Hot Apollo

Toronto's Shiniest Rock-and-Roll Band


Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear from a friend who decided that he’d like to drum in my band for a while. That seat has been empty for most of the last year, and when we got together for our first practice session, all of us were gratified to finally play with a full band again.

Since the spring, I’ve been having some problems with my left shoulder. The whole thing started when a seizure caused a dislocation, which seems to have loosened things to a point where new dislocations are wont to occur with randomness and relative ease. Fortunately, I’m almost always able to sort things out within a few minutes. I even dislocated it once in the middle of a busking session during the summer, but no one noticed because Dave was playing a guitar solo at the time. If I’d been singing, I might have momentarily stopped and made the incident more obvious thereby, but I wasn’t. Dave was displaying his musical wizardry while I did my usual convulsive dance. When the dislocation occurred, it probably didn’t seem too incongruent with what I was doing at the time. Things were back to normality by the arrival of the next verse anyway.

During this rehearsal, I wasn’t so lucky. I dislocated my shoulder right in the middle of a stanza, and my line was cut short by a curt shriek. Now, I won’t deny that I have been known on occasion to punctuate my songs with screams of various types, but these utterances never interrupt my words, and I’d hardly call them curt.

The incident wasn’t too bad. I left the room momentarily to sort myself out, and I was back in fine form before the drummer even arrived.

I actually just remembered that the drummer wasn’t present when this happened. I think that the rest of us were just warming up while we waited for him to arrive. I’d probably be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that his tardiness was caused by circumstances outside of his control. He’s not some “Spinal Tap” caricature. He’s a decent guy who was simply beset by transit trouble. In full honesty, I’m almost definitely the worst person in the band in matters of punctuality. I also started my musical life as a drummer, but that had nothing to do with my tendency to arrive late. It had everything to do with the fact that nobody wanted to hear me sing.

Anyway, when I got back from my brief rest, jokes were made about the potential for this kind of thing to happen during an actual performance. It seemed like a fairly hilarious prospect in the middle of a rock-and-roll show. But the whole thing got me to think about something else for a moment.

If anything of this sort happened in the middle of a Bruno Mars concert, everyone would probably be quite understanding. Festivities would stop, he’d be rushed offstage, and the headlines would be sympathetic. If the exact same thing happened to Mick Jagger, David Lee Roth, or anyone else who’s too old to be Bruno’s sibling, the accident would be a target of laughter and derision. The fact that episodes of infirmity are much commoner in older people than they are in those who share a generation with Bruno and me doesn’t really seem to make it easier for those older people to get a pass when such things actually happen to them. It’s like that phenomenon whereby fat babies are hilarious to everyone despite the fact that most babies are rather plump anyway.

I will say this, though. The feeling I get when I pop things back into place after a dislocation almost makes the whole ordeal worth it. That’s some powerful pleasure. Have you ever had a sneeze that completely removed the cold that caused it? Does that happen? I don’t know. I just know that it’s an incredible sensation. If everyone could do that on command, genitals would come to teeter on the edge of obsolescence. At this point of the night, I don’t fully feel irresponsible enough to recommend the experience, but I would advise you to enjoy this part if you happen to find yourself in it.

Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.