Stevie Ray; Virginsfest; Aritha van Herk; CAA W-i-R 2010 – 2011

Can’t let this day go by without a tip of the hat to Stevie Ray Vaughan, massively talented blues guitarist who died in a helicopter crash twenty years ago today. I saw him and his band Double Trouble play at the Jubilee Auditorium, of all places, in 1984. The air was blue with dope smoke, and Stevie Ray put on an amazing show. They kicked down the baffles the Jube staff had put up in front of their stacks and went for it. A great evening.

Had a swell time with members of The Virgins (and our later incarnation, The Strangeloves) over drinks last night. We tried to hang out on the deck in my backyard but it was just too windy. Calgary.

Heading to the Alexandra Centre tomorrow for a talk by Aritha van Herk on Writing: The Dubious Occupation . Indeed it is.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that my friend and colleague Rona Altrows will be acting as Canadian Authors Association’s Calgary Writer-in-Residence for the 2010 – 2011 term, starting Sept. 15th. Congratulations, Rona! I encourage anyone who may be looking for feedback on their work or a friendly ear to submit your work to her. We’re fortunate to have these kinds of opportunities in Calgary — take advantage!

Archeaology; Return of the Natives; Now what?

Adele Wolfe, old chum and former Virgins’ bassist and vocalist, dug up some of our old gig posters and stuck them up on Facebook, so I thought I’d repost them here for poster-ity:

I made this one for a show we were going to play at our high school. It was cancelled due to the furor the poster itself caused, but the music teacher got us a gig at the Stampede to make up for it.

This one I made for a memorable show at Hillhurst Sunnyside where we jettisoned black bras into the audience at the end of our set. Silicone Injection’s set was brought to an abrupt halt by the arrival of the police, who shut the place down and poured out all the booze. The Verdix never did play that night. The photo of us that ran with the The Calgary Herald article last year was taken outside the hall before this show.

Finally, I didn’t make this poster (Mark I., perhaps?) but I did have it hanging in my room for a long time. On the other hand, I have no memory of this show at all. Hmmph.

So, there you go. A little blast from the past. These ought to come in handy for the program Dan Hayes of The Golden Calgarians and I are doing for Calgary Public Library on ancient Calgary punk in November. More about which later.
Other news: we made it back from Van Isle without incident and now it seems like we were never gone. The usual thing, you know. Last week I managed to get a grant application wrapped up and finished off a new story which I’ve submitted to a hopefully-forthcoming anthology. Thanks to Diane and Rona for your help with it.
Funny how things go. I’m facing a period of uncertain length where I will be just writing — not teaching, or promoting a new book or working on edits for a forthcoming one — just writing. And as it turns out, my mom’s ALS seems to be  progressing fairly rapidly at this point.  So I will definitely be spending some time in the coming months visiting her and taking care of a number of matters for her. Although I’m not actually glad this is happening, I’m glad it’s happening now and not in the previous two years — it would have been a lot harder. So for that, and many other things, I am grateful.