Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hardstock 2008

Went to Hardstock at the Commodore last night, a benefit for Vancouver musician/producer Scott Harding (aka Scotty Hard). I can't say I know Scott, though I met him 20 odd years ago through the musician I was dating at the time who had good friends in the Jazzmanian Devils - everyone seemed to know/play with everyone back then, and I have to admit I look back on that chunk of time with serious warm-fuzzies - the musical community I had the good fortune to be tangentially associated with was filled with incredibly nice, insanely funny guys, who were unusually accepting of the girlfriend-hangers-on like myself.

30 second summary of why the benefit happened - mid February this year, the cab Scott was in was hit at high speed by another vehicle, resulting in a spinal injury for Scott that has left him paralyzed from the chest down. Scott lives in New York now, and doesn't have medical insurance. So, the bills are rolling in and his music buddies are doing what they can to bring some much needed cash Scott's way.

The Bands
A super crazy collection of Vancouver blasts from the past and those that keep on trucking along... I Braineater (pictured), Go Four 3 (pictured), The Furies, The Pointed Sticks, The Jazzmanian Devils, Kinnie Starr; John Mann (Spirit of the West), Paul Hyde (The Payolas), Neil Osborne (54-40), Barney Bentall, who rolled themselves into the ad-hoc group of the night, The Hard goes on. And on. I am uploading a whack of videos here over the next while for those interested/with too much time on their hands. But overall it was a real treat. There were some less than ideal moments, particularly Kinnie Starr - nothing wrong with her performance, but her quiet, singer-songwriter self is not well served by the way too noisy and large Commodore unfortunately. It also wasn't fair to put her on after the bouncy loud mass of the Hardrock Miners. Ahhh well.

Highlights for me: John Mann and his crazy-dancing red-headed son Harlan, who played drums during Mann's set and provided more than a little visual stimulus during the Hard One's performance - good on you, young 'un; The Pointed Sticks, who manage to bring my teenage self back to me even if I really don't want her back; and the Hard Ones, just because it is great to see great musicians together having fun. And purely because I had a crush on his young, alternative black-haired self back in the 80s: I, Braineater. Oh, and Neil Osborne, because I had a crush on his young, alternative, stringy-brown-haired self back then (prompted in part by a bit of graffiti referencing him in a very positive way scrawled in the girls washroom at the Savoy back in the day) and continue to do so now if I'm completely honest.

The Audience
They came out in good number, which is the main thing. Not sure that it was sold out, but it was certainly well attended. That being said, they were chatting-noisy (drives me crazy) and not showing quite as much love as they could from the floor, but who am I to judge as I sit in my chair on the balcony. Audience member of the night: idiot who asked to sit at our table who started heckling Scott Harding's brother as he was talking from the stage about Scott's situation. For the love of everything holy, let the man SPEAK and consider yourself lucky that no one you love is in that situation.

That's it for now I guess. If anyone is interested in contributing to the Scotty Hard Trust, here's the link.

And here are the Hard Ones, with John and Harlan Mann (a family that flails together, stays together?), Barney Bentall, Paul Hyde and more - enjoy!


dense milt said...

Thanks for the comments and for showing up. We raised close to $25,000 that night, but the work is not over.
On June 13th at Christ Church Cathedral we get to do it all over again, but this time, all different. Well, mostly.
Holy Hardstock!!! is the name of the show, and you can get more info at
Dense Milt

Hard Supper said...

The Golden Hardstock Guitar is now on the auction block at

It began its performing life in the hands of Craig Northey of The Odds/Colin James fame. From there it became "kind of like the Stanley Cup, passed around from champion to champion and maybe lost on a street corner in Winnipeg."

Today, it has become a symbol of the musical community that has rushed to the aid of Scotty Hard.

"On that night at the Commodore I had every performer sign it and some people played it," said Northey. "It has become the "Gerry Cheevers Mask" of Hardstock 08."

What's it worth? "I think its retail value is around $650," says Craig Northey. "Its sentimental value, however — or hoodoo with all those signatures — is probably closer to $1 million."