Bad Motor Scooter
Here’s Montrose playing Bad Motor Scooter live:
The band features Sammy Hagar on vocals, he’s well known for singing in Van Halen, and the guitarist is Ronnie Montrose in full on Guitar God mode.
- Riding the Greyhound bus is always an adventure.
When I was 13-years-old I was on a Greyhound bus in the middle of winter in Butte, Montana.
There was a snowstorm outside and the bus couldn’t make it up a hill. Its tires were spinning and it was sliding backwards but kept fighting to get up the hill. The bus finally made it up the hill, pulled into the bus station, loaded passengers and left Butte. Just outside of Butte we had another delay when some nut bar on the bus decided to pull a straight razor on another passenger.
Now we had to wait for the police to come out and take the crazy guy away.
That’s what I remember of my trip back to Calgary after visiting my aunt in the U.S.
The whole way home I clutched to my Montrose album like a prized possession.
My friend’s older brother had the album but you couldn’t buy it in Calgary or, as far as I could tell, in Canada, but I bought it when I was visiting my aunt.
I was in Grade 8 at the time and before I bought the album the only way we could ever listen to it was on my friends brothers stereo.
My friend’s brother was about six years older than us and he had a massive room in the basement of my friend’s house and it was party central. He also had what may have been the best stereo in all of Ogden, if not Calgary.
So when we were in his room and he had Bad Motor Scooter cranked up full blast we thought we had died and gone to heaven.
My friends name was Dean.
Most kids growing up have a friend like Dean. If they don’t, they should. He was one of those kids who was funny without trying to be funny.
Dean and me were the biggest Kiss fans in the world in Grade 6. That’s why when Kiss came to Calgary and Dean’s parents wouldn’t let him go to the concert I was dumbfounded.
I kept bugging him to go anyway but he said he couldn’t. I ended up going with some older kids on my street and saw the biggest, most bombastic rock and roll concert in the history of rock and roll at the Stampede Corral.
I remember before the doors opened for the concert there was a huge crush at the front doors and I was front and centre.
I wasn’t the least bit concerned for my safety but I remember one gentleman yelling to the crowd behind us, “back up, back up. There’s a kid up here. You’re going to kill him.”
I wasn’t near death. I was having fun.
This was in the days of general admission, which meant you could sit anywhere you wanted. When those doors opened me and my friends sprinted to the front of the stage.
We saw Gene Simmons spit blood and spew fire and watched Ace Frehley’s guitar smoke and spark and catch fire. I remember going home and spending a half-hour replaying the entire concert to my mom with my air guitar and air drums.
I felt bad that Dean couldn’t go but we went to a lot of concerts after that.
(The back up band at the Kiss concert was Cheap Trick. We saw them again a couple year's later at a concert called Alberta Jam. It was held out at Shephard Raceway. Cheap Trick was the headliner. It was a day of drag racing and rock and roll. A great combination.)
About a year after the Kiss concert Dean and me and another friend of ours, also named Dean, went to a Triumph concert, also at the Corral.
There were two back up acts.
One was a band that everybody hated. I can’t remember their name but everybody was booing them and I remember the guitarist stepping to the front of the stage and thrusting his middle finger out with profound hatred and contempt. His wild-eyed gesture made people boo even more.
The other act was the Unknown Comic. The Unknown Comic was a comedian who wore a paper bag over his head with small holes cut out for his eyes and mouth.
We loved the Unknown Comic.
Anyway, a few days after the concert, a bunch of us were at Dean’s house when Dean walked into his room wearing the Unknown Comic bag over his head. He started doing a frantic imitation of the Unknown Comic and we begged him to stop before we all died from laughter.
- TED NUGENT
Another concert I went to with Dean was Ted Nugent.
Not only was Dean a comedian he was also a bit of an entrepreneur.
He decided to buy two extra Ted Nugent tickets and scalp them at the Stampede grounds before the concert.
A longhaired biker-looking fellow walked up showing interest in the tickets. He took them into his grubby paws, looked at them, said, “thanks” and walked away with Dean’s tickets.
I was shocked. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
A girl nearby saw what happened and couldn’t believe it either. I remember her walking up to us and saying, “did what I just see just happen, really happen?” We said, “Yup.”
I told Dean we should follow the guy, see where he sits, and go get his brother and his brother’s friends, then go back to the guy and beat him up. Dean wasn’t in the mood for confrontation and told me to forget about it.
Dean and me often went to downtown Calgary to buy records. We never paid the regular price for any album we bought. This was in the age before electronic price tags and we would switch out the price tags on the albums we bought so we could get the sale price.
Looking back I have no idea why we were compelled to change price tags, but that’s what we always did. Kids, they make absolutely no sense.
We also used to go skateboarding at a skateboard park in Calgary called Skatopia and Dean was always compelled to steal a rental skateboard from them.
I don’t know why but we always left Skatopia with an extra skateboard.
When nobody was watching, Dean would grab a rental skateboard, chuck it out the side door when nobody was watching, and then we’d pick it up in the tall grass when we were done skateboarding.
Besides skateboarding at Skatopia, Dean and me would often go skiing at Paskapoo, which is now called Canada Olympic Park.
When I look back what I find most amazing is how much time we would spend on the Calgary Transit bus to go skateboarding and, especially, skiing.
In the middle of winter, after school, we’d grab our skis, our ski boots and our ski poles, take the Ogden 24 bus downtown, transfer to the Bowness bus, get off the bus and walk about one kilometer to the ski hill. We’d arrive at about 6 p.m., ski until 9 p.m., jump back on the bus and get home near midnight. It was almost as long of a trip to Skatopia. We never thought twice about it. We just did it. Once again – Kids, they make absolutely no sense.
Anyway, here’s Ted Nugent singing Cat Scratch Fever:
Here is Skatopia.
The first two pictures are of Skatopia – The Plexiglas and the bowl. Skatopia was open for three years in the late 1970’s. It had several great bowls. One was called the bathtub and another was called the keyhole. I had some massive wipeouts there and still bare the scars.
I ran this link in a previous blog but I thought I'd run it again.
It's of Shephard raceway in Calgary. I spent a lot of time there when I was a kid.
It was close to where I grew up but it is no longer there.