Heater History, Part VI: The Not My Dog Days of Summer

You know the drill. Part V here: http://www.heatergirl.com/archives/135 

When I first started going to the Not My Dog open jam in January 2010 it was always ram packed. If you wanted a chance to play a standard three song/fifteen minute set you’d have to show up by at least 11:00, lest you be cut down to two songs or lose your chance to play all together. This would continue till around late April/early May. After that it slowed down a bit, but was still well attended. By the end of June though, the Wednesday night at The Dog was all but deserted.

The only people still around from June till around September were the NMD regulars (what Stoo refers to as “Dog Royalty”). During these months, we’d often find ourselves with no performers left on the list barely passed midnight. When we found ourselves in this situation, one of two things would happen: either the bartender would put on some dancey tunes and we’d all bust some moves on what is likely the smallest dance floor in Toronto for the rest of the night, or the whole thing would turn into one giant, unwieldy jam session. The former cases would eventually lead to the formation of the Fun Force 5, a ninja-dance squad comprised of considerably more than five members (but that’s a story for another day). The later cases would eventually lead to the formation of Heater Girl.

Though Darren and I were already familiar with each other’s songs by this point, it was during these slow summer months that we first started playing on each other’s songs. Though the jam sessions were usually comprised of covers and ridiculously long improv sessions, we eventually just started to back each other up on our own songs. It was during these months that I picked up a bass for the first time since high school. It was also during this time that I realized just how much better my songs sound with a band behind me.

While it would be reasonable to think that you could draw a straight line from these summer jam sessions with Darren and Stoo to the formation of the band, we took a much more convoluted route. I was still pigeonholed into the idea that if I was ever going to have a band I would simply be the lead singer and principal song writer and I never would have presumed to have asked Stoo to drum for me considering how many other projects he was already involved in, so I began to seek out band members at the other open jams I attended. The one plausible line up I came across before the formation of HG I found at the open mic in a bar which would eventually host Heater Girl’s first show: Skal Rock Bar.


to be continued next week with Heater History, Part VII: The Skal Sessions.


wishing you all contentment and cotton candy,





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