I was reading Howard Kaylan’s book, (Flo and Eddy, Frank Zappa and the Turtles). When they were starting out they were approached by suits at a small label who wanted to record them. The suits suggested changing their name to the Turtles. Guys in the band said no way that’s stupid. The suits said the Beatles are big right now, they are also named after an animal and it ends in l-e-s . Nobody could argue with that logic, the Turtles were born.
In the lounge of McLear recording studios where we recorded Blue Rodeo’s first record, someone from Warner Music came to discuss artwork. The album was going to be named after one of Greg’s songs Outskirts. “So there’s a girl and she’s wearing a skirt and the words “out” are on it. What d’ya think?” I don’t have many memories of Greg doing things I admire but that was one, he looked unsmilingly back and said no. Artwork guy without missing a beat acted like it was a joke all along, but it wasn’t. He just knew part of his job was to be submissive instantly, go whichever way the wind blows.
Customs stops us at the Detroit border 1994. Selina on guitar, Liz on bass, Dave lee on drums on our way to tour America, even though we will lose money, both countries try to not let in foreign artists, because technically they are “working”. We pretend to be on our way to recording studio in Chicago. My booking agent Matt Suhar has sent a fax using references from the songs on my records. It is a fantastic work of fiction, “Doug Christie is excited to produce your album. The electric zither will be here Wednesday morning. Leonard Peltier has finished the horn arrangements”. The customs agent smells something fishy,
“Okay lemme ask you one thing, you got recording studios in Canada too, why not record there?”
“Because our equipment is inferior to what exists in America”
Tense facial expression disappears, “Right”, waves us through.