Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Meeting The Curse!

So I drove across the Don on Sunday to Estonian House, to plunk down my $5 for the Downtown Toronto Record Show and finally get to meet Toronto punk legends The Curse.

I must confess at the outset that I wound up more nervous and star-struck by this prospect than I have been in a decade or more. I even forgot my copy of Teenage Meat at home. It's a real shame as I had been thinking about what I might ask The Curse for a good long while, and I thought I had some decent questions prepared.

As soon as I spotted Mickey Skin (lead singer) and Anna Bourque Champion (AKA Dr. Bourque, bass player) though -- both of them looking very sexy, might I add -- everything I'd thought about flew out the window and I was stuck stammering, "uh, uh, I really like your band" or some such drivel. I was a complete mess.

Nonetheless, they were both very kind and polite. "Who am I then", Mickey challenged, and I shot right back with "Mickey Skin" - which elicited a wonderful smile from her, and a follow-up as to whether I'd actually seen The Curse play a show back in the day. Alas no, I was too young to be so lucky. Mickey's lovely daughter Zoë did me the honour of taking a few photographs of Mickey & I together, and they were both very funny ladies.

I approached Anna Bourque then and managed to let her know I was a fan not only of her band, but also of her 1991 short film "Lovely Boys" -- which really made a strong impression on me when I saw it back in the early 90s. I loved the fact that in this film sex (from a woman's POV) was presented as something fun and funny, an adventure, not steeped with drama, guilt or risk as in almost every other film I've ever seen. Anna very graciously posed for a pic or two as well.

Unfortunately for me, the last copies of Treat Me Like Dirt had sold out before I got there. Publisher Ralph Alphonso graciously offered to mail me the second-last copy of the second print (then sitting back at his house) so I paid up & I thank you greatly for that, Ralph. Local histories of this kind are all too easy for residents to advise upon after the fact -- apparently the third run will include at least one name change!

Author Liz Worth was there -- another person I'd have loved to have actually had a conversation with if only my brain hadn't left me sputtering. I thanked her for writing the book, and that was really all I could think to do. Duh. I wanted to ask her what she'd found out about The Fits. I was overwhelmed.

Folks milled about and anecdotes were shared, a rare bit of Curse concert footage handed to Mickey on DVDR, more pictures taken. I spied many familiar faces from the screening of The Last Pogo some time back. It was exhilarating but I was also feeling a bit awkward and obvious, like some third-rate hanger-on to an incredible conversation, so I decided to make my leave.

Just as I was leaving however, drummer Patsy Poison showed up, looking every bit the rock star in her peace sign boots, bright lipstick and sunglasses. I raced over and asked to shake her hand. "Why would you want to shake my hand", she asked. A mental spasm. "It held the sticks", came out of my mouth. So we shook hands and I probably beamed at her like an insane person and then I left, neglecting to even get a picture with Ms. Poison (the photo of her here, as well as the last photo of all three ladies, were taken by Margaret Catto).

I spoke to Mickey about she and Patsy's performance last month with The Existers and asked if there were likely to be more shows in her future. I don't know if she was serious about a "Punk Divas tour" (she was laughing when she said it) but the idea sounds great to me; she certainly has charisma to spare. Also, another show would give me the opportunity to maybe not come off like an idiot. Maybe.


Son of Spam said...

Haha! Great story!

(Too bad about there not being any more copies of the Liz Worth book...I was so looking forward to getting a copy. Guess I'll have to wait for another printing, or something.)


Pius said...

Thanks, Son of Spam. It's a fantastic read.

I would email Ralph Alphonso - He's the publisher so he'd definitely know about the release of a 3rd printing and he may well know of stores in Toronto that still have copies too.

Pius said...

Assuming you live around Toronto.