When I was in the Paupers, we had a roadie, DB or Drew Bud as he liked to be called. He liked the two name thing because he thought it made him more attractive to girls. This, in spite of the fact that every time he introduced himself to a girl, she'd curl up her lip and go "Whaaaat.... What kinda stupid name is that???"
Roadies are famous for having thought processes that are incomprehensible to anyone but other roadies and possibly alien abductees. DB, I truly could write several books about. Except no one would believe them unless you'd actually seen him in action.
In those days, we travelled in a small van, DB always driving because, as he was quick to remind us, he was a "professional". A professional what, I never quite understood.
One summer weekend, we had a gig at a beach pavilion in a little town called Port Elgin, several hours north of Toronto. On the way up in the van, DB was unusually quiet. We're thinking either he's got lock jaw or something's definitely up. Something was up. Of course it was. So, out of the blue he says...
"Okay. Okay, enough of this crap."
"What crap is that, DB?"
He fidgets in his seat.
"You guys definitely, definitely need somebody to introduce you."
"Yeah, you mean like the guy at the gig tonight who always does it?"
His sneer could have fogged the windshield. "I mean someone professional!"
Ah, that would explain his purple double ribbed corduroy suit with the paisley shirt swinging in the back of the van.
Professional? You? DB, you eat nothing but Doctor Pepper and Cinnabuns! You shot pucks against your dad's garage door till it collapsed!
"Come on, gimme a break. Besides, you guys owe me!"
We do? Last time I looked DB in fact owed us about two hundred and eighty bucks.
"Besides, if I don't nail it, burgers tonight are on me"
"On you?" DB, you've never committed a selfless act in your life. You even hit on chicks that I'm hitting on!
"On me! On me!" He displayed all the sublime confidence of an Alfred E. Newman. As in Mad Magazine.
So, being musicians, we're always suckers for a full-fledged disaster, much less good burgers. We naturally took him up on his offer.
At the gig, DB set up the PA, we did a pretty good sound check, then got ready to spend the afternoon swimming and racing go-karts.
"You guys go ahead. I'm gonna stay here and practice my intro."
"DB, are you crazy? It's swimming and go-karts!"
"You go ahead. I'll be fine!"
"DB, the gig is four hours from now!"
"No, no, you go ahead. I'll be fine!"
As the new captain said while mooring the Hindenburg.
Four hours later, when we came back to the pavilion after a fun day at the beach, DB is already in his purple suit. It has dark patches under the armpit the size of dinner plates. But he barely notices our entrance. He's pacing the dressing room, practicing his big intro.
"Ladies and gentlemen...the Paupers!"
"Ladies and gentlemen, Canada's greatest band, the Paupers!"
"Are you ready for the Paupers!!!"
"Who wants to hear the Paupers!!!"
By show time, it was about a hundred degrees in the pavilion. DB had worked himself up into a truly professional lather. In fact, I don't believe I've ever seen any professional perspire that much.
He looks at his watch, his eyes as big as saucers.
"Okay, it's time! I'm ready. Let's go!"
"Maybe you should wipe the sweat off your shoes first."
"No, I'm fine! Let's do it!"
Fine? He looked to me like he was gonna have a stroke but hey, I'm not a neurologist.
By the time we got downstairs, DB had flop sweat so bad I'm sure the kids thought he was wearing a two tone jacket. I had a sudden, momentary rush of feeling sorry for him. I was even thinking about paying for the burgers.
Right up until the moment when he rushed on stage and screamed...
"Okay, let's really hear it for these guys!"
And rushed off.
WHAT????? "THESE GUYS????" No "Paupers??" No "Canada's Greatest Band?" No nothing?
No, of course not.
That night we gorged ourselves on his dime. Then we made him hitchhike home.
No, not really. But we should have!