Veterin(arian)'s Day

Good day to you, dear reader! This is The Unvarnished Truth -- the infamous blog that answers the question, "What am I doing on this webpage (and how do I get off it?)" No time for that now! Best get settled in for another riveting PDC web log... guaranteed to cure what ails ya. If'n what ails ya is chronic boredom. And maybe rickets.

This installment of our adventures took us this past Monday to Banff, Alberta, Canada for a veterinarian convention at the world-renown Banff Springs Hotel. How we even got this gig is a whole 'nother story too long and tedious to repeat here. Suffice it to say that it may or may not involve a conspiracy involving Ebola, Renee Zellweger and Jian Ghomeshi's teddy bear.


The Opulent Bum

The hotel, as you may know, is a grand and opulent jewel in the heart of the Alberta rockies. Personally, your ol' Sawbones has never darkened the door of such architectural avarice, let alone perform or stay the night there. I'm lucky they even let the likes of me walk in the front door! "Excuse me, Mister.... Sawbones, is it? Yes, the hostel is down the street."


The grand ol' gal herself                             View from the ballroom


Hallowed Halls and Hellhounds

We set up our gear in the Cascade Ballroom, where legends like Fred Astaire danced and Marilyn Monroe dazzled. And now, Punch Drunk Cabaret!  (Editor's Note: That is the last time you'll ever read those names that close together.)

Bandmeister in the ballroom


Before the show, Bandmeister Randy B and I decided to let off steam and shoot some pool in that grand, old tradition of wager-making, well-dressed gentleman in smoke-filled billiard rooms. One thing those cigar-choked pool parlours of yore never had was a pet friendly policy. This was evidenced by the game-interrupting appearance of a dog owner with her pony-sized great dane. The dog's name was Lexus -- apt, as it was about as big as one.


Billiards-playing gents... and the other way around.


Now of course, being a gentleman and wannabe lothario, I wanted to desperately introduce myself in close proximity with a tip of the hat to the fetching young lady. But I feared that any sudden moves with my arm toward my chapeau would leave my torso and nether regions exposed to the monster hound. I wisely kept my distance because it was too close to showtime to be eaten by a dog.

Lexus The Horse Dog


Dancehall Daze Love

The show started at 9pm after a sumptuous feast for the conventioneers. As I strode across the very floor where dignitaries danced and movie stars flirted, I wondered if the famed ghosts of the hotel's past would bless or curse us this evening. Legend has it that, decades ago, a few macabre mishaps occurred resulting in eyewitness accounts of hauntings, sightings, chillings and blood-spillings!   

The only thing spilled this night was a little booze and a lot of sweat. Naturally, we performed the usual spirited (Editor's Note: Ha-ha.) show that would make the hotel's famous spectres proud. Interim skinsman, Greg "Wolfman" Williamson joined us again to help provide venerable veterinarians with a vivacious verve of musical vavoom!


Pre-show stage in the hallowed Cascade room. Can you see the ghost?


PDC performed the usual array of rug-cutting masterpieces from our two albums plus an assortment of crowd-pleasing covers. Being in a ballroom with this amazing history behooved one to keep folks on the dance floor as much as possible. They danced, they sang, they cavorted -- once again making proud the apparitions of the past who did similar. Also witnessed was a strange lady who jumped up onto the stage briefly to yell something into the microphone at the peak of musical frenzy. And as fast as she appeared, she vanished just as quickly never to be seen again. Was this the night's first ghostly cameo? Or just a tipsy attendee later to be found hugging a porcelain convenience due to an excess of celebration? My romantic heart yearns for the former.

Afterward, I made my way around the room soaking in every memory, those current and historical.... but not before unsuccessfully flirting with two comely, young lasses of challenging virtue. As is my usual luck, they would have none of it. And in my lonely hotel room later, neither would I. They did have pity on me, though, allowing a photo op with this old chunk of coal.


A chunk of coal sandwich


Post Mortem

A once-in-a-lifetime type of gig for us, we soaked up as much of the environment as possible and played our hearts out in homage and with great respect for the castle's colourful past.

Thanks to Diamond Dave Neher and his faithful sidekick, Fargo Chad for the usual top-notch production.

I'd also like to right a glaring wrong in failing to snap a photo of drummer Greg the night of the show. So in correcting this grievous error and also to prevent him from punching me in my face, John L. Sullivan-style, I submit the following photographs of Greg in his other band, King Doom and his possible pugilistic stance should he ever be displeased with me. Please enjoy responsibly.


And that's the unvarnished truth.