The Golden Drip

Posted: February 6, 2011 in Rock n Roll

Now before some of you nervous nellies get the wrong impression, the title of this post is NOT a link to some skanky porn site featuring hookers engaging in sex acts involving bodily functions! No way, José! (Sadly, those sites do exist, and in this day and age I imagine they are well-frequented by professional losers.) Seriously, folks, this is just an example of Sparkling Apple’s custom of intentional dyslexia — the name refers to a nightclub in the Kootenays known as The Golden Drift! We’re talking 1975 here, gang.

This Nelson, BC establishment was run by a rather odd gentleman who went by the name of Cornelius Van Pelt, a Dutch immigrant who still possessed an unintelligible Dutch accent despite the fact that he’d most likely been a Canadian citizen for 75 years. He had a peculiar habit of going out in the audience with a pair of scissors and snipping off a large piece of some unsupecting customer’s necktie; his newfound prize would then be prominently displayed alongside other snipped ties, on a clothesline behind the bar — the Golden Drift Tie Club! Cornelius (yes, we referred to him as Cornhole-nelius) would appear onstage greeting the audience with “Velcome velcome to De Golden Drip. Fun Shpot Number Vun in BC. Drink a little, dance a little and shpend ALL your money, because dat makes me VERY happy.”

He would then introduce us by adding, “Now ve present a HARRRRD rock band — and you know vat DAT means! Here dey are, Da Shilver Vinggies!!” By way of explanation: prior to our booking, there had  been a band known as Silver Wings appearing at the Golden Drift. Apparently they did quite well (meaning that the bar sold a lot of beer during Silver Wings’ week), so as a result, Cornelius would refer to each succeeding band as The Silver Wings! We did meet up with other bands who were in the area at the time. Can’t remember what they were called, but one rock group from Washington State had us in stitches when they were bragging about their stage sound: “So-and-so had his guitar just QUACKIN'”. At that point we considered renaming Art the Fart as Carl Quackin’ (Art’s middle name is Carl).

The audience at the Golden Drift was comprised primarily of Kootenay greasers, who during the day would cruise up and down the strip (that is, the main street of town) in their so-called hot cars, in a vain attempt to recreate American Graffiti. [Side note: American Graffiti (the movie soundtrack) was so popular in those days, that 50s rock n roll was referred to as “graffiti”!] On the main street in town was an old boarding house called the Allen Hotel, which naturally prompted us to alter an “L” in the outdoor sign so that passers-by would be welcomed to the “Alien Hotel”.

The other segment of the audience was denizens of the local hippie communes (hippies were abundant in the area in 1975). I remember one hippie dude frightening his drinking companions with his cries of “angels and devils — angels and devils”, which produced spasms of terror among his coterie of hippie chicks! The principal drinking establishment was the Queens Hotel, which we were thrown out of because “we don’t serve hippies” (of course, our reaction was, “that’s OK, we don’t eat them”), and if I’m not mistaken is immortalized in a Trooper song, or at least on Ra McQuire’s blog.

When we weren’t performing, we would wile away the day in the Diamond Grill (wasn’t that a Seals & Crofts song?), watching those previously-mentioned demented rednecks in their quest for god nose what. Come dinner time, our idea of a “cheap pigout” would be to dine at the local Mr. Mikes and order the least expensive burger on the menu. Accompanied by all manner of free condiments like ketchup, mustard, HP Sauce, onions, soya sauce, chocolate chips, this burger would earn the reputation of The Assholy Grail — a heart attack on a plate, or “thousands of bites and turn out the lights”.

Our accommodation on one trip was at a sleazy motel across the lake. (I won’t mention the name of the establishment because after Googling it, it just so happens that it still exists!) We were all stuffed into a two bed, one bunk bed room complete with 70s pinewood wall panelling, but wonder of wonders, the motel had an actual swimming pool. This pool, not surprisingly, was the scene of several beverage-fuelled escapades involving patio furniture in the pool’s deep end late at night.

By now most readers are wondering, “So when’s this guy gonna get to the point?” Well, there IS no point. I’ve been deliberately wasting your time in order to inform you that this weekend’s “Road Tales” story, which normally would have been located on the Sparkling Apple website, is once again right here on the Offiicial Sparkling Apple Blog. However, stay tuned for yet another thrill-packed episode of our Continuing Saga in the life of a bar band, already in progress on Another Network (as Johnny Carson used to say). Fort St. John will be soon be exposed in our hard-hitting series!

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Keep on rockin’,
Captain Maniac

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