Heater History, Part II: East End Boy

Here is the second part of my on-going series of posts relating the story of how Heater Girl came to formation. Part I can be found here: http://www.heatergirl.com/archives/111 

I first met Darren Hutz at the Brass Taps open mic. He and my brother were old friends from their campus newspaper days at Waterloo. When he and I were first introduced, Darren was extremely friendly and unassuming in his manner, hardly what I had envisioned when my brother was describing this powerhouse musician that I just had to see. Welcoming as he was, I tend to clam up in front of new people, so I spent the majority of that first encounter with Darren silently sipping on pints while he and my brother caught up.

Then Darren got up to play his set. While I absentmindedly worked on what must have been my third or fourth pint of the night, I heard Darren start to play an oddly cut-off timed country song. This would be the first time I’d hear one of my favourite songs ever written, a song which has since become one of Heater Girl’s calling cards, Aches and Pains. I was floored. I learned the lyrics to the chorus after two repetitions of it and was singing along by the third (writing harmonies on the fly that I still use to this day when we perform it). For the first time since indoctrinating myself as a west-ender I thought, Maybe the east end isn’t so bad.

Though I was thoroughly impressed by his set, I was reserved with my praise after Darren got off the stage, not wanting to gush to this person who I’d just met perhaps an hour beforehand. I offered the standard-issue compliments every open mic player gives to another, my admiration fighting with me but ultimately succumbing to my restraint.

I then started telling Darren (as casually as possible) about the open mics I’d be playing in my neighbourhood, hoping he’d begin showing up to them and I’d get another chance to hear his songs. Lucky for me, he would begin coming to the Parkdale open mics I played and even brought me in on a few of his regular stops, including Skal Rock Bar’s open mic (a night which would later have a great significance to the band). Now, nearly two years later, not only is Darren Hutz a valued and trusted bandmate but one of my best friends.


to be continued next week with the story of how a small piece of music equipment ended up changing my life with Heater History, Part III: Continuous Playback.


wishing you all contentment and cotton candy,




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