My room at the Capitol in Quebec City was fine enough, but somehow I couldn’t manage a good night’s sleep after Thursday night’s performance. Curious and somewhat startling here and there, a procession of perfectly timed floor creaks and radiator cracks, sharp wall pops as the heat would come on just when the rattle in my head was slowing, late, late night traffic, delivery trucks beeping in reverse, and an all-nighter going on down the hall, might have had something to do with the Thursday night bed of nails. By 4am I was certain every lamp, curtain pulley, coat hanger and crumb of furniture in the suite was conspiring with the Fates to sabotage the homecoming concert the coming day—just one of those nights where I couldn’t dive any deeper than a plank of driftwood bobbing on troubled waters. Long night, nonetheless, the morning came soon enough.
On came the new over-sized, black double-knit sock cap, the ray bans, the New Balances, shorts and a few layers of sweaters, and off I went for my usual morning road run. (Best way to beat a bad night’s doze is to meet the sun (or, in this case, gray sky) head on—get things moving a little.) “Nice show, Gino,” heard someone say. “I must have a “G” on my forehead or back,” I thought to myself, as I headed up to Chateau Frontenac.
It was a three-hour ride to Montreal, with two stopovers: one for drinking a cup of Joe, the other for getting rid of it. Got to Montreal and had just enough time to lay my bags down, grab a quick shower and head to sound check. Standing at the center of that sixty-foot wide stage, a little unsure of where the lip lay, blinded by what seemed like divine rays of near-death white light, brought on by the four giant spotlights coming out of pitch blackness, while running the opening of Crazy Life and Stay with Me, I found it quite easy to get a little wobbly at the knees and say to myself, “Oh dear, I don’t have a thing to wear!”Place des Arts is one of those halls that can cut the legs off of any performer who doesn’t one up it’s imposing grandness with one simple, healing mantra, ”Whatever?” Greatest nerve tonic in the world, that word is. Sound check ended at 5:30. I was back in my hotel room by 6, just enough to collect my stage stuff. Of course, I couldn’t decide what to wear, so I brought way too many duds. (The stage always brings out the finicky, ambivalent woman in me) When in doubt I leave such life-and-death decisions to the dictates of the mirrors in my dressing room. Black leather it was going to be.“Yo. . .yo. . .me. . .me. . .ah. . .ah. . .ooh. . .ooh. . .“then, “Five minutes to show time,” said the voice over the back stage intercom system. And suddenly, from a floating piece of driftwood I found myself bopping before three thousand people, as if a gunman with two Colt 45’s in each hand, firing shots at my feet, kept saying, “Dance!” My thanks to the boys in the band: Reinhardt Melz, Damian Erskine, Jay Koder, Greg Goelbel, Patrick Lamb, Nick Moon, Jocelyn Couture, David Grott, and brother Ross, for making the night in Montreal a night to remember.