Up the Junction

Squeeze has a new album out this month, their first in 5 years, and they sound just as good ever.   Check this out:

I’ve always had a soft spot for this band and their Beatlesque songwriting.  Their catalog is chock full of great songs, filled with hooks.  In honor of their new album, here’s my story about meeting the band(I think the only band I’ve ever actually met).  No, check that, I sort of met Fairport Convention once.

In 1985, Squeeze was the headlining act at UB Fallfest, along with The Hooters(one successful album and then nothing).  I had a friend who ran the stage crew for all concerts coming on campus and for some reason, I decided to volunteer. If I recall, I was paid with a free T-shirt and $10 for a long, hard day of work.  It actually turned out to be about a half day of work for me though, because of course, I had to get injured.  Here’s a helpful hint, if you ever find yourself on a stage crew, wear steel tipped boots!  Pieces of the stage were very heavy and took two people, minimum, to carry.  Another guy and I were carrying a piece of the stage and about to attach it to the existing stage when a girl on the crew, not paying attention to her surroundings, backed off of the stage and onto the piece we were carrying.  The whole thing came out of our hands and clipped my big toe, shattering it like a cheap pane of glass.  Now, I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but this was something else.

I tried to tough it out but whoever was in charge there insisted that I go to the emergency room, so Baird point ambulance carted me off to Millard suburban.  Believe it or not, I went into shock in the ambulance, getting that pins and needles feeling all over my body.  They wheeled me into the ER(for a freaking broken toe!).  I’m lying there, waiting my turn, when another guy is wheeled in next to me, with his family all running along next to him.  He had just suffered a heart attack and unfortunately, died there right next to me, with his understandably distraught family crying loudly.  I felt awful and embarrassed to one, be there with a broken toe, and two, be part of their private moment.  Someone finally wheeled me into a private room where they drilled my toenail with a laser to relieve the pressure and um, gave me a band-aid.

End of story, right?  No, they gave me a velcro walking boot and tried to send me on my way except, I was stuck there.  The school ambulance did not wait for me.  I had no car.  I tried calling a couple of friends that had cars but they were not in their rooms.  My parents were in Rochester.  There were no cell phones, of course.  I was…Up the Junction:

I was facing the prospect of trying to limp back to campus when a nurse finally took pity on me and offered to give me a lift after her shift ended.  So, it’s mid-afternoon and I finally made my way back to Alumni Arena.  I told my story to my friends on the crew and watched them finish the job.  About an hour before the doors opened, the band made their way into the arena.  They had heard about my accident and were relatively nice about it(maybe worried they were going to get sued?).  I got to meet them and throw a Frisbee around with them inside the arena for a bit.  It was great to meet the band but not exactly worth the pain and trauma of the day.  Still, I got a fun story out of it!

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