Monday, March 02, 2015

Sloan (your stories)

You guys sent in several stories about Sloan, but two were absolutely outstanding.

First, from Riley:
When I was in university there was a group of us that were pretty huge fans of the band.  We made a point of going to their shows any time they were within a 600 km radius of Saskatoon, so automatic road trip if they were in Edmonton or Calgary.  It was always worth the trip.

It must have been about 1998 because Money City Maniacs was the big song. They played an all ages show at the Memorial Building on the University of Saskatchewan campus.  Horrible venue, just an open hall with no facilities to speak of, didn't even really have a place for the band to hang out before the show, had to leave the building to find a washroom, etc.

We got there early and a friend of mine was a Sloan super fan...and also a bit of a sarcastic ass.  So we're hanging out before the show and my friend spots Chris Murphy talking to someone.  Without a word, he walks away from us and goes up to Mr. Murphy.  We can't hear what he says, but Chris's face goes from surprised, to confused, to a bit peeved, maybe even angry.  After a bit, my buddy laughs and Chris laughs, shakes his hand and walks away.

We asked our friend what he said.  

He just walked up without saying hello, rudely interrupted and said, "Bands don't usually play here, so I'm finding my way around...are you the coat check guy?"

Which, in itself was pretty funny.

The kicker was about a year later and they played Louis' pub, which is the campus bar and scene of many a great show before they converted it to something that looks like an airport lounge...but I digress. Anyway, just before the show, we're all lined up along the side railing along the stage, and my buddy gets a tap on the shoulder.

It's Chris Murphy, and he says "Hold this." and gives him his jacket before walking on stage.

Then here's a story from Ian Jalbert:
Back in the 90’s I played guitar in a local hard rock band.  We were called Open Face Sandwich and were around from 1991-1995.  We played in a town about 4 hours north of Toronto called Sudbury.  

It was about 1994 and we had the chance to show a local promoter what we were about.  If it went well, we would have a chance to play a headlining gig at that bar later on.  I had the choice between 2 different bands for us to open for, and I picked Sloan.

I had made some incorrect choices based on what I had heard about this band.  They weren’t that well known at the time (in my music circle at least).  I had heard they were a grunge band, so I built a setlist consisting of our heavier songs.  I still remember the looks of confusion that a girl in the front row gave us, and did not know why at the time, but it was NOT the right setlist for the crowd!  When Sloan came up later and played a MUCH more relaxed and non-aggressive guitar rock, we all laughed and realized our mistake.  That is the first and only time I saw confusion from an audience when playing.  I’ve been booed off the stage, I’ve been given standing ovations, but that was a first.  We didn’t have any interaction with the band at all, but enjoyed the show.

The great news is, the promoter liked us and gave us a headlining spot at the club a few weeks later and we actually outdrew Sloan.  But true to any local band, the promoter broke their verbal agreement with us and barely paid us anything.  That was what we went through every week with the band, it was all full of ups and downs, definitely not a linear path, but we loved playing and writing music so it was all worth it.

Just wanted to share my Sloan story with you, it was neat to hear about them again after all these years!

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