Check It Out, Look Out, We’re Coming Over!
Not sure if any of you have ever had the privilege to go to my hometown and have a drink at what is now the Stone St. Tavern but was known back in the day as the Provincial Hotel, or “the Pro” in the local vernacular prior to it burning down. The place was, politely stated, rustic. It had a jar of pickled eggs on the bar for the taking. Before Labatt’s started hocking it, it was one of the few places you could find 50 on tap. Usually on a Friday or Saturday, you could count on a dust-up that would have one guy spitting bloody chicklets by the end of the night. And the place that I played at last night made the Pro look like Martini Night at the King Edward Hotel.
Crazy times last night as Scott McCrae, Ben Hur, and Neil Rhodes and I found our way across the border and played a place called the Niagara Hotel in Lockport, NY. A divey bar to say the least with a clientele that would take a swing at you gladly if it weren’t for the fact that the police station was right next door. They say that this place is one of the longest standing in the area, the hotel dating back to the 1800’s. Probably the last time the ceilings got a really good wash as well. There was a tarp dividing the room in half of the ilk you’d see when the mob need to have a quiet word with someone who’s a bit short that month. Josh Smith, the guy recording the show for ThinkTwiceRadio.com rode his motorcycle in to the show in the pouring rain. This meant he had to dry everything he was wearing including his socks. So everyone hitting the stage had in the corner of their eye a guy with no pants on and wearing Target grocery bags like they were a pair of Crocks. It may sound like I’m bagging on it, and I am, but I love bars like this. It’d be the perfect place to see the likes of Sloan or Sons of Freedom. Then there was the bar. Asking for beer with a fold of US cash, we soon discovered that cans of beer ran around $1.50, with 32oz quart drafts hitting the bar at $3.00US. So, yes, if you do the math, a round of the equivalent of 6 pints came to less than $9.00CAN. I’m moving next week.
We awaited our chance onto the stage with relish and really cheap quarts. Because we drove up, we got to do more time than the regular five minutes afforded the locals. Fifteen minutes on stage, and my eleventh show in the States, not going to say no despite the two-hour drive. All of us did well with the circumstances. The circumstances were that there may have been no more than a half-dozen civilians in the crowd versus the dozen comics performing. By the time I took to the stage with the tenth spot of the night, you could count the number of non-comics on one hand of a high school shop teacher. Didn’t matter. Glad to take the stage in the place and I would do the room again in a heartbeat. Long-long-long-time funny-man Chico hosted and I would do his room any day of the week and twice on Sundays. We got free wings, free pizza, fifteen minutes on a new-to-us stage, and Dave, Scott, Ben, and I stopped at Duty Free to buy chocolate, mustard, dried fruit, metal cars, and doughnuts.
How awesome is that?
Two free passes to Absolute Comedy in Toronto to the person that can tell me where the title of this blog is from. You know how to get ahold of me.