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.