Woke Up With Wood

#411: Stop Playing ‘Beth’ – The Post-Sausagefest Countdown


#411: Stop Playing ‘Beth’ – The Post-Sausagefest Countdown

Perhaps the only bigger production than going to Sausagefest is coming home from Sausagefest.  At least when you’re travelling with Uncle Meat.

As we have previous years, Uncle Meat rode up with me.  This time he slept in my car too.  This pretty much left me responsible for him.  I roused bright and early from a restful slumber on Saturday morning to evacuate my bladder.  Imagine my surprise when I found, at 6:30 in the morning, Uncle Meat, Bucky and Matt still up from the night before.  They were just starting to fall asleep when I took my morning shit.  I then went back to sleep in my tent for a few more hours.

Our Saturday morning tradition is to hit up the Flying Spatula in Flesherton for our breakfast fill-up.  Sebastien, driving his 4×4, stopped by my tent and asked if I was riding up with him.  Ready for some bacon and eggs, I hopped on board with Seb, while Meat snoozed away in my car’s passenger side seat.

My first controversy of the weekend was not waking Meat up for breakfast.  Being that he had only gone to bed a couple hours before, I thought I was doing him a favour.  Apparently not.  “Breakfast before sleep!” he said.  Apparently that’s the Meat priorities.

Saturday went off without a hitch, breakfast arrangements aside.  I will post the full 78 song countdown (plus a couple odds n’ ends) in the days ahead.  Saturday night was loaded with long bombers, such as “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (13 minutes), the live “Child in Time” from Made In Japan (12 minutes), and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (25 minutes).  The excellent countdown (dubbed “the greatest songs of all time”) ended after midnight.

Sunday morning, I found I had the most difficult job of all.  It took me an hour and a half (close to two hours) to wake Uncle Meat from his slumber.  As the others were packing up their tents and heading off into the sunrise, I found I had a passenger unwilling or unable to rouse himself.  “If you let him sleep in your car again next year, then there will be nobody to blame but you,” said Troy.

I cranked “I Stole Your Love” at max volume.  No reaction.  Tom threw a 12-pack of socks at his head (photo above).  No reaction.  I played Kiss’ “Beth”, followed by the 1988 Eric Carr re-recording.  Still  nothing.  Only when I put the car in drive and started moving it around did Meat finally decide to wake himself.  I took him on a drousy “drive of shame” to visit all the people who had no trouble waking up.  “I have a boner” he announced.  Yes, it’s true — Uncle Meat woke up with wood.

After telling us all about his boner, he kept shouting “Stop playing ‘Beth’!” even though the song was no longer playing. This continued when we pulled into our first stop, Top of the Rock, for him to get his first coffee. “Stop playing ‘Beth’!” he shouted in a barely-there voice, any time somebody was in his vicinity.

“Stop playing ‘Beth’!” he shouted, when his roomate Zack also pulled into Top of the Rock. Zack informed us, “That’s just him. He’ll just keep repeating it unless he gets something new in his head.” Zack paused and said, “Watch. Rododendron!”

“Rhododendron!” shouted Meat, parroting his roomate. “Rhododendron! Stop playing ‘Beth’!”

And that was it pretty much the rest of the ride home. A selection of brief statements, repeated ad nauseum: “Rhododendron!” “Stop playing ‘Beth’!” “Coffee!” Repeat.

The weekend more than made up for the ride home. Sebastien and I shot lots of footage, including underwater stuff with his GoPro. For the first time ever, we will be combining footage and doing the annual videos together. Be patient, this will be worth it.

Three albums I must own, after this year’s Sausagefest:

  • Trouble – Trouble (1990)
  • Rheostatics – Whale Music (1992)
  • Grand Funk Railroad – Live: The 1971 Tour (2002)

Stop playing “Beth”? Never, man! Stay tuned….

Part 38: More Wood


As I said before in chapter 14, record store guys have the best parties, ever.  In the beginning when things were less corporate, we also had the best staff parties.   There were kegs, which automatically meant keg stands. We were outdoors.  There was music.  There were burgers and dogs and even vegetarian options.  One year, a bunch of guys (including our buddy Dave “Homer”), pulled up in a pickup truck with a couch in the back!  Fucking perfect!  We would go all night, no complaints from the neighbors.  This was long before Spoogecakes. This was summer, 1999.

In my humble opinion, the epicenter of these parties was always Tom. He brought the best tunes. He said the most random things (“Frosted Lucky Charms, they’re magically delicious!”) at the most random times. Tom brought the fucking party.


The triumvirate of Tom, Trev and myself were usually ready to rock out to something a little on the heavier side.  Tom brought the Fu Manchu, which was my first exposure to the band.  From The Action is Go, he played “Saturn III” on repeat.

Spaceman destroy

Mega asteroid

Certain time and place

Floatin’ up in space

Tom brought the tunes, and Tom brought the chicken wings.  Tom used to pull this stunt where he’d eat several wings, bones and all.  (Then, he used to put the rest of the bones in a jar and say he would use it to make soup?)   Well, it didn’t turn out so well for Tom this time.

Trev was working with this one kid from Egypt who didn’t last long.  Boutros was his name.  Well, Boutros used to boast that he could eat “anything” no matter how hot.  Trevor used to laugh at this, having tasted the terrible delights of the habanero pepper himself.  Boutros, despite his boasts, had never heard of this pepper.  He had no idea what he was getting himself into with his boasting.

Trevor made a special trip to get one pepper, just for this party.  It was a mean looking little thing, like a tiny tomato.  He presented it to Smelly.  Smelly laughed.

“That little thing?  That’s what I’m supposed to be so afraid of?  That little thing?”

Boutros was about to insert the whole thing in mouth.

Trevor responded with a chuckle, “Be careful!  Don’t have a bite.  Just cut off a small slice.”

“Yeah whatever!” he said as a slice was prepared for him.

He ate it.  He laughed.  He laughed some more.

Then, his eyes grew wide.  His mouth squeezed shut as he began crying.  He assumed the fetal position.  I didn’t see him again for the rest of the night.  He never boasted about being able to eat “anything” again.

Enter, Tom.  Tom was already well lubricated from generous amounts of cold, frothy beer.  He had also already performed his standard party trick:   the eating of the chicken bones, much to the delight of us.  So, when a very inebriated Tom grabbed what was left of that pepper and bit, we all shouted “NO” at once!  After all, chicken bones and habanero cannot feel good coming out the other end!

As far as I know, Tom spent much of the rest of the evening drinking milk in the washroom.  I do not know what the next day was like for him.  I have never asked.  I don’t want to know.