My Musical Career

A news item from the old hometown recently sparked a memory.

An Anglican church located on the city’s west side is up for sale. The reasons are the usual: low attendance, aging congregation, cost of maintaining the city’s oldest church. When I saw the story, I suddenly remembered being in that church.

In grade 10 a friend and I formed a two-man music group. He was talented and played the guitar. I thought I could sing and play harmonica. We wrote songs in a style we thought was rather cleverly named as “punk folk.” The “band,” such as it was, went through a few different names like The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test before settling on Ugly Ties and Nuclear Bombs. Eventually, we did some cover songs at a high school talent show (“Walk on the Wild Side,” “As Tears Go By,” and “Wild Thing”). Wanting to record our genius, we set up a tape recorder in church where his parents were sextons (therefore he had a key) and started recording. It was very much in the style of the Cowboy Junkies except that we didn’t end up creating one of the best albums of the 1980s. But hey, we thought of it first.

The following year, I abandoned music for stand-up comedy with even more embarrassing results.


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