Melville. We decided to call it Melville, and we're not sure why except that once upon a time we were befriended somewhere in the south of Ontario by a grinning, gnomish pedal steel guitar player of that very name who has since made it quite clear to us that if we fail to alter the everday mindset of music-lovers everywhere with this and subsequent releases, we are doomed to a life of greasepaint, video hits and eternal brown lipstick. We may also have called it Melville because there's a place in Saskatchewan of that very name, and you may or may not have noticed that there's a song on this record called Saskatchewan; from now on that song takes place in Melville, not North Battleford, Floral, Climax, or Regina but Melville, the birth place of hockey play Sid Abel, who has since become one of our favorite players for obvious reasons.
There were many other title choices for this, our second album, among them Record Body Count, a song; Smoke and Gift, homage to the plazas and shopping malls that border our home town of Etobicoke, Ontario; You Are Very Star, the titlde of each concert's closing theme wherein the band tumbles softly into sleep while whistling; and Wally Slater, a reference to our man in Verdin, Manitoba who guides our every move in our battle against bad music. But instead, we named in Melville. Now we gotta live with it.
We also have to live with these liner notes. We couldn't decide whether we should draw a map, print the lyrics, make up an intriguing fable, or reprint a chapter out of the Bachman Turner Overdrive biography (my favorite part is when Fred gets sick with gall stones and has the damnedest time getting up from his E-Z Boy recliner to play a big show in Long Beach). We also wanted to tell the Complete Story of the Rheostatics, with chapters detailing our Irish tour in 1988, where we found ourselves stranded after a gig in a shadowy corner of Dublin, only to have a bus filled with the highest-paid fashion models in the country pick us up and drive us back to our hostel; or the time our equipment was stolen outside of a club in Gastown in Vancouver and a bunch of local bands and promoters organized a day-long benefit at DOA's old house that raised over 700$ which we didn't need in the end because a sympathetic local cab driver rescued our gear from the theif, who was on his way to the train station to take off with the loot. There's also stories about playing Stompin' Tom Conner's comeback party at the Matador club in Toronto and reforming after a year's break-up to record this long-player over three wintry days.
Then he cackeled like a madman and bellowed: "Let the games begin!"
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