Accidental Physical Contact
OK, so I’ve gotta clear the air and tell these stories. Please let it be known that I totally mean it when I say that these incidents (both of which happened many years ago) were unintentional. If I’ve told these stories before, well, here they are again…
First off, our mighty brother of Arena Rock, Deke posted recently about the Pursuit of Happiness, a band I loved when they were making those big records and that I need to get to again (inspired by Deke‘s post). Well, one time I was walking along Queen St. W. in Toronto and there was a sizeable crowd blocking the sidewalk in front of some place like Lee’s Palace or Sneaky Dee’s. I wanna say it was Lee’s Palace, from my memory of it, but I cannot confirm that. Anyway, I had to step out onto the street (into traffic) to get around the throng. Well, it seemed a guy coming the other way had had the same idea and I hit him with my shoulder by accident as we passed. I hadn’t seen him coming as he was quite a bit shorter than me and I would’ve been focussing on oncoming traffic to see if I was going to be another Toronto traffic accident statistic just then. I immediately turned and before I could speak to apologize, I realized it was Moe Berg of the Pursuit of Happiness that I had thumped. I apologized, of course, but didn’t really make a big deal about knowing who he was. He was cool about it, said no worries and turned his attention back to the venue to see if they had opened the door yet. I went on my way. It all happened and was over very quickly. Sorry (again), Moe!
And now here’s where you’re gonna say that famous Canadian musicians need to be wary of a tall-ish shaved-headed guy when they’re out in public, ‘cos it happened another time, with another musician…
I was in the Chapters bookstore (I believe it was the one in Waterloo) and, again, there was a huge crowd gathered right in the way of the door, this time on the inside. I ducked into an aisle of books to avoid the worst of it and make my way to my destination, and as I came out of the end of the aisle and went to turn the corner, I walked right into a lady who was just standing there minding her own business. Again I apologized immediately, realizing as I spoke that it was Liona Boyd, the person the crowd had gathered to see! She must’ve been standing behind the end of the aisle for a moment of privacy before greeting the gathering. And again, if she can hide behind the end of one of those shelves, she isn’t that tall and that’s why I didn’t see her. I have to assume she was there for a book signing – a quick check of Amazon says that her autobiography, In My Own Key: My Life In Love And Music, had come out in September of 1999 and it’s certainly possible that I was in town around that time, although we did move to Montreal in August of that year, so maybe this was some sort of advance thing, I dunno. Anyway, she was also understanding of my blundering, focussed as she was on the event at hand, but I did catch a vibe of a bit more perturbed than Moe’s easy-going shrug. Sorry (again), Liona!
Now, my lovely wife claims to have no memory of either event, says I must’ve been with another girlfriend from before our time together. But if I was wandering Toronto when I ran into Moe, I would’ve been there to visit her. She just may not have been with me at that time. And if it was indeed around that time of 1999, we’d been dating almost a year by the time I ran into Liona, but again she may not have been there with me that day.
Well there, stories told. It feels better to have those out there. You’re going to think I just need to look where I’m going, but I hardly ever bump into people like that as it is, so to have two incidents be people I knew of like that, it’s odd. I’m sure neither person remembers the incidents at all, but I do, because it surely isn’t every day I thump into famous Canadian musicians. I swear!