Got a surprise call from DT this morning, considering it’s a weekday and she normally works. She has the day off and was in the neighbourhood so she came by with some chocolatines. We chatted while listening to the New Pornographers, then went out to grab a delicious cafe au lait at Olympico and sat on the steps at the church and found ourselves talking a lot about Alex. We don’t always do this, but for some reason this morning I found myself missing him a lot and wishing he were around more than usual. You get over the shock, you get on with your life or try to, but the fact is Alex is gone forever. Yet I’ll miss him my whole life, and I’ll allow myself that. In the past, Alex and I might go months without being in touch but one of us would eventually call the other. Speaking for myself, if I’d been out of touch with for more than a couple of months I could feel myself needing to touch base with him. I still get that feeling now, only I can never touch base with him, I can only imagine what he might say.
At the Divan Orange on Friday, filled with old faces from the Bad Old Days of the Montreal music scene and photos of now famous Montreal bands , I couldn’t help but think Alex would have got a kick out of the currently “hot” Montreal scene. I think even he would agree that it’s never been better, though he’d probably be one of the sceptics and not as enthusiastic about it as I am. He would have definitely enjoyed the bill on Friday night. Perhaps he would have been on the bill with either the Nils or Chino had things not turned out so badly. That night I found myself reminiscing with Rick Trembles, Chris Burns, Francis D, and even Mark Lepage about what it used to be like in 80s. All of us seemed to agree that there can be no talk of the good old days. Some of us could talk about feeling nervous prior to going to a show, never sure if violence would break out or something crazy happening. It’s not like that now. There are more bands, more fans, and more venues than there ever was. Violence is an exception. Today, those of us who still attend shows on a somewhat regular basis see ourselves more as artifacts of a lost era. You just can’t compare the way things were then and the way they are now. It’s like another world. That a festival celebrating independent music can successfully put on 300 hundred shows over 5 or 6 nights in Montreal would have been laughable to most of us 10 years ago. To those responsible for making the Montreal scene as dynamic and diverse as it is today, I say hats off, congratulations, and THANK YOU. You’ve accomplished what many of us would not have thought possible.