Saturday night in Saint John was fun. Trisha got completely borked and I had to keep asking Dan to tell his girlfriend to stop mauling me. We went to Callahan’s and I danced with a bunch of old ladies. All my new girlfriends.
Del was playing for dance party night at Callahan’s. The man is a phenomenon. He sits a little ways back from the dancefloor on a stage surrounded by silver curtains. He has something like four big keyboard workstations, and a songbook the size of three family Bibles, and a super disco lighting rig that he operates with his feet, and he plays and sings and keeps on making the party happen.
He has his own sound system with the word “DEL” on the stacks. The secret of Delbert is that he has the best-sounding PA in town. The man ain’t foolin’ around. Talk about overpowered for a small room.
The first time I heard Del I was in the back at Callahan’s thinking, my god that PA system sounds good. Thumpin’ bass and crystal-clear highs. Then I looked over and went holy shit… some guy’s performing all this music live.
The scene at Callahan’s reminds me of the way the North End Pub used to be back in the summer of 2001. Before the Sunday jamboree got popular with the kids I would go across the street to listen to the band and I would be the only person in the room under 40. Callahan’s has the same kind of older crowd. And they love it… the place is packed and everyone’s dancing and getting loaded and they’re all making out with each other on the dancefloor and groping each other all over the place. The ladies were just grabbing me, saying “come on, young boy” and pulling me out to the dancefloor. I even waltzed during a slow song. What do I know about waltzing? Shit, son. Apparently there are photos.
I was talking to Del during a break between sets. He plays four nights a week at Callahan’s and on weekend afternoons he plays at the Legion and then through the week he plays around at different nursing homes. He’s in demand. At Callahan’s he does a country night and an oldies night plus the Saturday night dance party. Saturday night seemed like a lot of ’80s stuff. On Sundays he hosts an open mic night and I told him if he learns some Devo I’m gonna head down sometime.
We were back and forth for a while between Callahan’s and Happinez where the DJ for the night was Fred, AKA NexusSix, a homie from the Bike Shop days in Halifax. Towards the end of the night we walked past Elwood’s where a band called Divine Heist was on the bill.
“Ya know,” I said, “this band missed out on a real opportunity here. They could’ve called themselves ‘Divine HOIST’ and it would have been one of the best band names in history.”
“HOIST” said Fred and I could tell that I was onto something. A bunch of us went to the 24-hour noodle restaurant (Saint John you surprise me). I stuck with some kind of chicken noodle soup thing because I’ve never been known to hoist a shrimp. But I will hoist a toast to all the cranes surrounding Saint John harbour. To the view we had one winter night from Fort Howe.
Robin would’ve turned 29 today. Sometimes I hate waking up in the morning.