For the month of January I clocked an average running pace of 9:20 / mile. I attributed the slowdown to age; I've a 43rd birthday coming up, maybe I'm winding down. Then along came February and I started running under 9. You could chock it up to my recent decision to start playing hockey again, but that would discount the Max factor.
Last week I picked up a copy of the first Max Webster album on Ebay. I downloaded it to my Ipod and I've been running 8:40 ever since.
I forgot how much I love Max Webster.
They came out of Sarnia, Ontario in the seventies. They were silly, irreverent and rocked hard. Canada's other prog rock outfit
was led by lead guitarist Kim Mitchell, a cross-dressed scarecrow who once claimed he only owned one LP; Captain Beefheart's Dock at Radar Station.Kim Mitchell
Before Kim went for a soda in search of the perfect rock song, Max Webster experimented with all kinds of weird and wonderful sounds. I played Toronto Tontos
for my daughters on the way to school this morning. They hailed it as the most wonderful-retarded song they'd heard in their lives.
I became acquainted with Max Webster under unfortunate circumstances. My family was visiting relatives in Trenton, Ontario for Easter when we learned that my sister had died. While my parents dealt with arrangements I was whisked away with my cousin who had an MG and an 8-track. I remember driving around Lake Ontario,I am perplexedI am distressedWhere did I park my wheels, Where did I park my wheels
For a time my brother and I were in a garage band that played pretty much exclusively Max Webster. The set included:
Coming off the Moon (a monster)
Only Your Nose Knows
High Class in Borrowed Shoes
Their New Years Eve concerts at Maple Leaf Gardens were legendary. I saw them twice; once in Moncton, New Brunswick backing up Rush, and once at The Spectrum in Montreal (Oh War was heav-eeeey).My concert stub... I went with my brother and his girlfriend
After 5 albums the band split. Frankly the market didn't know what to do with them, and they slowly got caught in the middle of a New-Wave vacuum.
Today Kim Mitchell still plays (he has a nice new song on his website
), and he hosts a radio program on Toronto's Q107
(too much top 40 and commercials for my taste; they should just cut him loose for a couple of hours and let him play what he likes).
Keyboardist Terry Watkinson is now at U of T doing medical drawings
(I wonder if he wanders the academic halls in his old lab coat).
Basist Dave Myles left the band in 1980 to manage KFC restaurants back in Sarnia (which goes to show you how Canada treats its rock n roll royalty).
(with thanks to Scott Feeney's fine Max Webster site