I went to the Silver Dollar to see Dave McFarlane and friends play the other night and it was a cold blast from the far past. I haven’t seen Dave since my former life as a painter when we both spent a summer at the Banff Centre of the Arts. What a great summer. Basically, they gave a bunch of artists a studio and room and board for 10 weeks and we did whatever we wanted.
I did what?
As soon as I saw Dave I remembered a party in Banff thrown by Greg Curnoe – our workshop leader at the Centre, a wonderful painter (and person) who tragically died in a bicycle accident (ironic really, as he made a huge name for himself in the Canadian art scene with his bicycle paintings). Midway through the party I looked over to see Dave and another artist, Doug Harvey (now a critic/curator in L.A I think, but don’t curse me if I’m wrong because my memory sucks). They were on their knees solemnly peeing on an open book.
Please don’t pee on the books
Greg Curnoe went over and said something like what are you doing, or please don’t pee on the books or something like that and – this I remember! – Dave explained, in all seriousness, “It’s okay. It’s a book of art criticism.” I actually think Greg sympathized but as he was subletting this lovely furnished house complete with all the art books he very kindly told Dave and Doug that they had to go home to bed now.
Dave says he doesn’t remember this pivotal moment in time, but, when I talked to him after his set, he thanked me for reminding him what he thinks of art criticism.
Now he’s a musician and his music is sort of soulful country edgy artsy … um, maybe I shouldn’t become a music critic anytime soon – but even so, please don’t pee on this blog post.
And then the next band played and I had another blast from the even farther past because they were so hard driving, kind of Motorhead-y that I felt like I was reliving my bad girl days in Spain. These days I’m spending time writing about mystical places and finding myself and energy spots around the world, but one of these days I’ll write about my bad girl days in Barcelona, London and Berlin. And people can pee on it all they want.
And then my friend Sherel and I realized that the band was really really loud and our ears were aching. So I put toilet paper in my ears and she put gum in hers. That’s right. She took it out of her mouth and put GUM IN HER EARS! Who does that? Actually it’s quite inventive. And just so you know, it was cinnamon flavoured.
Then I grabbed some guy and asked him who the band was. “Summer of ’92,” he said.
“They’re really good,” I said.
“They’re awesome!” he said. “I saw them a couple of years ago and they changed my life!” I really wanted to know how they changed his life, but he walked off and before the next band came on I got sleepy so I took the toilet paper out of my ears and went home – sad proof that my bad girl days are behind me.