176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent and Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, June 23 & 29

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My wristband for the 2013 Ottawa Jazz Festival and Macaulay Culkin sporting an appropriate facial gesture. (All photos and scans by VA.)

176. Lightning: Ottawa Jazz Festival 2013 with David Byrne & St. Vincent, Sunday June 23 / Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Saturday June 29, Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, $165.00 for a (largely wasted) Festival Pass

Another year, another Ottawa Jazz Festival: more great music intersecting with frustrations.  In other words, business as usual.

This year’s J Fest appeared as a terrific proposition with a stellar line-up anchored by its biggest star, Ms. Aretha Franklin, along with the currently touring collaboration between ex-Talking Head David Byrne and the fabaroony St. Vincent aka Annie Clark.  Sweetness!  Not only that but Willie Nelson, The Bad Plus, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Mavis Staples, and a few other options. Read the rest of this entry »

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155. Hanging Around: Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke, November 5, 2010

Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers with Blondie's Clem Burke, Zaphod's, Ottawa November 2010

 The line up in the freezing cold not pictured.

155. Hanging Around: Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers featuring Blondie’s Clem Burke, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ottawa, Ontario, Friday November 5, 2010, $18.

I have three primary associations regarding The Stranglers.  The first dates back to that trip to England in 1977 that I have written about.  Their debut album, Rattus Norvegicus, was a major hit over there that year, and the band’s menacing glares peered out from record store windows throughout the UK. Read the rest of this entry »


020b. Waiting In Vain: 20 Performances I Missed, 1980-2011

nxtc handbill london 1980XTC at Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, Monday November 24, 1980. Too bad the show never happened (Thanks to MZ for the scan of her handbill).

You’ve got the warm ticket in your hot little hands, anticipation is building, and you just know it’s going to be a great experience and a fun night out.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  Shows get cancelled or artists are pulled from advertised lineups owing to illness or personal emergencies.  Or ticket demand is too high — or too low.  Or shows go ahead but it is you that is ill or can’t afford to get yourself there (as you’ll see, that’s a popular one for me during my university years). Or the weather turns crap. Or rides vanish. Or someone joins a cult. And on it goes. Read the rest of this entry »


014. Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop with Nash the Slash, October 27, 1982

IggyPop Ticket 1982 BLOG

My ticket was lost during the melee that was this show, so thanks once again to Ms. P for providing me with a copy of hers.

014. Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop with Nash the Slash, Wonderland Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday October 27, 1982, $11, with Guest Contributor M. Zeppelin.

Wonderland Gardens was a dance hall in London, Ontario’s outer-west region. It opened in 1935 and hosted many key and regional orchestras of the big band era. The long, narrow building, hidden away from Wonderland Road by a thick nuzzling blanket of surrounding trees, was a beautiful vintage venue with sprung floors: all the better to absorb the shocks of jiving swing dancers during the Second World War years and the decades just beyond. Read the rest of this entry »


013. Night & Day: Joe Jackson, October 4, 1982

I no longer have my ticket for this concert, so I’m sending a big Thank You to Ms. P for providing me with a copy of hers. I do, however, still have my program (featured below).

013. Night & Day: Joe Jackson, Alumni Hall, UWO, London, Ontario, Canada, Monday October 4, 1982, $9.

Four years after my first visit to Alumni Hall to see Elvis Costello in November 1978, I returned to the same University of Western Ontario venue to see the guy who was often referred to as “The Poor Man’s” EC: Joe Jackson. Read the rest of this entry »


012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, September 5, 1982

One for the ages.

012. Clash City Rockers: The Clash with Black Uhuru, Part 1, CNE Grandstand, Toronto, Ontrio, Canada, Sunday September 5, 1982, $11 … and a Bonus Featurette: Etymology of the Nickname “Lady Bump.”

It would be difficult to overstate just how obsessed I was with The Clash during their late ‘70s/early ‘80s lifespan. Along with The Jam, and then a bit later, Joy Division, they were my favourite band of the era. This 1982 concert was the one time I got to seem them live and was easily the most anticipated show I had attended up until that point. Read the rest of this entry »


011. What A Day That Was: The Police Picnic II with The Police, the Talking Heads, the (English) Beat, Joan Jett and more, August 13, 1982

Hmmm … this ticket looks familiar …

011. What A Day That Was: The Police Picnic II with The Police, The Talking Heads, The (English) Beat, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, A Flock of Seagulls, and The Spoons, CNE Stadium, Toronto, Ontario, Friday August 13, 1982, $22.

Sometime during the early morning hours of Saturday August 14th, 1982, a Music Mann Tours bus pulled up to Victoria Park in downtown London, Ontario, Canada. Among those descending from the bus were myself, Lady Bump, and Le Château: the same trio that went to the OMD show in March. Although, with us, it was more like we were crawling out of it rather than walking off of it. I seem to recall kissing the pavement upon our return.

OK, that last touch may just be my imagination running away with me. But there is no doubting the memory of my/our utter relief and joy at being back in the hometown we so often derided.

It was supposed to have been such a fun day. Where did it all go wrong?

Read the rest of this entry »