Moon Men in Newton BC!

Posted: September 12, 2011 in 21st Century, Rock n Roll

Sparkling Apple reunites for a good cause. Onstage are Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid, Captain Maniac and Kevin Swain. Photo by Rosie.

Sunday, September 11, 2011 — a date which will live in infamy –Sparkling Apple made a surprise appearance at the Frank Soda Benefit at the Fin Pub, Newton. The occasion was a fundraiser for Frank Soda’s cancer treatment, and much of Vancouver’s musical community pitched in to donate their time and overwhelming support for one of their brothers. Onstage was some superb talent, including Thor (who was joined on stage by Frank Soda himself), Stonebolt, One and a Half, Prism, the Ray Roper Project, and even Sparkling Apple! The event was held during the afternoon, which suited me fine because I didn’t want to be up past my bedtime, don’t you know. As it was, I was the Designated Driver for Art & Rosie, and gave them a ride to and from the party, allowing for the improbable possibility that Art may enjoy far too many adult beverages & require a chauffeur to transport him home! Not a problem if such a case, unlikely as it may seem, did arise.

Our whole band was there to watch Kevin play bass for Stonebolt, as well as hang out & shmooze with the multitude of old friends and musicians, who showed up to party hearty. Cory Levigne and Larry  the Bass Player had done a set of rockin’ blues, but the band who were supposed to perform in the next slot failed to show up! Kenny Johnson, the MC for the day, was desperate for a substitute band until he was informed of our presence, and immediately asked us to play. We of course were more than happy to comply, and Art & I mounted the stage, curious as to just what songs we could remember (having played an actual gig exactly a year ago!). Kevin, unfortunately, was unaware of the unfolding situation, and assuming that he wouldn’t be required onstage with Stonebolt for a couple of hours, had wandered over to the nearby Safeway. He was frantically dispatched, while Art announced onstage in a Nigel Tufnel accent, “Kevin Swain to the stage…”! Eventually, Kevin walked in the door, only to be told, “you’re ON, Buddy!”. Out of the frying pan into the fire!

As we were completely unprepared for a performance, we had none of our own gear to play on, but Frank Soda graciously lent Art his Ibanez guitar, and I commandeered the “house drum kit” with the “house drumsticks”. We lumbered into ZZ Top’s “Waitin’ For the Bus,” which had a flat tire halfway through due to an out-of-tune guitar! After Art had remedied the wonky guitar situation, we picked up where we left off and continued with “Jesus Just Left Chicago”, followed by Roadhouse Blues, Play That Funky Music White Boy, La Grange, and a decidedly politically-incorrect version of Let’s Dance. The latter must have been a shock to the audience’s system, because hoots and hollering and hell-yeah’s soon accompanied the “feelthy” lyrics — and the 1979 Scottsdale audience was reborn in an instant! (Good to see you back, folks) Art was in particularly fine form comedically (“hope you’re wearing your condoms, people. I’m already wearing MINE”), and played guitar as if his life depended it on it — also to show the young folks just how old school classic rock is actually done. To close the set, we chose to play another ZZ Top oldie, “Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell”, and the blues came tumblin’ down: “I feel so bad. Cat’s in the cupboard now.” Art announced from the stage, “Joe hates this, (referring to Joe Staples, who was in the audience) but we’re gonna do it anyway”.

And it was all over but the shouting — the audience, comprised of Apple Corps oldies and reprobates galore, absolutely loved the set, and enthusiastically let us know. Felt great! Before we left the stage, we plugged our upcoming CD, “which will be released in the fall. I shit you not!”

Kevin had been deputized to fill in for Stonebolt’s bassist later on in the afternoon, but ended up also playing bass with the Ray Roper Project and Prism as “The house bass player”!

Captain Maniac, live and impersonal at the Frank Soda benefit. Photo by Daniel Bryce.

Sparkling Apple onstage, photo by Rosie

Kevin with Frank Soda

Art tunes up

Stonebolt, with Kevin Swain on bass.

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