The Fugitives—tour diary, part 1
– by Brendan McLeod
Tour, the Global Apocalypse, and Facebook
The Fugitives head out on the latest cross-Canada tour next week. All the way from Vancouver to Charlottetown and back – four bodies, four instruments, hundreds of CDs (what can we say, we think positively), and underwear, all packed into a tiny rental car courtesy of Budget (they didn’t give us the car for free, by “courtesy” I mean we paid for it).
My friend Jo told me that blue whales have a heart the size of a car; I’ll try to think about this in the next few days as we trade the mountains for the Prairies – the four of us traipsing across our native land like the huge thumping heart of the largest animal ever known to have existed, pulsing to the beat of eclectic urban folk music.
Which is all a bit optimistic. I love the crap out of my bandmates and don’t worry about getting along with them in close quarters for 30-odd days. But I do worry about myself – that I’ll suddenly become that overbearing/taciturn/melancholy dude that everyone wishes they could drop off in the middle of the Canadian Shield at the gas station that sells nothing but country cassettes and refrigerated sandwiches.
To date, I have yet to royally flip out on tour, but I have a history of self-doubt when it comes to things like this. Whenever the global apocalypse comes up (and let’s face it, it comes up a lot), I’m adamant that I would never be that guy in The Road who could “keep the flame alive” when things got tough.
My friend Randall disagrees, but he’s just being nice.
“All the books make it out worse than it is,” he says. “It’s not like you have to go around shooting bears and stuff. It’s just about being resolute and forthright.”
“But I’m not resolute and forthright. And why would I shoot a bear after an apocalypse? One, how did bears survive the apocalypse? Two, if animals did survive, why wouldn’t I shoot a deer or an elk or a moose – something people actually eat?”
“See. You’re already thinking practically.”
“Yeah, but even if I had a gun I couldn’t shoot it. When I went paintballing with my dad I mowed him down in the head.”
“That’s perfect. You’re supposed to shoot for the head.”
“And even if I did shoot something I could never cook it. I can’t cook now, and I have a stove and a microwave. I’d be helpless with just a lighter and some sticks -”
“If you even had a lighter -”
“Unless the apocalypse happened because of global warming. Then I guess I could shoot things, let them cook under the blazing hot sun, and duck under a tree until they were finished.”
“If there even were trees -”
I’m sure there’ll be lots of conversations like this between my bandmates and I after we spend 30 days cramped together in a car (read: heart of a blue whale).
Oh well, the fame and glory are worth it. Like this Facebook message I got from someone after our recent going-away shows at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre:
“Dude. You don’t know me but I peed beside you at the urinal once and then you signed my CD. So I guess you can say our friendship is messed up. Oh well, you rule. Add me.”
I added him. Because that message is awesome. And because I add everyone; I have unscrupulous Facebook standards.