Trooper at the PNE

Trooper performing live in 1976. L-R: Tommy St...

Trooper performing live in 1976. L-R: Tommy Stewart (view blocked), Brian Smith, Ra McGuire, Doni Underhill, Frank Ludwig (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Husband and I went to the PNE (Vancouver’s annual amusement park, arcade, agricultural fair and exhibition). Trooper was playing the free evening concert. For the international readers, or readers who are too young to know them, Trooper was a very successful Canadian rock band beginning in the 1970s.  Here is a recent short promotional video that highlights their best songs.) Husband saw one of their early shows in Vancouver in 1976, possibly the one shown in the photo, when they all had more hair.

Last night’s show was a lot of fun – the band and audience seemed like old friends. Ra McGuire, the lead singer, met his wife at the PNE 45 years ago, and the lead guitarist operated the PNE roller coaster in those days. Last night, they even brought an assortment of children and grandchildren onto the stage. (Is that a normal occurrence at rock concerts these days? I don’t go to many.) It’s nice that this band has apparently achieved moderate fame and fortune while remaining normal people.

Before the show, the audience was gathering and competing for space on the grass in front of the stage. As I looked around, I saw a fair number of people on the wrong side of middle age. (In other words, close to my age.)

A couple of women nearby looked like regular suburban grandmothers. When the band came on stage, everyone leapt to their feet struggled to raise their creaky bodies from the ground into a standing position. Once up, though, these 2 grannies and a lot of others started dancing, waving their arms and singing – this continued through the whole show as if it were 1976 again.

Today I found Ra McGuire’s blog, and also put in a request in to the local library for his 2006 book.

Don’t try this at home

The highlights of the early part of the day (i.e. the opening acts for Trooper) were the usual lineup:

  • Superdogs
  • Pig races
  • Extreme motorcyclists (it used to be the demolition derby)
  • Extreme demonstrations of vegetable choppers and kitchen knives

I have always considered the PNE to be a celebration of my birthday week, since it starts on the Saturday closest to my birthday. Here I am at the PNE a few years ago. I’m the one who looks like she just had a 4th birthday.

The week of my 4th birthday.

When my kids were young, we used to enter things in the home crafts show, in order to get free entrance tickets. We did everything from muffins and jam, to Christmas stockings, to cake decorating on the spot (daughter A won first prize in that when she was about 9.)

They did away with that part of the fair. I have to admit that looking at dozens of jars of jam has limited entertainment value, unless of course you win the blue ribbon.

2 thoughts on “Trooper at the PNE

  1. No, I looked through my albums and didn’t find one. That was before digital cameras made snapping so easy. She won for “creativity” since she made a valiant attempt to depict the PNE rollercoaster. The judges made a point of explaining this, because the cake decorating skills were definitely not obvious!

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