One of the great things about my work is that I get to travel across the country. There is nothing like going from town to town, playing my music, having intense, intimate relationships with people, getting ideas for new songs, sharing the stage with other great musicians… wait, sorry, that’s not my life at all – that’s sort of what I fantasized my life would be when I was in high school – not sure how I ended up sharing this.
Anyway, one thing that has come true however is that I have been able to travel across the county for work and I have met some amazing people and have seen some amazing things. In the latter category I would have to include something I encountered in the bathroom of my hotel recently in Vancouver. I have to confess I was somewhat perplexed when I saw this: https://www.totousa.com/carlyle-ii-1g-connect-c100-one-piece-toilet-10-gpf. I really wasn’t sure what the thing was that looked like a lever with lots of buttons attached to the toilet. Upon further inspection, it appeared to control many of the functions of the toilet – and who knew that a toilet really had more than one function? I was suitably intimidated by the whole thing that I thought about not using it at all during my stay but nature has a funny way of forcing you out of your comfort zone. I can’t tell you much about the control panel as I was very careful not to even touch it – I can tell you however that like some cars equipped for the reality of the Canadian winter it did have a heated seat.
Another curious thing about the toilet – if that simple word really does justice to this marvel (or monstrosity) – was that the company that made it was named after an 80’s rock band that had hits like “Hold the Line”, “Roseanna” and most memorably for me – the song “Africa” – a song that had nothing to do musically with Africa, not a whole lot lyrically to do with Africa, and the video also, mercifully, didn’t have anything to do with Africa – but was nevertheless a real catchy tune (and so you don’t have to leave this missive to get to the tune – here it is – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTQbiNvZqaY). Alternatively, the company may have been named after Dorothy’s dog in the Wizard of Oz because when I saw that porcelain structure I knew I wasn’t in Kansas anymore.
This, rather inevitably, leads me to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room. The link may not seem inevitable to you so let me explain. When we were looking for a name for the band, lo these many years ago, one suggestion was Gordon’s Electric Toilet – a name that we rejected because the idea of an electric toilet seemed so fanciful that many felt it might somehow be seen as mocking the music that we worked so hard to create. There were those however who liked the name and the futuristic elements that it conjured up. We remained deadlocked until, one day, Gus, our bagpiper, dazed from hours of playing what, to the rest of the world sounded like the same damn song over and over again, but to him was a medley of different Scottish pipe tunes (which frankly all sound like the same damn song- just that some are fast and the others are slow) came upon a burning bush. But that’s a story for another day.
In any event, the group now known far and wide as Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room will once again be taking the stage (and the area around the stage as well) on Sunday, October 21, at the Free Times Café (College west of Spadina). There is much to eat and drink at the aforementioned Café and the show will get underway at 8 pm. And in honour of the fact that we did not end up choosing the name Gordon’s Electric Toilet there will be no cover.
Hope to see you there.
PS. It is often in the this portion of my monthly musings that I take time to make special mention of the bagpipes but having worked them into the body of the letter I think mentioning them again is just talking things too far – and I think we can all agree that a little bagpipes go a long way – and the further away they can go the better.