bellies and former broadcaster senators. 

So I'll be watching. Oh yes, Mr. Steal-My-Coat-So-You-Can-Look-Fabulous Guy. Every day, I'll be watching your Stampeders website and every photograph of you in the media from now on. Ride my coattails for now, friend. For if it is you.... I swear by Lemmy's Wart that I will hunt you down and gut you like a fish! BEWARE THE WRATH OF SAWBONES!!!!

And if it isn't... ummm... hey dude, big fan!



K97... The Shocking Truth About Them!!


One thing I'll say about the event's promoting radio station, K97... for a station that only plays classic rock, they sure like to talk about and promote the importance of local bands and the local music scene. I, your ol' Sawbones, officially give kudos to Terry Evans and the gang there at CIRK-FM. They talked about us, posted our videos on their Facebook page and promoted the hell out of this event. Which, by the way, isn't exactly the "darling" music festival in E-town but with this kind of coverage and love, it should be. Great job, folks! PDC tips it's collective chapeau to you!!

K97's Terry Evans and what looks like a wet dog



Post Fest


Thanks to Kennedy Jensen, Terry Evans, Andrew White, Randy Bilak, Fort McMurray and Stephanie Harpe Experience for being upstanding citizens in the name of rock! And giving your poor ol' snake oil salesmen a helping hand. Here's Two Brown Bottles Of Beer to ya!!!


And that's the unvarnished truth.