Saturday, August 05, 2006

ZANSTORM MADE ME DO IT! - Reality Check's 5 Wacky Facts

True to my nature regarding rules, I will only half comply with this one!

You get the 5 facts, but I only play tag on a chesterfield with my wife!


Everybody starts with the rock and roll stuff, so I'll lay that on the line first. In high school, my fellow friends nicknamed me the Rock and Roll Encyclopedia because I knew everything about every band going. I retained alot of that shit to this day. Trivial matters like who wrote this song and who played guitar on that song kinda stuff. If only I'd put my powers of memory to good use instead! You cannot help what sticks to your brain I guess. The passion I have for hockey is the same passion I have for music. I currently own two guitars, a Telecaster copy and a Fender strat. I have in my music collection, over 700 vinyl albums and some 300 discs. They range from the Clash to Yoko Ono, and Metallica to Johnny Cash. Rock, blues, soul, and punk make up the majority of my tastes. I have written songs since the age of 14. Some of them aren't bad. I have never had illusion about a music career - I gave myself that reality check years ago! I am a self proclaimed expert on the Beatles. Ask me anything about them, you will never stump me. I have attended over 100 concerts - I lost count long ago. Lyrics are what make a song for me. That and passionate guitar playing. I don't like the sappy shit that passes for mainstream these days and don't even talk to me about rap. There must be thought involved as well as artistry. No headbanging brainless hatred thrash for me. The music has to be either cheap thrills for harmless fun or intelligently human and spirit rousing. To that end I have seen KISS 13 times and Bruce Springsteen 17 times. I'd say that covers quite a range. To me, the Boss is the King of Rock and Roll when he wants to be!

My favorite tunes are "Helter Skelter", "Sweet Child O'Mine", "Born To Run", "Whole Lotta Love", and "Layla". That could all change tomorrow!

This is a terrible admission, but damnit, I work for a living. Other than the papers I write for, I am employed at Kraft Canada. All day I see nothing but cheese and come home to a wife listening to Celine Dion. Surprisingly, I have no suicidal tendencies! (and yes I seen them live also).


I recently apppeared in an episode of Creepy Canada. I played a priest at the Cornwall jail, who was the confessor for a murderer. The man died at my feet in the scene. It was episode 10 of the current season. I was paid the handsome sum of $50.00 for my complete lack of acting ability. My kids got an incredible kick out of it - which was the whole point of it! An experience to say the least.


I have been in a KISS video, in a Rolling Stones book and I can be heard wailing on a live Blue Rodeo album. All by some form of dumb luck! In the KISS video set "The Second Coming", my silhouette is seen from behind at the KISS KONVENTION in Montreal in 1996, while the band plays an acoustic version of "Black Diamond". On the Blue Rodeo live album "Just Like A Vacation", two songs of which for recorded in Cornwall, I hear myself hollering right after "Dark Angel", faintly in the distance. In September of 1981, I saw the Stones at Rich Memorial Park in Buffalo, where the Bills play. O.J. Simpson's number is retired and displayed between the first and second levels. Opening bands that day were George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers and Journey. Just prior to George hitting the stage, flashes went off and I started jumping up to see what they were. Three years later I purchased a book commemorating the tour. It had a full two page spread of the Buffalo crowd. I went to great lengths to find myself in it, even using a magnifying glass to examine each tiny head amongst the 80,000 there that day. I didn't find it at first. Looking it over again days later, I realized the biggest head on the page, stuck closely to the crease in the two-fold was me. I have been offered over $200.00 for that book by a Stones collector. I still own it.


When I was 8 years old, my father took me to my first hockey game. The year was 1970 and the game was the Quebec Ramparts vs the Cornwall Royals in the QMJHL. The Ramparts would win the Memorial Cup that season, and Cornwall would win it the following year with Richard Brodeur in nets. The only two hockey players I could identify at that young age were Jean Beliveau and of course, Bobby Orr. Ironically, in hindsight, Orr would win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins that year, and Beliveau would follow suit with the Habs in '71 before retiring. Both players wore #4. Talk at that game was all about another #4. This one was having a bad game halfway through. Friends of my father seemed to ridicule him, as he was practically invisible through thr first half of the game. Much of the discussion and debate on this player centered around the fact that it pretty much assured that the Montreal Canadiens would be choosing him with their first overall pick in June. With the Royals leading by three goals late in the second period, this player took wings and scored a beauty of a goal. The crowd hushed. Early in the third, he blasted a slapshot and a high wrister to knot up the score. With 5 minutes to go in the contest, he went through the entire Royals team for the go ahead goal. When he scored the insurance goal only 30 seconds later, he was no longer being mocked by the local crowd. I swore to my Dad, that if this player was in fact drafted by the Habs, that I would be their fan for life.

The player was Guy Lafleur. He's probably the reason I am sitting here typing this!

NOTE: One pic is me, one is the only Boss I listen to, the other is my telecaster copy.


Zanstorm said...

Wow, great stuff. Your concert resume is sic! So you saw Kiss in their prime then?
Funny, I was always the same way with music and hockey (retaining info) but I wasn't quite an encyclopedia.
Oh godamn I hate 'Born to Run', we differ on that one!
So how good are you on guitar?

reality check said...

Yes I saw Kiss for the very first time in 1977, on the Love Gun tour, my second concert ever!

I saw them again in 79, 81, 83, 84, 87, 89, 96, 98, and 3 times on the farewell tour that wasn't!

Saw Paul Stanley in Phantom of the Opera - 3 times!

How can you hate BTR? One of the ultimate road songs. If you were born and raised in a small town as I was, it may mean more.

"In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream"...just that line itself is worth a whole damn movie.

Most folks think Springsteen = Born in the USA. he's about the most anti- American singer I know LOL

My guitar playing is rudimentary at best. It allows me enough ability to write and compose but not enough to actually perform. It is and always will be strictly for my own pleasure. That and torturing neighborhood cats!

Glad you liked the post. Now if only I could get some traffic LOL.

Hodge said...

Good five list, have to agree with Zanstorm on the "Bruce" thing tho. It was like, wow this guy's pretty cool, a lot of the same tastes....then the "Bruce" comment and it was like.....just another arse from the east. LMAO just kidding...except for the "Bruce"

reality check said...

The Boss aims his art between the ears. In concert it all heads straight for the gut. Seeing a dozen shows with 30 - 35 songs on a setlist is breathtaking. The man don't sit still and has never made the same record twice. He's cool enough to have covered by Rage Against the Machine and join a presidential candidate trying to oust Bush from office. He's had the NYPD boycott security duty at his MSG concert in 2001 because they didn't like how they were depicted in "American Skin", a song that hadn't even seen release yet. Last year his disc was banned for play at Chapters because of an anal sex reference in the song "Reno". which is a hooker acronym for "rear entry now open!" The man has a rebels knack for stirring it up. He's drug free an never had an alcoholic scandal of any kind.

At 56 he's still busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. He'll likely do like Cash making his last disc on his deathbed.

Those all the unobvious things most folks don't know about the man. They just see that US flag in videos and go Yuck!

First impressions are deceiving,

flyonthesly said...

nice resume of stuff done man.i think i saw that creepy show your talking about a month ago.i saw bruce in 1984 at cne stadium he rocked.kiss farewell tour was cool too

reality check said...

That episode did air about a month ago. It's weird seeing yourself on TV. Creepy Canada of all things. That was my 15 minutes!

reality check said...

I saw that CNE show. He did three shows that week in T.O. I missed Monday but caught the Tuesday and Thursday marathons. Almost four hours back then - how did he do it!