Chapter 37

the sound: Rush –In the Mood, Rush – Finding My Way, Rush – Anthem, Rush – Fly By Night, Rush – Limelight, Rush – Tom Sawyer, Rush – Driven, Rush – Working Man, Rush – Natural Science, Rush – A Farewell to Kings, Rush – Circumstances, Rush – XYZ, Rush – 2112, Rush – Far Cry

A waitress appears and Robert announces as we’ll have “the usual” while she slides clean ashtrays around the table.

“how the hell does he know what my usual is?” I think when she returns with several bottles of Jack followed by a young man bearing a large tray of jugs of mix.

“it’s like our own private Jack Daniels party” I mutter, which is closely followed by the thought, “what…haven’t they ever heard of vodka? er gin maybe? what if I was in a mind for tequila? Or beer?”

I pull my face away from the table and look up at the band…and then look again. I turn to Robert…”Hey!..I know them…you know what? I’ve worked with them….they’re Canadian!” I holler to be heard over the music.

Robert ignores me and leans across me to begin a conversation with the Executioner.

“Fine then”…I think and then settled back to remember the last time I’d had this band play in my bar. We’d just changed booking agents, and I’d been terrified that it’d been a mistake. I mean, I like my rock n roll the same as the next girl but these guys were just plain loud and metallic and loud and holy crap! did I mention loud?

Mike had laughed at me and called me an old woman…”yer so hung up on hillbilly blues and R n B that you’ve obviously got all yer taste in yer mouth” he’d teased “expand yer horizon’s Baby, you gotta go with the flow.”

I smiled as I remembered.

The bar had been packed…standing room only and I was beginning to worry about what would happen if the fire marshal had shown up. Mike always said he’d take care of it so Big D and I had just opened bottles of beer till I had blisters on my hand from the caps.

At that point I had a good team of women working the floor and a couple of them could stack those stubby bottles 2 trays high, which meant they’d hit the floor with 24 bottles at once. So, in the end, we’d made money.

Some of these waitresses had been working with me for years and we’d worked out a kind of cross between code and sign language for ordering so I didn’t have to hear them…but even with my earplugs in my head hurt. Course it didn’t help that the bar was located right behind and slightly to the left of the stage.

That band…they were so damn loud that I couldn’t hear myself think. I hated the racket, there didn’t seem to be anything I could find that resembled a melody and now that I was sober all of the time that metal crap just didn’t seem to fit into my head.

Anyway their version of rock n roll was a new and very contained a heavy bass that was quite a different experience from the kind of cover bands I was used to. So much so that at one point I’d just lost all patience with the noise and slipped into the storeroom behind the bar and threw the main power switch off.

As that big old bar room sunk into darkness there was what seemed like a full minute but was likely just a moment of complete and utter silence. And then the crowd started screaming and whistling. By the time the room settled into the kind of darkness that only a room without windows and lights can Mike had stepped into the storeroom with me and threw the breaker back on.

He looked down and me and shook his head smiling. “There’s 300 people out there that wanna party Baby, what’s up with you?”

“I guess I just thought it would be nice to hear myself think for a minute er two” I suggested as he pulled me into his arms.

“Well there’s that…but truly you can hear yerself think all day tomorrow woman…tonight’s for making the dough” he’d murmured into my hair.

“Fine then…wrong again” I’d barked…contrary bitch that I am. I’d shoved him away and stomped outta the storeroom and back to the bar.

He’d leaned over and rubbed my back as he came out of the store room, “you are a fine judge of words but yer lacking in the musical taste Baby…you are gonna end up costing us if ya don’t lay offa this band…they are good, and if they are lucky they’ll make it big time some day.”

“ya? Well I’m paying them…so if I wanna shut them off I will!” was my retort.

Six months later we knew 2 things….one being that the reason I’d been so cranky that night was because I was already pregnant, and 2 being that the band had won their first Juno Award for “Most Promising Band” (a fact that Mike had laughed and teased me unmercifully about.)

The band on the stage before me was Rush.

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