I guy walks into a bar, then writes a song. This, in a nutshell, is what happened.
None of what follows should be perceived as critical, I hope, but it is factual.
Dancing With the Dinosaurs was written last summer after a bewildering visit to The Fox at Scarborough Junction following a promising review in Toronto Moon by man-about-town Gary 17 (more on him on some other post perhaps). At the time, although very satisfied with Stir It Up Sundays at Relish, I wanted try a few other places for shameless self-promotion.
Things got off to a less than auspicious start as the jam, promoted as 8-12, did not get under way to well past 9. At least the time passed pleasantly eavesdropping in on a loud and animated debate between patrons regarding faster-than-light travel, and soaking up the trouble-could-happen-here-any-minute vibe. In fact, a stabbing occurred there just a few months later.
Timing is everything.
Once the jam started, hosted by the flamboyant Tommy Rocker (mentioned just last month again in Toronto Moon) it became obvious from the jammers that preceded me that Classic Rock covers were de rigueur—yes, including Smoke On the Water, and many more of that ilk and era—so I knew I might be in for a rough ride doing FATC’ material. Too late to change… except my guitar tuning which, as I was informed by a taciturn bassist, had to drop a semitone to “match him”.
Between sets, the bar set out food for all, following which, the house band were back up for an extended set, whilst entertaining the audience in mock German between songs. Never fully explained.
One of the second-set jammers was a young bassist remarkable for wearing a luchador mask with a skull pattern, and playing an extended bass solo. Not as To the Limit as Strong Bad, but entertaining and different.
I finally did my 3 tunes, and the band did a nice job reading the charts. Tommy said some encouraging things too, but at least one audience member may have been disappointed that she did not recognize anything. Oh well, every song is new to someone at one point.
All in all, it was a surreal experience, and I felt compelled to document it in a song. Every fact mentioned in it is real. As far as opinions are concerned, I invoke poetic licence.
Dancing With the Dinosaurs © 2015 Félix and the Cats/R. Pelletier
There is a bar in Scarborough (somewhere I know – on demo)
And if you go, you’ll want to know
It feels like being in a David Lynch movie
Like something weird and slightly creepy
So there I was, not fitting in
A has-been ‘mongst the never been
Tuned down a half-step to conform
Where hoary chestnuts are the norm
Singing my ditties of self-deprecation
Deep in Ford Nation
Turn back the clock, it’s time to rock
Turn up that amp balls to the wall
Take one step back, then take one more
Dancing with the dinosaurs
The band after their buffet dish
Speaking in German gibberish
Black Skeletor guesting on bass
After his set he shows his face
The biker dude, knows he’s the man
His jacket reads: Burn the Quran
What drew me there, I cannot say
Perchance to try another way
Perhaps I had too much to drink
Or I did not take the time to think
Beer guts, tattoos and brewery T-shirts
The aging demoiselle who likes to flirt
She argues that space aliens might
Some day exceed the speed of light
These people are stuck in my brain
But I will not be back again