Bang your head!

I was asked to fill in for a band in the 1980's; a 50's throw-back band.

I think it was yet another case of the guitar player meeting up with the love of his life who has religious inclinations that wouldn't accommodate his music with her religious predisposition. Anyway, I was working full-time but this was a gig at the Nag's Head Eaton center which was, in my mind, a pretty cool gig. I played out the week and then did about 4 other gigs while they sorted out their guitar needs and my time with the band ended up with a great private cottage party in the Muskoka's. The place was packed, rockin' and I had a great last gig.

When the night was done, heavy rain set in, and the leader of the band, Byron, brought me to the boathouse for a scotch and we laughed and got a little shit-faced. Accommodations were a little rough but everything was accounted for; my bed was in a docked boat and it wasn't bad. The bottle mostly gone, we said our goodnights, and being in the middle of a downpour, I raced along a path to get to the lake where my boat-bed awaited.

Somewhere along the path, I got disoriented and between the pouring rain and the scotch, I fell onto a tent - like, right on a tent. I could feel the body(ies) and muffled alarm as I clamored to get back up, regained my composure, and took off toward the lake. I found my boat, unzipped the hood, and found my bed. aaaahhhh

I awoke to someone tugging at the zipper. Being only one bed in the small boat I yelled out "it's taken" and the reply from outside was, "fuck". Feeling that, at this time of night, someone looking for a bed might have something to do with me I asked,

"why don't you have a place?".

The answer was, "I did have one til some asshole ran through my tent and took off". "I replied, "here, take my spot".

"no, I couldn't do that", he replied sadly.

I replied, "oh yea you can, I'm the asshole who ran through your tent"

zziiiiippp - he's in, and I am out.

So I looked around and every place where one might sleep was accounted for (thinking of it now, I don't know why I didn't just go back to the boathouse) so, I went under the cottage, in the dirt, and slept on my belly using my arms as a pillow.

In the morning we got to the dock for the barge and loaded our gear and ran back to the mainland near Gravenhurst. I looked very much like Pigpen from Charlie Brown, hair uncombed, filth all over, but decided to take the invitation from the rest of the band to stop for breakfast at a restaurant just south. We pulled in and got the last table in the joint. It was Sunday morning and most people looked like they were coming from church. The place was "white" as I recall, meaning all the tables floor - it was very bright. And quiet. Mere murmurs as we took our seats. I remember thinking I should have tried to dispense of more sand as I could feel it on my ass as I sat down and noticed there was already a small pile on the floor beneath me.

We got into small chit chat and I remember thinking, this conversation lies outside the typical topic range of post-church restaurant-goers, so, honest to god, I intended to go to the jukebox and play some music that might just cover up some of our conversation.

Well, there it was. The first song. "A1". "Bang Your Head" by Quiet Riot. I put my quarter in, looked around and saw all eyes were on me.. I pushed "A". Looked around again and pushed "1".

By the time I got back to my seat (under which I noticed a small pile of sand), the song had started and it was so intrusive, even the band was offended. I remember the bass player looking at me shaking his head "what the fuck is wrong with you, Bill?!"

The song played for its entirety as I played air drums. You don't how long 5 minutes and 15 seconds is until you've imposed Quiet Riot on some of Muskoka's churchgoers on a Sunday morning. But finally, mercifully, it ended. And I did what any self-respecting lunatic might do...I fished out another sandy quarter from my pocket. The room was silent - I am sure if this was New Yawk someone would have made their protest clear but here, in the Muskokas, there is a politeness. My friend who admonished me for playing the tune realized my intentions and said, simply, "oh noooo". I stood up and walked to the jukebox. Slowly... Looked around at the faces of the people around me. I detected a strange mixture of anger and hate - maybe a curiosity. From the women, it looked more like, "what's wrong with him??!!". The band was clearly watching as I placed the sandy quarter into the jukebox. I pressed "A". I stopped and looked around. I was actually surprised no one was taking me out ... I very slowly, pressed "1". Yep. Bang your head.

The protestations were a little too late because now they were muffled by the "Quiet Riot" playing on the jukebox as I sat down. I recall the bass player saying "this isn't even funny". I thought it was as I found my air-drum groove.

A moment later - the sound turned off and as I turned to see the cause of this violation, I saw a gentleman coming up to me with a quarter. He gave me the quarter and said "I'm sorry, we just can't have this".

God bless the Muskokas and no wonder they hate city folk.

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