GARY PIG GOLD Celebrates MOTHERS DAY

MarchPigPic

I may be a couple of months early, but it came to me that one of my all-time favourite recordings celebrated a birthday just short of 2 weeks ago. And in the midst of this sonic revelry I was reminded that during the first Friday of most every month throughout 1967 and into ‘68, I was formally excused from school so that my mother could take me all the way to Toronto for special orthodontic appointments.

Eatons As due reward afterwards, I would be treated to a tasty french-fry-and-chocolate-milk lunch in the nifty Eaton’s Viking Room cafeteria, then left for an hour or so alone in the adjacent Music Department while dear mom ran her errands elsewhere throughout the gigantic department store.

TommySmothersGuitarGawd, I truly was deep in pre-teen heaven in there, believe every word I say. Guitars – Hey! Just like the one Tommy Smothers played on TV every week! – lining each wall, while right over there were more record albums gathered alphabetically together in one place than my wide young eyes had ever ever seen.

FrankenMike

<Michael Nesmith as Frank. “FrankenMike”

But it was whilst methodically flipping through yonder “Misc. M” bin one innocent Friday in seach of the latest Monkees long-player that I came across an image which shook me to the very core of my hitherto safe, sound, Micky’n’Mike-lovin’ being:

MenWearingDresses

A foreboding, dark purple sci-fi sky shot through with lightning bolts, beneath which were strewn a below-motley crew of comic book cut-outs (some of whose eyes were obscured with sinister black bars!)  And in front of all that stood what appeared to be a group of bearded, ugly, definitely NON-Monkee-looking men wearing… wearing dresses and standing by a mess of rotten vegetables which for some reason spelled out the word “mothers.”

were_only_in_it_for_the_money

Subconsciously at least, I recognized this was sort of for some reason like that picture on the front of my latest Beatle album.

But I also instinctively gathered something b-a-d was afoot.

ThanksDrShanksSo for the next several months, as if revisiting a decaying body rotting in the back woods or the scene of some other such crime, I’d patiently let Dr. Shanks, D.D.S. rip around my mouth, rush with Mom to scarf down some Eaton’s fast-food, then creep back towards those record racks to check if …IT… was still hidden there. Why, one grave Friday I even showed the offending, but somehow alluring record jacket to my mother (who, immediately sensing things untoward indeed, said “put that down, Gary. We’re going home.”)

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Flash forward a couple’a years….

MyLocalHighSchool

By now, my comparatively straight teeth and I were enrolled in the local high school, specializing in Fine Arts and pouring over my latest charcoal still-life …when the most incredible music suddenly burst from the record player at the back of the room. It was Eric Shelkey’s turn to bring vinyl in to accompany the day’s lesson y’see, and Eric, being by far the most freeeky, out-there student in all our Grade 10 Specialty Art class (I mean, the guy wore little round eyeglasses just like John Lennon, and his hair actually reached below his shirt collar!) certainly did not disappoint with his choice of music: Yep, instead of the usual docile strains of Tommy Roe or, at “worst,” Blood Sweat and Tears, the room was this morning filled with fully-stereophonic snorks, wheezes, electronic noises (much like those the microphone made in the auditorium downstairs when it wasn’t working), and some creepy voice which kept asking “Are you hung up?” over and over again.

Understandably I suppose, just like my mother had back in Eaton’s music department, our once pretty patient art instructor Mr. Pollard walked quickly to the back of the classroom, turned the volume all the way DOWN, removed the offending twelve inches from the turntable, inserted it back in its sleeve, and told Eric he could pick his record up after class, “thankyouverymuchnowpleasegetbacktoworkeveryone”.

Of course, me being me, I made sure to follow Eric out into the hall afterwards to find out the name labeled in the middle of this wondrous, forbidden twelve inches. Most obligingly indeed (but being careful to check both ways first to see if anyone was looking) he pulled the album slowly from his portfolio case.

AND THERE IT WAS. That same diabolical image which had haunted my post- orthodontic Fridays all those fillings ago!!

The-Monkees-Pisces-Aquarius-C-453463Winking at me extremely conspiratorially, Eric invited me over to his place to listen to the entire record that day immediately after school. Well, naturally I saved up all my A&P bag-boy earnings and bought my own copy a few months later, locked myself in my room, and it would be quite some time until I ever listened to Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. – or anybody else, for that matter – quite the same way ever again.

I couldn’t say it then, but I surely will now: Thank you, Frank Zappa. And a most Happy Mothers Day to one and all out there, whether this year you choose to celebrate it come May 10th or, as I have every single year since Grade 10, on the 4th of March.

HappyMothersDay

=GPG=

Gary appears here whenever he wants

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com.

DBAWIS_ButtonGary Pig Gold may have grown up in Port Credit, run away to Hamilton to join his first rock ‘n’ roll group, hung out with Joe Strummer on his first-ever night in the UK, returned to T.O. to publish Canada’s first-ever rock ‘n’ roll (fan)zine, run away again gary pig gpld facong leftto Surf City to (almost) tour Australia with Jan & Dean, come home again to tour O Canada with that country’s first-ever (authorized!) Beach Boys tribute band …but STILL, he had to travel all the way back to the USSR to secure his first-ever recording contract www.GaryPigGold.com

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