I Gotcha Where I Wantcha

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Rock n Roll

I was going to save this story for the Official Sparkling Apple Website, but seeing it’s just a short anecdote, I’ll throw it on the ol’ Blog… And yes, the above is a poster from the week we were appearing at this fabled watering hole (torn down in 2016).

Let’s all hop in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine, and be transported to 1979 in Delta, BC. The most popular rock n roll bar in that city was the Scottsdale Inn, and several of you have mentioned that whenever we made an appearance, there was considerable mayhem and frolic. Cruising and bruising. Having a rave up. Of course, an enthusiastic audience was desirable for “good rockin’ tonite”, but the Scottsdale crowd never let us down.

When it came time for us to do what we’d planned to be a live album, Scottsdale was considered to be the ideal location to do the recording on account of the wild crowd. Unfortunately, we had such a good time that the tapes we made were, shall we say UNEVEN due to the logistics of recording a booze-fuelled band in combat conditions in a boisterous atmosphere! Some tapes we have managed to salvage (the loud & proud version of “Never Gonna Kiss You Bye Bye”, became the flip side of “It’s Criminal” in 1980), but not enough was usable for a complete album. One of these days, the world will be introduced to what we DO have in the vaults, and the likes of Justin Bieber will learn Just What It Was Like before he was born. (Update: in 2012, several Scottsdale recordings surfaced on the Sparkling Apple best-of compilation, “Hard Core Apple.)

Hey, here’s an open call to anyone who remembers Cal Woosnam and Challenger Sound (who recorded us under those rigorous circumstances) – if you know the whereabouts of Cal, let him know that we’d sure like to track down the original tape, because all we have left of this show is on tape cassette (remember THOSE?). Thanks, and now back to our story…

But, I digress, as the saying goes.

We actually recorded two nights in a row, performing all of our best songs, including “I Gotcha Where I Wantcha” (dedicated to Lita, who loved the tune), “Papa Oom Mow Mow” and an uproarious version of “Johnny B. Goode” where Art got to imitate all of his favourite guitarists. Ding, our longstanding soundman, was at the board both evenings, and the Challenger Sound mobile truck was out in the parking lot. To cover our recording costs, we actually sold tickets to this show, Friday & Saturday, September 28th & 29th, 1979:

We even hired old friend Gerry Murakami to come in and take photos for the proposed album’s front and back covers. Seen below is a pic that was shot in colour in the actual Scottsdale pub where we did the recording (with The Apple Corps posing as bar patrons in the background), later used in Black & White for the cover jacket for our “It’s Criminal” single. Here it is in colour for the first time anywhere: Buzz is shown holding a starting pistol we borrowed from Jerry Kosterman’s sporting goods store in Surrey Place!

The front and back cover were meant to be a “before” and “after” sequence, with the back cover displaying a puzzled Buzz staring at the pistol wondering why he was still alive, but Art & I shot dead beside him. Our high-tech special effects crew applied some ketchup to my forehead to give the appearance of me being shot in the head, and Gerry even set off some flash powder to look as if a firearm had just been discharged (the smoke is not visible in the shot, however). Seen behind us is bar manager Ralph Chorpita telling us to “drink up and get the hell out of here”, and most of the audience members in the background are wearing the same hats we wore onstage! If you look closely, you can see Gary Robinson wearing a fur hat (to the the left of the girl wearing the yellow hardhat), and at the top of the frame, Ding is climbing over a railing to see us better.

Despite our best efforts, however, things went sideways and a) the album was never released & 2) the photos were never used except for a black & white version of the intended “before” shot. Thanks to everyone for being a part of a fun weekend, though!

Before we go, here’s an anecdote from the anals… er, ANNALS of Scottsdale history:

One night, a particularly belligerent gentleman got into a fight in the bar, and as a result the doormen were only too happy to escort him out of the place, advising him never to return. Assuming we’d seen the last of this confrontational drunk, we resumed playing, only to hear a resounding CRASH!!! at the front door minutes later. Seems that Joe Barfighter took a run at it and violently backed his pickup truck through the bar’s front doors at full throttle. (Man, it was IN-tense, as Jonathan Winters used to say.) What was sad but true was the fact that yes, the drunk had created a pantload of damage to make his point clear (whatever his point may have been), but his truck was now wedged into the building in such a way that he could not make a hasty retreat! He was jammed in there until the local Delta police arrived, happy to see an old friend in need.

Keep on rockin’,
Captain Maniac

  1. Terry Schreiber says:

    should of kept some of the stuff from the Windmill. Only thing I have is some old tapes from Twitch and Daryl from Slan trying to sing with a blown out throat. I might have some posters or pics will have to look.

  2. Hi Terry! I do have some old Windmill posters, but no tapes. Hell, the sound in there was just atrocious! I think I have an old poster where the Windmill advertises “Punk Night” or something to that effect, and bands like Active Dog and The Lewd would perform.

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