The Greatest Story Never Told. Part Tree …
So there I was…
As I stood in front of a mahogany bar that was painted ever so slightly by the morning sunlight , a smile appeared on my face. I had met my childhood idols , enjoyed a lustful evening of rock n roll and was pumped to enjoy a day of waitering. A few dollars in my pocket followed by an evening of blues …what was there not to be happy about !
One of the waitresses was behind the bar and preparing her station for the forthcoming events. Suddenly , the door which led from the bar to the adjacent terrace opened . With the sun and the maple boards as a backdrop – there stood a figure that was at once recognizable. A silhouette that graced hundreds of stages around the world. For the second time in less than twenty – four hours , I was in the company of Mr. Jerry Mercer.
A Coincidental Coincidence
I had worked with this waitress for two months. I never knew her father was the drummer for April Wine. It was probably a good thing. If I had known – the poor girl would have had to endure many hours of questioning. Once I was done – the Spanish inquisition would have come across as a segment on a poor talk show.
Like a teenage boy receiving a glimpse of a girl’s underwear under a short skirt , I said hello to the icon with a huge smile on my face. Mercer recognized me from the previous evening and appeared equally amused to see me. He introduced me to his daughter (formally) and the pair let it be known that Jerry was dropping something off the younger Mercer had forgotten. I told Jerry that I had thoroughly enjoyed the show and it was an immense pleasure to make his acquaitance for the second time. He thanked me , kissed his daughter goodbye and was just about to make his exit – stage left , when a thought occurred to me.
I asked him if he would be interested in doing an interview.
Mr. Mercer replied in the same fashion as did Brian Greenway the night before. ” Been there – done that ” was the sentiment the members of the band ( Myles excluded ) seemed to be riding – full steam.
” Has anyone ever done a story about you ? ” I inquired with an inquiring mind …
” You know …” I continued. ” An interview about what makes Jerry tick outside of April Wine ? Your likes , dislikes etc…”
I was aware that I had the man ‘s curiosity by the neck. He stopped and stood for a moment. Save the smoke emitting from his ears – it was easy to tell the man was thinking. Hard.
After a few minutes of trepidation – Jerry replied almost surprised. After all the years of playing with bands such as the Triangle, Mashmakhan, April Wine and the Buzz Band. All these seasons of playing with or around the likes of Trevor Payne , Roy Buchanan, Janis Joplin, the Band , the Grateful Dead and many more …Mr. Mercer realized that noone had ever sat down and spoke to him about his life experiences and his viewpoints.
I was to be the first and we made arrangements to meet the following week.