The Who # 11 Did you steal my Money?
by Regis Boff
I get this call from Townshend around midday.
Now there is much potential in that sentence. The simple sighting of Pete before leaving for the afternoon sound check alarmed everyone. For him to call me directly could not be good. In fact is was fair cause for dread. We made each other nervous, and it took me years to find out why.
I was sitting around with Bill and Jackie deeply invested with the invention of a logo for the Canadian leg of the North American tour that year. Eventually, it would wind up on posters and backstage passes. We wanted it to be petty and mean yet impenetrable to the average Canadian punter.
The litany of reasons to loathe doing shows in that long, cold nation was deep. The first was the protracted jumps between cities it demanded. Canada is big, and there are places like Calgary that you simply could not in good conscience skip however inconvenient it would be to get there with five fucking tractor trailers full of electronic shit.
Now if you did Calgary, you were obliged to play Edmonton and Ottawa. Ottawa is settled mostly by moose, and there are cases of sexual contact between the beasts and Ottawinians. Gays are still forbidden to marry there unless the ceremony is carried out by a moose elder.
On top of all this some bonehead put the Canadian Rockies in between those cities and Vancouver.
I have, because of my time with Genesis been to Calgary a quarter of a million times. That, give or take, is the number of times the band played every American city. There are certain legs in Europe as well, like the Essen, Dusseldorf and Berlin combo that I could still travel blindfolded by just sniffing the ground.
It can also be pointed out, inaccurately most probably, that there are no pretty girls after you leave Toronto till you reach the West Coast.
I have been arrested twice crossing borders, and I will not say why right now but add this to the Canadian lineup.
The building of our logo design was going splendidly. So far we had a giant map of Canada highlighting all the cities we would play. A giant green frog, ( representing the universally nauseating French Canadians), was hopping from city to city, dressed in a Mountie’s, ( the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) uniform carrying a piece of Canadian bacon in its mouth while chasing a beaver. The bacon was my touch, and I thought it the best bit.
But that phone call had dampened me, so I headed down to his room.
He did not look well. He had his tea.
” Did you give me money last night?” he said without really looking up. I got the feeling that if I lied to him he would be pleased. ” Yeah”, I said.
“How much?” He groaned when I told him.
“Fuck,” was all he said under his turned down face.
“Who was here?” I said. “It doesn’t matter I didn’t know them. I must have passed out.”
“Want me to put Jim on it,” I said.
“No, it’s gone, thanks.”
And I left.