The special invitation came via Facebook: I, Brian Gardiner, was personally invited to the the 515 Concert Club to see Holly Woods and Toronto: répondez s’il vous plaît.
The 515! That’s just down the road in downtown Hespeler, a fifteen minute walk from my house. This, I thought, was going to require planning.
First, I had to get the wife out of town. Holly Woods was going to be just up the road and the frustrated teenage boy that lingers inside is taking no chances. Who would have thought, Holly Woods right here. Next it will be Darby Mills serving up coffee at the Townline Tim Horton’s (maybe I should start dressing better).
A refresher. Holly Woods was the lead singer of the band Toronto in the ’80’s. With songs like Your Daddy Don’t Know, Girls Night Out and Start Telling the Truth, Toronto had a number of fairly big hits. With cat like eyes, puffy hair and a big voice, Holly Woods was a classic Canadian cutie.
Watching fictional singer Marie De Salle in the movie/book “High Fidelity,” the guys from Championship Vinyl dreamily talk about being with a musician:
Barry: I wanna date a musician.
Rob: I wanna live with a musician. She’d write songs at home and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe even include one of our little private jokes in the liner notes.
Barry: Maybe a little picture of me in the liner notes.
Dick: Just in the background somewhere.
That’s what I want. A little picture of me in the background of the latest album, one of our private jokes in the liner notes. If not for me, for the teenage boy, who so rarely got his wish.
The question is, once the wife is safely out of town, chasing down that anonymous tip she mysteriously got that Parker Stephenson is in Guelph, what to do? You can’t go barging up to her and say, “hey, I’m the guy who drooled over the album covers in 1979.” It has to be a chance meeting, just hanging out front of the club. It’s what I do every Saturday, most natural thing in the world and… “hi, how are you?”
For conversational bon mots, I should check her bio, find something in common that I can casually mention. Lets see… she likes fishing, that’s good, can use that. Wait, she’s from North Carolina? Durham, North Carolina, home of the Durham Bulls? How can that be? How can Holly Woods of the rock band Toronto be from Durham North Carolina? How can one of Canada’s sweethearts not be Canadian?
Suddenly she feels like a fraud, like a different person than the one I haven’t known all these years. What about the songs, are they a lie too? Was Even the Score even about hockey? Perhaps she was never really Looking for Trouble. Oh sure, she can still sing, and regardless of where she was born they were great songs, great eyes, great shoulder pads. But it can never really be the same.
Umm, honey, about that Parker Stephenson thing. Never mind. I think I’ll throw on my good suit and go hang out at Tim’s.
Brian Gardiner Can be found as usual At Home In Hespeler