Accidental Physical Contact

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!

17 thoughts on “Accidental Physical Contact

  1. Sarca says:

    Sarca seeecret: the year was around 1996. Platinum Blonde had long been a distant memory. The Odds were set to perform at the Spoke – the Western campus bar. Who was the opener? Some band I didn’t recognize, but I knew the lead singer was Mark Holmes (lead singer for Platinum Blonde). The Spoke was effing packed that night, and my friend and I were weaving our way through the crowd to the bar. It’s easy to trip up through the crowd, and of course, I tripped on someone’s big feet. A guy caught my fall. He asked if I was okay. I apologised for running into him and said yes. It was dark in there so I didn’t recognize him, and I didn’t know it until later, but that guy ended up on stage – it was Mark Holmes! He was shorter than I thought he really was, with jet black hair.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Haha that’s awesome! To bad he didn’t brush it off and say “it’s OK, it Doesn’t Really Matter.” And to top it all off, he could add “It’s alright, we All Fall Down at some point or another.”

      Ba-dum-TISH! I’m here all week, tip your bartenders.


  2. James Kalyn says:

    A friend of mine tells a story about working at Midtown Plaza in Saskatoon and walking towards a skinny white guy flanked by two huge black guys. The three were taking up almost the whole walkway and making people get out of their way. My buddy was not about to move for them, so he kept on going forward and plowed shoulder-first into the skinny white guy. None of the three (or my friend) were particularly happy about this, but nobody said anything. They kept on going their way and my friend went on his way. He met up with a friend of his, who exclaimed “I can’t believe you just shoulder-checked Snow!” He was on his way to an autograph signing at Sam the Record Man. Snow was, I mean.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. James Kalyn says:

        This was at the height of Informer. Apparently. I remember seeing the poster for the autograph signing and thinking “Who?” I didn’t hear Informer until a month or two after that.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. keepsmealive says:

      Aw, too bad his elbow didn’t ride up and catch that mook in the chin…

      Also, imagine feeling important and superior for signing your name as four letters: S-N-O-W. My three-year-old can do that.


    2. keepsmealive says:

      Midtown Plaza was often a source of hilarity for me. I remember being there once and seeing that the AdditionElle store was under construction. That in itself wasn’t funny, but the huge sign they put on it was:


      I laughed for weeks about that. Still makes me chuckle, even now.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      It was totally accidental. I feel like I DO watch where I’m going! Not all the time, as is apparent.

      I’m thinking it’s a good thing I don’t live somewhere like NYC or LA. I’d be taling out famous people left, right, and center.

      Liked by 1 person

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