Dawson Creek was a wonderful and wild place, and I became friends with Giselle Pinard, and the guitar-playing brothers Vince and Steve were also great friends to me. Mike Gauvin and Dava had a house there, and I stayed with them for awhile too. Had a girlfriend named Donna who really rocked my world, but I was a fool and didn't know what I had.
I was learning songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Lennon, Leonard Cohen, John Prine and other songwriters, and beginning to pen my own tunes. Asthe cold weather was approaching, one day I packed up and left, with a plan to hitchhike several thousand miles south to Santa Cruz, California. In Banff I had met some guys from there, and they invited me down to their place in Scott's Valley.
When I arrived, I had missed the big party at the house in the country by a week, but my friend's still let me pitch my tent in their backyard for a couple of days. They also treated me to my first burrito, homemade from ingredients we bought on a walk to the Scott's Valley grocery store. Soon I was living and playing on the streets of santa Cruz, and really fell in love with the town and wanted to live there. I met "shane wallace", but shane was actually my friend's younger brother's name, but he thought it was a better road handle than his given name. he taught me a few more Dylan songs, and we also hung out with a barefoot troubadour who knew a lot of blues, and he told us about a folk festival he was heading to in San Luis Obispo.
Shane and I decided to hitch down to the festival, and people went out of their way to drive us where we need to go, and quite amazingly, the first van that picked us up gave us an unce of pot, and the next car gave us a Thai stick and a half. I have posted that story before, but may expand it right here in the future, or I'll link up the earlier post if I can find it.
The festival featured Spank and Our Gang, Buffy Saint Marie and others, and i felt truly privileged to sit around a fire with Buffy and others while our bluesy friend played and sang for Her Majesty.
Upon returning to Santa Cruz, I felt the pain and loneliness of being homeless and so far from friends and family, and my mom was kind enough to send me bus fair home. The idea of hitchhiking acrosss the United States was justifiably scary to me, so I planned to take a bus to Vancouver, and another bus to Toronto, about 6 days journey in total.
I made it up to San Francisco and then had to wait one day for my bus to Van, so I checked into a fleabag hotel and picked up the local BAM (Bay Area Music) and found there was a punk band called The Dead Boys playing at the Old waldorf that very evening. Discovering that this place was only blocks from my hotel room, I strolled over there in the afternoon to see how much the tickets cost. When I got there the roadies were unloading the truck, and I offered to help out. They were glad to have the help, and when they heard I was from Toronto (we LOVE playing Toronto), they offered to put me on the guest list for that night, and told me to come back early before the show.
I was invited backstage and got to smoke hash with the roadies while they tuned up the band's guitars, and had a front table seat for what was a deeply mind-blowing experience; my first punk rock show! Stiv Bators was outrageous and Cheetah Chrome and the band were furious and wild, and though I was not immediatley about to give up my protest folk blues persona, the stage was being set for me to shave my hair and go punk two years later in Vancouver.