Posts Tagged ‘guitar’

I spent the whole weekend, my bags already packed, everything I owned on my back, at Freedomfest, a festival near Barrie for local bands.  My old band Settle For Less had played there previous years but we were defunct now.  That was one reason not to stay.

Also I’d moved so many times in the past year that my belongings had been whittled down to just a few things anyway so fitting everything I need in a backpack, rucksack and guitar case wasn’t too difficult.  People think freedom is being able to buy everything but it’s actually not owning anything.

Everyone was there, it was perfect.  It was very sneaky of me to make it my goodbye party.  It was a weekend long party with lots of great bands, some of which I knew and some not.  It was a great time for music in Barrie.

I got a ride from my old guitarist Dave’s drummer from his new band Junior (later to be renamed Fight Like Gentlemen).  They dropped me off on the TransCanada highway, said goodbye and drove off.  I wonder if everyone was expecting to see me back in town the next week.  I sat there, not even accustomed to hitchhiking at all, wondering if I’d get picked up and thinking about this being my last opportunity to waffle and just go back to Barrie.  But I couldn’t.  There was nothing left for me there…


I was walking down the highway, still the TransCanada even out here on Vancouver Island, just out of Nanaimo when a small blue jeep type car (I don’t know) pulled past me turning onto the highway as I looked at my map to make sure I was walking in the right direction.

The guy reminded me of Jack Black and he offered me a ride after I asked him for directions.  He piled the boxes in the passenger seat into the back and we were off.  He said, “I’d smoke you a J if I wasn’t working.”  Real friendly.  We talked about the forest fires and whatnot.  When he dropped me off, about half an hour down the road, he gave me to nice sized buds which was sweet because the night before, as I walked from the ferry terminal to Nanaimo, some speed freak with a bag of golf clubs sold me a dime bag, when I only wanted $5 bucks worth, and it felt small so I was like, “I want my ten back” and him and his crackhead girlfriend screamed “Fuck off!!”  I didn’t want to get beaten by golf clubs and have my guitar stolen so I let it slide.  The bag he sold me turned out to be just leaves he picked off a tree or something.

I told Jack Black the story and thanked him for returning my faith in good people.  “Karma,” he says, “what goes around comes around.”  I got his # call and party sometime.

Just when you thought it was over.

You’d think I’d be used to that good feeling every town has when you arrive but nope.  It fades after the first day.  I lay awake last night in the Same Sun Hostel listening to the sound of buskers and hustlers in the streets calling out in the night and thought twice about living in the city.  Today I checked out a few slums that weren’t bad until I checked out this one way out of town.  The whole way there I was like, “No I can’t live here.  It’s too far from everything.” but the view was beautiful and the area was peaceful.

The guy didn’t seem to want me there, eyeing the guitar on my back for fear it would disturb his peaceful little household.  I told him I’d think about it then walked off with no money for the bus to get back into town.  Having no money to get somewhere seemed like a silly problem after getting here from Ontario without paying for rides.  I came to the sudden decision to go to Victoria and back on the road I was.

It didn’t take long.  Roger pulled up, sipping a beer and sweeping the garbage off the seat with his arm.  He offered me the choice of cd and I picked Cake which we grooved down the road to.  He took me to North Vancouver and was like, “Dude!  I think I just took you way out of your way.”  He showed me on my map where we were and where to catch the ferry to Victoria and they were pretty much opposite sides of the map.  He said he’d like to help me out but he had to go fight with his girlfriend.  So he left me at a gas station across from a KFC.

I stood on the side of the road with my big bristol board sign yelling “Van City, Baby!!”  at the top of my lungs to the no one that was around and then laughing about it to myself.  It was a tough spot with fast traffic but I didn’t have to wait to long.  A girl named Alyssa picked me up on her way back from partying in Kelowna for the weekend.  She’s from Vancouver so she drove me all the way there.

She started out with a kind of psychic link with the cars in front of us (telling them calmly to get out of her way and they’d actually move) which turned into road rage the closer we got to the city.  We got honked at a few times, honked at a few people, got the finger, gave the finger, passed some cars via the shoulder, made great time I think.

We talked about music and bands and she said I should go to the Cobalt for Metal Wednesdays which sounds cool.  Last bar I was at that would play metal is closed down now (Traffic.  Barrie.  Goodtimes. *tear*)  She knows a lot of musicians and plays the keyboards herself.  I told her how I sang in a heavy band for awhile and now I was just writing my own stuff.  I shared a clever line that I had which she laughed at but I then ruined by laughing too much myself.  I made sure to get her email as she dropped me off at the hostel so we could jam some time.  I can’t wait to play in a band again.  Gotta make it happen.

Maybe it’s because I fixed it as my destination in my head or maybe because I’m sick of not having a home base but walking around here it feels like it’d be a comfortable place to live.  Feels like home.

Distance despite deterioration

Determination despite distraction

The decision came abruptly and almost epiphanously as I grit my teeth to put up with Brian’s mouth running with his brain parked at the question mark that ended all his sentences.  I was going to West Bank, where I had stashed my gear with a buddy of Brian’s, to bring back to the hostel which we could afford after picking apples at an orchard all day.  I did some lucrative busking out front of the liquor store too.  What a great way to make money.   As I was leaving I joked, “Maybe I’ll just grab my stuff and take off.”  The idea was so appealing I barely considered any other course of action after the words left my mouth.  Carrying everything you own on your back is a lot like living on a house boat.  If you don’t like your neighbours you just pick up and leave.  It’s real freedom, not the kind of freedom you hear people up in arms about all the time.  Real freedom is not having a closet full of junk you hold onto because it might be useful someday.

But anyway, I walked to the last set of lights leaving West Bank, Kelowna and got a ride to the first turnoff in Peachland.  10 minute ride tops.  This guy wants to learn how to play the guitar.  Good for him (sorry I’m so cynical).

So we had to leave Merritt because the guy that was generous enough to let us stay at his motel, Peter, lost his job.  I blame Brian.  It definitely wasn’t my fault ’cause I didn’t sleep in the motel that night.  I woke up in somebody’s backyard.  That’s when I lost my guitar.

The people whose yard it was were concerned for me having somewhere to sleep.  I dazily explained I was staying at the Double D Inn and made my way off their property.  I somehow found my way back to the DoubleD and slept about an hour before Peter came in and told us we had to go.  Apparently his boss was coming back into town and Brian had been knocking on peoples doors the night before.  Peter had two jobs and he lost both of them somehow, if that’s even possible.  Poor Peter.

So now I’m realizing I don’t have my guitar so we retrace our steps from the night before, if that’s even possible.  The bar we were at said I had it with me when they kicked us out.  Hopefully that’s a last call kind of kicking out but I’m afeared it wasn’t.  So now we’re looking for the house I woke up at when a van pulls up asking if I’m Trevor Porter.  I am and I’m reunited with my guitar to my extreme relief.

So today’s ride is a generalization of Merritt locals, Natives, fellow travelers and random friendlies, driving us to the fire camp and back.  But, yeah, the fires don’t need any more volunteers.  So here we are in Merritt with nowhere to stay and nowhere to go.  Both of us barely slept the night before and we’re exhausted.  We even went into the police station and asked if we could sleep in some cells.  Nope, we had to break the law.  We looked around for something illegal to do but everything was too much effort so we continued down the street out of town..

After spending some days in the shelter in Kamloops, busking for money in front of liquor stores and supermarkets, I befriended some fellow shelter stayers and we decided to head to Merritt to help out with the forest fires (2003).  The good fight.  Helpin out the people in need.  Money.  It had it all.

Of everyone talking about going only Brian actually did and that was cool ’cause he reminded me of Hunter Thompson.  He had just gotten out of jail for pushing his sister’s asshole boyfriend down some stairs.

We had a sign made from 5 pieces of cardboard strung together the said Merritt Going TO FightFires Please.  A lady picked us up after a long uphill hike out of town and asked if she could take our picture.  She was a journalist in Kamloops and was working on stories about the FireFighters.  So she drove us to around Logan Lake and took our picture from a couple of angles.  So maybe we got our pictures in the paper..

I awoke to a horn beeping somewhere behind me.  I pulled myself off the tar of the highway and dragged my stuff to the car.

I remember watching the cars go by for a good couple hours before my vision started to blur.  I mulled over the look of the pavement, thinking of lying down but deciding it looked too hot.  After a while I decided “fuck it”

Dylan was a party guy for sure.  After that hour’s sleep I was right back full of energy shootin the shit and smoking some joints.  We drove by this turnoff to somewhere I forget the name of and he was like, “That’s my turnoff but I’m gonna go to Banff with you and we’ll party it up tonight!”

The plan was set:  We’d grab some beers, set up camp, go into town and pick up some hippie chicks, go to the bar then back to camp for beers, campfire and singalong parties.  It was a perfect plan….almost.

We set up a camp in the middle of the woods, on a relatively flat spot on the side of a mountain below where we parked.  We had the beer, a circle of rocks for the campfire and Dylan’s tent setup.  We walked around town for awhile, taking in the sights.  I don’t have to tell you what a beautiful town Banff is.

We were walking through a park and we see these two girls in white with dreadlocks.  Me and Dylan exchange a single nod and stroll on over.  Breanna, blond and pixyish, a real live wire; you could almost see the fairy dust fall off her, and Colby,  reddreads, sweet as hell; we let them in on the plan.

Now the night’s a bit of a blur.  There was beer, Jagermeister (note:  I thought it was spelt with a Y when this was written;-) wings and some dancing to a band.  The band wasn’t very good which didn’t matter at all.  I couldn’t remember if anyone else was dancing or if the band was even playing.  Yes, apparently the band was playing and No, apparently no one else was dancing.

I got everyone to haul back rocks for the fire pit but god knows how we carried them up that mountain as drunk as we were.  We sat around the fire having some drinks; I was playing guitar and we sang songs who know how well.

When the girls announced they were going to bed it was met with protests from Dylan and I that we needed cuddles.  “Cuddle with each other”, was the reply.  I decided I’d sleep by the fire…

This is a long ride so I’ll continue it this Wed.  You’ll wanna check it out ’cause I almost fuckin die!!!!

That got yer attention dinnit

To be continued……

…….I’m Stoned. I’m sitting on the side of the road, 20 feet off the transCanada eating a carrot and hoping I don’t get picked up before this weed wears off. I was sitting on the side of the road but a house (literally a real house) was turning on to the highway so I thought I should move in case it made a wide turn.  And I’m a little stoned to talk right now.

The guy that picked me up lit a joint to smoke and talked really fast.  I was playing guitar when he stopped and I didn’t see him until he got out and waved in my field of vision.  I was right at the crescendo too.  His accent was hard to understand but I managed.  A farmer, I think he knew alot about alot of stuff I don’t know alot about.

So here I am at Goddamn not even 10 past 12 and I’ve been up over 6 hours.  Crack of dawn, woke up at the drive-in and watched the sunrise, walked a ways and sat down and played.  I have a funny image of someone seeing me scribbling furiously in my sketch book and saying, “I wonder what he’s drawing,”  when they catch my eye and I swing around the sign – REGINA.

I don’t even wanna move today.  Maybe later.  Someone just threw me a banana.  That’s cool.

I’m excer-

I think it’s time to move.  “Get up, Trevor.  Get..Up!”

Thoughts on Music:  Music with substance.  It’s not the number of rhymes or alliteration or poetic devices.  They’re just the tricks.  It’s how you use them to say what you need to say-the same as purposefully not rhyming or leading to the expectation to say one thing then saying another.  Great lyrics say complex things clearly.

I’m gonna lump these to together since they’re practically parallel experiences. Both were locals, familiar with the area, and kind enough to remove me from the unfavorable hitching spot I had halted at. I had walked quite a ways out of town to where the first guy picked me up, feeling sorry for me that I was in a bad place to get picked up (the irony..). He took me to a gas station but I felt kind of weird looking at people stopped for gas while I solicited a ride so I walked down the street a bit. The second guy picked me up there since I had apparently walked myself to another bad spot and would be much better off down the street a ways, getting me a little distance from Sault Ste. Marie and a little closer to Thunderbay, which it turns out is really far away..