Reagan Youth has been invited on a four day tour with the Dayglo Abortions. We are hitting the providences starting May 15th to 18th CE. This inspired a re-write of our first time in Canada at the nation’s capitol, Ottawa, Ontario. I hope you enjoy the 2104 remix.
“UP THE COUNTRY CANADA PUNX”
In 1980 Henry Rollins was invited onstage in New York City at a Black Flag show where Dez encouraged him to sing Clocked In. This was appropriate since Henry had to return to DC and work the following morning. In 2012 at The Nick in Birmingham I was invited to sing USA with Reagan Youth on the Drivin’ South Tour. We were both asked to join our respective bands after the impromptu debuts. This comparison has been pointed out a few times. I gotta say I’m flattered. And listen, for better or worse, if you are a Rollins hater, ask if you have made a more noteworthy impact in punk music. Last I checked him and Ian Mackaye were still tight.
Sometime after Rob Halford was asked to leave Judas Priest and went to form Fight, the guy who sang in a Judas Priest tribute band became Judas Priest’s singer. In 2008 I was in a Reagan Youth tribute band called New Aryans based out of Austin, Texas (shout out to Bobby Aztec, Trev Apathy, Lex Royale, Shawn Cripple, Coby Tripper, & Cristoph Turk). I later went to sing for Reagan Youth. This comparison has been made as well. More often than not I have heard the movie based on that story. It’s called called Rock Star and stars Mark Wahlburg. I’m not complaining, I am just telling you.
Over the last daze of June, 2013 I went into Canada for the first time as a performer with the band. I also wanna admit I had very little to work with as introduction. It was a two day stint and I shamelessly name dropped to get your attention. Onward to OTTAWA, CANADA!!!
Getting a rental out of the States was more trouble than it was worth, so I headed northeast from Louisville, Kentucky in my Jeep. I was driving alone so I stopped off in C-Bus to visit my friend Molly, whom I had not seen since living in Texas some years ago. She always told me Columbus Punx knew how to get it in and was shown firsthand. There was a show and video shoot at Bourbon Street Bar and a front porch party with 40 oz punx next door. Columbus is an Oasis in the middle of Ohio and if you are a vagabond or a touring band, do yourself a favor and stop off in the captown. Are you happy? I was.
It took ten hours to get across the Pennsylvania turnpike to Philly. Thank god I was lifted the entire way or I would have lost my mind. I arrived at Tibbie’s place and immediately felt at home. I will always remember right before I went to sleep, her husband Nico and I stood on their balcony that overlooked the Delaware River and chatted for the first time. We talked history, geography, and how different governments worked. I was in and out of consciousness from the trip. I gotta say, our bass master general’s husband is a remarkable person. Their son Severin said I was “cool punk rock” and I think he thought that was my name. Considering his parents I was flattered. The next morning I went sight seeing until it was time for Tibbie and I to leavet for New Jersey to practice.
Jersey, NYC, & Lowell
When Tibbie and I arrived the band practiced as if we hadn’t missed a beat since April. I stayed the night in the city with Paul and Beatrice. The next afternoon we left for Lowell. Upon arrival I was informed that GG died the same night in 1993. We were in New England and he was from the next state over in New Hampshire. Patrick Flaherty hooked us with a great show in the upstairs of the Worthen House. The crowd was happy to have us as we were to be there. After the show Paul and I did an interview for a show in Lima, Peru. Due to the background noise of people leaving the club, we had to relocate from the inside, to the outside deck, and eventually on the street in order to have the audio record correctly. I honestly don’t think they got anything worth using.
Lowell is notorious for drugs and crime. The documentary High on Crack Street was shot there. It documented Dicky Ukland and two other addicts and their crack addiction. This was was portrayed in the movie The Fighter. I know, this is the second Mark Wahlburg reference, but not on purpose, I promise. The people who hung out were cool for sure, showed us love, danced and sang the songs. They were also kind enough to to hip us to who was pushing that ghetto d and who was about to break into our car. Funny because we saw some goons peeping out the gear in the Jeep. Patrick’s home was an old warehouse turned into studios. After drinking all that New England beer I was done. We slept good in preparation for Ottawa.
Ottawa, Canada & Beyond
I had been driving so fucking much at this point (2k since Kentucky). Who was driving I dunno, me or Paul. Crossing the border was quite painless coming New Hampshire. We found our way west towards Ontario, passing Quebec and Montreal along the way. The roads went from 70 mph to 70 kpm, the signs were in French and English, and the mood couldn’t have been better. I felt better than ever as we went west driving into the sunset, set to play Canada for the first time as a band. I should mentioned we consumed everything we brought before crossing the border. Needless to say we were on one.
The venue, a grey stone building called the Montgomery Legion Hall, appeared to have once been a Roman Catholic church and it was beautiful. We were immediately welcomed and shown inside where we drank bottled beers in bottles in a metric measurement slightly larger than a 40 oz.. We learned and played Working Man by Rush which led into the part where Miss Teen American takes. Canada and The States reprazented in a single medley sounds like peace n’ unity if you ask me. We played on the floor surrounded by mirrors on the three walls around the band, which left the back wall I faced towards the crowd was not. The show was able to be viewed from every angle. The excitement of being in another country as a band playing a gig to a new audience coupled with our anticipation and the manner we were received made this my favorite show at this juncture. Maybe still??
Afterwards I went to an after party until sunrise. The last thing I remember as I fell asleep in the cab was crossing the Ottawa River. Parliament overlooked the waterway. I drifted into a strange, dreamy state of being. I met back up with the band and left for the States hours later. Being up till sunrise, Paul drove as I slept that evening. I awoke when the Jeep came to a stop in Manhattan. I hugged, Stig and Tibbie goodbye, got a good nite’s sleep, ate breakfast, then hugged Paul and Beatrice goodbye. Turns out as I was leaving NYC on that July 1st morning it was Canada Day back in the north country.
I drove from New York to Ohio. I went into the Greyhound station and bought a bus ticket with what money I had left from my earnings for the next tour in New England. I was in line behind someone wearing a Reagan Youth shirt. I let it go for a moment, but I had to say something. I asked if he saw the band in Columbus last time they played shortly before I joined. His name was Jesse and he was buying a ticket to get to New York. He was friends with Paul. I took this as a sign that things are just getting better and better.
a big fat peace, love, n’ anarchy to ben crew and the extended pe family, patrick and the worthen, jo steel & ottawa sucks vol.2, paul, tibbie, stig, & beatrice, the columbus, ottawa & lowell punx, and most importantly loving love and hating hate
questions, comments, or wanna blast me online??
-trey oswald aka tr’z