More outtakes: The Answer, Chilliwack 1977

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Gigs, Rock n Roll

From the Bottomless Pit of Sparkling Apple memorabilia, here’s a shattering memory and incriminating photos from the Disco 70s! Back in 1977, we did everything in our power to combat the unwanted scourge of disco (for the most part, we succeeded), and continued performing what Jerry Lee Lewis referred to as “The Devil’s Music” — that’s right, kids: RAWK and ROLL! When the Bee Gees were screeching the unconscionable, albeit highly lucrative, soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever, Sparkling Apple would be in the back country where rock & roll was still king. One of our favourite locations was The Answer nightclub in Chilliwack (run by the sadly-departed Huey Sinclair), as shown in the following photos.

In 1977, the band consisted of Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid on guitar, Captain Maniac on drums, and the certifiably unhinged Stringbean on bass guitar. Not sure who the photographer was for these shots, but in any event they were all taken one summer night in The Valley. The “Rocky Bongo” sequence has been omitted, in deference to the squeamish.

An interesting tale here, and one which has an Answer connection: A few weeks previous to our Chilliwack engagement, we had performed at a Nanaimo nightclub, namely the Longhouse. The story goes that we showed up for our Saturday night show, only to find that one of our kick drum mics was missing in action (inasmuch as we played six nights in a row in the same location, we chose not to stow any stage gear after each show). The mystery of the missing Sennheiser 421 was traced to the fact that the band following us into the Longhouse (the name of which escapes me at the moment) had actually been in the club during the afternoon, and a particularly light-fingered drummer had pilfered one of my microphones! Not content to let this bastard get away with such a stunt, I consulted their booking agency to see where they were next appearing. The answer was…. THE ANSWER in Chilliwack! Fortuitously, we had that week off, so on the Monday night, I made the trek out to Chilliwack to retrieve my errant microphone. I got to the club early, prior to their evening show, and sure enough, my missing Sennheiser 421 was attached (by way of a clumsy duct tape job) to the band’s kick drum mic stand. I claimed a seat right up front, and when their drummer arrived and saw me lying in wait, his heart visibly sank — busted! His excuse was that “oh, I bought it off a guy for $50 in Nanaimo”! Suppressing the desire the rearrange his facial features, I told him, “if you give this microphone back to me, you’re only out fifty bucks. If I let you keep it, I’m out three HUNDRED bucks. Fair deal? Fine. Have a nice gig,” at which point I exited with my microphone by my side. Sheesh!

The Answer was where the “Zombie Episode” occurred: One night, during our final break, an audience member offered to buy me a drink. When he asked what beverage I wished to consume, I answered, in true smartass fashion, “I’ll have a Zombie”! (containing 3 different kinds of rum). To make a long story short, by the end of the break, the audience member had purchased not one, not two but THREE Zombies for the unsuspecting but gracious Captain Maniac. It was time to complete our last set, so I stumbled to the stage, only to confront yet another “round of drinks for the band” sent from the audience. Due to popular custom, our band was expected to down 3 tequila shooters each before playing the last set. Needless to say, after the shooters and the Zombies, I scarcely remember that evening’s final set. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in my underwear, in my own bed at home! At the time, I thought, “Alright, how the hell did I get here, and who took my pants off???” (Sven, one of the Rancid Road Crew, later volunteered the information that I had been given a ride home and he had safely tucked me in to bed!)

Captain Maniac 1977

Art and gold-top Les Paul at the Answer, Chilliwack 1977

Art onstage at the Answer, Chilliwack

Stringbean onstage wearing a particularly stylish wig. The hub cap hanging from the drums used to belong to my dad’s old ’54 Chrysler.

Art displays our new line of Sparkling Apple t-shirts. Colours in 1977 were yellow or blue background. In 1978, we offered shirts with a black background.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s