|2:00pm :||Wake up (yes yes… I’m a damn musician… )|
|2:15pm :||Realize I’m all alone as L’s split for work already. Cry.|
|2:16pm :||Receive cell phone message from Julio Chicon.(Dominicanada band leader, prolific father) telling me the Pennsylvania tour’s been delayed by 2 weeks.|
|2:17pm :||Lose mind.|
|2:20pm :||Realize I subbed out of TWO gigs for this tour.|
|2:21pm :||Break things. Resolve to kill all latin people I know. Make note to self - start with girlfriend.|
|5:00pm :||Receive call from Whitney Smith.(leader of the Big Steam Jazz Orchestra, wearer of large hats) to gig that night at the Bamboo. Am flustered. Check wallet and shift to side to let butterflies fly out. Prepare to accept gig. Change mind… suddenly remember that a 17-piece orchestra makes $7 each when it’s a door gig like the Bamboo. Decide to go to the Rex and drink my sorrows away instead.|
|5:01pm :||Sob quietly.|
|5:15pm :||Receive call from Marcus.(alto saxophonist with Radio Nomad, little brown brother, thumb-sucker). He tells me that he too has received a call from Whitney to gig and since he needs the money will be taking the gig.|
|5:16pm :||Sob loudly.|
|5:17pm :||Resolve to kill all other brown people. Make note to self - start with younger sibling.|
|5:30pm :||Marc.(former little brother, devil spawn) calls back.|
|5:31pm :||Do jig in living room with joy in my feet. He had called back to say that once he thought about it, making the $7 to bail on his big brother’s b-day hang was pretty low… and called back and canceled. Make note to self - buy large Xmas gift for Marcus (alto player extraordinaire, 8th Wonder of the World).|
|6:00pm :||Call Mom.(creator of apocalypse, brownmother). Thank her for very cute B-day card... was light blue and had streamers and balloons on the front. Contemplate why there was no money in it. Shrug.|
|6:30pm :||Call Marc and tell him to get to my place around 8:30/9:00pm|
|7:00pm :||Get ready to go to Rex. Wash behind ears, floss, VO5 hot-oil treatment, etc…|
|8:00pm :||Eat smaaaaall bowl of pasta. Note - 1st meal of the day.|
|9:00pm :||Curse my late brother. Conclude it must be genetic.|
|9:30pm :||Marc shows up. Instead of leaving right away I put on the Pocket Dwellers CD.(killer Toronto hip-hop/acid-jazz unit, skirt-chasers) and shake booty.|
|10:00pm :||Leave, by subway, for The Rex.|
|10:30pm :||Exit subway at University and Queen. See Matthew.(upstairs neighbor, all around lovable guy) on his way to the Rex for the Brown Bash. Our duo becomes a trio.|
|10:40pm :||Arrive at The Rex. Greeted by Brenda Earle.(jazz piano player/vocalist, door girl) at the door. Obviously Dave had suckered her into working the door. She’s very cordial and wishes me a Happy Birthday before nailing my brother and Matt with the cover charge.|
|10:41pm :||Pass in front of
stage. Wave at all my friends in the band. No one sees me.
10:42pm : Greeted warmly by the Baird Brothers (Bryden - trumpet player for Estero, non-smoker and his brother Jesse - drummer for Rita Di Ghent, chain smoker) and Sarah (Jesse’s girlfriend, hater of previous title). Make comment about the Brothers Brown and the Brothers Baird together at last. No one laughs. Tough room.
|Bryden says "well… let’s get this show on the road – whatcha drinking?". I quickly run down favorite options in my head - beer?…can’t - hurts my trick stomach… red wine?…too expensive, would feel guilty…brown cow?… too milky…B-52?…too much sugar… what does that leave?? That I like… that’s cheap… and tastes good?? A millisecond later I hear myself saying "Tequila!" … and thus the beginning of the end…|
The rest is a composite of many testimonies, regarding the night in question (as I remember little from 10:42pm onward). I do remember certain events with crystal clarity - drinking… eating… barfing… sleeping. Of these - I’m sure. Everything else… a blur.
All times are approximate.
|10:40pm :||Marcus and Matt are asked to pay cover. By the time their wallets are out and in hand, Brown is gone. Marcus spends a few moments talking to Brenda, introducing him to Matt, chatting about lofty jazz ideals.|
|10:47pm :||The band waves as he passes them and he searches the room for his big brother.|
|10:50pm :||He sees him over in the corner talking very animatedly with Bryden and Jesse Baird and heads over.|
|10:51pm :||Brown is hunched over a chair, wide-eyed, babbling with (at) Bryden about stripping the lacquer off his horn. Beside him FIVE empty shot glasses, lemon wedges and scatterings of salt lay littered on the table. He has a SIXTH in his right hand and his left hand is groping for the salt shaker as he continues assaulting Bryden with horn rhetoric. He is also complaining loudly about how terrible that 4th shot was… Jesse had taken it upon himself to add a shot of Jagermeister to the night's Shot List (tm). Brown swears not to deviate from tequila for the rest of the night. Davide Durenzo.(drummer for JackSoul, also born Dec 2nd) tells Brown it’s his birthday also! Brown buys Davide a shot of his own and together they discuss the pros and cons of being born on Dec 2nd. The discussion doesn’t last long.|
|11:00pm :||Now 8 shots deep and mobile, he is zipping around the room, collecting friends and bringing them to the corner… which would serve as Brownman Headquarters for the rest of the night. Brown finds Glen Gummerson.(trombone player for ska band SpineCracker, plaid wearer) and his girlfriend Arwyn (dancer, longer hair having) and drags them over… followed closely by Bruce Parker.(old University buddy, computer guy) who explains that some other University friend’s (Wayne Finlay and his fiancee) of Brown’s had shown up earlier, but had to split since they had to get up early... white folks white jobs... *sigh* Brown is sorry he missed 'em though.|
|11:10pm :||Tom tells Brown he's got a phone call. Running back and grabbing the phone reveals John Roney (wonderful piano player, composer and part-time lion tamer) on the line. He apologies to Brown for not being able to make it down and iterates how bad he feels at missing the party. Brown blathers back,"ohwowyoucalledeventhoughyouaren'there". A short pause. "You'rethebestI'mdrinkingtequilaandhavetoleavebye." Click! A long trail of slobber from the receiver to his bottom lip snaps as he bolts from the room.|
|11:15pm :||Shots continue to appear on the table… Brown continues to pound them back. Each subsequent arrival, previously met with smiles and handshakes are now met with guttural shouts and bear hugs... the kind that involve some sort of "mounting" while being administered. Brown Blagona.(head mastering dude at MetalWorks studios, Santa Claus sub) and his better half MJ are recipients of such greetings. Brown introduces Blagona to everyone as "the man"; drunken testimonial to his expertise behind the board. Tequila is bought.|
|11:16pm :||Justyna.(UofT piano player, buyer of shoes), Grant Officer.(Brown’s former programming boss, porn site host) and Scott McLaren.(film maker, children’s nightmare) all arrive within minutes of each other. Tequila is bought.|
|11:17pm :||Brown finds Davide again and they start discussing forming a December 2nd band… turns out Michael Stuart.(Toronto tenor sax king, Coltrane appreciator) and a certain bass player (who’s name evades me) all share December 2nd birthday. Plans of a year 2000, 6th Annual 25th Brown Birthday Band are discussed. The discussion doesn’t last long. Shawn Nyquist (In demand Toronto tenor saxophonist, also a Borg) comes over during the discussion while on his set break (he was playing in the band that night). Tequila is bought.|
|11:18pm :||Worried about his slurring speech and blurry vision, Brown figures some more food may be in order. Something bready… something to absorb some of the liquid hell he was saturating his abused body with. A Quesadilla!|
|11:20pm :||Dr. Pop (leader of Dr. Pop & The Noise, dreadlocks owner) arrives. Tequila is bought just before Doc tells Brown Blagona, "the man", about his new record. Within minutes pie graphs are being drawn and a demographic of investment versus revenue is discussed by Doc Pop, savvy business man that he is. Perhaps "the man" will mix Doc’s next record! The networking warms Brown’s heart and he streaks off to tug at some other innocents shirt sleeve.|
vocalist from Cassava, Brown’s personal nurse and cage cleaner)
arrives with a birthday cake!! Brown makes a note to self - "scratch
earlier note to self regarding killing girlfriend". The lid is opened
for under a minute before a bite is taken out of the side. Brown swears
he didn’t see who did it… icing is hanging off his face. The cake
reads "Happy 25th Birthday Brownman… for the 6th
time." Pictures are taken. Candles are lit. The
Song is sang. Tequila is bought.
L had actually arrived a good 15 minutes earlier and was leaped on by Brown, happy to have his woman with him at last… but then left again to put her jacket in the car. Brown, never one to assume anything and confused by her sudden disappearance spent those 15 minutes asking all around, "was my girlfriend just here?"… to which they would shrug and say "Nope, I haven’t seen her", then would turn and ask the next guy, "have you"… to which the answer would invariably be, "nope, I haven’t seen her"… and would turn and ask the next guy… etc… down the line. This had Brown running in circles for 15 minutes wondering about the girlfriend mirage, until she showed up "again"… with the cake. This made his head hurt happily.
|11:27pm :||Jason Logue (fantastic lead trumpet player, holder of green card) arrives. Rob Reedijk (engineer for the Gruvoria CD, dat machine operator) arrives. Tequila is bought.|
|11:30pm :||Josh Brown (jazz trombone monster, Brown’s answering machine compadre) and Frank Pincente (tenor saxophonist with Dr. Pop & The Noise, owner of really big unit) arrive, both with gifts even! Tequila is bought. Brown is particularly happy to see Josh and Frank as the 3 of them plus Marcus all once comprised the Dominicanada horn section for many years. He mounts them both, creating for a moment a precarious 3 man balancing act which abruptly ends when offers of more tequila come in.|
|11:31pm :||Mike Manny (Manhattan School of Music piano Masters student, ham radio lover) arrives. He is also mounted.|
|Rita di Ghent (jazz/groove diva, vegetarian) quickly zips in, gives Brown a big hug, wishes him a wonderful Happy Birthday, then disappears into the night… just like Batman. Impressive woman.|
|12:15am :||Alister Kay (trombone player with the Boss Brass) and assorted members of the Humber College Big Band arrive, including Dave Dulong (Humber College big band lead trumpet player, occasional sub in merengue hell). Brown manages to hold a conversation with Alister long enough to get another shot of Tequila purchased… before disappearing into the crowd again. It is his hope that he didn’t appear as too large a baffoon in front of such distinguished company.|
|12:25am :||Brown is found by Ross MacIntyre (bassist for Dr. Pop & The Noise, colon massage therapist and friend to rabbits, nicotine addict/dealer). The two of them spend the next 5 minutes telling each other how much they love each other. Shouts of "I love you man!" could be heard across the bar and out into the street. It should be noted that Ross was sober.|
|12:30am :||Brown finds Davide again and is asked what time he was born. Brown doesn’t know… but since it’s after midnight and officially December 2nd he has free calls for his birthday on his cell phone (Clearnet). He calls his mother to ask. She talks to Davide for some time before being passed to Bryden. Then to Jason Logue. Then to Scott. Then to Marcus. Then to L. Then to Ross (who delights in calling her BrownMom) and finally back to Brown. By now she’s begging not to be passed to anyone else and Brown is howling apologies fiercely at the top of his lungs for being born by cesarean section. Earlier, when Davide told her he was born at 7:15 in the morning BrownMom responds with "So early?! How nice… I was in labor 37 hours".|
|1:00am :||Alister’s shot marked the 14th to sear Brown’s belly. The combination of tequila, birthday cake, the bowl of spaghetti from the beginning of the night and the quesadillas made for a quick phone call… to god… on the porcelain phone. Feeling better having felt the cool comfort of a toilet pressed against his face while Raju-tequila-flavoured-quesadillas projectile vomited their way out of his colon – he was about ready to quit. BUT walking/stumbling/crawling back to Brownman Headquarters revealed the triple shot that Tom (manager of the Rex, basketball playing all around nice guy) has poured for him 3 hours earlier and a single… presumably from Grant. The triple has been pushed, shoved and spilled all around the table so much that night that, in all fairness it should be called a double… and the single still had a lemon delicately balanced over the rim. Bryden, who had been pushing the once-triple towards Brown all night every time he came near the table, usually sending him screaming across the room, once again shoved the goblet of doom towards Brownman. Drunk beyond medical imagination, all feeling gone both face and mouth, Brown sighs deeply. Picking up the now-double, he plows it back causing him to hop around headquarters moaning to himself between glares at Bryden, whom he is convinced is Satan.|
|1:15am :||Across the room Brown spots an older brownguy and large white man talking. After a few moments of peering he exclaims "look - it’s Mike Manny in 10 years talking to Newman from Sienfeld!!". Those who were there can attest to the truth of the resemblance… and to the volume with which it was announced.|
|1:30am :||Andrew Downing (bass player for everybody, UZEB fan), Davide and Brown all sing the head to "Spider" after he announces what a monstrous UZEB (Montreal based fusion band popular in the 80’s) fan Andrew is. Brown screws up the head, but his friend’s alter it in accordance with his sad metric shifting. Brown is grateful for their friendship.|
|1:45am :||Grant’s last shot is downed and all subsequent offers refused with weak handsignals and the squinting of bloodshot eyes. Bringing the grand total to 17 shots of Tequila. Correction - 16 shots of tequila and 1 terrible shot of Jagermiester.|
|2:00am :||A completely intoxicated Brownman thanks the band, the Rex staff and the remainder of his friend’s before the staff start ejecting people onto the street. Brown wants to go to The Garden (his late-night chinese-food hang, open until 5am everynight, on Dundas St., just east of University, Brown is an honorary chinaman there and they love his brown ass) … everybody else wants to go to Mel’s (killer breakfast joint.. open all night, on Bloor St., just west of Spadina, tasty steak and eggs). Since it’s his birthday Brown goes to the garden with a handful of loyal followers - L, Marcus, Ross & Leela (percussionist and excessive coffee drinker).|
|4:00am :||Ross graciously pays for the entire meal showing that being a nicotine addict/dealer and worshipping Satan (part-time... being a nicotine addict/dealer is his full time gig) can indeed be financially rewarding. In a final act of friendship he drives the remainder of the group all home. Brown is truly impressed by Ross’ girth.|
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