Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Boulder Lodge, Brunswick St, Brisbane, 1993

Band: Rubber Bug
Members: Maddog (previously known as Gary) (v), Ross (d), Big D (b), Carl (g)

I think the owner went to the optometrist who shared a floor of the Warehouse with Ross. Whatever connection it was that got us in there, Boulder Lodge was an incredible rehearsal room.

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Boulder Lodge was an old theatre converted into a live music venue. The room was subterranean and cavernous. Best of all it has velvet curtains.

Gary had become Maddog, not a label he earned in the pen serving a sentence, it was because of a minor resemblance he had to a vivid history of Maddog-types with menacing dental and mental conditions. You see, his pet dog had jumped at him while he was laughing and broke his front tooth off in diagonal, which while on public health, could not be fixed for several weeks as it was deemed cosmetic only. Gary (as he was at first) was understandably not impressed by this imposition of the public health, but he found that it became an experience in social identity, and ultimately relished in it.

Commuters would jump out of the way on the bus when he opened his mouth to say 'excuse me'. Bank Tellers would twitch nervously when he asked to make a withdrawal. Parents sheltered their children from the maniacal grin of the generally congenial and cheerful Gary.

In six weeks, he had become Maddog, and even subsequent to the tooth being fixed, the name, and some would say traces of the caricature, Maddog, remained.

Back to Boulder Lodge, we rehearsed in it, we wrote in it, we performed in it (voila - no load-in) and in a demonstration of poor character assessment by the owner, we worked in it. Behind the bar. Ah, the old Dracula in the Blood Bank trick.

To pay for practice we were asked to work behind the bar when there were gigs on. Ridiculous. Punters were getting double shots, triple shots, we were getting quadruples, we'd work for two hours and then have to go to sober up or sleep off a resurgent hangover. I don't even know if the place was licensed, actually, now I think about it, there was no draught beers, no taps, no fridge, the beer was all cans in ice, the till was ancient, it was on a trolley on wheels. What was going on there, I can't honestly say.

But it made money. For a while, then it went bust and we had to move again.

Here's Rubber Bug Live to Air for the 1994 4ZZZ Radiothon. OK, so the recording starts in the middle, some knob forgot to turn the tape recorder on, don't point fingers at us, we were playing at the time. Be thankful it's been cut short, On Its Head is a multipart odyssey even as it stands. Nevertheless , this snippet has a little of everything Rubber Bug was trying to do back then, and it was cookin'. Engineered live in the studio by our long-time mixer, Thirsty Hirst.

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